ACHA PEACE BULLETIN http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/ACHAPeaceBulletin
A publication of Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA) www.asiapeace.org
Editor: Pritam K. Rohila
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ACHA PEACE BULLETIN (Volume IV, No. 7, July 03, 2002 (Next issue, August 07, 2002)
Something To Think About
Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments, By Kent M. Keith
God Knows Us All As One, Daily Word, June 4, 2002
Beyond Condemnations, Petitions, Protests And Calls For Punishment, Pritam K. Rohila
Kashmir Solutions Forum Http://Groups.Yahoo.Com/Group/Kashmirsolutionsforum/
Peace & Harmony News
Peace & Harmony Organizations
Initiative For Peace’s Focus On Kashmir Conference
Pakistan-India People's Forum For Peace And Democracy (PIPFPD)
A Modest Suggestion To All Residents Of India And Pakistan, Russell D. Hoffman
A Peace Convention And The Wisdom Of Ali Nawaz, By B. Sarwar, The News, Jun 09
Fallacies Of War-Mongering, By Praful Bidwai, The News, June 06, 2002
The Future Of Pakistan, International Centre For Peace Initiatives
October 17-18, NC, USA: Terrorism, Fundamentalism And Culture Of War
July 6, Houston, Tx,Usa: Kasha: The Mughal Connection
REPORTS & ANALYSES
(For a copy send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org with its subject as the UPPERCASE word in the article title. Please limit your request to 3 articles)
Communal Violence & Harmony
Gujrat CARNAGE – Implications For Secularism, By Asghar Ali Engineer, Secular Perspective – June 1-15, 2002
Communal Violence And Role Of CIVIL Society, By Asghar Ali Engineer, Secular Perspective, July, 1-15, 2002
Need for DIALOGUE and emancipation between Hindus and Muslims, By Imtiaz Ahmad, Peacemonger.com Vol 2, No. 5 (2002)
SOUTH Asia’s feudalism, By Ishtiaq Ahmed, Daily Times, June 30, 2002
A South Asian CHARTER of human rights, By Ishtiaq Ahmed, Daily Times, June 23, 2002
Kalam's still the BOY I knew,' By P C Vinoj Kumar, Sify News, 15th June, 2002
The MAKING of the President 2002, By Avirook Sen with Vinod Sharma and Saroj Nagi
Indian democracy: an OVERVIEW, By Ishtiaq Ahmed, Daily Times, June 2, 2002
For what do we FIGHT? By Ardeshir Cowasjee, Dawn, 02 June 2002
Deterrence will not ALWAYS work: Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Frontline, June 8-21, 2002
CHANCES of Indo-Pak war, By Ahmed Rashid, The Daily Times,June 03, 2002
The Distant Drums of War: In Queens, Indians and Pakistanis Live in Harmony, By S. Kershaw, The New York Times, 06/01/2002
Balawaristan: Another PERSPECTIVE on Kashmir, By A. H. Khan, Peacemonger.com, II-5(2002)
Kashmir dispute and Åland MODEL, By Ishtiaq Ahmed,Op-Ed, Daily Times, 26-5-2002
India, Pakistan armies rule Kashmir with IRON hand, By Simon Denyer, KGN News, 28 Jun 2002
Kashmiri Militants ANGRY at Being Blocked From India, By D. Filkins, New York Times, 06.09.02
Da‘Wah Or DIALOGUE? Asghar Ali Engineer, Islam and Modern Age, June, 2002
RETHINKING Islam And Hinduism, By S Irfan Habib, (New Delhi) Via AsiaPeace
Sri Lanka's 'peace TRAIN' carries hope, Feizal Samath, Peacemonger.com Vol2, No.5 (2002)
US Policies & South Asia
The Bushies BUNGLE South Asia, By Lawrence F. Kaplan, The New Republic, June 06.2002
Stoning to DEATH: Zia's legacy, By Qazi Faez Isa, DAWN, June 6, 2002
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
*Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments, by Kent M. Keith, G. P. Putnam's Sons (Via Usmaan, Kashmir Global Network
1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
6.The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
*God knows us all as one, Daily Word, June 4, 2002
Throughout history there have been people, who through erroneous thinking, have done harm in the name of God, I am grateful to know God as the one source of all love. God is not for only one group of people. God is for all of us. We call God by many names and come to God by many paths, but no matter our varied perspectives, God knows us all as one.
I contribute to the unfolding plan of world peace when I hold to the vision of all people living as one family. My loving thoughts include not only those who believe as I do, but all people everywhere. How blessed a vision I hold when I imagine all people accepting one another’s diversity and realizing this truth: God is for all of us.
*Beyond Condemnations, petitions, protests and calls for punishment, Pritam K Rohila, Ph. D.
Some people have expressed concern about the recent tragedy in Gujarat. What was done to the Hindus at Godra was bad; to what the Muslims were subjected in the rest of Gujarat was thousand times worse.
Regardless of the provocation, lawless and wanton ruthlessness can not be justified. The failure, if not complicity of the government machinery, made it all even more appalling. Both are worthy of universal condemnation and all perpetrators along with their co-conspirators must be brought to justice, and victims must be duly compensated.
Gujarat tragedy is one of the worst in decades. But, unfortunately, it is only one of the numerous manifestations of the affliction of communalism that has plagued many, if not all South Asian countries. And, the relentless bulldozer of growing ultra-fundamentalism and narrow-nationalism, keeps widening the canyons of hatred and mistrust that divide different caste, cultural, ethnic, regional and religious communities everywhere. Thus the revulsion and even extermination of the de-humanized and demonized “other” is becoming increasingly easier. Revised history-books, distorted schooling, biased journalistic reports and self-serving government propaganda have all aided this agenda well.
Condemnations, petitions, protests and calls for punishment are not enough to stem this tidal wave of mutual suspicion and vilification. The peace-loving people of the world must do more.
First of all, we must overcome the beasts of animosity and prejudice within us. Second, we must reach out to those around us - in our own family, neighborhood and workplace - who are different from us, with bridges of love and acceptance and become good role models to our children. Finally, each one of us must examine the strength of his/her own commitment and look at what proportion of his/her resources (money, time, and effort) we are spending on peace and harmony activities.
KASHMIR SOLUTIONS FORUM
Kashmir Solutions Forum http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KashmirSolutionsForum/ is a new e-group ACHA stared, effective June 15, 2002. It aims to explore ways to resolve the Kashmir problem and to seek enduring peace between India and Pakistan.
Keith Snodgrass email@example.com is its Moderator. He has been Associate Director and Outreach Coordinator at the South Asia Center in the University of Washington's Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies since 1996. He has lived and studied in both India and Pakistan, and has visited the Pakistani side of Kashmir. He has followed domestic and international politics of South Asia since 1984. He received a degree in South Asian History from UC Berkeley in 1985, and an MA in South Asian studies from the University of Washington in 1993. He most recently visited South Asia (India) in January 2002.
To subscribe send a request to KashmirSolutionsForumfirstname.lastname@example.org
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AsiaPeace http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AsiaPeace is ACHA’s e-group, devoted to discussion of various South Asian issues. To join the group or to post messages to it email a request to Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Co-Chair & Moderator of AsiaPeace at Ishtiaq.Ahmed@statsvet.su.se Dr. Ahmed is an associate professor of Political Science at Stockholm University. He has authored two books and written extensively for various newspapers and journals.
PEACE & HARMONY NEWS
Students Peace March In Srinagar
Srinagar, June 30(KMS): Hundreds of students took out a rally in the capital, to voice their opposition to danger of a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan and also to demand resolution of all issues peacefully. Chairman of 'Human Watch', an international organisation, which organised the rally, said that students from all communities participated in the rally. (Kasmir Media Service)
Kanchi seer in Delhi to help find solution to Ayodhya issue
In March, the shankaracharya had held talks with All-India Muslim Personal Law Board members in a bid to resolve the impasse. http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jun/24ayo.htm
AIMPLB not averse to talks with Kanchi seer
The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board said it would
abide by the court verdict on Ayodhya.
Pakistan cuts import duty on 600 items from India
India starts relaxing military deployment
According to sources, the air force will bring down its level of fighter concentration along the border. http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jun/18josy.htm
Pakistan withdraws warships from high-alert positions
It was, however, silent on the issue of opening its
airspace for Indian commercial flights.
Sri Lanka has India's 'blessings': Fernando
The Congress had also given its 'blessing' for the peace talks with the LTTE, the Lankan foreign minister said. http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jun/14sri.htm
Warships return from forward patrolling in Arabian sea
'As per government decision, around 15 to 20 warships of the western and eastern naval fleet have arrived near Mumbai...' a navy spokesman said.
India lifts ban on PIA overflights http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jun/10war7.htm
A mammoth peace rally was held at Leh
A mammoth peace rally was held on June 9, at Leh,
headquarters of Ladakh in which people from all communities and walks of life
participated in order to press for defusing tension on India-Pakistan borders
and to solve all problems including Kashmir issue, peacefully through dialogue.
Government offices, shops, business establishments and schools remained closed till 2 p.m. and transport remained off road, in support of peace. (Kashmir Media Service)
Dialogue only course for resolving Kashmir issue - Bilal Gani Lone
APHC's assassinated leader Abdul Gani Lone's son Bilal Gani Lone, in a media interview on June 7, reiterated that Kashmir issue can be resolved only through a peaceful and meaningful dialogue. "I am new to politics and do not know its nitty gritty. But my father's policy will act as beacon light for me. And I will follow the path laid down by my father. To speak truth is in our blood and we will continue to do it even if it is bitter", he said. Abdul Gani Lone fell to the bullets of assassins at a public rally organised to pay tributes to late Mirwaiz Mohammed Farooq on May 21 at Eidgah here. (Kashmir Media Service)
"Do desh hain, mugar log ek hain" (These are two separate countries, but people are one), a Peace Vigil in Washington DC
On the afternoon of June 5, a set of about 15 community
Associations of people from India and Pakistan who live in US, organized a
"No-War, Peace Vigil", at the embassies of India and Pakistan,
located 3 blocks from each other on the same street in Washington DC. About 150 people, most from India and
Pakistan attended the vigil. Before the vigil, a delegation of 7 people
visited the two embassies, met briefly with an official of each embassy, and
him a written appeal to heads of both countries to prevent war between them.
(Harsh Kapoor email@example.com)
PEACE & HARMONY ORGANIZATIONS
*Initiative for Peace’s Focus on Kashmir Conference
Initiative for Peace organized a Focus on Kashmir Conference, June 23 - 30, for young participants from India and Pakistan at United World College of South East Asia. The Special Guests, were Gerson Andres Florez Perez, the sixteen year old Nobel Peace Prize Nominee from Columbia, and Seema Sehgal, Peace Singer and Poet from Jammu - Kashmir.
*Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD)
PIPFPD and National Trade Union Federation along with several other civil society organizations and individuals held a Peace Convention on June 8, at Karachi Press Club, Karachi.
To: All Residents Of India And Pakistan,
We sympathize with the powerful emotions brought about by generations of war.
We know you have strong feelings and opinions -- on both sides of the conflict.
We understand that you hope extreme measures of war will finally bring you an everlasting peace, because you are tired of 50 years of killings, burning of villages, bombardments, assassinations, terrorism, etc..
All THAT never brought you peace, and nor will a nuclear horror.
Before deciding that nuclear war is right for YOU, those of you most urgently thinking it's a good idea should have a very clear understanding of what's to come.
In order to have some concept of what you are proposing, here's what you need to do:
Go outside your house, kill all the animals on your property (painfully), pull up all your plants, pour rat poison all over your torn up, bloodied yard, and then pour gasoline all over all of THAT, and then light it all on fire and immolate yourselves, your family, your surroundings. Get your neighbors to do this too, and their neighbors, and their neighbors, and their neighbors, for miles and miles around.
Then you will have a foretaste of what nuclear war will bring you and your neighbors, and perhaps 100 million others.
We know that right now, many of you think that killing millions of them -- and of you (for there surely will be a nuclear retaliation to any nuclear strike) -- will at last bring peace.
But you are wrong.
Only running out of nuclear weapons will bring you peace if you start down that road. And the only peace you'll get is the peace of the grave.
Oh sure, you might get lucky. Some remaining general (or private?) might NOT push the last button in the last row of nuclear buttons. But you can't count on it. More likely, the first salvo will be the whole shooting match. Insert two keys, say a prayer for your soul for what you are about to do, and fire off all the guns. If after doing that, there is some human decency in you, I suppose you will next say a prayer for your victims.
It's a sure thing no one left on Earth will be very happy with what you've done, and we don't believe any God or Gods anyone might worship will be very pleased, either. You neighbors will be dying from your spat -- in fact, people all over the world will die, because the full spectrum of health effects -- cancer, leukemia, and worst of all, birth defects, occurs at any dose in a percentage of people who get that dose, which (fortunately, or we'd all be dead) decreases as the dose decreases. But the percentage never goes to zero.
This planet you are contemplating irradiating does not have room for nuclear waste. You must stop testing these awful weapons, and stop threatening to use them.
I know. My country, right now, is threatened with nuclear annihilation, in part for nuclear attacks we have committed. I wish I was not speaking from the grotesque voice of experience, but as an
American, I am.
The use of nuclear weapons will annihilate you, slowly or quickly, but surely. It will cause your neighbors to despise whoever's left of you, as they die slowly from fallout from your weapons. For those of you who survive, your dispute will not be resolved -- it will be multiplied a million-fold. The Himalayan mountains that surround you will become radioactive, and the radioactive snow melt will pour down your streams and rivers, into your lakes, and into your fields and
gardens, and then into the world's oceans.
The fallout will also blanket the world. Fifty years from now, or 50 million years from now, scientists (if there are any left) will be able to bore through the world's soils and know exactly when you set off your bombs.
For more information on what you will go through, please read this document we wrote after your two nations tested nuclear weapons a few years ago:
Citizens of the world beg of you to put your nuclear "toys" away, and go to the negotiating table.
Russell D. Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA, USA
Douglassville, GA, USA
*A Peace Convention and the wisdom of Ali Nawaz, By Beena Sarwar, The News on Sunday, Pakistan, Jun 09 2002, Via AsiaPeace http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AsiaPeace
Ali Nawaz works at a motorcycle factory at Hub Chowki in Balochistan, near Somiani, the sun-baked coastal area from where Pakistan recently test-fired the nuclear-capable Abdali missile as a warning to a war-ready India. From here, it takes over two hours to get to Karachi, driving east along the coast of the Arabian Sea. On Saturday June 8, along with some two dozen of his fellow workers, Nawaz made this journey using the factory van headed to the noise and rush of Saddar
in the heart of Karachi.
The motorcycle workers are not interested in the bazaar; besides the fact that they can't afford the goods on sale, there are more important things on their mind -- like the Peace Convention organized at the Karachi Press Club by the Pakistan India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) and the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan.
As many as twenty five out of the forty one workers at Nawaz's factory attended the Convention of their own accord. Why?
At the end of the Convention, waiting for the call to prayer at the open air mosque at the Press Club before traveling back to Hub, the bearded Nawaz patiently and clearly explains in his Pashtu-accented Urdu.
"I earn Rs 6,034 a month. I live with my four brothers. There is a lot of unemployment; I am the only one of us who has a job."
In 2001, the combined military expenditure of India and Pakistan was 18 billion dollars. Yet over 40 per cent of our people -- 450 million -- live below the poverty line. In these circumstances, six
thousand rupees a month (about a hundred dollars) are relatively decent wages. The amount might even be enough to support five people who live in frugal conditions. But Ali Nawaz's salary, it turns out, supports not only his four brothers, but also his family as well as their wives and children.
"I have to feed and clothe thirty five people. Things are very bad. We live in a mud hut that collapses when it rains. Our children often go hungry; there is no question of sending them to school. I have four daughters whom I can't marry off because I don't have enough
money. If there is war, things will be even worse. We don't want war. It will be devastation."
He pauses and then adds, "To live a decent life, each person must have at least four thousand rupees a month. There are 35 of us. To achieve this basic standard we would need lakhs of rupees."
Standing nearby, two of his fellow workers, similarly dressed in shalwar kurta, with Balochi caps on their heads nod. The azan sounds, and they head for the water taps to begin their ablutions and say their prayers.
Behind us, the hundreds who just attended the Convention - representatives of political parties, trade unions, professional organisations, poets, writers, students -- are milling about. The resolution passed at the convention reiterated the demands that peace groups here and in India have been consistently making for several months now: a withdrawal of troops from both sides of the border, dialogue between the two countries, a restoration of the land, rail and air communication links and easing of the visa regimes.
As people catch up with old friends and acquaintances while making their way out, a lean, white haired figure of Sobho Gianchandani towers above the small group around him. In Karachi for a few weeks from his native Larkana, the respected lawyer and political activist, now 83 years old, in his brief speech at the Convention suggested leaving the issue of Kashmir in cold storage for the next 50 years and letting the people of Kashmir have access to each other on both sides of the border.
The real issue is that of basic rights for the people of our countries, he says. He notes that the term `national security' is misleading and should be seen in the context of people's security, of their right to food, education, shelter and clothing. The unlettered factory workers from Hub know this all too well.
Gianchandani is a rare commodity in Pakistan: belonging to the minority Hindu community here, he has stuck to his secular political convictions, refusing to join the exodus to other countries - an
exodus participated in enthusiastically not just by those belonging to Pakistan's religious minorities, but also by those from the majority community in search of greener pastures. "I am a son of the soil," he said in an interview once, relating how he withstood the pressure from the government to leave Pakistan while in prison in the 1950s.
Recalling the attacks on religious minorities after the
Babri Mosque was razed, he asks, "What mosque, what mandir? Who knows
where Ram was really born?" He asked Gen. Ayub Khan after the 1965 war,
about his famous statement that the Pakistani flag would be hoisted at the
Red Fort of Delhi. "If that had happened," replied the General candidly, "we would be in a minority again."
Gianchandani also made the tremendously significant point that while the world is advocating peace between India and Pakistan, the leading players are still engaged in selling arms and ammunitions to both countries.
This hypocrisy is highlighted in Britain by the 9-11 Peace Campaign (www.MoveOn.org). In a recent email urging supporters to lobby against British involvement in Indian and Pakistani arms deals, the Campaign cites the website scotsman.com, according to which the military firm BAe has sold fighter jets to India and is also currently training Pakistani troops in air combat. "Providing such aid to both sides can only increase the damage that will occur if war breaks out."
As Indian writer Arundhati Roy wrote recently, "Tony Blair's `peace' mission a few months ago as actually a business trip to discuss a one billion pound deal... to sell Hawk fighter-bombers to India. Roughly, for the price of a single Hawk bomber, the government could provide 1.5 million people with clean drinking water for life."
Ordinary people like Ali Nawaz - the `masses' that our governments claim to act on behalf of -- may not know the exact mathematics and figures of these billion dollar deals, but they do know that they are being short-changed.
*Fallacies of war-mongering, By Praful Bidwai, The News (Pakistan), June 06, 2002, Via Harsh Kapoor firstname.lastname@example.org
A requirement, if not precondition, of war is myth-making, especially by glorifying one state's greatness and devotion to peace, and demonising the adversary's inherent meanness and bellicosity. Another requirement is the promotion of fallacious beliefs about both the justice and the winnability of wars-irrespective of the cause, means, or combat conditions. Nobody has cultivated these arts better than South Asia's hawkish war-mongers.
Take a few propositions which have acquired currency in India and Pakistan since the cranking up of the war machine post-May 14. Indian hawks have promoted the idea that a war with Pakistan is winnable despite Islamabad's nuclear weapons. Some hold that Pakistan's nuclear status should not be taken seriously-indeed, it is time to "call Pakistan's nuclear bluff".
Pakistani hawks have floated the view that nuclear threats assuredly work; the world will soon recognise the legitimacy of Pakistan's right to "nuclear self-defence" just as it acknowledges the Kashmiri people's "freedom movement".
These views betray a comprehensive failure to understand what nuclear weapons can or cannot do, and the severe constraints they impose on military options, as well as on freedom of manoeuvre in the world arena. They also reveal warped mindsets.
Many Indian hawks-including that old devotee of nuclearisation K Subrahmanyam, and the younger Brahma Chellaney-make light of Pakistan's operational nuclear-weapons capability, and/or its ability to act relatively autonomously of the United States even in extreme crises.
This first anomalous premise is part of a long history of underestimation of Pakistan's nuclear capabilities, and overestimation of the technological sophistication involved in first-generation atomic weapons. This in turn derives from the Indian bomb lobby's hubris.
Examples of this anomaly would be hilarious if they were not sordid. For instance, before May 1998, Indian nuclear scientists would routinely boast that Pakistan could not possibly have the Bomb because, unlike India's, its nuclear programme was based on stolen technologies.
This assumes that making the Bomb is some major technological feat, possible only in a highly advanced country. In reality, publicly available manuals tell you it's pretty simple: once you have fissile material, you can assemble the Bomb in a garage. And you can get the material in any number of ways-if you are determined enough to build a reactor or an enrichment plant.
Yet, a number of BJP and RSS leaders-certainly including L K Advani, if not A B Vajpayee too-were seriously convinced until May 28, 1998, that Pakistan didn't have the Bomb. That's precisely why Advani made his infamous "geostrategic change" speech on May 18, linking nuclearisation to Kashmir.
Even today, many Indian "experts" pompously declare that Pakistan might have the rudimentary technology to set off nuclear-fission explosions, but lacks the ability to make really usable Bombs. This too vastly overestimates the level of technological advancement required to miniaturise a robust Bomb assembly and fit/load it on to a missile/airplane.
When these hawks talk of "calling Pakistan's nuclear bluff", they get eerily delusional. Pakistan isn't bluffing. It doubtless possesses some nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to many Indian cities. By chiding or challenging Pakistan to use them, the hawks are in fact threatening millions of India's own citizens with genocide. This is morally sickening.
The circumstance that India has more Bombs, fissile material or a greater general technological proficiency than Pakistan is basically irrelevant. For, nuclear weapons are Great Equalisers. It doesn't matter if a nuclear adversary has 10 or 50 atomic bombs-so long as he can deliver them. One bomb can produce a Hiroshima-lakhs of deaths, and devastation for thousand of years.
The more devious among the hawks, who lay claim to greater knowledge and expertise, have strangely convinced themselves that the US will "neutralise" Islamabad's arsenal before it can be used. The assumption is that the US knows where each missile and warhead is stored; it can safely, reliably, destroy these with its own weapons. Alternatively, Gen Musharraf will voluntarily hand America the key to his arsenal.
The assumption is dangerously wrong. No Pakistani military ruler will give up control over that jealously guarded strategic "asset" and presumed "trump card". And the US cannot bomb Pakistan's nuclear weapons without risking a catastrophe. No one has the miraculous technology to accurately hit remotely placed golf-ball-sized nuclear cores.
The Pakistani hawks' assumptions are equally mistaken. Many thought Islamabad can once again "convert its weakness into its strength"-just as it had done post-May 1998 by pleading it would economically collapse under sanctions. But the overt playing up of the nuclear card against conventional asymmetry has proved extremely counter-productive. No one in the West takes "nuclear self-defence" seriously-certainly not in respect of other states.
So Munir Akram's statement in New York about India's "licence to kill with conventional weapons while Pakistan's hands are tied ..." turned out to be a total diplomatic disaster. Ordinary people saw this as shockingly crude nuclear muscle-flexing. According to reports, it even sent Colin Powell into a tizzy.
Musharraf has since done well to repeatedly clarify that only imbeciles can think of using nuclear weapons. But where does that leave the hawks' oh-so-clever strategy of deterring an Indian
It is also becoming apparent that the Kashmiri "freedom-fighter" card isn't selling internationally. It's not that there is no sympathy for the plight of the Kashmiri people in the face of New Delhi's
repression and denial of their fundamental rights. There is, even in India. I am not alone in saying this, or in protesting against the rigging of elections, and Constitutional and human rights violations.
However, there is little sympathy for the fanatical Jaish-Lashkar style "freedom-fighter" who has no compunction in killing innocent people. The fidayeen suicide-bomber may inspire awe and fear, but never the respect that Abdul Ahad Guru or Abdul Gani Lone did. Since justice has much to do with the means used in its pursuit, the jehadi fanatic has compromised the justice of his own cause.
Islamabad's support for such "freedom-fighters", driven by blind faith in the nuclear "shield" since 1989-90, has earned it a terrible reputation. The backing can no longer be sustained. The government's protestations that it only lends "diplomatic, moral and political support" to jehadi fanatics and mercenaries in Kashmir sound unconvincing. After all, it never admitted to virtually creating, supporting and sustaining the Taliban.
Today, ordinary Kashmiris feel as disgusted with the "freedom fighters" as with the Indian security forces. An opinion poll, commissioned by Lord Avebury-no Indian agent he-and conducted by a
subsidiary of one of Britain's biggest media groups, Mori International, finds that 86 percent of Kashmiris, including 78 percent Muslims, want an end to the militancy, and believe that the
militants must leave the state for peace to return.
As many as 63 percent feel India and Pakistan should not go to war to find a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem, and 71 percent believe a free and fair election could be a solution. It won't do to dismiss all this. It may be no more spurious or hyperbolic than A Q Khan's 1987 claim that "we have it (the Bomb)..." All of us South Asians must read the writing on the wall.
*The Future of Pakistan, International Centre for Peace Initiatives www.strategicforesight.com
*Who will emerge as the Prime Minister of Pakistan in the October 2002 elections?
*How long will General Musharraf survive? What will be the policy of General Musharraf’s successor?
*Will jihadi groups seize the state of Pakistan?
*What will be Pakistan’s growth rate in the next decade?
*Will there be a serious water and food shortage in Pakistan by 2010?
*Will Pakistan be converted into Ground Zero by international forces?
*In which year will Pakistan and India go to war and why (as the next war will not be over Kashmir)?
The above questions have been answered in a report, The Future of Pakistan, which has been brought out by International Centre for Peace Initiatives (ICPI) jointly with Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), Mumbai-based twin think-tanks. ICPI has been involved in track two diplomacy for several years, which enabled the research team to have extensive access to Pakistani decision makers and cross sections of its society. SFG has developed conceptual tools for forward-looking analysis. The report thus combines ICPI’s insight and access in Pakistan with SFG’s intellectual assets. A unique feature of the report is that it is substantially based on Pakistani sources. In particular, Indian sources were avoided to eliminate biases.
For more information on the report and to find out how to order a copy, please visit www.strategicforesight.com
India has the dubious distinction of being the country
with the largest number of child labour in the world, over 60 million of which
over 10 million work as part-time or full-time domestic child labour. Millions
of children in India start working at age four. They toil for 12 hours or more
at a stretch every day, with pithy salaries and poor working conditions. Though
the fifth amendment of the child labour law, incorporating the National Human
Rights Commission recommendation, changed the service rules of Government
employees, saying employment of domestic child labour was wrong, and was
adopted by the Centre and 17 States, yet no legal framework
has been laid down till now, nor has anyone been punished as yet. (Pioneer, May 26, Via India News email@example.com)
First World Day Against Child Labour in Paksitan
Pakistan with other nations around the globe will observed the first World Day Against Child Labour which was formally launched by the International Labour Organization at its Geneva Office. According to a recently released report “A Future Without Child Labour”, about 246 million children---one in every six children aged 5 to17—were involved in child labour. Among its startling findings, the report also revealed for the first time some 179 million children aged 5 to 17 – one in every eight children in the world – was still exposed to the worst forms of child labour which endanger child’s physical, mental or moral well-being. (Via LAW’s Liberty June 16.02)
*October 17-18, NC, USA: TERRORISM, FUNDAMENTALISM AND CULTURE OF WAR, sponsored by the Religious Life of Elon University and the Society for Indian Philosophy & religion, the conference will be held at the Elon University. More info from the Conference Director, Dr. Chandana Chakrabarti,: 336-278-5627, EM:firstname.lastname@example.org
*July 6, Houston, TX,USA: KASHA: THE MUGHAL CONNECTION, a colorful dance
performance by Shila Mehta will showcase the intricacies of this beautiful
dance style of Northern India at
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, The Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet. More info from 713-439-0051 http://www.asiasociety.org/events/calendar.pl?event=13217
WWW.STAS.NET/PCPS is the webpage of the Alternative Development Strategies project of the Philippine Center for Policy Studies (PCPS). The webspage will propose and introduce alternative thinking on development strategies and globalization processes. These alternative frameworks and paradigms will be in sharp contrast with the neoliberal doctrines and policies being imposed by the 'Washington Consensus' and by the main multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
*www.geocities.com/rangyul/index.htm the first websites of its kind that would accept different perspectives about Baltistan regarding its relation to Tibet, Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir, historical, socio-economic, cultural and political.
Indian cabinet nod to bill on sex detection
The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Bill, which seeks to make pre-birth sex detection techniques illegal. (The Pioneer, June 1 Via "India News" email@example.com)
Muslim law board (India) to hold meeting on June 21
The meeting will discuss the implications of a recent judgment by the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court that a talaq should be ratified in a court for legal sanction.
Human-trafficking: ordinance to curb menace soon
The Pakistan government is considering promulgating an ordinance to curb human trafficking by stipulating punishment of up to 14 years and fine up to Rs.2 million. (Via LAW’s Liberty June 16.02)