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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fighting Terrorism: In the name of narratives

“THIS is a war of narratives ... there is a dire need to come up with counter-narratives ... the menace of terrorism cannot be dealt with without countering the extremist, militant ideologies.” >>>>>
These are some of the statements which have been echoing in our ears for the last several years. In particular, whenever some tragic terrorist incident takes place, such voices become louder in the public discourse. Apparently, the debate on extremism has been stuck somewhere in the fold of narratives.
The list of terms such as ‘narrative’, ‘counter-narrative’, and ‘ideological response’ has become so extensive that at times people wittily demand that the state must establish an authority to control narratives. However, the government has in fact assigned the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) the task of developing counter-narratives. One can imagine how the bureaucracy will deal with the issue.
No doubt the challenge of militancy is a complex one and the state is in a hurry to fix it. The state wants to immediately address terrorism and extremism, but at the same time does not want to disturb the socio-religious and political structures of the state. Basically, the state’s perception of narratives is simplistic and not only the government but also a part of the intelligentsia believe that narratives can be produced ‘to order’. When a set of narratives expires or becomes counterproductive, replace it immediately with another set of narratives. Apparently it is as simple as that.
Pakistan has two major paradigms which nurture narratives. First is strictly religious and the state has not only owned it but also considers itself the custodian of this domain. The second is secular — also tagged as the alternative paradigm — which entails the establishment of a modern and progressive society. The whole paraphernalia of extremism has been built on state-owned narratives.
But now the state wants to clean the troubling narratives and appears accommodative to alternative narratives. It will not mind if the secular intelligentsia provides a remedy to get rid of terrorism. However, this should not be conceived as a paradigm shift.
Interestingly, the secular intelligentsia suggests a long-term solution, which ranges from curriculum reforms to spaces for cultural expression and transformation of state-society relations. Obviously, this is not going to address the immediate issue of terrorism. Perhaps this is why the state falls back on its religious-ideological allies for help in the ‘war of narratives’.

Narratives are neither slogans nor jingles; they reflect the mindset of a nation.


Having become part of the power elite, the clergy offers its services. However, the religious leadership has failed to offer a concrete solution. Mere ‘condemnation’ of acts of terrorism and calling the culprits ‘misguided’ is not going to serve the purpose. Nor is it going to build an effective counter-narrative to reduce the appeal of extremist ideologies.
The real strength of religious extremists is their ideological framework, which has been built on religious arguments and strengthened by political arguments. In this context, this is not merely a war of superficial narratives but is deeply linked to religious arguments or interpretation of Islamic precepts. The religious elite is either not ready or incapable of coming up with counter arguments. A rational framework for countering the militancy challenge is missing.
Are there any alternative solutions to counter terrorism? The answer is yes and the state is already employing some. The military operations are one of the effective responses to address the insurgency part of the problem. The National Action Plan was another solution to address a few immediate issues and to institutionalise the responses.
However, though the military operations weakened terrorist networks, NAP has not effectively backed up the military responses. For one, the security institutions remained confused about banned militant groups, which have become sources of recruitment for international terrorist organisations including the militant Islamic State.
Secondly, the government rightly or wrongly conceived NAP’s point of curbing hate speech as an alternative to counter-extremism measures. However, the mother of all problems remains the lack of trust and coordination within the law-enforcement agencies. Nacta was created to fill this gap, but the authority prefers the job of controlling narratives rather than leading the war on terrorism from the front.
Usually, the lack of cooperation from powerful security and law-enforcement agencies is blamed for the ineffectiveness of Nacta, but the government itself has not provided the proper resources and support which could make the counterterrorism body functional and effective. Interestingly, Nacta chooses the most difficult task for itself erroneously thinking that it will not face any resistance from any institution while creating counter-narratives.
Narratives are neither slogans nor jingles. They reflect the larger consensus as well as the mindset of a nation. They are deep-rooted in culture and the behaviour of individuals and society, but most importantly are based on a rational framework. This framework entails certain values that, when followed, guide and shape behaviour. The state has an important role in such practices but with the consent and consensus of society.
The state can facilitate a process where different segments of society — with diverse shades of opinion and different cultural, social and intellectual backgrounds — can engage in dialogue. The government can establish a national dialogue forum. It can serve as a platform for scholars, academicians, political and religious leaders and policymakers to bring all key challenges to the discussion table to understand each other’s viewpoints.
Only an argument can counter an argument. Thus, sharp and rational arguments will be created and effective counter-narratives nurtured.
However, arguments cannot provide immediate relief from terrorism. Purely from the security perspective, the government needs to sharpen its operational edge as well. The focus should not remain on military operations alone. Instead, provincial counterterrorism bodies must share more responsibilities. For this purpose, counterterrorism departments will require more human resources, funds, training and above all cooperation from other law-enforcement agencies.
But this is the dilemma the state has been facing for the last one-and-a-half decade — believing that narra­­tives can fill the void of operational coordination.
The writer is a security analyst.

The real War against Terror is the war of Ideology, Narrative, Discourse


Fighting Terrorism: In the name of narratives: “THIS is a war of narratives ... there is a dire need to come up with counter-narratives ... the menace of terrorism cannot be dealt with without countering the extremist, militant ideologies.”

 ... On the contrary, the solution lies in presenting a counter narrative to the existing narrative on religion. Its details can be looked up in the ...

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Questions about Pakistan’s ‘war on terror’ following the Taliban’s university attack

The terror attack on Bacha Khan University in northwest Pakistan which killed over 20 people wasn’t just a reflection of “how strong” the terror network continues to be locally. It also puts a big question mark on the logic of Pakistan’s “National Action Plan” (NAP) in the face of Islamabad’s upbeat assessments about the “success” of its counter-terrorism operations that began in 2014.

Rescue workers transport a wounded man to a hospital following an attack by gunmen on Bacha Khan University


Pakistan’s NAP is based on the concept of using force against all “types” of terrorists. However, the question we must ask is this: Can sole reliance on force be sufficient to counter terrorism? Years of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations by US and NATO forces in Afghanistan have unambiguously proven that force alone cannot be theONLY OPTION in obliterating the kind of terrorism the region faces. This is the crucial lesson that Pakistan as well as Afghanistan’s “masters” are yet to learn.
As long as political power remains concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite—or security agencies for that matter–terrorism can’t be effectively tackled. As a matter of fact, the chief reason why terrorism flourishes in the Federally Administered Areas of Pakistan (FATA) is that this wild and remote tribal area has remained and continues to be politically excluded from the national Federation of Pakistan. The power vacuum created by this misstep is easily filled by rogue organizations such as Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has accepted responsibility for yesterday’s university attack.
Since the start of the current phase of counter-terrorism operations by the North Waziristan agency of FATA, officials claim that scores of terrorists and numerous hideouts have been obliterated. Yet yesterday’s attack on Bacha Khan’s students was another tragic reminder of how hollow these official claims are.
The spuriousness of these claims is traceable to Pakistan’s flawed strategy vs. terrorism. One aspect of this failed strategy is the use of military courts and the reinstatement of the death penalty for terrorism-related offenses under NAP. What has this achieved?
What was clear then is incontrovertible now: The death penalty does not deter terrorism per se. On the contrary, it serves as a propaganda tool for the militants. This is underscored by the fact that more than one group besides the Taliban are  stepping forward to claim credit for the Bacha Khan attack. This is not to suggest that terrorists need not be punished for their crimes. The point is that merely punishing individuals is not effective.
University was deliberate target
Consider this: Bacha Khan University as a target and the day of the attack weren’t selected randomly. The tolerant, compassionate, inclusive politics of Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bach Khan), a famous Pashtun political and spiritual leader after which the school was named, is what Pakistan ought to embody. The attack came as Bach Khan University was preparing to honor the day of their namesake’s death on Jan. 20. The institution represents a symbol of what the Islamic extremists are seeking to destroy.
While military operations seek to destroy the Taliban as a physical force, the very idea of the “Talibanism” also needs to be defeated. An idea, as the saying goes, can only be defeated by another idea. Pakistan, therefore, needs to rely on sources other than using force to “kill” the idea of ‘Talibanism.”
The first step in this campaign should be the empowerment of the people directly affected by the Taliban’s ideological as well as physical onslaught, argues veteran FATA agency participant, Abdul Fazal, who now lives “trapped” in one of the many slums of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.
“In the absence of state institutions and guarantee of protection of life and property of the people, fear of the Taliban overwhelms, leading to a silent yet virtual surrender of the people to the forces they cannot fight alone,”Abdul Fazal said. He added that powerlessness and fear either lead to surrender or flight to other cities in Pakistan. And it is precisely the inability to directly integrate people into the fight against terrorism that continues to keep Pakistan’s anti-terror “grand narratives” flawed.
Therefore, while Pakistan’s mainstream media reporting of the incident was littered with the so-called “rapidity” with which security agencies responded to and killed all terrorists in the university attack, hardly anyone seems to question the sorry state of Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.
Instead, the focus of all media reporting remained on the terrorists’ links to Afghanistan and India. While Pakistan and India continue repeatedly to blame each other for various terrorist activities, the Afghan-link does have some substance and needs to be examined carefully.
More than anything else, the Pak-Afghan border–a colonial legacy–is as much a part of the overall problem of cross-border terrorism and more efforts need to be focused there. The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is an anachronism that has been both a buffer against and a base for projecting power into Afghanistan for Islamabad. Now, with more than 150,000 Pakistani troops spread out across FATA as part of a protracted build up, the border has become perhaps the single-most immediate danger to both countries’ stability. It is a porous border. But should it necessarily remain so?
Deploying Pakistani troops in their thousands alone can’t prevent cross-border movement of terrorists. Nor can it be physically halted due to the nature of the terrain. However, what is feasible is better bilateral coordination of counter-terrorism efforts along the border. This co-ordination, however, needs to be extended into areas other than mere intelligence sharing. More than anything, both Pakistan and Afghanistan need to redirect their efforts in obliterating safe havens from where attacks are plotted and executed inside Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Recent incidents in both Afghanistan and Pakistan have highlighted the utmost need for greater regional co-operation. The fight against terrorism cannot be won, said an official from the Interior Ministry of Pakistan who asked not to be identified, unless the affected countries learn to co-ordinate their wars, with or without the co-ordination of the US and NATO forces. This is imperative since these foreign forces aren’t going to remain in the region for an indefinitely.
Islamic State in Pakistan
Pakistan and Afghanistan, therefore, need to restructure their relations against this scenario. The self-styled Islamic State (IS) has reportedly demonstrated a presence in Afghanistan. Some Pakistani officials, too, have acknowledged a rudimentary IS presence in Pakistan’s various urban areas.
The crucial need for Paksitan, therefore, is to “diplomatize” rather than “problematize” relations with Afghanistan. This requires local integration of all people involved in the war on terror as well as at the regional level (including Afghanistan) if the war on terror is to succeed.
Salman Rafi Sheikh is a freelance journalist and research analyst of international relations and Pakistan affairs. His area of interest is South and West Asian politics, the foreign policies of major powers, and Pakistani politics. He can be reached at salmansheikh.ss11.sr@gmail.com
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Army chief vows to go to any length for a terror-free Karachi

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has lauded the efforts of intelligence and law enforcement agencies for making Karachi peaceful city and vowed to go to any length for a secure and terror-free Karachi.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

How to fight War against Terrorism in Pakistan (Urdu )


دہشت گردی کے خلاف پہلی دفاعی لائن

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اخبارات میں لکھنے والوں کو قارئین کے ایک حلقے کی جانب سے ایک سوال یا اعتراض کا ہمیشہ سامنا رہتا ہے۔ جب کسی حکومتی پالیسی یا حکومتی ادارے پر تنقید کی جائے، ان کی کمزوریوں کی نشاندہی ہو تو بعض لوگ ایک فقرہ ضرور دہراتے ہیں: '' تنقید کرنا آسان ہے، اصل بات اس کا حل تجویزکرنا ہے۔ جو تنقید کرے، وہ اس کا حل بھی بتائے‘‘۔ کالموں کا یہ سلسلہ اسی 
مقصد کے لیے شروع کیا ہے۔ [ عامر ہاشم خاکوانی ]
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بات بڑی سادہ سی ہے، پاکستانی ریاست اور قوم حالت جنگ میں ہے۔ کیا ہماری تیاری اور رویہ کسی جنگ میں شریک ملک جیسا ہے؟
جواب نفی میں ہے۔ ہمارے حکومتی اداروں، وفاقی وزرا کی کارکردگی، صوبائی حکومت، صوبائی وزرائے اعلیٰ کے ایجنڈے، ان کی ''پھرتیوں‘‘ کو دیکھ کر کہیں سے نہیں لگتا کہ یہ ملک دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ لڑ رہا ہے، جس میں پچاس ہزار سے زیادہ قیمتی جانیں جا چکی ہیں۔ میٹرک تک کی تعلیمی سطح رکھنے والا فرد بھی آسانی سے بتا سکتا ہے کہ پاکستان کی ہر صوبائی حکومت اپنے اپنے چکروں میں الجھی ہے، ہر ایک کا الگ ایجنڈا اور سیاست ہے۔
سندھ حکومت کی سرتوڑ کوشش ہے کہ اپنے خاص بندوںکوکرپشن کے الزامات سے بچا لیا جائے، چاہے پورے عدالتی نظام کو تباہ کرنا پڑے۔
بلوچستان کے نئے وزیراعلیٰ کے لیے چیف منسٹر کا ٹیگ لگوانا سب سے اہم تھا، چاہے اس کے لیے جو بھی کرنا پڑے، وہ ہر حد تک جانے کو تیار تھے۔
خیبر پختونخوا کے وزیراعلیٰ نے اپنے دھان پان جسم میں پنجابی ولن کی طاقت بھرتے ہوئے جوشیلی بڑھکیں مارنے سے بھی گریز نہیں کیا، مقصد صرف یہ تھا کہ انہیں صوبائی حقوق کا چیمپیٔن سمجھا جائے۔

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پنجاب میں سیکڑوں ارب روپے بے مقصد پراجیکٹس میں جھونکے جا رہے ہیں، پورے صوبے سے فنڈز لا کر لاہور میں کنکریٹ، لوہے کے دیو ہیکل ستونوں پر استوار فلائی اوورز، ٹرین روٹ کا سلسلہ بنایا جارہا ہے۔ پلوں کا طویل سلسلہ بنایا جا رہا ہے۔ اورنج ٹرین پراجیکٹ، جس کے بغیر لاہوریے دس سال مزید گزار سکتے تھے، اس پر ڈیڑھ دو سو ارب روپے اڑائے جا رہے ہیں، مگر شہر میں لا اینڈ آرڈر درست کرنے کے لیے پانچ دس ارب بھی نہیں۔
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یہی حال مرکز کا ہے۔ وفاقی وزیرخزانہ کے پاس نیشنل ایکشن پلان پر عملدرآمد کے لیے پیسے نہیں،
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NECTA  نیکٹا کو فعال نہیں بنایا گیا کہ بجٹ نہیں، جبکہ سیکڑوںارب روپے سیاسی رشوت نما پراجیکٹس کے لیے مختص ہیں۔کیا اسی طرح جنگ لڑی جاتی ہے؟

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جواب ایک بار پھر نفی میں ہے۔ بھائی لوگو! اگر دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ جیتنا ہے تو سربلند زندہ قوموں کی طرح کھڑے ہوکر نئی حکمت عملی بنانی ہوگی، اسے عملی جامہ پہنانے کے لیے پوری قوت اور وسائل کھپانے ہوںگے، تب ہی کچھ ہوسکے گا۔ 

سب سے پہلے ہمیں دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ کی اصطلاح کو زیادہ وسیع اور بامعنی بناتے ہوئے اسے''لاقانونیت کے خلاف جنگ‘‘(War Against Lawlessness) قرار دینا ہوگا۔

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دہشت گردی ایک مخصوص مدت کا ایشو ہے، تاہم اگر ہم اپنے ریاستی ڈھانچے کو لاقانونیت کے خلاف مضبوط اور ٹھوس بنیادوں پر استوار کرنے میںکامیاب ہوگئے تو ہمارا پورا معاشرہ پرامن ہوجائے گا اور ہم منظم وغیر منظم دونوں اقسام کی دہشت گردی کا خاتمہ کر دیںگے۔
اس وقت ہمیں تین چار سطحوں پر لڑائی درپیش ہے۔ سب سے خطرناک تحریک طالبان پاکستان اور لشکر جھنگوی وغیرہ کی دہشت گردی اور ان کے حملے ہیں۔ اس پر الگ زیادہ تفصیل سے بات ہوگی، لیکن یہ یاد دلاتے چلیں کہ بلوچستان میں پروانڈین بلوچ شدت پسندوںکی دہشت گردی ایک الگ قسم کا خطرہ ہے۔ ڈاکٹر اللہ نذرکی بی ایل ایف، حیربیار مری کی بی ایل اے، اس کے بھائی مہران بلوچ کی یونائیٹڈ بلوچ آرمی اور براہمداغ بگٹی کی بی آر اے کی صورت میں چار نمایاں عسکریت پسند تنظیمیںفعال ہیں، فورسز کو وہ نشانہ بناتے اور نہتے غریب مزدوروں کو قطاروں میں کھڑا کر کے گولیوں کا نشانہ بنا کر دہشت پھیلاتے ہیں۔ 

پچھلے پانچ چھ برسوں میں ڈیڑھ ہزار سے زیادہ عام افراد بے دردی سے قتل کیے جا چکے ہیں۔ جو لوگ مزدوروںکو کیمپوں سے نکال کر اور مسافروں کو بسوں سے اتارکر شناختی کارڈ دیکھنے کے بعد گولیوں سے بھون ڈالتے ہیں وہ ''ناراض عناصر‘‘ نہیں بلکہ سنگدل وحشی درندے ہیں۔ ان میں اور ظالم پاکستانی طالبان میں کوئی فرق نہیں، عمل دونوںکا خارجیوں والا ہے۔

ایک مذہبی شدت پسندی اور تکفیری بنیاد پر قتل کر رہا ہے تو دوسرا لسانی، نسلی بنیاد پر قتل وغارت کو روا سمجھتا ہے۔ دونوں کا علاج یہی ہے کہ ان کی گردن ماردی جائے۔ ریاست ان کا نیٹ ورک توڑے اور مکمل صفایا کرڈالے۔

دونوں کے سہولت کاروں، انہیں فکری سپورٹ فراہم کرنے والوں، ان کی قتل وغارت کی تاویل کرنے والے لکھاریوں، نام نہاد دانشوروں کو بھی پکڑاجائے۔ مذاکرات صرف پرامن، دستوری جدوجہد کرنے والوں سے ہو سکتے ہیں یا زیادہ سے زیادہ ان عناصر کو واپسی کا راستہ دیا جا سکتا ہے جو دہشت گردوں سے اپنے راستے الگ کر کے امن کی طرف آجائیں اور ریاست کا ساتھ دیں۔ کراچی میں سیاسی جماعتوں کے بھتہ لینے، قتل وغارت کرنے والے مسلح ونگ اور لیاری گینگ وارکی صورت میں دہشت گرد گروہ الگ نوعیت کا مسئلہ ہیں۔ ان کا ہر حال میں خاتمہ کرنا ہوگا۔ رینجرز نے خاصی کامیابیاں حاصل کی ہیں، لیکن ابھی بہت کچھ ہونا باقی ہے۔ ٹارگٹ کلنگ اور ٹارگٹ کلرزکا خاتمہ ابھی نہیں ہوا۔ ایم کیو ایم جیسی جماعتوں کا سیاسی وجود باقی رہنا چاہیے مگر ان کے مسلح ونگ ہر حال میں ختم کر دیے جائیں۔ مختلف حکومتی اداروں میں ناجائز بھرتی کر کے جو طاقتور لابیاں بنائی گئی ہیں، انہیں بھی دیکھنا ہوگا، مگر یہ کام سلیقے سے کیا جائے، کسی کے ساتھ زیادتی نہیں ہونی چاہیے۔ کراچی میں سٹریٹ کرائم بھی خوفناک شکل اختیار کر چکا ہے، اسے بھی دہشت گردی کے ضمن میں لینا اور اسی انداز میں ٹریٹ کرنا چاہیے۔ جتنی دہشت اور خوف وہراس ان چھوٹے سٹریٹ کریمنلز نے پھیلایا ہے، وہ عسکری ونگز اور گینگ وارز سے کم نہیں۔ 

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ملک میں جاری دہشت گردی کی چوتھی سطح مختلف شہروں اور قصبات، دیہات میں موجود طاقتور مافیاز، قبضہ گروپوں، بلڈرز مافیا، سیاسی اثر ورسوخ رکھنے والے ڈیرے داروں اور بدمعاشوں کی ہے۔ ان سب نے پنجاب اور سندھ کے معاشرے کو خاص طور سے پریشان اور ہراساں کر رکھا ہے۔ لاقانونیت پھیلانے والے، ریاستی قوت اور ملکی قوانین کا مذاق اڑانے والے یہ لوگ بھی ایک طرح کے دہشت گرد ہیں۔ ان کے خلاف ریاستی قوت کو پوری طرح سے بروئے کار آنا چاہیے۔ ایک سطر میں ملکی پالیسی یہ ہونی چاہیے کہ کسی کو قانون اپنے ہاتھ میں لینے کی اجازت نہیں دی جائے گی، ایسا کرنے والے کا ''ہاتھ توڑ دیا جائے گا‘‘۔ ریاستی ادارے اور قانون نافذ کرنے والی ایجنسیاں اگر اپنا کام کسی دبائو اور ترغیب وخوف کے بغیر کریں تو نہایت آسانی سے چند مہینوں کے اندر بہت کچھ کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ ایک طرح کا انقلاب برپا ہوسکتا ہے، جو ہر آدمی کونظر آئے اور دل خود گواہی دے کہ واقعی حالات بہت بہتر ہوگئے ہیں۔
دہشت گردی کے خلاف یا یوں کہیے کہ لاقانونیت کے خلاف جنگ میں سب سے پہلی، مضبوط اور پائیدار دفاعی لائن پولیس ہے۔ پولیس کے محکمے کو پرانے انداز میں فعال، منظم اور مضبوط بنانا ہوگا۔

ملک میں کئی سو ارب کے ترقیاتی پروگرام جاری ہیں۔ ہمارے خیال میں حالت جنگ میں مصروف ممالک ایسی عیاشی افورڈ نہیں کر سکتے۔ لوگوں کی جان ومال کا تحفظ، دہشت گردوں اورکریمنلز کے لاتعداد گروپوںکا خاتمہ کرنے کے لیے ہمیں بڑے پیمانے پر فنڈز مختص کرنا ہوںگے۔ لاہورکے شہری بڑی آسانی سے اورنج ٹرین کے بغیر گزار ا کر سکتے ہیں، یہ ڈیڑھ دو سو ارب روپے اگر پولیس اور قانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں پر شفاف طریقے سے خرچ کر دیے جائیں تو صرف چھ ماہ کے اندر ملک میں مثالی امن قائم ہوسکتا ہے۔
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پولیس کی جڑیں گہری اور عوام میں ہوتی ہیں۔ ہر محلے کے اندر تھانہ ہے، روایتی طور پر ایس ایچ او کی ذمہ داری ہے کہ پورے محلے، ہر گلی پر اس کی نظر ہو، اس کا اپنا مخبری کا نظام ہو جو اسے پل پل کی خبر دے ۔
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کون محلے میں نیا گھر لے رہا ہے، کتنے کرایہ دار آ گئے ہیں، کون سے چھوڑ گئے ہیں، یہ سب معلومات پولیس کو حاصل رہتی ہیں۔ اس نظام کو مضبوط بنایا جائے۔ سپیشل برانچ کو نفری اور جدید آلات دیے جائیں۔
Image result for punjab police taking bribe
سفید پوش مخبروںکے ذریعے معاشرے کے مختلف طبقات پر نظر رکھی جاتی تھی، یہ کام آج کچھ مشکل ضرور ہوگیا، مگر اسے کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ نئی کائونٹر ٹیررازم فورس پر بھاری رقوم خرچ کرنے کے بجائے پولیس سسٹم ٹھیک ہوجائے تو فورسز کے حصے کا بہت سا کام ابتدائی مرحلے میں نمٹایا جا سکے گا۔ علاقے اور لوگوں پرنظر رکھنے کے لیے پولیسنگ ہر حال میں بہتر کرنا ہوگی۔
دہشت گردی کے خاتمے کے لیے کیا شارٹ ٹرم اور لانگ ٹرم پالیسی ہونی چاہیے، اس پر اگلی نشست میں بات ہوگی
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

You might be among the richest people in the world and not realise it

Most people these days know that global wealth is unequal, and becoming more so. But the latest statistics that illustrate these trends are still mind boggling, no matter how you 1001< at them.

There are lots of ways of comparing the inequality of wealth which is defined as people`s assets, like their savings and property, minus their debts. One is that the world`s richest 1 per cent has more wealth than the rest of the globe combined, according to data from Credit Suisse.

Another is that, in 2015, just 62 people in the world had the same wealth as the poorer half of humanity 3.6 billion people, according to a new report by Oxfam, the antipoverty organisation, which malces calculations based on the Credit Suisse data.

These 62 people are very, very rich, to be sure, but it`s also true that the global bottom half is desperately poor.

And for that reason, who really counts among the world`s richest the top 100, the top 1pc, the top 10pc, etc is a matter of perspective. It depends on whether you`re judging yourself against your neighbours, your fellow citizens, or the entire world`s population. A middle class American with a little bit of wealth feel quite privileged after all.

To be among the wealthiest half of the world last year, anadult needed to own only $3,210 in net assets (minus debts), according to the data.

To be in the top 10pc, a person needed to have only $68,800 in wealth.

To be in the top percentile, the threshold climbed to $760,000, according to Credit Suisse.

Consider that, according to the Federal Reserve, the median American family had $81,000 in net worth in 2013, and the average family had $535,000 in net worth.

To get an idea of this inequality, you can try visualising the global wealth distribution like a pyramid: The base comprises adults with less than $10,000 (< Rs.10 Lakh) in wealth. This is the bulk of the global population 71pc, to be exact, who altogether own only 3pc of global wealth, according to Credit Suisse data.

The next level up, with wealth of $10,000  to $100,000, [Rs.10 Lakh  to 1 Crore] contains 21pc of the world`s population, but has 12.5pc of its wealth.

The next level, from $100,000 to $1 million, [Rs. 1 to 10 Crore ]has just 7.3pc of the population and about 40pc of the wealth.

And at the very top of the pyramid are those with over $1 million [Rs.10 Crore] in wealth. This group contains only 0.7pc of the world`s adults, but collectively they own 45pc of the world`s assets, says Credit Suisse.

You might be among the richest people in the world and not realise it
By Ana Swanson
Bloomberg-The Washington Post Service
Dawn: http://epaper.dawn.com/DetailImage.php?StoryImage=24_01_2016_011_001

Who wants peace in Pakistan?

6IN his final State of the Union address, US President Obama predicted a decade of instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Af-Pak was always a bad construct for policy formulation. There are obvious security linkages between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the circumstances and prospects of the two countries are significantly different.

Predicting continued instability in Afghanistan is an easy call. The Kabul government is beset by internal division and an insurgency that has momentum. Given the preconditions posed by Kabul, the recently created quadrilateral forum will find it difficult to get the Afghan Taliban to the table let alone secure an agreement for peace. A turbulent and fractured Afghanistan is the most likely prospect for the foreseeable future.

Pakistan is a different story. It has undertaken a massive and comprehensive counterterrorism campaign targeting the TTP, sectarian groups and political gangs. Action has now been taken also against a rogue pro-Kashmiri organisation. Terrorist and criminal violence has been dramatically reduced.

There are several external drivers of violence that need to be neutralised.
Unfortunately, as illustrated by the assault on the Charsadda university, it is premature to celebrate. To break the back of terrorism in Pakistan, the kinetic campaign will need to be continued for a considerable period and the social, economic and other components of the National Action Plan fully implemented.

However, national actions will not be sufficient to defeat terrorism. There are several external drivers of violence that need to be neutralised.

The TTP is the self-confessed culprit in the Charsadda terrorist attack. With 180,000 troops deployed on its western borders, Pakistan has crushed or chased out most of the TTP militants from most of its territory. Small groups hide ‘in the open’, in inaccessible valleys or in Afghan refugee camps. However, the major threat arises from the infiltration of TTP terrorists from their safe havens in Afghanistan.

While Pakistan has offered to help in promoting reconciliation between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban, there is little evidence of reciprocal action by Kabul to eliminate the TTP safe havens or to control cross-border infiltration. Kabul has refused to even revive the coordination mechanisms for border monitoring that were created with the US-Nato command.

Certain circles in Kabul, such as the National Directorate of Intelligence, are known to have collaborated with the TTP and sponsored Baloch insurgents to destabilise Pakistan. They were also responsible for scuttling the Murree talks and then blaming Pakistan for escalated insurgent attacks from Kabul to Kunduz. Now, they are asking Pakistan to attack the Afghan Taliban unless they agree to come to the negotiating table. This would bring Afghanistan’s war to Pakistan.

Islamabad must reassert its demand for action against the TTP by Kabul and its international patrons. If such cooperation is not forthcoming, Pakistan will need to consider unilateral actions to eliminate the TTP safe havens in Afghanistan. Peace and security within Pakistan is also influenced by the policies and actions of several other external powers.

Historically, the US has contributed, wittingly or unwittingly, to Pakistan’s destabilisation since the anti-Soviet Afghan war. The rump US-Nato force in Afghanistan is essential to prop up the tottering Kabul government. Obama is wisely averse to resuming a larger military role in Afghanistan. A Republican president, however, may be more adventurist, especially if driven by the misplaced desire to counter China’s growing influence and interests in the region. In this context, it is relevant to evaluate whether the US shares China’s vision that peace and prosperity can be promoted in Pakistan and the region through the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

India’s policies are more predictable. It has openly opposed the CPEC enterprise and is chary of China’s growing role in the region. Notwithstanding the Lahore embrace and the likely resumption of the Comprehensive Dialogue, India remains the godfather of anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan and can be expected to continue to encourage and support them in their use of the TTP and Baloch dissidents to spread mischief and turmoil in Pakistan. Since Pakistan is now constrained from playing the ‘Kashmir card’, it cannot hope to neutralise India’s subversive activities on the negotiating table; they will have to be defeated through direct action against the militants and muscular diplomacy with Kabul and its patrons.

Given Pakistan’s denominational composition, Iran’s policies will have an impact on Pakistan’s internal stability. Following its nuclear agreement with the major powers and the removal of international sanctions, Iran can be expected to remain on good behaviour on issues which do not affect its core interests. Tehran’s priorities are to retain its dominant influence in Syria, Iraq and the Levant; neutralise Saudi-led Sunni strategies, and maximise the economic benefits flowing from the lifting of sanctions. Iran can benefit from CPEC connectivity and closer linkages with China. However, Iran has a strategic relationship with India. A US-India-Iran axis is improbable, but not inconceivable. Pakistan needs to engage Iran and ensure that it does not try to play the sectarian card in Pakistan or attempt to forestall Pakistan’s emergence as China’s strategic link to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

The GCC states have been Pakistan’s closest friends and benefactors. Relations were unfortunately frayed by the clumsy manner in which Pakistan spurned the Arab coalition that has intervened in Yemen. Since then, Pakistan has mended fences with Saudi Arabia. Similar conciliation with the UAE is outstanding. Some have conjectured that the UAE would consider Gwadar’s role in CPEC as a threat to Dubai’s commercial pre-eminence. In further exchanges with the GCC states, Pakistan should reassure them that CPEC will add, not detract, from their prosperity. But Islamabad’s first priority should be to secure an effective end to the flow of funds to sectarian and extremist groups from certain Gulf states.

It is only through such full-spectrum diplomacy, defence and deterrence that Pakistan can prove Obama wrong and achieve the peace and stability which is indispensable to implement the CPEC, realise rapid growth and emerge as Asia’s newest economic ‘Tiger’.

Who wants peace in Pakistan?
By MUNIR AKRAM; former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.
http://www.dawn.com/news/1234994/who-wants-peace-in-pakistan