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Showing posts from February, 2006

China, Pakistan, and the Bomb: The Declassified File on U.S. Policy, 1977-1997

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China, Pakistan, and the Bomb:The Declassified File on U.S. Policy, 1977-1997
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 114
March 5, 2004: William Burr, editor

Washington D.C., 5 March 2004 - The recent turnaround in Libya's nuclear policies and the many disclosures of Pakistan's role as a super-proliferator of nuclear weapons technology produced another extraordinary revelation: the discovery by U.S. and British intelligence of Chinese language material among the nuclear weapons design documents that Pakistan had supplied the Libyans. (Note 1) The exact subject matter of the documents remains secret, but the discovery was no surprise to students of nuclear proliferation or to China and Pakistan watchers. China's nuclear relationship with Pakistan was a matter of great concern to U.S. government officials over the course of four presidential administrations. Since the early 1980s, at least, allegations abounded that the Chinese government provided the Pakistanis …

Militant Training Camps in Pakistan

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Daily Times, February 27, 2006
EDITORIAL: The various ‘camps’ in Pakistan

Talking to Doordarshan, the state-run Indian TV channel, President George Bush said on Saturday that on his trip to Pakistan he would talk about “the terrorist activities, the need to dismantle training camps and to protect innocent life”. The question put to him was specifically about the Azad Kashmir ‘training camps’. The same day there was news from Kabul that President Hamid Karzai had shared intelligence with Pakistan indicating that Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban regime, and his key associates were hiding in Pakistan. Afghanistan also allegedly provided information about “the location of terrorist training camps along the border and in Pakistani cities”. The Afghan president also claims to have handed over a list of wanted Afghan men to President Pervez Musharraf and asked for their repatriation to Afghanistan.

Pakistan denies that there are terrorist camps of any kind on Pakistani territory. But…

Pugwash Islamabad Conference

The News, February 26, 2006
Pugwash Islamabad conference to attract luminaries
By Mariana Baabar

ISLAMABAD: The first three-day Pugwash Conference to be held from March10 to 12 in Islamabad is expected to attract luminaries from Azad Kashmir, Indian Held Kashmir, India and Pakistan. The first such conference on Kashmir was held at Kathmandu.

"The conference will provide a platform for the eminent representatives and facilitate the ongoing peace process. The Pugwash Conference offers no solution but only facilitates all on a common platform. It will also provide an opportunity to Kashmiris on both sides to get together and look at the prospects for self-governance in Jammu and Kashmir.

The conference will dwell on the present status and ways and means to accelerate the process of communication across the LOC while also looking at the prospects for exploring peace," says General (r) Talat Masood, the Chief Coordinator of the Pakistan Chapter of the Pugwash.

Invitations for Pakistani…

President Bush's Upcoming Visit to Pakistan: Whats on the Agenda?

Daily Times, February 26, 2006
US president to push Pakistan on Kashmir ‘terrorist camps’

WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush said on Friday he would push President Pervez Musharraf during an upcoming visit to Islamabad to close “terrorist training camps”.

“On my trip to Pakistan, I will, of course, talk about the terrorist activities, the need to dismantle terrorist training camps and to protect innocent life,” Bush told Doordarshan state-run television of India, AFP reported. Bush leaves late on February 28 for India, and from there will travel to Pakistan for his first visit to both countries. In a separate interview to PTV, Bush said a democratic Pakistan can set an example for the Muslim world of a religious state that is not extremist.

“President Musharraf, in his democracy initiative, can show the whole Muslim world, and the world itself, that it’s possible to have a religious (state) that is not extreme,” Bush said in the interview, according to a transcript provided by news ag…

The India Option?

Daily Times, February 24, 2006
VIEW: The India option —Charles Tannock

The world is beginning to notice that India has nearly the same number of people as China, plus a more benign system of government. China hawks in both India and the West dream that “strategic partnership” will link the world’s great democracies. India is as wary of China as some in Europe and America are

French President Jacques Chirac’s visit to India this month to complete the sale of six attack submarines will confirm once more India’s emergence as an economic and diplomatic powerhouse. The “strategic partnership” that both America and the European Union have at times sought with China looks both more plausible and more desirable with democratic India.

With a Muslim president, a Sikh prime minister, a Hindu foreign minister, and a foreign-born Christian president of its ruling party, India is as remarkable a success story as the 20-year boom that China’s Communist Party has delivered. Indeed, since 1991, when a ba…

Bush shares Musharraf’s vision for democracy: The News

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Bush shares Musharraf’s vision for democracy
The News, February 23, 2006

US president says Kashmir solution must be acceptable to Pakistan, India and Kashmiris; mourns loss of lives in Bajaur
From Kamran Khan in Washington

US President George W Bush has said that President Musharraf is a courageous man and he appreciates his vision for democracy in Pakistan.

In an interview at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, Bush said, "He (Musharraf) has got a tough assignment. On the one hand people are trying to kill him, while on the other hand he is taking the country further down the road to democracy."

Bush said he keeps referring to his personal relationship with General Musharraf and his courage to side with the "world" in the war against terrorism.

President Bush avoided a direct comment when asked about the Commonwealth demand that President Musharraf must decide about his dual office by 2007.

Visibly impressed by his various discussion with President Musharraf on the fu…

Pakistan will stand by China against US ‘siege’: Official Spokesman!

Daily Times, February 23, 2006
Pakistan will stand by China against US ‘siege’, says Rashid

BEIJING: Pakistan will stand by China if the US ever tries to “besiege” it, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has said. He said this while talking to a private television channel in Beijing on Wednesday.

Rashid said that President Pervez Musharraf’s visit to China will open new avenues of development and cooperation between the two countries in all sectors. Pakistan and China have signed 42 bilateral agreements during the president’s current visit, 13 of which have been reached at the government level and 27 are between the traders and entrepreneurs of both countries.

These accords are aimed at boosting cooperation in economy, defence, trade and the social sector. The information minister said that Pakistan and China are jointly manufacturing an F-17 thunder combat aircraft. He said that the test-flight of a second combat plane, an F-10, is scheduled for today (Thursday).

He said that Musharr…

Musharraf on a Tightrope - Indeed

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Pakistan I: Musharraf on a Tightrope
Renée Loth The Boston Globe
International Herald Tribune - FEBRUARY 17, 2006

ISLAMABAD The strategic importance of Pakistan is obvious, but it is not exactly a blessing on the land. In an interview here this week, President Pervez Musharraf said the country lies at the nexus of five world concerns: terrorism, democracy, human rights, narcotics and nuclear nonproliferation.

He might have added the widening gap between Islam and the West.

In this planned government city of broad avenues and tight security, a gracious if sterile comity prevails. A Pakistani journalist told us the local joke is that Islamabad is half the size of Arlington National Cemetery and twice as dead.

But nearby Rawalpindi teems with commerce: overladen burros; precarious, wildly painted minivans; old men in beards and robes drinking tea.

There are no women in sight. Banners hang everywhere - right along with those cheering Pakistan in the cricket championships - proclaiming (roughly t…

New Debate in Pakistan: Religion and State?

Daily Times, January 21, 2006
SECOND OPINION: Who is listening to the ‘new debate’?— Khaled Ahmed’s TV Review

This is the Muslim predicament. The new millennium has not seen the Muslims moving closer to the modern state but revolting against it. The politicians and the people are scared of discussing the problem but they are privately absorbing the debate

The private channels have done a few good things and a few bad ones, always following the market. They have downgraded religion to a mantra by following the istikhara market, but they have also begun discussing religion and its relationship with the state seriously. Is Pakistan being affected by this discourse? Not yet. Significantly, the politicians are staying away from the debate.

GEO (January 1, 2006) discussed Islam and the state in Fifty Minutes, Dr Mubarak Ali said that religion did not mix well with the state. He said talk of ijtihad was meaningless because there was no guarantee that any Muslims would accept it. He said every t…

Points to Ponder - Cartoon Controversy continues...

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The New York Times, February 12, 2006
The Islam the Riots Drowned Out
By EMRAN QURESHI
Cambridge, Mass.

IN a world of wrenching change, the Danish cartoon affair has widened a growing fissure between Islam and the West. The controversy comes at a time when many in the Islamic world view the war on terrorism as a war on Islam. They draw on memories of colonization and of the Crusades, when Western invaders ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad as an imposter.

Sadly, the recent polarization obscures a rich humanistic tradition within Islam — one in which cosmopolitanism, pluralism and a spirit of open-minded inquiry once constituted a dominant ethos.

European Muslims for the most part have protested the Danish cartoons but kept their protests peaceful. That is good. Stigmatized European Muslims are often the targets of right-wing attacks and feel increasingly beleaguered. But the lesson many have learned from this affair has not been the utility of freedom of speech so much as that their continued …

Intelligence Dossiers: From Karzai to Musharraf with love

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Telegraphh, London
Afghan leader confronts Pakistan over terror support
By Ahmed Rashid in Islamabad (Filed: 18/02/2006)

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has handed over extensive intelligence dossiers to Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf detailing how suicide bombers who attack targets in Afghanistan are being recruited, trained and equipped in Pakistan.

Although Mr Karzai stopped short of accusing Pakistan's military regime of perpetrating the attacks, he said the US and Britain would be "stepping up pressure on Islamabad" to take action to stop the attacks, as British troops soon deploy in southern Afghanistan.

Mr Karzai was on a landmark three-day visit to the Pakistani capital Islamabad which ended yesterday.

At least 30 suicide bomb attacks have killed nearly 100 people in Afghanistan, including civilians, over the past three months.

Mr Karzai faces extreme pressure at home where anti-Pakistan sentiment is rising. There have been dozens of demonstrations ove…

Roots of Baluchistan Conflict

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PAKISTAN: Roots of the Balochistan conflict run deep
16 Feb 2006: Reuters
Source: IRIN

QUETTA, 16 February (IRIN) - For two years, Faqir Hussain, 26, has been searching for a job. He goes about the task methodically from his tiny flat in the southern Pakistani city of Quetta, cutting out notices that appear each week in the Sunday newspapers and maintaining a meticulous list of the organisations he has already written to.

But so far, this diligence has brought no dividends, and Faqir, a graduate in economics, admits he is increasingly despondent. "It is very difficult to be without work. I get extremely depressed, and sometimes I just spend days sitting at a tiny café in the bazaar, smoking cigarettes and sipping green tea."

Along with a sense of deep disappointment, Faqir is also intensely angry. He insists that his plight, and that of thousands of others in the vast, southwestern province of Balochistan, has been created by the unjust policies of what he calls the "Punja…

President Clinton's Apt Response to Cartoon Controversy

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Daily Times, February 18, 2006
Clinton urges EU to convict publishers of caricatures
Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Former US president Bill Clinton on Friday condemned the publication of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers.

Talking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad, Clinton said he disagreed with the caricatures and that the publication was against religious and ethical norms. Clinton said he had no objection to peaceful demonstrations being held worldwide, but this was not the time for violence. He said it was the time to promote inter-faith harmony and stand together on the issue.

He said the people’s religious convictions should be respected at all costs and the media should be disallowed to play with the religious sentiments of other faiths. He said the media could criticise any issue including governments and people, but nobody had the right to play with the sentiments of othe…

For Pakistan, American Aid Is All Guns, No Butter

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New York Times, February 16, 2006
Editorial Observer
For Pakistan, American Aid Is All Guns, No Butter
By HELENE COOPER

Syed Jawad Ahsan's Valentine's Day this year was a heartbreaking window into the box in which this country is trapped.

Around 10:30 on Tuesday morning, Mr. Ahsan, chief executive of Irfan Textiles Pvt. Ltd., got into his car and headed for the factory just outside town where his workers, some 5,000 of them, stitch and weave underwear for Jockey. As he was leaving Lahore's outskirts, he saw some boys in the middle of the road, setting fire to car tires. A group of Sunni parties had called for yet another of the seemingly never-ending protests against the Danish cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, and the boys had apparently decided that torching tires on their own turf would teach the West a thing or two.

Mr. Ahsan threw his car into reverse and started to back away. But behind him, another group had gathered, throwing rocks at a parked car, breaking …

Domestic Violence in Pakistan: Legislation still pending

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Domestic Violence in Pakistan : 2006
The Current Proposal
Sherry Rahman

The proposed bill, ‘The Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, 2005’ is meant to rectify current shortcomings in the law by recognizing domestic violence as a free-standing crime. Modeled with reference to South African, Malaysian and United Kingdom domestic violence legislation the Bill develops an apparatus capable of dealing with domestic violence issues. Most important is to explain the relationship and range of persons covered by the legislation. The Bill provides an exhaustive list of the persons capable of presenting a case for domestic violence. Also defined is the actual ambit of the crime and the range of acts encompassed by domestic violence which ranges from psychological to physical abuse.

The Bill creates an office of ‘Protection Officer’ who has an array of powers to check the occurrence of domestic violence as well as guide the victim. The proposed Bill accounts for socio-cultural norms and understand…