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Pakistan News And Discussion-9
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Girl raped, paraded in the name of 'honour'

Posted online: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 1427 hours IST

Karachi, January 31: A group of Pakistani men has been accused of raping a teenaged girl and forcing her to parade naked through her village because one of her relatives eloped with a young women from the men's family, police said on Wednesday.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>
<b>Was Saddam a communist?</b>
Columnist Tanveer Qaisar Shahid wrote in Daily Pakistan that Saddam Hussain was a Sunni but he ruled Iraq as a secular person whose life had no hint of religion. He joined the Baath party, which was allergic to religion. The founder of the Baath party was Micheal Aflick, who was a Christian Arab and a communist. In 1980 Saddam Hussain told author John C Koli that religion divides people. The Baath party spread pan-Arabism, communism and secularism. Saddam Hussain didn’t allow a kalima on the national flag for many years and Iraq was not called the Islamic Republic of Iraq.

<b>Thank you Pervez Elahi!</b>
In daily Jang, famous columnist Nazir Naji wrote that Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has the distinction of creating the first journalist colony in Pakistan. Pervez Elahi didn’t involve himself in the distribution of plots to journalists. The trade unions of journalists are divided into many groups. Out of many possible options, he allowed the Lahore Press Club to distribute the plots. The Press Club was allowed to form its own criteria for the distribution of plots. We are thankful to Pervez Elahi for serving our journalist brothers. The services of Taimoor Azmat, ex DGPR Shoaib bin Aziz and media consultant Iqbal Chaudhry is also appreciated for making this scheme possible.

<b>Misbah stopped from going to madrassa</b>
As reported in daily Nawa-i-Waqt, British born Pakistani girl Misbah Irum was stopped by her father Sajjad Rana from going to a madrassa mosque in Islamabad. According to The Guardian, Misbah Irum was getting religious education from Lal Masjid. Sajjad Rana said he was afraid that Misbah was being influenced by a fanatic religious scholar.

<b>Hindu bathing</b>
According to Daily Pakistan, thousands of Hindus are converging in Allahabad for the sacred Kumbh Mela which is celebrated every 12 years. This mela is celebrated on the spot where the three rivers, the Jamna, the Sarasvati and the Ganga meet. The Hindus believe that bathing in this water cleans them of all sins. According to Hindus, when gods and rakshas fought over the water stored in a sacred bowl, some of this water dripped on the earth near Allahabad. The organiser of this mela, Pergaim Ram Mishra, said that it is wrong that the water is not fit for bathing as we have closed all polluted water canals leading to these rivers.

<b>Drunken pilots arrested</b>
According to daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Pakistan International Airline pilots Captain Amir and Captain Gabool were arrested for drinking at Toronto. The flight started from Lahore and reached Toronto when the passengers started to complain about the drunken state of the two pilots. According to PIA both the pilots are suspended.  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Basant is an ancient festival</b>
In daily Jang, columnist Chaudhry Fawad Hussain related that SM Latif (in his book that appeared in 1982) wrote that the festival of Basant and mela charaghan (urs of Shah Hussain) were celebrated in Lahore. Some sixty years ago a Dr Burner visited Punjab and saw the celebration of Basant during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh invited Dr Burner and they toured Lahore together on an elephant. Ranjit Singh’s army was wearing yellow clothes and this festival was held to celebrate the arrival of spring.

<b>Basant is a blessing for Lahore</b>
In daily Jang, columnist Chaudhry Fawad Hussain wrote that during the 90’s Basant became a symbol of hospitality, culture and liveliness of Lahore. In February, people would travel from across the world to celebrate Basant in Lahore. This festival became a blessing for the economy of this city. It’s unfortunate for Muslim countries where few a hardliners have the capacity to impose their views on majority. During the height of basant a religious group started opposing this festival because it is against Islam. Its impossible to understand how flying a kite offends religion.

<b>Saudi hotels serving expired meat</b>
According to daily Express, it has been discovered that Saudi restaurants are selling the meat of sacrificial animals during Eid. The government raided the hotels and recovered hundreds of kilograms of expired meat from the restaurants. The government agencies claimed they recovered the meat of sacrificial animals from different hotels in Jeddah and Riyadh.

<b>Saddam is Mujahid-i-Azam</b>
As reported in daily Express, the ameer of Ahl-e-Sunnat, Mohammad Afzal Qadri, condemned the hanging of Saddam Hussain. He said hanging him and filming his death is inhuman and shows the defeat of America. He said Saddam Hussain showed mujahidana character, and <b>he called Saddam, ‘Mujahid-i-Azam of this century’</b>. He said Saddam was not a prophet or an angel and he made mistakes but in Islam misery and humbleness depend on the death of a person and Saddam had an ideal and exemplary death.

<b>Don’t support Saddam</b>
As reported in daily Express, the highly regarded shia religious madrassa Jamiat ul Muntazar expressed unhappiness over the support of Saddam Hussain by the ulema and religious parties. Spokesman Nusrat Ali Shahani said Saddam Hussain killed thousand of Sunnis, Shias and Shia ulema including the famous alam e-din Shiekh Abdul Azim Albadri, Ayatullah Syed Mohammad Baqir al Sadr, and Ayatullah Mohsin Alhakim and his family members. According to the Jamia spokesman, Saddam Hussain’s Baath party propagated communism. He attacked Kuwait and created an excuse for American forces to occupy the Harmain Sharifain and Kuwait. He said that the supporters of Saddam Hussain are displaying the wrong emotions and the West uses such misplaced reactions as Islamic opinion to malign Islam. . <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Iraq’s fratricidal war</b>
Farrukh Saleem
Americans are not dying in Iraq, Muslims are; Americans are not killing Muslims in Iraq,  Muslims are 
Iraqi Muslims are killing each other by the busloads. Look at the figures: American military casualties in Iraq stand at 3,014 (as of 9 January 2007). On the other hand, Iraqi Muslims killed by Muslims: 53,040. Within Iraq, there is the Arab-Kurd divide and then there is the Shia-Sunni divide. Ethnically, Iraq is 75 percent Arab and 20 percent Kurd (5 percent other). Theologically, Iraq is 63 percent Shia and 34 percent Sunni (3 percent other). The ethnic divide is less explosive but, as is always the case, the worst of all human hatreds is theological hatred.

Iraq’s Muslims seem to have devised a unique way of forcing the Americans out: Shias and Sunnis killing each other by the thousands. America is in trouble not because American lives are being lost but because so much of America’s military assets are bogged down in Iraq that America is being unable to threaten her other adversaries (America lost 58,209 lives in Vietnam as opposed to 3,014 in Iraq).

There is a de facto civil war in Iraq; theological hatred is pitting Shias and Sunnis against each other. For Americans, Shias and Sunnis targeting each other is better than Shias and Sunnis targeting Americans. Kurds remain loyal to Washington and Shias are under Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s fatwa “not to take up arms against the occupying force”.

<b>Is Iraq in the process of being partitioned? Shias are leaving Sunni strongholds of Falluja, Tikrit and Ramadi. Sunnis are leaving Shia strongholds of Karbala, Kufa, Najaf, Basra, Nasiriyah, Amara and Al Kut. Iraq’s Shia-Sunni theological hatred is 500-year old with roots in Safavid-Ottoman wars for the domination of Iraq (Safavids were the first to declare Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran). Under Safavids, Iraqi Sunnis were victimised (1623-38). Under the much longer reign of the Ottomans, Iraqi Shias were persecuted for nearly 300 years (1638-1916).</b>

<b>Baghdad is not about American occupation any more; it’s all about Shia domination of the region, it’s all about Baghdad’s occupation by Iran. Shia domination is what Sunni Kingdoms – led by Saudi Arabia – are not prepared to accept. Whether America withdraws or not, stage is all set for Muslims to slaughter Muslims by the truckloads.</b>

In the Middle East, sectarian (read: Shia-Sunni) balance of power is up for grabs. In Iraq, an average of 36 Muslims are being killed by other Muslims every day; Sunni men found with holes drilled through their heads and Shia men with ‘traitor’ carved across their bodies. Every civil war has a purpose. Unfortunately, in Iraq’s civil war Muslims will kill other Muslims for as long as there are “motives and opportunities for further violence”.

On the left side of the ring are Iran, Mahdi Army and Badr Organisation. On the right, Saudi Arabia, Ansar al-Sunnah and Ikhwan Movement (plus Ansar al-Islam). Americans back both Shia as well as Sunni militias for their own advantage.

While Muslims are busy killing Muslims, George Bush issued his Executive Order 13303. The EO 13303 “provides an extraordinarily broad legal shield for any and all contractors and mercenaries working in Iraq on behalf of US corporations in any oil related enterprise (for details visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13303).”

<b>Here are two issues that we Muslims tend to ignore about Iraq: First, Americans are not dying in Iraq, Muslims are; second, Americans are not killing Muslims in Iraq, Muslims are killing each other. </b>

A must read on the realities of the Partition i.e. the Slaughter of the Sikhs and Hindus by the Muslims, which has been kept under covers-swept under the carpet by the Kriminal Kaangress Kaamunist Klan :

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947</span></b>[/center]

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Compiled for the SGPC
S. GURBACHAN SINGH TALIB</span></b>[/center]

IMHO, this should be on the First page of the following Threads :

1. Pakistan News and Discussion

2. Radicalisation Of Indian Muslims

3. Islamism

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[center] <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo--> <b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Failed state</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo--> [/center]

The recent spate of suicide bombings in various city centres, including the much protected federal capital Islamabad, only confirms that Pakistan is on the verge of becoming a failed state. If one takes into account the war-like situation in Balochistan and the military action in South and North Waziristan, it amounts to a crisis of governance not unlike the war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq.

The country's rulers, meanwhile, are on foreign tours either to solve the Palestinian problem or to attract foreign investment or to enhance trade opportunities -- as if all is well in their own country and as if Pakistan is an attractive place for the foreign capital.

However the media -- both electronic and print -- tells a different story. After the suicide bomb attacks around Ashura, forty districts were put on red alert. Police commandos in full battle dress and army troops arranged flag-marches in various cities. Earlier, some religious elements from Islamabad, the seat of the federal government, challenged the writ of the government openly on the issue of demolition of mosques and seminaries built on encroached lands. The newspapers published large pictures of women armed with lathis protesting against the government's decisions.

2007 has been declared as 'The Visit Pakistan Year' by the government. But who would dare come to a country where even the five-star hotels are not safe from terrorist attacks. Even the supreme power of the world frequently charges its most important ally for being a safe haven for terrorists and claims that the government of Pakistan was not doing enough to root out terrorists. Afghan ruler Karzai's bitter charges against Musharraf administration are only a repetition of NATO and US policy. <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>They even violate the country's border in total disregard of Pakistan's sovereignty and attack local check posts also.</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The law and order breakdown, uncontrollable surge in corruption, unstoppable violence by the religious might, political opportunism, anti-people policies of the rulers and above all military takeover of political power are all a legacy of Bhutto's Frankenstein, Ziaul Haq. He left an imprint so deep on society that hasn't dimmed even eighteen years after his death. The most painful of his legacies is the presence of millions of Afghan immigrants with jihadi orientation, all contrived by US strategists to achieve their Cold War policy objectives.

General Ziaul Haq had mastered the art of public relationing to its best. After capturing power through a military coup, he used to describe himself a reluctant ruler -- an assertion directed at providing his ruthless acts a benign cover. He knew the US would need Pakistan's help in the containment of Soviet Union and that would result in legitimising his unconstitutional and immoral rule. The US strategists who had long ago decided that Muslims could be their natural allies against the Godless ideology of communism, accepted Zia's offer and decided to wage a holy war against the government of the communist infidels in Afghanistan. The rest is all history.

The Mujahideen and al-Qaeda warriors trained and armed by Pakistan and the US kept their interest alive in the Jihad movement. Since the warriors had been trained in Pakistan and Pakistani soil was used till the ultimate of all Jihadi actions, September eleven, took place, Pakistan has remained in the picture prominently. After the non-communist or Islamist Afghanistan was attacked vigorously by the US with the cooperation of the fourth military ruler of Pakistan, the Jihadis had no other option but to turn to their old safe haven to survive against the wrath of the US military might. Pakistan had to act to destroy its own creation. But this time they were asked to deal with the Jihadis alone.

Earlier, US money, strategic help and other resources of the Western world were available to them. Pakistan is the third most affected nation of the surge of religious fanaticism -- for which both US and military junta of Ziaul Haq are equally responsible. After Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries invaded and occupied by US forces, Pakistan has suffered the maximum damage. Not only has Pakistan's image as a civilised society been marred by scores of terrorist attacks, the silent majority of the country has become a hostage to obscurantists.

Gen. Musharraf's rhetoric about enlightenment and moderation alone are not enough to change the social system that has been adversely affected since Ziaul Haq decided to re-Islamise the society of Pakistan. Unless the developed world provides moral and material help with the same enthusiasm they had shown 25 years ago when they had decided to create holy warriors to serve their political interest, the world will not be safe from the frequent actions of obscurantists. The hate campaigns and discrimination against Muslims by the Western mass media and condemnation by the leaders will not help their cause either.

As for the Pakistani society, the problems it faces cannot be solved by rulers' rhetoric. Participation of people to bring about a positive change in the social and cultural system is necessary and that can be done through political parties and other democratic institutions. So far, no significant political organisation has declared it wants to have this important issue on its agenda.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Rich school, poor school : Dr Ayesha Siddiqa</span></b>[/center]

<i>It is time the government made a plan for bridging the gap between the three systems of education prevalent in the country: private schools; government schools and madrassahs. However, that would require an even-handed approach, among other things</i>

<b>The demolition of an illegal mosque-madrassah complex in Islamabad’s G sector has drawn a very angry reaction from the female students, the mullahs and those sympathetic to their views.</b> The female students have invaded and occupied the children’s library next-door and refuse to vacate it until the government restores the mosque.

What should we make of this?

<b>The demolition of the mosque is part of an official decision to demolish all illegal mosques of which there are many (a long list of them in the Capital territory alone has recently been put out by the newspapers). Why must the religious elements protest the issue?

The government must remove all the buildings that have been illegally constructed by people and groups in collusion with corrupt political and administrative authorities. Mosques cannot be exempted in this regard. The religious life in a city or a community has to fit into the larger civic plan of a place. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Demolishing or not allowing a mosque to be constructed at any place is not an anomaly. The government in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf states has a total control of where mosques are to be constructed or even what can be said in a sermon in the mosque.</span>

While we are at it, let me add to the list by pointing out <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>the illegal mosque and madrassah in the greenbelt F-8 sector. This mosque was constructed illegally under the patronage of (late) General Zia-ul Haq and is known for its firebrand imam who vociferously opposes the government and its policies. I am quite sure that F-8 will look better without the mosque and the hundreds of students trooping in and out of the madrassah every day where they are taught intolerant views.</span></b>

I am completely with the government on this. But while it is essential to get rid of illegally constructed mosque-madrassah complexes, wherever they might be, what about other illegal buildings, most of which do not look like a mosque? For instance, in the same F-8 sector, there is also an elitist school, which like other private schools cannot be legally opened in a residential area. In fact, since I live in the neighbourhood, it is far more annoying to wake up in the morning to the din of noisy kids or listen to them swearing in English all day than the madrassah students who seem more disciplined.

This school is also an illegal entity. However, in this case, higher authorities intervened on behalf of the school administration to force some select neighbours to sign a no-objection-certificate to allow a school to be set up and run in the residential area. <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The Bosnian ambassador was prevailed upon to sign the certificate. Others neighbours were not even asked.</span></b>

How is this favouritism different from the patronage General Zia-ul Haq provided to the mosques and madrassahs during his tenure? It is a coincidence that since Zia was religiously oriented and comparatively conservative than the present leadership, he allowed the religious schools to open up on government land without seeking permission. Interestingly, every authoritarian leader has his/her own hallmark. The current regime encourages the illegal act of opening schools in residential areas — all in the name of public-private partnership or improving the image of the country.

The students attending this uppity school do not seem to have learnt the fine art of tolerance and concern for ordinary citizens and neighbours. This particular branch is a nightmare for the neighbours, especially in the morning and the afternoon when luxury cars are haphazardly parked outside the neighbours’ houses. The parents and drivers of these privileged kids show no mercy for people residing in the neighbourhood. Not to mention the school bell which rings occasionally without any consideration that it might be disturbing the neighbourhood.

Islamabad has over 1,000 schools illegally operating in residential areas. The logic is that there is no facility to open these schools elsewhere and dislocating them to areas such as sectors I and H would be inconvenient. This is certainly a noble concern for the children of the elite who would not really be inconvenienced if they have to drive a little distance to reach their schools.

These schools have failed to become institutions of learning with the primary aim of building character. But since they are part of the free-market economy and will prepare young minds to go abroad or join the corps of the ruling elite, it is understandable that there is hardly any effort to remove them.

The children attending these private schools, especially the elite schools, are kids of influential people who can force the government to ignore any illegality. In the changing environment of the day, the political power of the rich and the influential is greater than the political clout or the street power of the mullah who is the guardian of madrassahs.

But the image of a country is not just a function of moving from one extreme end to another but by establishing rules and laws that are followed to the letter and spirit across the board.

Madrassahs have become a nuisance not because there is something innately wrong with the concept but because the State adopted certain policies for which it needed recruits and the madrassah was made to provide those recruits. In a country where the State has abdicated its responsibility to provide quality education — or any education — the madrassah is as much a part of self-help as the private schools. But unlike the private school-going kids, the madrassah-going kids do not have an option because they belong to the lower strata of society. Is it fair to take away their only form of activity without providing them with an alternative?

The opportunity cost of forcing these children out on the streets will be phenomenal unless the government comes up with an alternative plan for their future. The government only seems to be concerned about improving its image, which, besides other things, also involves removing all structures and symbols not popular with Islamabad’s foreign patrons. But this is really a one-legged policy and while it might change the image superficially, it wouldn’t solve the problems of underdevelopment.

How abut the CDA constructing residential schools for the needy and the destitute kids who are not left with any option but to go to a madrassah? One good look at the madrassah-going kids reveals their social status. Unleashing these kids into the streets would cause greater damage. It is not just about ideology, but also about lack of opportunities.

It is time the government made a plan for bridging the gap between the three systems of education prevalent in the country: private schools; government schools, and madrassahs. However, that would require an even-handed approach, among other things.

Islamabad, like other major cities in the country, suffers from the problem of poor real estate and social-sector planning. It has expanded without the capacity to cater to an ever-growing population. Resultantly, restaurants, schools and other businesses are opening up in residential areas. When it comes to allocation of real estate, the CDA has indulged in doling out land to generate revenue. This means that land is purchased by those who can afford it. This strategy does not provide opportunities to the poor segments of the population; indeed, it gives options to the rich and the influential at the cost of the deprived.

It is time that the real-estate distribution, town and civil planning and other related policies are re-structured to narrow the gap among the different classes of society.

<i>The writer is an Islamabad-based independent defence analyst and author of the forthcoming book, Military Inc, Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy</i>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Suicide attack at Islamabad airport, five injured </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Islamabad: A suicide attacker detonated a bomb in a parking area at the international airport that serves Islamabad on Tuesday night, killing himself and wounding at least five persons.

A security official stopped the bomber, who was on foot, said Mohammed Farooq, a senior police official at the central control room in Rawalpindi where the airport is located. After a brief exchange of fire, the attacker detonated the bomb, he said.

A PTI report said the <b>attacker carried grenades and a pistol and was heading towards the VIP section of the airport lobby when security personnel stopped him</b>.

He opened fire at the security personnel who retaliated, said Farooq, the Deputy Inspector General of Rawalpindi

Not clear whether he was in lobby, or parking lot?

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Tunnel at the end of Kashmir light!</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo--> [/center]

On the eve of his departure for Iran and turkey, President General Pervez Musharraf told journalists at Chaklala airport in Rawalpindi that he saw “some light at the end of the tunnel where we may be able to resolve the dispute for good, for the benefit of the people of Kashmir and to give them final peace”. He said the approach of India and Pakistan to the Kashmir dispute had changed from “confrontational to reconciliatory”, and now the Kashmiri leaders had to be united to clinch the deal. He also appealed for unanimity of views among all the political parties in Pakistan in order to see the Kashmir dispute resolved.

The same day, the prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, also delivered a message on Kashmir, but this time it was not too out-of-the-box and not too different from the past formulations that got Pakistan nowhere, such as “the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people is an inherent right enshrined in the UN Charter and promised to them by the UN Security Council resolutions as well as in pledges made by both India and the international community”. He was speaking on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day in Azad Kashmir. Needless to say, either the president is right or the prime minister is right, and in case it is the same old hope-dope on Kashmir, then both may be doing something very unwise.

The truth is that there is more tunnel and not much light on Kashmir. There is apparently no visible movement either from India or Pakistan on grappling with the issue of resolution. <b>The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, says he wants India to sort out its problems with its neighbours now that it is about to take off as a big economic player at the global level, but he has made it very clear he wants no change in the map in relation to the Kashmir issue.</b> If there is no change of map, then what does Pakistan get and what do the Kashmiris achieve, except a blind alley in which the only way leads to making up with New Delhi? India can give Pakistan only normalisation because it sees benefit for itself in that because it can be notched up to include free trade and Indian investment in Pakistan’s import-heavy economy.

<b>The international community is worried about a ‘troubled Pakistan’ and has no stomach to pressure India into conceding even a fraction of what Pakistan wants,</b> which it has now expressed in the four points of President Musharraf encompassing a new status quo in which both Kashmirs move to some kind of autonomy beyond what they have now. But quite clearly India wants the two countries to keep their Kashmirs while letting the Line of Control (LoC) be punctured by trade. But free trade is still blocked by Pakistan. <b>The truth, however, is that Pakistan needs normalisation with India and beyond it free trade and foreign investments.

The world is somewhat aware that Pakistan’s entire self-image is moulded by India. Its soul is scarred by its wars with a much bigger India, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>which it did not win.</span></b> Its pursuit of strategic depth in Afghanistan, where too it was thwarted by half the big powers of the world, was propelled by its obsession with India. Is Pakistan still keeping its jihadi option open at the cost of being pulverised by a scared international community only because it still wants to sort out India? Pakistan is providing a safe haven to the Taliban because of India? Is Pakistan afraid that after NATO forces leave in 2008 (the US projected demand for funds from Congress for Afghanistan stops short of 2010) India will have a strong presence in Afghanistan?

If you ask the Taliban about President Musharraf they would say the same ugly things that the jihadi militias say, but we still need to ask the question: are the Taliban needed to keep India at bay in the future? Is Pakistan once again allowing itself to go down the pipes because of fear of and obsession with India? It has accused India of doing mischief in Pakistan from its consulates in Afghanistan where it has friends in the Northern Alliance and the Karzai government. It has declared that the Balochistan insurgency was triggered by Indian funds and weapons. And India has ‘protested’ at Pakistan’s military operations in Balochistan just as Pakistan has protested Indian military operations in Kashmir.

There is no definite long term ‘reconciliation’ visible to the eye. It is another matter if Mr Singh has been talking privately to the president and making promises to him. <b>Indeed, India since Kargil has not given any serious thought to solving the Kashmir problem. It views Pakistan’s jihadi option as a recipe for terrorism. It thinks the political system in Pakistan fell apart after Kargil and it does not feel compelled to meet Pakistan half way on the issue when Pakistan doesn’t have the upper hand anywhere in the Indo-Pak equation.</b> Yet, President Musharraf has talked more creatively on Kashmir than any Pakistani leader in the past, and normalisation with India is one policy that has found favour with the common man in Pakistan.

Now is the time to think in a new way in and about Pakistan. India is not at all dangerous for the survival of Pakistan. Normalisation and free trade with India under SAARC can stem Pakistan’s internal process of disarray. If the Iranian gas pipeline comes through, Iran, the US and India will be on the same side in Afghanistan and Pakistan will have no need to keep the Taliban as an option. The international community must pressure India and Pakistan to normalise further so that the jihadi option is taken off the table and the Taliban — who would take President Musharraf’s scalp at first opportunity — not be given safe haven by Pakistan as a response to India’s growing presence in Afghanistan.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tunnel at the end of Kashmir light<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This tunnel is "Carpel tunnel".

Till Moron Singh and die-nasty is in power, paki should enjoy life and they may get Kashmir in platter, after all Moron Singh is tied to his motherland.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Feb 7 2007, 08:16 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Feb 7 2007, 08:16 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Till Moron Singh and die-nasty is in power, paki should enjoy life and they may get Kashmir in platter, after all Moron Singh is tied to his motherland.
Yes, all the cheering going on in Terroristan seems to be with reason. Op-ed in Pioneer:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>A deal we're ignorant of </b>

Kanchan Gupta

The UPA Government is doing a deal on Jammu & Kashmir while keeping India in the dark. The Opposition is strangely silent<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Also posted in full in J&K thread

<b>Mudy Ji & Husky Ji :</b>

The other side of the coin :

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Kashmir policy - the fault lines</span></b>[/center]

Every February 5 an annual ritual to demonstrate Pakistan's moral and diplomatic support to the beleaguered Kashmiris in IHK is held with great fervor. The Day provides an opportunity to highlight the brutalities of Indian army on helpless Kashmiris and to remind the international community of its obligation to help in immediate settlement of the issue. This year was no exception. The nation joined ranks across the country to demonstrate their solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren.

The messages from Pakistan leadership on the occasion however lacked conviction as we have now practically disowned the liberation struggle. Pakistan has made a definite U turn on its principled policy of seeking solution to Kashmir issue through the UN resolutions. In an interview with NDTV on Dec 5, President Musharraf observed that Pakistan would be prepared to give up its claim on Kashmir if India agreed to make it a self-governing and autonomous territory.

The sensational announcement, some call it a 'sell out', was made without reference to any Public institution like Parliament, or official body - the Cabinet or National Security Council. Despite government disclaimers that there has been no paradigm shift, the crude reality is that Pakistan has resiled from the old position and is now open to "new ideas". <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Some observes even claim that Musharraf's proposal amounts to recognition of India's sovereignty over Kashmir valley, Jammu and Laddakh.</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

A cursory glance at the contemporary political landscape should leave one in no doubt that current constellation of forces and factors are adverse to the early realization of the aspirations of Kashmiris. Since 9/11 there is no more a legitimate armed struggle against foreign domination or alien occupation. It is seen only through the prism of terrorism and the verdict is that freedom fighters are terrorists and deserve the destined fate. <b>Accordingly, the West has accepted the Indian claim that the struggle of Kashmir is in reality an act of subversion and insurgency fomented and financed by Pakistan.</b>

Our policy continues to be desultory even contradictory. Spate of proposals have emanated from Pakistan and none has created any positive response or resonance. Being half-baked and ill advised they have led to serious attrition to our historical stand on the issue. These proposals have also encouraged others to further muddy the waters. There is discussion on a variety of models - the Ireland formula, the Swiss model and the Economic Union proposals. Instead of tabling these ideas on the negotiating table in a serious and formal manner, they have become an issue of public discourse, and in ultimate analysis harmed the cause of Kashmir.

The history of negotiations with India clearly brings out the fact that it has been a bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan, both sides arrogating to them the right to represent and interpret the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people. <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The joint communiqué following Vajpayee's meeting with Musharraf on January 6, 2004 also spoke of a solution "acceptable both to India and Pakistan".</span></b> No mention of the people whose future is at stake and at the heart of the problem. There has been no discussion on the modalities of Kashmiri leaders participation either, let alone a meeting of minds between the leaders of India and Pakistan. It has been stated that once the talks on Kashmir reach a substantive state, the Kashmiri representatives would be consulted. However, no efforts have been made to explain or ascertain who will represent the Kashmiris- the APHC, National Conference, or others. These organizations being poles apart in their outlook, maintaining conflicting and contradictory positions on the final resolution of the issue, defies any hopes of reconciliation or a unified approach.

Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir has also suffered from lack of direction. It has neither focused on nor has involved the Kashmiris in the negotiations, at any level. Statements reiterating support to a solution "based on the aspirations of the Kashmiris" have not become part of the policy. All these years we have repeated the mantra without associating Kashmiris with the peace process. There has been no mechanism or medium to ascertain the "aspirations" of the Kashmiris. The divergence in the views of Kashmiri leadership following Mir Waiz's recent visit to Islamabad and his appeal to his Kashmiri brethren to give up armed struggle would only lead to more confusion, division and frustration rendering consensus on "aspirations", even more difficult.

Kashmir in the present context of international turmoil and turbulence requires a consistent and realistic policy. Our unilateral concession to India instead of facilitating the solution has only complicated it. India continues to maintain arrogant and intransigent policy and interpret Pakistan's concession as weakness and adroitly exploits it. <b>The views expressed by Mir Waiz during his recent Islamabad visit would further encourage India to seek a solution "with in the Constitution of India", leaving Kashmiris vulnerable and divided.</b>

The sad fact is that Kashmir as "core" issue has lost its urgency and primacy as the determinant of peace and security in the region. The world focus is no longer on this issue. India has succeeded in preserving all its positions and has shifted focus from its unlawful occupation of Kashmir to the overall objective of advancing the peace process.

The course of negotiation, during last couple of years has confirmed this. While our unilateral CBMs did lower the temperature between Delhi and Islamabad and had partial success in creating limited public contacts and interaction on trade and commerce; these CBMs have been manipulated by India to create the façade of a new dawn of hope and friendship between the estranged neighbors without any significant advance on the settlement of Kashmir issue.

What is worse is that capitalizing on West phobia about Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, the Indian propaganda machinery has subtly but effectively exploited this fear and equated the Kashmiris struggle for self-determination to a terrorist activity, supported and sustained by Pakistan. <b>The well orchestrated campaign has narrowed the parameters of Kashmir issue to the "cross-border terrorism" and Pakistan has been put in the dock, and blamed for violation of its solemn commitment in January 6, 2004 Joint Communiqué that "Pakistan's soil would not be allowed to be used for any terrorist activity".</b>

None can question President Musharraf's sincerity in seeking solution for Kashmir, nor with his assessment that it can be secured only through negotiations and dialogue. However the haste and impatience to seek any solution has led to compromising our principled stand without any corresponding gain. Similarly the tendency to offer 'out of box' solution needs to be curbed. Kashmir is not merely a piece of real estate that can be disposed of, in any manner, by one or four individuals, now privy to the ongoing negotiations. During last 7 years there has been no full dress debate on our foreign policy in the parliament, nor any authentic and authoritative effort to seek consensus on Kashmir issue, in the context of changing international situation and geo-strategic interests. In the absence of a policy democratically debated and duly endorsed by public representatives, our initiatives would fail to mark any impact, or advance the resolution of Kashmir issue. Rhetoric is no substitute for strategy and posturing is not policy.

<i>The writer is a former ambassador</i>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SUCH GUP
<b>Declared unfit</b>
Ever wonder why the Rawalpindi Express is so frequently out of action these days? It’s not because he’s physically unfit, as the story goes, but because he is deeply unpopular with his teammates and those who call the shots. The Express, on occasion a brilliant player, is said to have let his arrogance run away with him. He doesn’t take kindly to any form of discipline either, they say, a disastrous trait for someone who has to play as part of a team. So, not being able to dispense with him altogether, the powers-that-be have devised an ingenious scheme whereby the<b> Rawalpindi Express is constantly undergoing some sort of test or MRI or scan to determine his fitness and detect injuries. Inevitably, for someone who has had such a punishing routine as a fast bowler, thorough scanning and minute examinations inevitably reveal some little fault somewhere but that doesn’t mean he’s unfit. </b>At least not physically unfit to play.

<b>Reverse immigration?</b>
One of Lahore’s most famous artists is a gent from the Old City’s quarter of the courtesans. He has made an art form of acknowledging, nay glorifying, his antecedants and paints the women of the red light area with sympathy and honesty. He has also set up a roof top restaurant in his ancestral home; the haveli hasa commanding view of the Badshahi Mosque and the Fort. His enthusiasm, and more to the point, his commercial success, are proving to be contagious to denizens of the area. One woman, once famed for her dancing, moved out of the area two decades a go to a newly built house in the “respectable” suburbs. Since then, she has done the rounds, travelling as far a field as the mujra houses of Southall in London, and is now back in her ancestral city. They say she has seen the artist’s successful acceptance of his patrimony and intends to do the same in an act of reverse immigration. She is currently involved in a family dispute to sell the house in “respectable” suburbia and take her share so that she can buy an old haveli in the quarter of the courtesans. There she plans to set up a mujra house, to provide entertainment to visitors to the Old City. Between them, the restauranteur and the dancer will be the greatest crowd pullers in Lahore


<b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>

<b>Imam Hussain didn’t fight for power</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
In daily Nawa-i-Waqt magazine, Dr Tahir ul Qadri wrote that he is surprised and amazed when some people state that the fight in Karbala was between two princes and he is saddened by such a corrupt mentality. Idiots! How can this be a fight for power as Imam Hussain knew of his shahadat from his early childhood? He knew from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) during his childhood that his travel to Iraq would bring shahadat (martyrdom) for him.

<b>Killer’s soul is now Hindu</b> <!--emo&Confusedtupid--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pakee.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pakee.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in Daily Pakistan magazine, some years ago a Pakistani, Javed Iqbal, admitted to killing a 100 children in Lahore. He committed suicide in jail. Now, apparently his soul has dissolved in a Hindu, Moninder Pandher, who killed 50 children after sexual rape. He sold the liver, kidneys and eyes of these children to a Philippine company. According to outlook magazine he studied in Shimla and was labelled by the magazine as a devil in the flesh.

<b>Jihad despite peace deals</b>
As reported in Daily Pakistan, the head of the Masud Mujahideen, Bait ullah Mahsud, has said that this year will be tougher than the previous year. Talking to the BBC from South Waziristan, he said that spring would bring a rise in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. He has admitted to going to Afghanistan and fighting against the allied forces. He said he was participating in jihad in the past and is still fighting the war today.

<b>Alcohol is easily available in NWFP</b>
According to daily Khabrain, despite the ban on liquor in the NWFP by the MMA government, it is available everywhere in the province. Imported label liquor is brought in containers from the UAE for Afghanistan; during its travel to Afghanistan the liquor goes to the tribal areas. Imported and local liquors are available on one phone call and are usually carried on motorcycles in the bags of medical representatives. Beer cans with two percent alcohol are available in general stores and fruit shops.

<b>Political parties are against Islam</b>
As reported in daily Express, the former head of the ISI, Hamid Gul, has said that rulers are trying to replace the law of God with the laws of humans. Europe is Christian and is afraid of Islam and of Muslims. He said that the Taliban were formed to protect the honour of women. He also said that forming political parties to grab power is against the teachings of Quran. According to him Quaid-i-Azam was a true Muslim of the modern era.

<b>Drunken Moin Khan beats his wife</b>
As reported in Daily Pakistan, ex-cricketer Moin Khan’s wife called the police saying that her husband is drunk and beating her. When the police brought both of them to the police station, Moin Khan tried to attack her and the police arrested him. Next day Moin Khan told the court that the issue had been settled between them and he was granted bail.

<b>Khurshid Qasuri’s expensive suits</b>
In daily Jang, Khurshid Qasuri said that he is fond of good food and his suits are stitched from Saville Row in London. He said that the secret behind a successful marriage is to appreciate every meal made by your wife. He said his wife is more successful as she is running a school chain that she started with just 19 students. Now she has 20,000 students all over Pakistan.

<b>Pakistani madrasses and terrrorism</b>
As reported in daily Khabrian, the minister for religious affairs, Ejaz-ul-Haq, told the ex-Prime Minister of Norway that religious madrassas are not involved in any kind of terrorism in Pakistan but are in fact providing free lodging and education to children. He explained the madrassa reforms that were being applied in Pakistan and told him that religious minorities are living in freedom and peace in Pakistan.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Islamic extremism, law and nation-state</b>
Najam Sethi's
E d i t o r i a l

The Capital Development Authority in Islamabad recently woke up to the fact that <b>nearly 80 mosques have encroached on land or been built without the CDA’s permission, and are therefore “illegal”.</b> Consequently, after eviction notices were blithely ignored, the <b>CDA moved to demolish a couple of these encroachments according to the law of the land.</b> In the event, however, it has only managed to stir a hornets’ nest of Islamic militancy.

The fanatical mullahs of Lal Masjid and the students of Jamia Hafza Madrassa for women next to the Masjid are at the core of the protest. The Masjid and the Madrassa are led by two brothers who regularly vent venom at President General Pervez Musharraf for being an “agent of America”. On 22rd January,<b> in protest against the CDA’s demolition of one mosque in Islamabad, the mullahs of the Masjid instigated a group of baton wielding female students of the Madrassa to “seize” and “occupy” a children’s library next to the mosque</b>. When the authorities moved to reoccupy the library, the fiery khatib of the mosque publicly vowed to raise a batch of suicide bombers to resist the state. If the administration’s patience runs out, the situation could get messy.

This episode raises questions of law, state and religion. It suggests that many extremist mullahs do not accept the notion of the “writ of the nation-state” and the laws of the land promulgated by parliaments and constitutions if, in their view, these are in conflict with their notions of Islamic law and life. Indeed, by their very definition and logic, not just Pakistan but the whole world belongs to Allah and they (the mullahs) have a right to build mosques (houses of Allah) wherever they like, regardless of the laws relating to land and property. Indeed, such thinking may extend to the use of force to claim these “above-the-law-rights”. This approach makes nonsense of the idea of modern constitutional law and challenges the notion of the state as the sole repository of authority to enforce the law. In fact, the tactic of suicide bombing is a devastating device against the notion of deterrence or punishment for breaking the law on which the whole edifice of the modern state is constructed.

This situation is complicated by another form of protest by religious extremists against alleged state encroachment on their “democratic” and “human” rights. <b>Those who don’t accept the notion of “peoples democracy” as opposed to “Allah’s democracy” (Islamic state) are ready to clutch at the props of the same peoples democracy (rule of law, due process, judicial accountability and independence, etc) for survival and sustenance that they are committed to overthrowing</b>. In short, the extremist mullahs seek to exploit the freedoms of liberal democracy to overthrow it and replace it by their dictatorship in the name of religion.

There is a complex development underway in Pakistan in which Al-Qaeda, Taliban, jihadi and sunni sectarian elements are all being stirred in a red hot crucible. Notions of national state interest have been sacrificed at the altar of global jihad for the greater glory of Islam. That is why General Musharraf has become the “enemy” because he seeks to put a lid on jihad (against “foreign infidels” in general and “Indian and American infidels” in particular) because it undermines the national interest of the Pakistani nation-state. Indeed, the very philosophy that jihad can only be sanctioned by the state in its national interest has been overtaken by the notion that jihad can be sanctioned by the private sector especially when the state is a non-Islamic one and the objective of jihad is a global revival and resurgence of Islam. The fatwas of various Islamic luminaries from Osama bin Laden to the top khatibs in the “holy land” testify to this innovation.

Much the same may be said of the latest weapon of suicide bombing. It was Yusuf Qardawi, the leading Islamic jurist of our time living in Qatar, who first issued a fatwa legitimizing suicide-bombing in the cause of Islam against injustice. His objective was to condone and even legitimize the suicide-bombing campaign by young Al-Qaedaists in the West against American and British targets despite the fact that innocent fellow Muslims were also killed in the act. The blowback from such ideas has taken its toll in Pakistan too: a former judge of the Appellate (Islamic) Branch of the Supreme Court of Pakistan who has been attacking President Musharraf on private TV networks is influenced by such new and radical ideas, as is the khatib of Lal Masjid who threatened resistance by suicide bombing if his demands were not met.

<b>The Pakistani nation and state is therefore faced with a new and dangerous threat that represents a violent minority which seeks to exploit the values of liberal democracy to undermine majoritarian democracy. This threat cannot be thwarted by military means alone. The nation and the state will have to demonstrate a broad democratic mainstream moderate consensus to tackle their common enemy by political, legal and economic means. This is not just General Musharraf’s war. It is every patriotic Pakistani’s war who wants to protect and defend this nation</b>.
<b>General misquoted on Kashmir plan, says Pak envoy</b>

Pakistan today maintained that there was no change in its position on Kashmir, saying <b>Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf did not talk about giving up the claim on Kashmir for a four-point formula to solve the conflict</b>, in December last year.

Maintaining that the Pakistan President was misquoted in "Indian print media", Shahid Mallik, Pakistan High Commissioner to India, said there was no change on our position on Kashmir."

Mallik said the President, while talking about <b>"out-of-the-box solution to Kashmir", </b>had indeed called for <b>"reciprocal flexibility</b>" in solving the issue. He said both the sides should show the flexibility for a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir problem. The High Commissioner was addressing mediapersons here today.

<!--emo&:whistle--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/whistle.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='whistle.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>The General's Labyrinth</b>
We constantly carp at the inconvenience we are put through each time a VVIP passes by or attends a function. But the security for President Musharraf is something else. The army, police and intelligence wings took over the Alhamra complex by 9.30 pm the day before the festival’s inauguration. All access was denied, to everyone. On the day, <b>we had to be in our seats at the open-air auditorium by 6.30 pm for the function scheduled for 7 pm</b>. And then began what seemed like the longest, most uncomfortable wait of our lives! The air became nippy and moist, the backsides sore and hunger overpowering, but all exits except to one loo were barred. The restive janta began whistling and hooting but to no avail. <b>Finally, at 8.30 pm he arrived with an entourage of family, friends and officials, and settled down to enjoy the evening with an endless supply of soft drinks, kebabs, canapes and desserts served ceremoniously by waiters in ‘turredar’ turbans, while the aam aadmi continued to fulminate!</b> True, there have been seven assassination attempts on Musharraf but this did seem rather excessive. After The Line of Fire, Musharraf’s stock amongst the cognoscenti has dropped to an all-time low. Drawing rooms in Lahore and Islamabad are embarrassed by the author’s vanity and angered at his blatant attempt to paper over the many failures—US relations, Kargil, the NWFP, Balochistan and yes, corruption. Are all those brave statements in the Indian media a rearguard action by a beleaguered general?

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>WB clears Baglihar, asks India to reduce dam height</span></b>[/center]

<b>NEW DELHI : A World Bank-appointed neutral expert on Monday cleared the Baglihar Power Project over river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir but asked India to reduce the height of the dam by one-and-a-half metres, one of the objections raised by Pakistan.

Richard Lafitte, in his final report handed over to Indian and Pakistani diplomats in Berne, Switzerland, overruled other technical objections of Pakistan on the dam. The dam's height was originally proposed to be 144.5 metres.</b>

Radhika Lokesh, charge de affairs of the Indian Embassy in Switzerland received the report on behalf of the government and forwarded it to New Delhi. Further details are awaited.

Both countries were awaiting the decision keenly as it has been nagging their ties for over two decades.

In 2005, Pakistan had sought intervention of the World Bank, which is the third party to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, alleging that construction of the project violated the accord. India, however, has rejected the charge.

According to the provisions of the treaty, the neutral expert's decision on all matters will be final and binding.

In electricity-deficit Jammu and Kashmir the 450-MW power project will come as a big relief. The complete project is designed to produce 900 MW of power.

Pakistan has opposed the construction of the project, particularly the design and height of the dam.


<b>Pakistani Version :</b>

[center]<b>Pakistani viewpoint accepted on Baglihar Dam[/center]</b>

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank passed Monday its verdict on Baglihar Dam, accepting Pakistani viewpoint on the dam.

The bank had appointed an impartial arbitrator for the resolution of this issue. The arbitrator found Pakistani viewpoint legitimate that Baglihar Dam being made by India is in violation of Indus Basin Treaty.

<b>Pakistan raised four points of objection, of which three were acceded to by the world body arbitration.</b>

Pakistan had in 2005 sought intervention of the World Bank, which is the third party to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty as construction of the project violated the accord.

According to the provisions of the Treaty, the neutral expert's decision on all matters will be final and binding. Prior to the final meeting with representatives of the two countries on November 7, Lafitte had circulated to India and Pakistan a draft containing his conclusions on the arbitration, added the report.

The arbitrator was slated to give his "final determination" by the end of last year but had put it off till February this year. Pakistan has been opposing construction of the project, particularly the design and height of the dam.

The two sides tried to settle the issue between themselves but several rounds of discussions failed to yield any result.

The Indus Waters Treaty was concluded on September 19, 1960 by India and Pakistan under the aegis of the World Bank. The Treaty divided six common rivers between the two countries, allocating right over three to each.

The World Bank is a signatory to the Treaty for certain specified purposes.

This is the first time since the Treaty was concluded 47 years ago that the provisions regarding the settlement of differences and disputes have been invoked.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Baglihar Project gets World Bank nod</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pakistan has opposed the construction of the project, particularly the design and height of the dam.

Prior to the final meeting with representatives of the two countries on November 7, Lafitte had circulated to India and Pakistan a draft containing his conclusions on the arbitration, which upheld New Delhi's view on the issue.

The arbitrator was slated to give his "final determination" by the end of last year but had put it off till February this year after Pakistan took strong exception to his circulated draft.
It means another gift by Moron Singh to his motherland.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Baglihar: India's stand vindicated  </b>
Yoga Rangatia | New Delhi
<b>Baglihar power project in Jammu and Kashmir is "technically viable and respectful of the Indus Water Treaty," neutral expert Richard Lafitte said in his final report submitted on Monday. The expert attested India's design with minor changes and rejected an alternative design proposed by Pakistan. </b>

"It is a vindication of India's stand. Latiffe studies several dam designs to conclude that the 450 MW power scheme must go-ahead," said Fali Nariman, eminent legal expert who represented India in the dispute with its neighbour over construction of the power plant on river Indus. India's dam design was in conformity with state-of-the-art construction required at the peculiar site, he added.

To satisfy Pakistan's objection to gated spillway for the power project, Latiffe studied 13,000 dams across the world. And found that 90 per cent of spillways high enough to pound 14,000 cubic metre per second (cum/sec) of water are gated. The Indian design had a discharge of 16,500 cum/sec which Pakistan wanted altered to 14,900 cum/sec. The neutral expert determined that the Indian design was okay in terms of gated spillways.

Latiffe said that the level of the gate should be located at an elevation of 800 metre, eight metre lower than what India suggested, for protecting the town of Doda against flooding. This will help the sluice gates remove sediments at the base during monsoons. The World Bank appointed neutral experts has also rejected Pakistan's contention that pondage required to regulate the flow of water should be restricted to 6.22 million cubic metres. India designed for a pondage of 37.5 million cubic metres. The neutral expert has given a go-ahead for a pondage of 32.56 million cubic metres, which is closer to the Indian design.

However, the engineer has asked India to reduce dam crest elevation from 844.5 metres to 843 metres. The Indian side feels this will not substantially change the design or power generation capacity.

Pakistan had objected to India's power project. It was not satisfied after making several visits to the site. The neighbouring country also accused India of violating the 1960 Indus Water Treaty by constructing dam on the Indus. The treaty provided for taking the matter to a neutral expert in case of a dispute.

After several months of parleys and visits to the site, the final report was handed over to Indian and Pakistani diplomats in Bern, Switzerland. The dispute had become a sore point in the relations between the two countries.

In its first phase, the project will give 450-MW power to Jammu and Kashmir and another 450 MW will be added at a later stage. The power generation through Baghlihar could rejuvenate the State's economy, which is in doldrums after years of strife.

[center]<b>WB’s decision upholds Pakistan’s viewpoint on design of Baglihar Dam</b> <!--emo&Confusedtupid--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pakee.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pakee.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<b>ISLAMABAD, Feb 13 (APP) : Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Saleem Saifullah Khan Tuesday said the decision by a neutral expert upheld Pakistan’s viewpoint that design of the Baglihar Dam was not in conformity with the Indus Basin Water Treaty.</b>

In a statement issued here, he said Pakistan had raised four points against the design of the Baglihar Dam and the WB accepted three of them. <!--emo&:liar liar--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/liar.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='liar.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The Minister said the free board for the dam was excessive and provided capability to India for raising artificially the water level in the operating pool above the full pondage level.

He said the location of intake for the power plant was not at the highest level as required in accordance with the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty.

Salim Saifullah said Pakistan had lodged a strong protest when India started the construction work on the Baglihar Dam without addressing the Pakistan’s concerns.

The Minister said the President and the Prime Minister had also raised the matter with the Indian Prime Minister during their visits to India in 2005.

As bilateral negotiations between the two countries were not making any headway while the construction work on the project continued uninterrupted, he said, adding Pakistan was compelled to seek World Bank’s intervention, as stipulated in the Treaty, to appoint a neutral expert to settle the issue. <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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