Tag Archives: pakistan

Israel’s Military Occupation: Fighting a weak for far too long

Israel’s growing security needs and recent moves is drawing harsh conclusions and asking difficult questions. Growing security concerns – dealing with Iran nuclear power, growing arsenal of Hamas and hizbollah, recent over throw of Egypt’s hosni Mubarak-1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Furthermore, Arrival of Iranian war ships in Mediterranean since 1979, has sowed signs of Tehran’s determination to expand it’s influence within the Mediterranean region.

Recently Israel Air force has ordered 20 American F-35 fighter jets most advanced jets, navy will receive two new submarines, and Israel pouring money into missile defence systems (with Arrow 3 on it’s way) and spurring up the land force capabilities.

In years in israelis the army has lost some of it’s lustre after a string of scandals involving it’s leaders (example of some incidents major of all was the Attack on gaza aid flotilla. Some argue the threat today to israel is not invasion or battlefield defeat instead it’s a long term erosion of Israel legitimacy

Combination of conventional and non conventional warfare, new approach combination of political and military elements has made Israel to think differently which is forcing the nation to think aggressively. Military personnel are constantly engaged in deep thoughts and argument to extend military power within the region to address the nature of war Israel is about to face. So what exactly is in those mind, may be the following:

– Estimate of hizbollah’s rocket arsenal
– their target strength and Israel cities
– fighting a weak for far too long
– what is there to loose and to gain
– IDF room of manoeuvre is shrinking (fighting against weak)

So how effective is this fighter jets and submarines contracts If the threat is to the cities? One thing to look in things contracts and extent of Israel’s military budget is best taken by Comparing the military spending of Israel against it’s neighbours Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iran lebanon. Best here is too have an Insight into the politics and the military -sheer number of former military leaders in politics, you will be surprised by the inclusion of high profile military officers in what’s called a typical civilian Market.

The Israel Navy is making advanced preparations to absorb two new German-made Dolphin-class submarines, IDF journal Bamachaneh reported in its latest issue. The number of soldiers selected for submarine warfare has grown by 30% in the latest IDF recruitment batches, in order to man the additional submarines.

The Navy currently has three submarines, also of the Dolphin class, so the addition of two subs means that the force is growing 66% bigger. “We are in mid-process and are slowly adding more crews to be trained for service in the submarines,” explained Naval Instruction Base Commander Col. Ronen Nimni. “We are also taking care to add crew commanders who closely mentor the soldiers.”

More officers are being trained for submarine posts as well. The number of cadets who will be trained for submarine command positions is rising by 35%.

“The missiles, part of Israel’s estimated 100-strong nuclear arsenal, reportedly have a range of up to 800 miles. The subs probably cannot hit Iran without passing through the Suez into the Red Sea and ultimately the Indian Ocean. The Red Sea is also the best route to the Gulf of Oman, where Israeli ships and submarines might enforce a blockade of Iran, during wartime.”

In November 2005, it was announced that Germany would allow the sale of two new Dolphin Class submarines to Israel. In July 2006, Israel placed a contract for two additional Dolphin submarines with an option on a third. The new submarines will have air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, which allow them to stay submerged for a much longer period. Delivery of the first vessel is expected in 2012.

Dolphin Class Submarines

Based at Haifa, the Israeli Navy (IN) currently operates three modern, diesel-electric, Dolphin-class submarines. Two additional Dolphin-class submarines have also been ordered and are scheduled to be delivered before 2012. In December 2003, two of Israel’s three decommissioned Gal-class submarines arrived in Kiel for refits and modernization at Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft. Although the original plan was to recommission the Gal-class, it was later decided to search for a potential buyer.

Israel in world’s Politics

Israel has never acknowledged publicly that it is a nuclear-weapons state, but it has also never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Now the Arabs, led by Egypt, are demanding that Israel do so or they will sabotage the future of the NPT regime

It is also abundantly clear that Israel’s nuclear capability has not kept its enemies from attacking. Iranian-backed terrorist groups Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank have both fired rockets into Israel in two recent wars despite the country’s possession of nuclear weapons that could obliterate them all. This too is no surprise. Other atomic-weapons states, including America, have found that their nuclear deterrents do not prevent conventional war or terrorism. But they can prevent massive retaliation.

ISRAEL SEES its nuclear monopoly as a key factor in its security. Successive Israeli governments have thus ensured that no other state in the Middle East becomes nuclear armed.

The only exception to the rule is Pakistan—the one Muslim state which has developed a nuclear arsenal. But in this case we are talking about a geographically distant country, and one that has never participated in military operations against Israel. Islamabad developed its bomb primarily during the era of Mohammad Zia ul-Haq’s dictatorship in the 1980s, when it was closely allied with the United States and fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb, has claimed that Zia warned Israel that if it tried to interfere with Pakistan’s program he would destroy Tel Aviv. When Islamabad did test its bombs in 1998, it tried to argue that Israel was on the verge of attacking its nuclear facilities and the tests were in self-defense. The charade of blaming Israel fooled no one.

ISRAEL NOW faces the biggest-ever challenge to its monopoly on the bomb in the Middle East from Iran. For Israel, Tehran is a dangerous opponent, close and threatening. There is a virtually unanimous consensus in Israel that Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. From left to right, Israelis see an existential threat to their very survival. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum in Jerusalem in 2007 that Iran is a “crazy,” even suicidal, state that will be prepared to sacrifice millions of its own citizens in a nuclear exchange with Israel.

It is clear from statements of Israeli military and intelligence officials and numerous press leaks that planning for a military operation to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is well under way in Israel

It is certainly a challenging one. Distance alone makes Iran a much more difficult target than Iraq or Syria. The most direct route from Israel to Iran’s Natanz facility is roughly 1,750 kilometers across Jordan and Iraq. The alternatives via Turkish airspace (over 2,200 kilometers) or Saudi airspace (over 2,400 kilometers) would also put the attack force into the skies of American allies equipped with American fighter aircraft. Moreover, unlike Iraq and Syria, but like Pakistan, the Iranian program is dispersed throughout several facilities and sites around the country, some of which are underground and hardened

Iran will almost certainly retaliate against both U.S. and Israeli targets. To demonstrate its retaliatory prowess, Iran has already fired salvos of test missiles (some of which are capable of striking Israel), and Iranian leaders have warned they would respond to an attack by either Israel or the United States with attacks against Tel Aviv, U.S. ships and facilities in the Persian Gulf, and other targets. Even if Iran chooses to retaliate in less risky ways, it could respond indirectly by encouraging Hezbollah attacks against Israel and Shia militia attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq, as well as terrorist attacks against American and Israeli targets in the Middle East and beyond.

America’s greatest vulnerability would be in Afghanistan. Iran could easily increase its assistance to the Taliban and make the already-difficult Afghan mission much more complicated. Western Afghanistan is especially vulnerable to Iranian mischief, and NATO has few troops there to cover a vast area. President Obama would have to send more, not fewer, troops to fight that war.

Making matters worse, considering the likely violent ramifications, even a successful Israeli raid would only delay Iran’s nuclear program, not eliminate it entirely. In fact, some Israeli intelligence officials suspect that delay would only be a year or so. Thus the United States would still need a strategy to deal with the basic problem of Iran’s capabilities after an attack, but in a much more complicated diplomatic context since Tehran would be able to argue it was the victim of aggression and probably would renounce its NPT commitments. Support for the existing sanctions on Iran after a strike would likely evaporate.

Of course, Israel’s own nuclear arsenal should be sufficient to deter Iran, but an American nuclear guarantee would add an extra measure of assurance to Israelis. If the United States guarantees Israel a nuclear umbrella, then Iran knows no matter what damage it may inflict on Israel, Washington will be able to retaliate with overwhelming force. Iran would have no delivery system capable of striking back at the U.S. homeland. It would be the target of both whatever residual capability Israel retained and the vast American nuclear arsenal. That is a deterrent indeed.

Already the United States has been deeply involved in building Israel’s defense against an Iranian missile strike. For almost two decades the Pentagon has been working closely with Israel to perfect the Arrow anti-tactical ballistic-missile (ATBM) system. The two countries have shared extensive technology on the question of ATBMs, including integrating Israel into the most advanced American early-warning radar systems to provide the earliest possible alert of an incoming attack. This defensive cooperation should be continued and enhanced

How active USA needs to be?

The next step would be to ensure Israel has the delivery systems that would safeguard a second-strike capability. The F-15I probably already does so for the immediate future, but it is worth examining the wisdom of providing the F-22 stealth aircraft to the IDF as an even-more-sophisticated attack system that would be able to assure Israel’s deterrence far into the future. Prime Minister Barak raised this issue with President Clinton at the Camp David summit in 2000, and it too should be reexamined. We might look at providing Israel with advanced cruise-missile technology or even nuclear-powered submarines with missile capabilities to enhance its capacity to launch from platforms at sea.

THE ERA of Israel’s monopoly on nuclear weapons in the Middle East is probably coming to an end. Israel will still have a larger arsenal than any of its neighbors, including Iran, for years if not decades. It will face threats of terror and conventional attack, but it already faces those. With American help it can enhance its deterrence capabilities considerably. It has no reason to lose its self-confidence. But to avoid the potential for all-out war not only between Israel and Iran but also between the United States and the Islamic Republic, Washington needs to act now. Only by enhancing Israel’s nuclear capability will America be able to strongly and credibly deter an Israeli attack on Tehran’s facilities.

References

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Special National Intelligence Estimate: Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, SNIE Number 4-1-74, August 23, 1974, declassified DocID: 1472492.

This argument was made by the expert the London Sunday Times called in to debrief Vanunu, Frank Barnaby, in his book The Invisible Bomb: The Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East (London: Taurus, 1989).

See Avi Shlaim, Lion Of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace (London: Penguin, 2007): 508.

Barton Gellman, “Israel Gave Key Help to UN Team in Iraq,” Washington Post, September 29, 1998.

Adaption (Bruce Riedel – a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. A career CIA officer, he has advised four presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues in the White House on the staff of the NSC.)

Leave a comment

Filed under AARGM, AGm-113 Hellfire, Air Defence, Al-Qaeda, Anti-ship ballistic missile, Asymmetric Weapons, Ballistic missiles, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, CIA, Cold War, Drones, F-16, F-22, F-22 raptor, F-35, Gulf War, HARM, Iran, Iran's Air Defence and Missile System, Iranian Defense Ministry, Iraq, Islamabad, London, Muslim World, NATO, Navy tactical air-launched decoys, New York Times, Nuclear Doctrine, Nuclear Security Summit 2010, Nuclear Weapon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Seattle Times, Silent War in Pakistan, Sukhoi PAK-FA, UAV, United Nations, US Department of Defense, War on Terror, Wild Weasels

Pakistan Military’s Latest Gear

Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan - How much is truth

Pakistani officials were fortunate to be greeted with a fresh offer of military hardware – possibly totaling as much as $2 billion over the next five years. This latest gear includes (infact likely to include) night vision goggles, and helicopter spare parts. This is not new for Pakistanis, since 9/11 Pakistan’s gotten lots of big-ticket items from the U.S. military. According to the Congressional Research Service’s tally (.pdf), that includes eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft; six C-130 cargo planes; over 5000 TOW anti-armor missiles; 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles; and even an Oliver Hazard Perry-class missile frigate. And by next year, Pakistan will receive 18 new F-16 combat jets from the U.S. — fighters capable of carrying a nuclear payload.

”There has been some discussion on upgrading the navy’s fleet with retired U.S. ships,” says Shuja Nawaz, a South Asia analyst at the Atlantic Council. The latest addition in Pakistan Navel Fleet is US decommisioned USS McInerney FFG-8 (PNS Alamgir for Pakistan Navy). The ship (shown) is second of Oliver Hazard Perry class of a guided missile frigate. PNS Alamgir’s mission is to provide multi-threat protection for military and merchant shipping, amphibious task forces and underway replenishment groups. This 32-year old ship was sold to Pakistan in US$65 million refurbishment including anti-submarine capability paid for with foreign military aid provided by the U.S. to friendly countries. The transfer of old Navy ships to other countries is done through the Navy’s International Programs Office, which brokers deals through its foreign military sales department. PNS ALAMGIR after necessary maintenance work and training will set sail for Pakistan in January 2011. The ship is a potent addition in Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet and with its onboard weapons and sensors will be able to effectively contribute in the maritime defence of Pakistan.

PNS Alamgir - Commissioned 3rd September 2010 to Pakistan Navy

Considering the latest gear what options does Pakistan have? According the Spencer Ackerman (Wired Magazine) puts it this way:

“Unless al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban have developed an armor corps and a submarine-heavy Navy while no one was looking, these weapons have more utility against the Indians than the terrorists.”

This gear is either a treat from US for Pakistan to use against terrorists or U.S. military seeks to prevent a deepening erosion of a relationship that US can’t live with. This especially true after recent wikileaks suggesting a strong ties between Pakistan and Insurgents. WikiLeaks has freaked out the White House, though, by clearly raising questions about whether Pakistani aid to the Afghan insurgency is far deeper than typically acknowledged. How much truth is in it, I think it will be too early to say anything. However, it’s not a surprising news that the Pakistani ISI has ties to the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami. How much of this money or gear will go to Afgan pockets no one knows, it is only a time who will show a true motivation behind these large spendings on US non-NATO ally. But Is there a silver lining to Pakistan’s relationship with the insurgents? Not known, at least to me. Are things still Koran, Kalashnikov and laptop or do I have to add heat seaker missiles to it as well ?

Leave a comment

Filed under Afghanistan, Attack helicopters, Aviation, Current Affairs, Engineering, Flight Global, ISI, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy

UAV – New Way to Wage War

UAV – Unmanned Arial Vehicle, will only exist if they offer advantage compared with manned aircraft. Contrary to advantages, disadvantages are obvious to some of us as we see and hear everyday. An old military adage (which also applies to civilian use) links the use of UAVs to roles which are dull, dirty or dangerous (DDD). To DDD add covert, diplomatic, research and environmentally critical roles. So, is this the point of UAVs ? Leaving economics of the operation aside, I guess the answer is yes.

Military and civilian applications such as extended surveillance can be a dulling experience for aircrew hence DULL, but the UAV, with high resolution colour video, low light level TV, thermal imaging cameras or radar scanning, can be more effective as well as cheaper to operate in such roles. Other than environmental monitoring over nucler contaminated areas, Crop-spraying with toxic chemicals is another DIRTY role which now is conducted very successfully by UAV.For military roles, where the reconnaissance of heavily defended areas is necessary, the attrition rate of a manned aircraft is likely to exceed that of a UAV.Due to its smaller size and greater stealth, the UAV is more difficult for an enemy air defence system to detect and more difficult to strike with anti-aircraft fire or missiles. Looking at the positive side the UAV operators are under no personal threat and can concentrate specifically, and therefore more effectively, on the task in hand. Power-line inspection and forest fire control are examples of applications in the civilian field for which experience sadly has shown that manned aircraft crew can be in significant danger.

Typically, the UAV is smaller than a manned aircraft used in the same role, and is usually considerably cheaper in first cost. Operating costs are less since maintenance costs, fuel costs and hangarage costs are all less. The labour costs of operators are usually lower and insurance may be cheaper, though this is dependent upon individual circumstances. On the assumption that the disposable load fraction of a light aircraft is typically 40% and of this 10% is fuel, then its gross mass will be typically of order 750 kg. For the UAV, on the same basis, its gross mass will be of order 35 kg. This is borne out in practice.

MQ-9 Reaper

Recently (as per 27 Oct 2010) Raytheon has tested a new UAV weapon Small Tactical Munition (STM) (0.6m-long (2ft), 13lb (5.9kg) bomb) at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The dual-mode, semi-active laser seeker and GPS inertial navigation system enable it to engage fixed and moving targets in all weather conditions.

With US army moving its concentration from Irqa to Afghanistan, and continuous use of UAVs in Pakistan tribal areas by USA the demand for small unmanned air vehicles is moving into higher gear as well. US Army plans to buy 3,000 Raven small UAVs with already 2,000 in hand.

From the CIA’s silent war in Pakistan – two UAVs extensively used, the Predator and the Reaper, both made by General Atomics, a San Diego defense contractor. The Predator is the older of the two; the first one was delivered to the Air Force in 1994. By the end of the 1990s, the CIA was using it to track bin Laden. Capable of flying for up to 40 hours without refueling, the drone was a “brilliant intelligence tool,” recalls Hank Crumpton, then the CIA’s top covert-operations man in Afghanistan. Although the CIA was keen to weaponize the drone early on, the Air Force resisted the idea until 2000. Even then, firing the weapons was another matter. The Predator’s firepower is limited, but the Reaper can deliver laser-guided 500-lb. bombs like those commonly found on the F-16 jet, together with Hellfire missiles.

But why use UAV, Times (CNN) published a report in Jun2 2009, The CIA’s Silent War in Pakistan saying:

“If we were sending F-16s into FATA–American pilots in Pakistani airspace–they might have felt very differently,” says James Currie, a military historian at the U.S.’s National Defense University.

“The basic problem with all aerial reconnaissance is that it’s subject to error,” says George Friedman, who heads the security firm Stratfor. “But in a place like Pakistan, errors have enormous political consequences.”

Critics of the drones ask if it makes sense for the U.S. to use them when every strike inflames Pakistani public opinion against a pro-U.S. government that is at the point of collapse. And yet Pakistani leaders like army Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Kayani seem to have concluded that using drones to kill terrorists in FATA is generally a good thing. This is a major change in direction; although former President Pervez Musharraf allowed drones to operate, he placed severe limits on where and when they could strike. After Musharraf resigned last summer, the shackles came off. The U.S. struck a tacit bargain with the new administration in Islamabad: Zardari and Kayani would quietly enable more drone operations while publicly criticizing the U.S. after each strike. The arrangement has worked well for the U.S.

While the drones may seem a technological marvel and strategic asset to those waging the campaign on the American side, they don’t impress the local tribesmen. Is the drone war winable ? Question yet to be answered.

Sources: CNN, Times (http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1900248,00.html), FlightGlobal

1 Comment

Filed under Afghanistan, ATAK, Aviation, Chengdu Aircraft, China, China Defence, Chinease Defence, Current Affairs, Dassault Mirage, Drone Attacks Pakistan, F-16, Flight Global, Flight Simulation, Global Aviation, Islamabad, JF-17 Thunder, Pakistan, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Air Force F16, Pakistan Defence, Predator, UAV

Pakistan is My Responsibility

Jinnah placed great importance on the youth and gave his advice to students on several occasions. At a public meeting in Dhaka on March 21, 1948, he said:

“My young friends, students who are present here, let me tell you as one who has always had love and affection for you, who has served you for ten years faithfully and loyally, let me give you this word of warning: you will be making the greatest mistake if you allow yourself to be exploited by one political party or another…. Your main occupation should be — in fairness to yourself, in fairness to your parents, in fairness to the state – to devote your attention to your studies.”

Jinnah has often been referred to as brilliant and arrogant, and there is no denying the fact that he made no effort to socialise with those with whom he had little in common. He was formal and reserved in his dealings and never gave into emotions or sentiments. The overall picture of Jinnah as reflected by leaders of the subcontinent reveals that he was a man of unquestionable integrity, honesty, honour and unwavering belief in principles. His commitment to a cause he took up was definite and permanent. He spoke openly and fearlessly against discrimination, communalism, sectarianism, parochialism and believed in the separation of religion from the affairs of the state.

Addressing the Punjabi Muslim Students Federation at Lahore on October 31, 1947, Jinnah said:

“Pakistan is proud of her youth, particularly the students who have always been in the forefront in the hour of trial and need. You are the nation’s leaders of tomorrow and you must fully equip yourself by discipline, education and training for the arduous task lying ahead of you. You should realise the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it.”

Jinnah called Pakistan a moral and intellectual achievement. He called upon Pakistanis on August 31, 1947, to build, reconstruct and re-generate our great nation. He said:

“It is in your hands, we undoubtedly have talents, Pakistan is blessed with enormous resources and potential. Providence has endowed us with all the wealth of nature and now it lies with man to make the best of it.”

In his speech at the Dhaka University in 1948, Jinnah said: “Freedom which we have achieved does not mean licence. It does not mean that you can behave as you please and do what you like irrespective of the interest of other people or of the state. A great responsibility rests on you and now more than ever, it is necessary for us to work as a united, disciplined nation. What is required of us all is a constructive spirit and not a militant spirit. It is far more difficult to construct than to have a militant spirit. It is easier to go to jail or fight for freedom than to run a government. Thwarted in their desire to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, our enemies turned their attention to finding ways to weaken and destroy us but they have been disappointed. Not only has Pakistan survived the shock of the upheaval but it has emerged stronger and better equipped than ever.”

Pakistan, with its strategic geographical location and an impressive population of 170 million people, a large majority of this being the youth of Pakistan waiting to be moulded in the right direction to peace, progress and prosperity, has been battling for its survival for quite some time. We need to develop leadership in Pakistan in the role model of Jinnah at all levels in the country.

Nations that forget or ignore the teachings and guidelines of their founding fathers are often doomed to disaster and end up as failed states. There is urgent need for our youth to read and understand the principles, ideals, values and vision of our founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and ensure that we achieve and have for all times to come “Jinnah’s Pakistan”.

Young people need models, not critics

Pakistan Zindabad

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Affairs, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

In Pakistan, Every Morning is Monday Morning

Why is it dams or atomic power comes to the mind of those who, once in decade sit down to resolve the energy crises in Pakistan, why alternate energy resources is beyond their imagination. Years in crises, the government of Pakistan is trying to figure out how to pull the plug on Pakistan’s energy crisis. Unfortunately for them, it will take more than a bit of effort.

Pakistan’s energy requirements are increasing in geometrical ratio, and not only economic growth but political stability is directly linked with the availability of adequate energy resources. Why wait for top-down solutions? Providing energy in a bottom-up way instead has a lot to recommend it. There is no need to wait for politicians or utilities to act.

The technology in question, from solar panels to low-energy light-emitting diodes (LEDs), is rapidly falling in price. Local, bottom-up systems may be more sustainable and produce fewer carbon emissions than centralised schemes. In the rich world, in fact, the trend is towards a more flexible system of distributed, sustainable power sources. The developing world has an opportunity to leapfrog the centralised model, just as it leapfrogged fixed-line telecoms and went straight to mobile phones.

One idea is to use locally available biomass as a feedstock to generate power for a village-level “micro-grid”. Husk Power Systems, an Indian firm, uses second-world-war-era diesel generators fitted with biomass gasifiers that can use rice husks, which are otherwise left to rot, as a feedstock.

Even when new technology and models are available, the logistics of rolling them out can be daunting. The two big challenges are providing the upfront investment for energy schemes, and building and maintaining the necessary distribution systems to enable them to reach sufficient scale.

Being here means you can read this, assuming you have the capability to process the information, and most importantly to THINK. So why wait for others to act, I appeal, if you think you can contribute to society, and capable of transforming your thoughts into actions: Stop Thinking, Go in . If America’s number one energy crisis is Monday morning, then every morning is Monday morning in Pakistan, which has to go.

The stakes for Pakistan are very high. Pakistan’s diplomacy is facing its severest test. Pakistan should simultaneously intensify its diplomatic efforts to bring China on board, which given the rising cost of fuel and galloping needs of Chinese burgeoning economy may not be difficult to achieve. This is no small consideration for the sort of influence Pakistan would gain in resisting US pressure.

3 Comments

Filed under Current Affairs, Pakistan

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls

Subjects like honor killing (locally known as Karo Kari), is not new for people belong to countries like Pakistan, where it now became a part of everyday life to some. September 9, 2008 THREE TEENAGE girls have been buried alive by their tribe in a remote part of Pakistan to punish them for attempting to choose their own husbands, in an “honour” killing case. After news of the deaths emerged, male politicians from their province Balochistan defended the killings in parliament, claiming the practice was part of “our tribal custom”.This is just one recent story, there are many like this. According to sources, In 2002 alone, over 382 people, about 245 women and 137 men, became victims of honor killings in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Over the course of six years, over 4,000 women have fallen victim to this practice in Pakistan from 1999 to 2004. More recently (in 2005), the average annual number of honor killings for the whole nation ran up to more than 10,000 per year.

Concept of women as property and honor is so deeply entrenched in the social, political and economic fabric of Pakistan that the government, ignores the daily occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families. Frequently, women murdered in “honour” killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents. [ Yasmeen Hassan, The Haven Becomes Hell: A Study of Domestic Violence in Pakistan, “The Fate of Pakistani Women”, 1995 August ].

A conference held in May 2005 in Zia Pakistan, addressing the karo-karo issue, and whether Pakistani law, governments and international agencies were having any positive impact in reducing these honor killings in Pakistan. On a positrive side they found, that more cases of honor killings are being reported and more women are having the courage to come forward, but but also found a severe dearth of proper implementation of laws and assurances that men who commit honor killings are not given lighter sentences. The conference found fault with Pakistan’s Zina [extramarital sex] laws that put women in an unfair disadvantage and inferior position, often at the mercy of men to prove her iinnocence.

Just a quick glance over Zina Law in Pakistan: The Zina Ordinance (also referred to as the zina laws) is part of the Hadood Ordinances, promulgated in 1979 by General Zia-ul-Haq, President of Pakistan as a first step towards Islamization. With the adoption of zina laws, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, fornication became a crime against the state and along with adultery, made non-compoundable , non-bailable and punishable by death (HRW 1992:34). Moreover, the legal definition of zina blurs the line between adultery, fornication and rape. For the purpose of the ordinance, zina is defined as “sexual intercourse without being validly married.” Zina-bil-jabr, rape, is defined as “sexual intercourse without being validly married” when it occurs without consent. Legally this means that if it cannot be proved that sex occurred without consent (rape), the sex itself becomes a crime against the state. Although to date no woman convicted under these laws has been stoned to death in Pakistan, zina laws allow for greater control of women within state sanctioned interpretations of the sacred books of Islam.

Obviously, Honour killings are not honourable and – they stem not from religion but practices that discriminate against women because of male superiority. Honour killings are one of the most backward and barbaric things practised in the name of Islam and only makes it an insult to Islam and what it stands for.

Considering the subject not only in Pakistan, but globally it has been part of many writings and films, in the hope to bring some awareness. Writings like “Murder in the name of Hounor” by Rana Husseini, “In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame” by Unni Wikan, and “Price of Honor” by Jane Goodwin are many on the subject.

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls – is an upcoming film, hoping to tell stories which not only entertain but challenge the status quo in societies. The film is written and directed by Filmmaker-scientist-activist Afia Nathaniel Afia’s short films have garnered critical acclaim at various international and Asian-American festivals including Rotterdam, ReelWorld-Toronto, and Montreal. Her directorial debut Nadah, was nominated for the Golden Reel Award in Los Angeles together with her screenwriting debut of Butterfly. Afia is in development with three film projects. http://www.zambeelfilms.com

The film tell the Story of a young mother Allah Rakhi is married to a much older man Daulat Khan, with whom she has an eight-year-old daughter, Zainab. Daulat Khan is summoned by a local warlord who forces him to agree to an alliance between them by taking Zainab as his bride. On the eve of Zainab’s wedding day, Allah Rakhi pulls off a daring escape with her daughter, and begins the journey to Lahore. Dodging the far-reaching influence of the warlord, and befriending an adventurous truck driver, Sohail, mother and daughter embark on an epic journey through the sweeping landscape of Pakistan, where the search for freedom comes at a price.

More about the film and the team can be seen at http://www.neithertheveilnorthefourwalls.com/film.php

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Affairs, Pakistan

In the Name of Honour: [Lovebirds and murder] 

Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) by John Freeman

Filled with almost 200 million people speaking nearly sixty languages, brought into nationhood under the auspices of a single religion, but wracked with deep separatist fissures and the destabilizing forces of ongoing conflicts in Iran, Afghanistan and Kashmir, Pakistan is one of the most dynamic places in the world today.

Whether its news or fictions, when it comes to nation like Pakistan, for authors its very subjective and fictional, and for readers like me, it’s no less then a thriller. It is this thrill factor that I love the most when reading fiction evolved from socities like one we have in Pakistan. The Economist claims that,

“LIFE in the modern West is thin gruel for writers. Rich, comfortable countries provide too little jeopardy to drive a decent plot. The 19th century produced the West’s best fiction; today, readers must look to the developing world. “.

I found this article in a recent weekend’s issue, and thought to be worth sharing. The article specifically talks about John Freeman’s Gantra, The Magazine of New Writing. From the writers who are living outside the country – Kamila Shamsie and Nadeem Aslam – to those going back – Mohsin Hamid and Mohammed Hanif – to those who are living there and writing in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi and English, there is a startling opportunity to draw together an exciting collection of voices at the forefront of a literary renaissance. Other contributors include Fatima Bhutto and Basharat Peer.

Considering forign authors, it was Louise Brown’s The Dancing Girls of Lahore which caught my attention first, and brought me into this dark writing culture. Brown renders an intimate portrait of one family there that is compelling in its strangeness and its humanity. Shuttling for months at a time between Heera Mandi and her middle-class world of Birmingham, England, Brown details the goings-on of Maha, her five children, and the people and places in their tiny universe.

Dancing Girls of Lahore by Louise T. Brown

Anyway coming to the Economist, and Gantra, “Granta: Pakistan” is a delight, starting with its cover, by one of the artists who decorates the jewel-coloured trucks that teeter along the country’s hot, smoggy roads covered in visions of alpine springs and blushing maidens. The surreal cheerfulness of the snow-covered peaks and scarlet lovebirds contrasts brilliantly with the darkness of the pages within. The stories are mostly about violence, much of it against women. In Nadeem Aslam’s “Leila in the Wilderness”, a child bride’s husband, wanting a son, kills the girls she produces. Trapped, she grows wings (an echo of the magical realism born of the dark times in 1970s Latin America). The story seems to take place in some distant past, until a mobile phone rings. “The Sins of the Mother”, a story by Jamil Ahmad, a 79-year-old whose first novel is shortly to be published, tells of a Baluch couple who elope and are given sanctuary by soldiers until their tribe comes after them. They kill themselves. Their kinsmen leave their son wandering in a sandstorm.

Mohsin Hamid’s “A Beheading” ends with the event, and imagines the moments leading up to it, from the victim’s point of view. Mohammed Hanif’s “Butt and Bhatti”, a story of a gangster who loves a nurse, describes the mad randomness of Pakistan’s violence. The nurse rejects him. In his fury, he shoots into the street and hits a driver who ploughs into some schoolchildren, setting off three days of riots in which many are killed. The gangster disappears into the crowd. The nurse dreams of him.

Torn between the modern and medieval worlds, Pakistan is a painful place. The violence in these stories speaks of a new country struggling to be born. When it emerges, it may not be a pretty sight.

Source: The Economist [16th Sept 2010]: Lovebirds and murder

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Affairs, Pakistan, Random