Has India outsourced its foreign policy to US?



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INDIA HAS OUTSOURCED ITS FOREIGN POLICY, DEFENSE, ENERGY  & SECURITY TO ZIOCONS AND USA?

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by Shobhan Saxena
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We are so proud of the techies in our little Silicon Valleys (Bangalore, Hyderabad) that we mistakenly believe that the nerve-centre of US economy is now in India and the Americans can’t do anything until a guy sitting somewhere in India presses a button.

No doubt, thousands of young Indians (with fake names and fake accents) every day tell hundreds of thousands of Americans how to make their credit card payments or how to use a toilet cleaner, but to assume that we run America is preposterous. The fact is that our economy is dependent on American companies which outsource their work to us (at the cost of poor Americans). If the Americans stop hiring our cheap labour, it’s India that will get hit, not the Americans. Every time an American leader talks against outsourcing, India’s BPO bosses begin to shiver with fear. (more…)

A real pullout or a shell game?


 Afghanistan strategy in a prime-time address lastweek, with no late surprises on the numbers:As expected, the US will bring home 10,000 troops by the end of 2011 and rest of the “surge” force (about 23,000 troops) by the end of next summer, reports MSNBC. That will leave 70,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and they will “continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan security forces move into the lead,” a process he said should be complete by 2014.
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A REAL PULLOUT OR A SHELL GAME?

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by Eric Margolis

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“Far-called our navies melt away — On dune and headland sinks the fire — Lo, all our pomp of yesterday — Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!” Rudyard Kipling “Recessional”

War is waged to achieve political objectives, not to kill enemies.   In this sense, the United States has lost the ten-year Afghan conflict, its longest war. 

Afghanistan remains the “graveyard of empires.”

The US has failed to install an obedient regime in Kabul that controls Afghanistan. It has made foes of the Pashtun majority, and, in pursuing this war, gravely undermined Pakistan. Claims that US forces were in Afghanistan to hunt the late Osama bin Laden were widely disbelieved. (more…)

Abbotabad Raid: The ever rising questions


Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, right, and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, head of the country’s intelligence met CIA Director Leon Panetta recently for talks on how to repair ties between Islamabad and Washington fractured by America’s bin Laden mission. 
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ARE WE SOVEREIGN?

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by Nayyar Hashmey

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The comment by a fellow blogger motivated me to jot down this note.

 He, the Reformistani thinks 9/11 was indeed the doing of a group of fanatic Muslim youth, [a version also believed as the ultimate truth by the mainstream media in the west as well as here in our land of the pure], a view maintained also by our ex dictator P. Musharraf as well as incumbent president A. Zardari. In contrast, however, I from the day one have always believed that whosoever did this, could not do this alone, without the connivance, abetment and blessing of insiders in the Bush administration, in other words in all its probability, it was an inside job, a version which is dubbed by the MSM as conspiracy theory.

 As I have been saying all the time, I personally do not believe in the conspiracy theories for such theories mostly are the props of defeatist minds, who always wish to find refuge in such conspiracies. But in this very particular case I can’t help in concurring with the logical discourse of events prior to and post 9/11 Twin Towers Crash. As they say all roads lead to Rome so do all circumstantial evidence lead me to conclude that 9/11 was indeed an inside job.

 Any way opinions differ and this is the beauty of a democratic intellectual discourse.

 Last week the blogger put a candid comment on the current debate going on in the national media, particularly the failure of our leadership [and this includes of course our military high command as well] in not having been able to do anything when the US Navy SEALS raided a compound in Abbotabad and allegedly shot the world’s most wanted terrorist. The onus of this nationwide discussion has been our military which according to many observers failed to perform its job.

 First of all let me make it clear that the armed forces in the set up we have nowadays, cannot take unilateral action. They can act only when the civilian leaders particularly the president [who constitutionally is the supreme commander of the armed forces] ask them to do so.  According to my own information, our forces did have the information and they did ask the civilian leadership whether they should intercept the intruders but the reply was in ‘don’t do’.

 Coming back again to the comment. Whatever he says, is exactly what I would say too. But he has said it and said this with far more alacrity, far more lucidity than I ever could do.

 All the time that I was reading his comment, the verse kept reverberating in my mind:

Maen ne jana ye, meray bhi dil main hae.

[The same what is in my mind too]

 So about his analysis and recommendations, I would say ‘teri aawaz Makkay aur Madinay’. Let your voice be heard far and wide for this is the voice- of sanity, of reason and of impact on the betterment of Pakistan, our home, our motherland.

 The only point where I find myself on a different pitch than his is when he terms healthy criticism on our military generals as “unwanted criticism”. According to him any such criticism is counterproductive in so far as it would strengthen our enemies and weaken our forces which are the principal tangible prop to defend Pakistan. Contrary to this I do believe, however, that those who criticize our current leadership as well as our military in not having been able to protect our sovereignty are as much patriotic as any other Pakistani is or could be. We all love our armed forces, esp. the Jawans and our young officers, who almost daily are giving their blood, sacrificing their most precious lives right in the prime of their youth, just because they want their Pakistani motherland to be a peaceful, secure and sovereign state. But our love doesn’t mean that this should be taken for granted and a lack or laxity in making proper decision in the hour of crisis should be treated as unpatriotic and the forces declare themselves as the holy cows. (more…)

At a fork in the road


Not long ago, Pakistan, the Islamic Republic had been strong enough, its government, army, people, and institutions tough enough to explode their nuclear device in the teeth of opposition from the world’s sole surviving superpower, and to survive a succession of bloody and disastrous battles. In the ensuing years, something happened that sapped that strength so that in the span of a few hours, while the guardians of our frontiers slumbered away, the myth of Pakistan’s independence was shattered.
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SHATTERING THE MYTH OF INDEPENDENCE

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by Roedad Khan

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There is a saying in China that “you should not only focus on your head when you have a headache because the real reason for your headache could be your foot”.

The debacle of May 2 was an incredible spectacle. What caused it? How, people wondered, had it come about? What were the terrible weaknesses and defects that had brought the country to such a low and pitiful state?

Not long ago, the Republic had been strong enough, its government, army, people, and institutions tough enough to explode their nuclear device in the teeth of opposition from the world’s sole surviving superpower, and to survive a succession of bloody and disastrous battles. In the ensuing years, something happened that sapped that strength so that in the span of a few hours, while the guardians of our frontiers slumbered away, the myth of Pakistan’s independence was shattered.

Pakistan, possessing one of the finest armies in the world, lay prostrate, leaving the country dazed and totally demoralised. How had we fallen to this state? What were the reasons for the lack of military response? What were the reasons for the political and moral collapse leading to the debacle?

Who is to blame for the May 2 debacle in Abbottabad? The army? But an army can rarely be stronger than the country it serves. How strong was Pakistan on the eve of the ordeal it was about to undergo? People had been watching with increasing apprehension the country go downhill, its strength gradually sapped by dissension and divisions, by an incomprehensible blindness in foreign, domestic and military policy, by the ineptness of its corrupt leaders, and by a feeling of growing confusion, hopelessness and cynicism among the people. No wonder, trust in institutions was at historic lows.

Today Pakistan is in a state of permanent crisis. Its shaky parliamentary system is bungling along rudderless, invoking deep concern among a bewildered citizenry with its political shenanigans. Its foreign policy is in ruins and the domestic quarrels are more venomous than ever. The government avoids tackling urgent problems, its ministers complacently certain that it would not be they but their successors who would have to shoulder the burden of resolving them. They find it easier to stand still, to stand pat, do as little as possible, displease as few as possible, and mint as much money as possible in the shortest possible time.

Sixty-three years after independence, Pakistan has a dysfunctional, lop-sided, hybrid political system composed of incongruous elements, a president facing corruption charges at home and abroad, scared of his own people – a non-sovereign rubber-stamp parliament, and a weak, ineffective corrupt prime minister. The opposition languishes in torpid impotence. The regime has forfeited popular support and is seen as the playground for corrupt, self-serving politicians whose primary concern is to loot and plunder this country.

Parliament, the so-called embodiment of the will of the people, a sleepy, drowsy body, is fake, overpaid, and underemployed, and is becoming more and more odious and stupid. It is deaf and blind to the anguished cries rising from the slums of Pakistan. Quite a few members of this august body are fake degree-holders. They concealed the truth, misrepresented their qualifications and managed to enter the parliament through shameless, blatant lies and deceitful means. Instead of masquerading as chosen representatives of the people, they should all be tried and sent to prison.

Pakistan will be Pakistan again as soon as we have swept away this scum, and there will be no Pakistani who will not cry with joy when that happens.

The army has lately begun to realise that it has been led into an absurd war, a meaningless war, a war against its own people, a war which has cost it thousands of precious lives, a war that is not theirs and has been imposed on them.

The Pakistan Army is suffering from sclerosis in the high command, from a wave of pacifism in the country, and from an utter confusion in parliament and the government. Top generals are clinging to their posts long after superannuation. The Pakistan army, like the French army, on the eve of World War II, is being run by Methuselahs, beholden to a corrupt president owing everything to Washington. Meanwhile, the people of Pakistan had been put to sleep with a pleasant dream based on a false sense of security. Now reality has hit them.

Today Pakistan, a thinly disguised civilian dictatorship, is a paradise for gangsters, swindlers, smugglers, tax evaders, fake degree-holders and so on and so forth – all the dregs of humanity. People openly talk about the corruption, indiscretions, follies and vulgarities of President Zardari, a parvenu, his corruption and avarice gargantuan, his ambition overweening, whom fate has so rashly planted in the presidency. He will stop at nothing to keep his lock on power. It seems that in the death throes of his regime, he will take Pakistan with him.

It is hard to exaggerate the baleful impact of Zardari’s rule: the oligarch and the mafia who have stolen every asset of any value, the inflation that has ruined the middle class and the poor, the corruption that has corroded all values and humiliated every decent citizen; and the insecurities that have filled everyone with fear and anxiety.

The present leadership is taking Pakistan to a perilous place. Terror is the order of the day. Pakistan is experiencing the warning tremors of a mega political and economic earthquake. We have President Zardari. And little hope and no cash. This is a particularly perilous time for Pakistan to have a president who is facing corruption charges at home and abroad and whose moral authority is in shreds. At a time when the country is at war, President Zardari, the Supreme Commander, spends almost his entire existence in the confines of a bunker – his macabre domicile which he seldom leaves these days. He is more concerned about protecting himself and his ill-gotten wealth rather than protecting the country or the people of Pakistan.

The Pakistan army is a people’s army, in the sense that it belongs to the people of Pakistan who take a jealous and proprietary interest in it. It is not so much an arm of the executive branch of the government as it is an arm of the people of Pakistan. It is the only shield we have against foreign aggression. In the absence of authentic institutions, it is the only glue which is keeping the federation together. Don’t weaken it. All efforts by enemies of Pakistan to alienate it from the people must be frustrated. Individuals are expendable. Institutions are not.

By all means, reform the army and the ISI. But why only the army and why only the ISI? Why leave out corrupt political institutions and thoroughly corrupt holders of public office at the summit of power? One thing is certain. For anything to change in this country, everything has to change. What this country needs today is a mighty but bloodless revolution.

Today the nation is clearly at a fork in the road. We can follow the line of least resistance, turn a blind eye to all that Zardari is doing, and continue to follow the road that has led us where we are today. Or we can choose the other road. We don’t need pitchforks and guns. If parliament is unable or unwilling to respond to public demands, people will, perforce, take the issue to the parliament of the streets, as they have done in the past.

The writer is a former federal secretary. Email: roedad@comsats.net.pk

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Turkey: The Mideast’s Real Revolution


 

Today’s Turkey is a new country, all has changed here. Turkey’s popular prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, backed by a majority of voters, has turned Turkey into the Mideast’s role model for successful democracy, and unleashed the latent economic power of this nation of 75 million.Turkey’s capable foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, engineered a “zero problems” policy that vastly improved Turkey’s relations with all its formerly hostile neighbors, excepting Armenia and Greek-Cyprus. Turkey’s foreign policy now reflects Turkish rather than US and Israeli interests. Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters
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NEW TURKEY IS THE MIDEAST’S ROLE MODEL NOW

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by Eric Margolis 

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The revolutions and uprising that have been sweeping across the Mideast are widely believed to have begun in Tunisia. In fact, the first seeds of revolution were planted in 2002 in Turkey, as its Justice and Development Party began the long, arduous battle against disguised military dictatorship.

To understand how important last week’s Turkish elections were, step back for a moment to 1960 when I was in high school in Switzerland.

A Turkish classmate named Turgut told me, tears in his eyes, “The generals hanged my daddy!” His father had been a cabinet minister.

The 510,000-man Turkish armed forces, NATO’s second biggest after the US, have mounted four military coups since 1950. Turkey’s current constitution was written by the military after its 1980 coup. 

Ever since the era of national hero turned strongman, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey has been run by its powerful military behind a thin façade of squabbling politicians. In the process, it suffered widescale political violence, Kurdish secessionism, rigged elections, and endless financial crises.  

Americans always liked to point to pre-2002 as the ideal Muslim state. “Why can’t those Arabs be more like the sensible Turks?” was a refrain often heard in Washington.   Its proponents chose to ignore, or simply failed to see, that Turkey was an iron-fisted military dictatorship. 

Turkey began to change in 2002 when the new Justice and Development Party (AKP) won an electoral victory.   The shift from the traditional left and rightist Kemalist parties was due to a major demographic shift. Rural and middle class Turks began moving into the cities, diluting the political and economic power of the minority secular elite: the military, big business, media, academia, and judiciary. 

Turkey’s tame Muslim religious establishment was kept under tight security control. Under Ataturk and his successors, Islam, the bedrock of Turkish culture and ethos, was savagely attacked, nearly destroyed and brought under state control – just as the Russian Orthodox Church was during Stalin’s era.

What Turks called “the deep government” – hard rightists, security organizations, gangsters, the rich elite, and rabid nationalists -wielded power and crushed dissenters.

AK called for Islamic political principles: welfare for the poor and old, fighting corruption, responsive, ethical political leaders, good relations with neighbors.   Turkey’s right and its military allies screamed that their nation was about to fall to Iranian-style Islamists, or torn apart by Kurdish rebels.

In fact, AK’s decade of rule has given Turkey its longest period of human rights, stunning economic growth, financial stability, and democratic government.  

Under AK, Turkey has moved closer to the European Union’s legal norms than, for example, new members Bulgaria and Rumania.   But France and Germany’s conservatives insist Turkey will never be accepted in the EU.   Europe – particularly its farmers – don’t want 75 million mostly Muslim Turks. 

Largely unseen by outsiders, AK has relentlessly pushed Turkey’s reactionary military back to its barracks.   This long struggle culminated in attempts by the military, known as the Ergenekon affaire, to again overthrow the civilian government.  

The plot was broken: numbers of high-raking officers were arrested and put on trial. So were journalists and media figures involved in the plot – probably too many. Investigators are examining questionable arms deals between Turkey’s military and Israel.

 Ergenekon broke the power of Turkey’s generals, who were closely allied to the US military establishment and Israel’s Likud party. In fact, the Pentagon often had more influence over Turkey than its civilian leaders.   Until AK, the US nurtured bitter Turkish hostility to Iran, Syria, Hezbullah, Hamas, and, at times, Iraq, and an artificial friendship with Israel.

Today, all has changed. Turkey’s popular prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, backed by a majority of voters, has turned Turkey into the Mideast’s role model for successful democracy, and unleashed the latent economic power of this nation of 75 million.  

Turkey’s capable foreign minister,   Ahmet Davutoglu, engineered a “zero problems” policy that vastly improved Turkey’s relations with all its formerly hostile neighbors, excepting Armenia and Greek-Cyprus. Turkey’s foreign policy now reflects Turkish rather than US and Israeli interests.

 “Zero problems’ opened the Mideast’s doors to Turkish business, restoring Turkey to the former dominant regional leadership it held before World War I. 

 Turkey’s popular support for the Palestinians led to a bitter clash with Israel. As a result, Turkey has become the target of fierce attacks by the US Congress and media for no longer favoring Israeli interests.   The Wall Street Journal, the North American mouthpiece of Israel’s hard right, has led the attacks against Turkey.

 Claims by the right that Erdogn is turning Turkey into an Islamic dictatorship are false.    The stable, democratic, productive Turkey he is building is a boon for all concerned.   Istanbul used to be the Paris of the Muslim world.   It’s returning to that role again.

Erdogan’s third electoral victory fell short of allowing him to rewrite the obsolete constitution without consensus from other parties, but it means years more democratic and economic progress for this vitally important nation that will play a key role in stabilizing and building a new, modern Mideast.  

 copyright Eric S. Margolis 2011

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 Disclaimer: The views expressed in this report / article / Op-Ed are the sole responsibility of the author or the source from where this material has been taken. These may not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author (s) or the source. WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statement / s contained in this post.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults. 
We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.