The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

UNGA: PAKISTANI PROPAGANDA HAS A TOUGH JOB THESE DAYS

The 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly is in progress in New York and the Pakistani delegation here has some tough job on its hand to do, obviously including the routine anti-India propaganda.

So the prime minister of Pakistan is busy spewing venom against India in New York where he is leading his country's delegation to the UNGA while ministers and senior officials of his government back home in Islamabad are complementing his efforts.  

And their efforts are based on negating two highly hostile perceptions about Pakistan, especially with the Donald Trump presidency in America - one,  that it is a safe terror haven and the other, that trusting Pakistan in Afghanistan affairs have been counter-productive and it is better to go with India.

So, Pakistan's prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is busy telling the world community and more importantly to the US that how India is an existential threat for Pakistan and it is rather a terror victim with an impressive track record in fighting and eliminating terrorists and the US declaring it a safe haven for terrorists is unjustified, even if he wasn't given a chance to have one-on-one meeting with Donald Trump.

The fact is, Trump has not met a Pakistani prime minister, be in Abbasi or his predecessor Nawaz Sharif, so far in his presidency and it is a telling sign that Pakistan has lost its credibility in Washington.

Like Nawaz Sharif was humiliated at the US-Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh in May this year, Donald Trump's first major interaction with the Muslim nations of the world, this time, too, the Pakistani prime minister met the same fate. Reportedly, Trump refused to meet Abbasi as 'he was too busy'.

Abbasi then had to settle down on a meeting with US Vice-President Mike Pence where, as per Pakistani claims, the two sides agreed to remain engaged "to achieve shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region." Also, Abbasi told yesterday, in another boastful claim, that Trump thought positively on Pakistan's role in the war against terror, refuting claims of downward spiral in US-Pakistan ties.

While the truth is, the US is disappointed and angry over Pakistan’s double-dealings, the country that has been a major recipient of US financial aid, over $15 billion in just last five years. While unveiling his government's Afghanistan centric South Asia policy last month, Trump had slammed Pakistan and had warned that the US would no longer be silent about Pakistan’s double-dealings and had demanded that Pakistan’s attitude of doublespeak had to change immediately.

Abbasi, reportedly, also complained to the US, in fact, in his meeting with Mike Pence about US policy change on Afghanistan which seeks greater Indian role in Afghanistan rebuilding process, something that Pakistan believes is hostile to its interests in the region. And today, he went on to say that Pakistan sees 'zero role for India in Afghanistan and will never accept India politically or militarily engaged in Afghanistan'.

Repeating Pakistan's rant on Kashmir, an integral part of India where Pakistan is fuelling terror and separatism, that India is suppressing the freedom struggle of the Kashmiris, Abbasi, after a long time, again took the line that Pakistan has developed tactical nuclear weapons to take on the Indian threat. Pakistan had left the practice of issuing hollow nuclear threats to India after the surgical strike last September in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that left Pakistan's ruling elite humiliated and divided.

Back in Pakistan, its ministers and officers are busy extending helping hands to their prime minister.

Its Foreign Office is repeating the routine Pakistani propaganda that "India is involved in funding terrorism in Pakistan" with a new vigour. Apart from blaming India for fomenting terror in its provinces including the restive Balochistan province, Pakistan is also blaming India to fund the anti-Pakistan campaign by Baloch activists in Geneva while the reality is the world community has now started accepting Pakistan's atrocities in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

The country is also taking on other countries like Japan that endorse the Indian viewpoint that Pakistan is a terror sponsor nation. The Indo-Japan joint statement last week during Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's India visit had denounced Pakistan as a country harbouring terrorists.

Yesterday, Pakistan's Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan accused India of trying to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $50 Billion Chinese investment that passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, legally an Indian territory. The same minister had last week boasted that it was not Pakistan's job to satisfy the US. And only a week later, the Pakistani prime minister is trying to woo the US administration in the US. 

©SantoshChaubey

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

IN HIS MAIDEN UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPEECH, DONALD TRUMP TARGETS TERROR SAFE HAVENS AGAIN


US President Donald Trump, while speaking at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, reiterated his government's resolve to hunt down and kill terrorists wherever they are.

Reaffirming his government's resolve to fight terrorism he said, "We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology and we must drive them out of our nations."

And then, in a clear warning again to nations harbouring terrorists, he said it was time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people. Though not named here, the world clearly knows that Pakistan is indeed a safe haven for terror groups like Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

And like he had said just a week ago, speaking during the 9/11 Memorial Observance at the Pentagon, he repeated that the US and its allies were working together to crush terrorists and stop the re-emergence of safe havens

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump
It was a great honor to have spoken before the countries of the world at the United Nations.
#USAatUNGA🇺🇸#UNGA
https://instagram.com/p/BZPRctNg-5U/

His Afghanistan policy, that he unveiled in July, found a place in his maiden UNGA speech. He said that from now on, the US security interests will dictate the length and scope of its military operations.

While speaking on the policy last month, Trump had slammed Pakistan for being a safe haven for terrorists and had sought to increase India's role in Afghanistan. Earlier, Modi-Trump Joint Statement in June had called Pakistan a safe haven for terrorists and the term made its way to the US Country Report on Terrorism in July.

The US is disappointed and angry over Pakistan's double-dealings, the country that has been a major recipient of US financial aid, over $15 billion in just last five years.

While detailing his South Asia policy, Trump slammed Pakistan and warned that the US will no longer be silent about Pakistan's double-dealings. He demanded that Pakistan's attitude of doublespeak had to change immediately.

Pakistan was still reeling under the pressure of an increasingly demanding US to crack down on terror networks when another powerful bloc of countries, the BRICS, alluded to Pakistan to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil.

It was a double whammy for Pakistan because the censure came from a multilateral platform which had its all-weather ally China as one of founding members besides India, Russia and Brazil.

Trump's warning again, this time from the world's only organization with a truly global participation, the United Nations, should only add to that pressure, when he made his priorities clear in unequivocal terms that "the US will stop radical Islamic terrorism because it cannot allow it to tear up his nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world."

©SantoshChaubey

Saturday, 16 September 2017

NEW LASHKAR COMMANDER IN KASHMIR: WHO IS ZEENAT-UL-ISLAM?


Intelligence inputs say Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) has chosen Zeenat-ul-Islam alias Alqama, as its new commander. Islam is the first local face to head Lashkar operations in Kashmir. He hails from Sugan Zanipura in Shopian in South Kashmir.

He was elevated after LeT commander Abu Ismail - the mastermind behind the July 10 Amarnath attack, which killed seven people, was killed in an encounter by the security forces. Abu Ismail, a Pakistani terrorist, was made chief of Lashkar in the Valley last month after Abu Dujana, another Pakistani terrorist and Lashkar commander was killed by the security forces.

According to the reports, Islam is 28-years-old. He was recruited in November 2015, and is considered an expert with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

He is one of the main accused in the Shopian attack which took place on February 23, 2017. Terrorists ambushed army patrol in Mulu Chitragam area of the district which left three soldiers and a woman dead.

He was arrested for the first time in 2008, and was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for being a member of Al-Badr. He was also in touch with different terror outfits and was working as an over ground worker for their members, arranging them food and supplies.

After his release in 2011, he initially worked with his father and got married before joining LeT. His father is an Imam (muezzin) in the local mosque. He completed his Bachelor of Arts from a local college.

Zeenat-ul-Islam is among the five most wanted terrorists by the security forces in the Valley.

The list includes Zakir Rashid Bhatt alias Musa who defected from Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and is now heading Ansar Gazhwat-ul Hind, Al Qaeda's India branch; Reyaz AH Naikoo alias Zubair, tech savvy HM commander; Wasim AH, alias Osama, another LeT commander from Shopian who was in Burhan Wani's group; and Abu Hamas, a Pak terrorist who is believed to head Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in India.

Indian security forces are on a hunt to eliminate terrorists from Kashmir and Abu Ismail was the fourth Lashkar commander killed this year - Abu Ismail, Abu Dujana, Junait Mattoo and Bashir Lashkari. Major HM terrorists hunted down this year include Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, Sajad Ahmed Gilkar and Yasin Ittoo.

According to South Asia Terrorism Portal, since 2013, over 600 terrorists have been eliminated from the Valley.

©SantoshChaubey

Friday, 15 September 2017

TRUMP'S RESPONSE ON LONDON ATTACK INDICATES HE IS GOING TO PITCH FOR EXTENDING HIS TRAVEL BAN


US President Donald Trump sees opportunity in every development to sell his government's decisions it seems. And the opportunity for him this time came after an attack on London Tube, the city's urban transit system which the London Police is treating as terror attack. The fifth terror attack on London this year was carried out by a homemade bomb that left some travellers with facial burns.

Trump, though denounced the terror attack and the attackers, made his intentions clear when he went on defaming the London Police for being inactive and made a pitch for his government's controversial travel ban plan that puts restrictions on migrants and refugees from some Muslim majority nations.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!
4:12 PM - 15 Sep 2017
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/908642277987356673

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!
4:18 PM - 15 Sep 2017
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/908643633901039617

Trump's reaction on the latest terror strike on London came in a series of tweets where he termed terrorists as losers and emphasised on the need to cut off and better regulate internet, their main recruitment tool.

Then he went on to make his sales pitch. Making a case for his travel ban plan, that is going to expire in October, Trump said that "the travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific - but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!"

His government's travel ban plan has always been controversial, right from its first introduction in January. Following ban by various federal courts, the Trump administration was forced to dilute it but even the diluted version was rejected. The travel ban plan that targeted people from six Muslim majority nations for 90 days, i.e., Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Somalia and all refugees for 120 days, was finally given a go ahead by the US Supreme Court on June 26.

That means Trump's travel ban on the people of these six Muslim nations is set to expire on September 23 and his refugee ban on October 23. The next Supreme Court hearing, which will deliberate on the legality of the travel ban plan, is set for October 10.

And if Trump's words are any indication, his administration may be planning to pitch for continuation of travel ban and its next version may be even tougher, free of the concerns of being politically correct.  

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!
4:24 PM - 15 Sep 2017
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/908645126146265090

After the London Bridge terror attack on June 3 that had left seven dead and dozens injured, Trump, while slamming, the re-drafted version of his administration’s travel ban order as an attempt to be “politically correct”, had commented that “the US Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to the US Supreme Court and the Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down travel ban before the Supreme Court – and seek much tougher version.”

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!
4:07 PM - 5 Jun 2017
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/871677472202477568

Comparing his government's track record against the ISIS with his predecessor Barack Obama's government, Trump says that "they have made more progress in the last nine months against the ISIS than the Obama Administration had made in eight years" and goes on to add that "the US must be proactive and nasty" in dealing with terrorists.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
We have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama Administration has made in 8 years.Must be proactive & nasty!
4:30 PM - 15 Sep 2017
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/908646582807089152

Trump would certainly by buoyed by the September 12 decision of the US Supreme Court in favour of his government's travel ban plan where the apex court blocked a federal court's decision to allow some 24,000 refugees with a resettlement agency contract who, otherwise, would have been allowed into the United States in October.

©SantoshChaubey

Thursday, 14 September 2017

US SLAMS PAKISTAN FOR FISCAL TRANSPARENCY TO ITS INTEL AGENCIES INFAMOUS FOR HARBOURING TERRORISTS


After slamming Pakistan repeatedly for being a haven for terrorists, the United States now has criticised Islamabad for its fiscal transparency, especially with regard to its intelligence agencies that are notorious for harbouring terrorists.

The US Department of State has released its fiscal transparency report for 2017. The report, which is an annual feature, reviews those countries that receive financial assistance from the US in order to see that the US taxpayers' money is being utilised properly.

The report, this year as well, placed Pakistan in the category of countries that did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. And as has been the case in the past, this year too, the report found that Pakistan did not make any significant progress in this direction.

The report said though the documents on financial activities were widely available in public domain, the Pakistani government did not make audit reports available publicly within a reasonable period of time. The report said that Pakistan needed to correct this.

Moreover, the report found that "the budget of the intelligence agencies was not publicly available. The report also found that "this budget was not subject to adequate parliamentary or other civilian oversight" and recommended that it be.

WHAT PREVIOUS FISCAL TRANSPARENCY REPORTS SAID

The 2016 and 2015 fiscal transparency reports make similar observations about Pakistan, unlike 2014 when the United States had found Pakistan fulfilling the fiscal transparency requirements.

The US State Department has been publishing annual fiscal transparency reports since 2012. The 2014 report identified "minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for each government receiving assistance" in accordance with the US laws which require the US Secretary of State and his office to "update and strengthen" them regularly.

And Pakistan, a terror sponsor state, found itself in the negative list from next year onwards, i.e., 2015 onwards. The US, which has been a major aid provider to Pakistan, and in fact has given aid over $15 billion, including military assistance to the country since 2011, has started toughening its stand after realising Pakistan's double standards in its approach towards terrorism.

Pakistan claims to be a US ally in the war against terror and shamelessly takes US grants in that name. Yet it shelters anti-US terror groups like the Haqqani Network and the Taliban that routinely attack Washington's interests in Afghanistan. The US has been blocking since last year a part of the military assistance to Pakistan to crack down on the Haqqani Network after it found that Pakistan failed to keep its part of the bargain.

PAKISTAN's DOUBLESPEAK ON TERROR EXPOSED

Pakistan's double-dealings, in fact, have left the US and its President Donald Trump miffed. While unveiling his South Asia Policy Review in July, Trump had warned Pakistan that "the US would no longer be silent about Pakistan's double-dealings and demanded that Pakistan's attitude of doublespeak had to change immediately."

Things for Pakistan started taking a bad turn after Donald Trump was elected the United States President, who it seems, now firmly believes that Pakistan is not using the US taxpayers' money appropriately, in accordance with the US laws.

It only added to Pakistan's troubles that Trump had been a vocal critic of Pakistan since his campaign days who used to describe Pakistan with terms like 'Pakistan is not our friend' and "when it will apologise for providing a safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden."

As the US was preparing to transition to Trump's Presidency, it clearly told Pakistan to act against Hafiz Saeed and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) after the outfit's name prominently figured in the report of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

The US warned that if Pakistan failed to comply to this, it would be put on the list of blacklisted countries in the International Cooperative Review Group (ICRG). That would have made it necessary for Pakistan to put a formal request each time it went about transacting any business through any of the international financial institutions. Left with no other option, Pakistan had to place Saeed, a designated terrorist with a US bounty of $10 million over his head since 2012, under house arrest.

©SantoshChaubey

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

9/11 ANNIVERSARY: DONALD TRUMP REITERATES RESOLVE TO ELIMINATE TERROR SAFE HAVENS


Speaking during the 9/11 Memorial Observance at the Pentagon, US President Donald Trump reiterated his resolve to crack down on terror safe havens. Warning those who shelter terrorists and use terror as a policy tool, Trump warned that the "American forces were relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies of all civilized people, like we'd never seen before."

Remembering the horror of the dark day when multiple terror attacks at the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania sixteen years ago left 2977 dead and changed America and the world forever giving it organized, transnational terror organizations, Trump said that his administration was ensuring that terrorists never again had a safe haven to launch attacks against America.

Terming the attack on September 11, 2001 even worse than the attack on Pearl Harbour as it targeted civilians, Trump reassured American that terrorists have nowhere to hide, "We are making plain to these savage killers that there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp, and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large Earth."

REMINDER TO PAKISTAN

This is yet another stinging reminder to nations like Pakistan that harbour terror groups and employ terror as state policy. Trump has named Pakistan directly, on multiple occasions.

While unveiling his government's Afghanistan centric South Asia policy last month, he had repeated his stand about Pakistan as a safe haven for terrorists, had slammed it for supporting terrorists and had sought to increase India's role in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Modi-Trump Joint Statement in June called Pakistan a safe haven for terrorists and the term made its way to the US Country Report on Terrorism in July. Trump's warning to Pakistan tells how miffed he is with the country. While detailing his South Asia policy, Trump slammed Pakistan and warned that the US will no longer be silent about Pakistan's double-dealings. He demanded that Pakistan's attitude of doublespeak had to change immediately.

Pakistan was still reeling under the pressure of an increasingly demanding US, the only superpower of the world and a major aid provider to Pakistan, to crack down on terror networks in real and tangible terms, when another powerful bloc of countries, the BRICS, alluded to Pakistan to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil. It was a double whammy for Pakistan because the censure came from a multilateral platform which had its all weather ally China as one of founding members besides India, Russia and Brazil.

The BRICS Declaration, while directly naming Pakistan based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, said, "Recalling the primary leading role and responsibility of states in preventing and countering terrorism, we stress the necessity to develop international cooperation, in accordance with the principles of international law, including that of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs." The BRICS Summit was held in the first week of this month in China.

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE ON PAK TERROR

Increasing international pressure on terror infrastructure in Pakistan has created a sense of panic in the country's ruling establishment. Though they deny it, their contradicting responses confirm it. First they rejected the BRICS Declaration. Then Pakistan's Foreign Minister admitted presence of terror groups terming then an embarrassment for his country.

While Pakistan's Foreign Minister was being realist and honest, its army chief chose to preach the world again when he said that "if Pakistan had not done enough in the war against terror, then no country in the world had done anything." So it didn't come as a surprise when Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today warned the US approach on Pakistan, cutting military aid and sanctioning Pakistani officials would be counter-productive.

©SantoshChaubey