Pakistan Observer


Kashmir and Muslim world

Kashmir, Palestine and Cyprus are the oldest Muslim World disputes and peace issues — which the UN and the international community have not been able to solve and settle sensibly so far. In fact, they have failed to do so. Speaking specifically about Indian-captive Kashmir, it dates back to 1940, if not earlier. The blame for that is on all the three: (i) the UN; (ii) India and (iii) Pakistan — in the stated order, as analysed below:

(1). The UN: The UN documents and publications are full of peace preaching and promises. But little action. That tantamounts to hypocrisy. Just thumb through the basic facts About the United Nations (UN NY; 1998). Its 348 pages are full of sweet sentiments — but with little success, if any. In fact, most of the past and present global war, peace and terrorism issues have been crafted by the hegemonic West for world domination.

Ironically, almost all relate to the Third World, especially the Muslim World, from African and the Middle East to the Far East, through South-West-Central Asia, including Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a stark failure of the UN Charter: Its purposes and principles, particularly in relation to: (i) acemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building. (ii) basic needs. (iii) Human Rights.

All of these three UN purposes and principles go by proxy in the global trouble spots of the Third / Muslim World: F ...
Friday, October 31, 2014 Read Article

How safe are our nuclear weapons

The Washington Post has revealed the intense concern of the U.S. intelligence community about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. In addition to gaps in U.S. information about nuclear weapons storage and safeguards, American analysts are worried about the risk of terrorist attacks against nuclear facilities in Pakistan as well as the risk that individual Pakistani nuclear weapons handlers could go rogue in ways that endanger unified national control over these weapons of mass destruction. That larger question is: Does Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal promotes the country’s unity or its disagreement?

There is no question that the seizure of power by a radicalized group of generals with a revolutionary anti-Indian, anti-American, and social-transformation agenda within Pakistan becomes a far more dangerous scenario in the context of nuclear weapons. Similarly, the geographical dispersal of the country’s nuclear arsenal and the relatively low level of authority a battlefield commander would require to employ tactical nuclear weapons raise the risk of their use outside the chain of command is just not possible

According to their assessment this also raises the risk that the Pakistani Taliban, even if it cannot seize the commanding heights of state institutions, could seize either by force or through infiltration a nuclear warhead at an individual installation and use it t ...
Friday, October 31, 2014 Read Article

Rise and fall of societies

IN continuation with my last Friday column (dated 24th Oct)—which highlighted, from the Qura’nic point of view, first two factors (out of four) that influence the rise and fall of nations (Ummah): (i) Justice and injustice; (ii) Unity and disunity; (iii) Neglect/abandonment of the principle of Amr Bil Mar’uf wa Nahy an al Munkar; and (iv) Moral corruption—today’s column highlights the last two factors.

(iii). Neglect of Amr Bi’l Mar’uf wa al-Nahy ‘an al Munkar: The Qur’an puts great emphasis on the duty of ‘enjoining right conduct and forbidding indecency’. This is, in other words, the Qura’nic code of conduct prescribed for the individual to save society from chaos, disorder, and destruction. An evident inference that may be drawn from one of its verses is that negligence of this great duty on the part of a nation ultimately results in its destruction and doom. Surah al-Maidah, 5: 79, explains that one of the reasons for the denial of Divine mercy and compassion to the infidels of Bani Israel was their non-observance of the duty to prohibit others from vices. The verse reads as: “They used not to forbid one another from al-Munkar (wrong, evil doing, sins, polytheism, and disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.”

(iv). Moral Corruption and Degeneration: The last factor influencing the rise and fall of nations is moral corruption; ...
Friday, October 31, 2014 Read Article

Lost strength of Muslim community

Allama Iqbal was of the opinion that the Muslims living all over the world belong to one community, they obey the same Lord , follow the preaching of the same Prophet (PBUH) and seek guidance from the same Book which is a complete code of life for every Muslim till the end of his life. He said this concept of oneness and solidarity adds a lot to the strength of the Muslims as a nation. But what is happening in today’s Muslim world, is altogether different from the thoughts and ideology presented by Allama Iqbal. When we look at the Non-Muslim world which never claims of being part of a ‘community’, we find an unshakable and unbreakable bond of care and co-operation there. What are the factors which do not let the Muslim countries come close and what are the elements responsible for creating distances and differences among the Muslim countries; this topic needs a lot of research and analysis. The ever worst example of disintegration in the Muslim world is the conflicting relationship between two Muslim countries is that of Afghanistan and Pakistan. These two countries are always in a silent state of war, all time a scenario filled with blames and allegations. And the behaviour of Afghanistan is often more aggressive and more violent.

Afghanistan has been facing the ever-worst situation of law and order since after the US invasion in Afghanistan. Countless bomb blasts and ...
Friday, October 31, 2014 Read Article

Modern slavery in Bangladesh

In the last two months, more than 170 men, mostly Bangladeshis, have been rescued from human traffickers in the jungles of Thailand. Some of the men described how they had been offered work, but when they showed up, were drugged, tied up and dragged onto boats where they were beaten and starved. The news caused outrage among Bangladeshis, many of whom blamed their government for failing to protect its citizens. Others expressed dismay at the discovery that this kind of modern-day slavery still exists.

The fact that these men were so easily lured into bonded labour abroad is proof of the hopelessness of their lives at home. Although some of the men said that they had not known that they would be shipped to Thailand, most of them were ready to set sail into the unknown. They were desperate for work.

I grew up in Bangladesh where, in every middle-class household, there’s at least one live-in kajer meye — a maid or “working girl” — often with one or two of her young children serving the family. She works from morning until night, sometimes for very little money, sometimes just for food scraps and basic lodging.

There is millions of child labourers in Bangladesh; 400,000 between the ages of 6 and 17 are domestic workers. While there have been many calls to protect the rights of these children, most of them remain, as Nishat Mirza of Save the Children, Banglad ...
Friday, October 31, 2014 Read Article


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