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ٹی ٹی پی کا زوا ل اور “را”،”این ڈی ایس ” کے ساتھ گٹھ جو ڑ بے نقا ب : احسا  ن اللہ احسا ن کے تہلکہ خیز انکشافات

22 May

 

(سید ثاقب علی شاہ)

 

بدنا م زما نہ دہشت گرد تنظیم تحریک طا لبان پاکستان (ٹی ٹی پی) اور جماعت الا حرا ر کا سا بقہ ترجما ن احسان اللہ احسان جو ملا لہ یو سفزئی ، شجا ع خا نزا دہ ، نا نگا پر بت میں غیر ملکی سیا حوں  اور با چا خان ائیر پو رٹ جیسے متعدد سفاکا نہ حملوں میں ملو ث رہا اب پا ک فوج کی حراست میں ہے ۔ احسان  اللہ احسان نے خود کو پا ک فو ج کے حوالے کرنے کے بعد تہلکہ خیز انکشافات کیے جس میں سر فہر ست بھا رتی خفیہ ایجنسی “را” کی پاکستان میں دہشت گرد انہ اور تحزیبی کا روائیوں  کے لیے کالعدم دہشت گر د تنظیموں کی سر پر ستی اور مالی معاونت جیسے جر ائم کا پردہ فا ش کر نا ہے ۔ ایک اعتر افی وڈیو بیا ن میں احسان اللہ احسان جس کا اصل نا م لیاقت ہے،  نے واضح کیا کہ وزیر ستان آپر یشن کے بعد یہ دہشت گر د بھا گ کر افغانستا ن چلے گئے جہاں اُس نے دیکھا کہ طا لبا ن کے سر براہو ں ، ” این ڈی ایس ” اور “را” کے تعلقات کو فر وغ حاصل ہو رہا ہے۔ یہ خفیہ ایجنسیا ں طا لبان کی مالی معا ونت کر کے انہیں پا کستان میں دہشت گردی کے لیے اہداف سو نپتی اور بعد ازاں ہر ایک دہشت گر دانہ کا روائی کے عوض انعام بھی دیتی۔ طالبان کے سر بر اہ اپنے جنگجوؤں کو مید ان جنگ میں پاکستان آرمی کے خلا ف لڑنے کے لیے چھو ڑ کر خو د خفیہ ٹھکا نو ں میں رُوپو ش ہو جا تے ۔ پاکستان آرمی کے افغانستان کی سر زمین میں جما عت الاحرار کے خلا ف حالیہ آپریشن میں جہاں متعدد جنگجوؤں کے مرنے کےساتھ ساتھ انکے کیمپ بھی تبا ہ ہوئے  وہاں دوسری طر ف زند ہ بچنے والے جنگجوو ٔں کی اعلی قیا دت ، “را” اور” این ڈی ایس ” کے چھکے بھی چھُوٹ گئے ۔ احسان اللہ احسان نے ان جنگجو ؤں کو جو طالبان کے ُچنگل سے  آزاد ہونا چاہتےہیں انہیں امن کا راستہ اختیا ر کر کے واپس پُر امن  زند گی گزارنے کا پیغام دیا ۔

احسان اللہ احسان کے اعترافی بیان اور ہتھیا ر ڈالنے کی بنیا دی اہمیت یہ ہے کہ تحریک طالبان کے گر وہ انتہائی کمزور ہو رہے ہیں اور یہ بات خوش آئند ہے کہ رواں آپریشن ردالفساد میں پاکستان آرمی نتیجہ خیز کامیابی حا صل کر  رہی ہے ۔ مو جو د ہ فو جی حکمت عملی، پاکستان سے بھا گ کر افغانستان کی سر زمین میں روپو ش ہونے والے دہشت گر دوں کو پا رہ پارہ کر نے اور جڑسے اکھا ڑ نے میں معا ون ثابت ہو رہی ہے۔مو جو دہ آپر یشن نے تحر یک طالبان کو بے انتہا نقصانا ت پہنچا ئے جس کے بعد میڈیا پر کو ریج نہ ملنے کی وجہ سے انہوں نے سوشل میڈیاپر  نو جو انوں کو گمُر اہ کر نا شروع کیا ۔ اپنے اعترافی بیان میں احسان نے کہا کہ وہ اسلا م کی غلط تشر یح کر کے پر وپیگنڈا بیا نا ت  شا ئع کرتے تاکہ نو جو انو ں کےجذبات اُبھار کر انھیں اُکسایا جا سکے ۔ اس نے نوجو انوں کو بھی یہ پیغام دیا کہ یہ لو گ اپنے ذاتی مقا صد اور پاکستان دشمن بیر ونی قوتو ں کی ایما ء پر پا کستان کے خلا ف لڑ رہے ہیں ۔

۳  اپریل کو جب پا کستان آرمی کے میڈیا ونگ (آئی ایس پی آر ) نے جما عت الاحرار  کے آٹھ کما نڈروں کے ہتھیا ر ڈالنے کی خبر سنا ئی تو صرف تین نا م  اکبر ، گل ، اور سر اج کو واضح کیا جبکہ احسا ن اللہ احسان کی خبر کو بعد ازاں  ۱۷ اپر یل کو منظر عام پر لایاگیا  ۔ احسان کی رضاکارانہ حوالگی کی ایک بڑی وجہ تحریک طالبا ن کی قیا دت کا غیر ملکی عنا صر کی ایما ء پر  پا کستا ن کے خلا ف ہتھیا ر اٹھا نا ہے ۔ احسا ن نے یہ بھی انکشاف کیا کہ ان دہشت گرد تنظیمو ں نے افغا نستان میں کمیٹیاں بنا ئی ہیں جن کے ذریعے یہ “را” اور “این ڈی ایس” سے رابطے برقرار رکھتے ہیں۔ ان دونو ں خفیہ ایجنسیوں نے دہشتگر دوں کو خصوصی ویزے جا ری کیے  ہیں تاکہ وہ  افغانستا ن کی سر زمین میں آسانی سے سفر کر سکیں اور یہ ویزے افغانستان میں پا کستانی شنا ختی کا رڈ کی طر ح کا م کر تے ہیں ۔ سکیو رٹی کی  صورتحا ل کے پیش نظر افغانستان میں کہیں بھی سفر سے قبل یہ دہشتگرد افغا نستان اور بھارتی سیکورٹی فورسزسے  رابطے میں رہتے ہیں ۔ یہ ایجنسیاں ان دہشتگردوں کو راستہ فرا ہم کر تی ہیں  اور ان کی پاکستا ن کی سر زمین میں دراندازی کی کو ششوں میں رہنما ئی کر تی ہیں ۔ ایسی صورتحال میں اگر افغا ن فوجی اسٹیبلشمنٹ پاکستان کے ساتھ مخلصا نہ انٹیلی جنس شیر نگ کرے، جس سے وہ ہمیشہ گریزاں رہے ہیں تو ان دہشتگردوں پر مزید دبا ؤڈال کر ان کا قلع قمع کیا جا سکتا ہے ۔

جما عت الا حرار تحریک طالبان کا علیحد ہ ہو نےوالا خطر نا ک ترین گروہ ہے جو متعدد سفاکا نہ حملوں میں ملو ث رہا ہے۔ تین سال قبل وجود میں آنے کے بعد اس گروہ نے ۱۲۰ سے زائد دہشتگر دانہ حملے کیے ۔ ایک مو قع پر یہ گر وہ داعش کےساتھ بھی منسوب رہا مگر دوبارہ تحریک طالبان کے ساتھ شامل ہو ا لیکن اس نےاپنے  آزاد انہ تشخص کو بر قرار رکھا ۔ فروری کے مہینے میں اس  گر وہ نے نا م نہا د ” آپر یشن غا زی ” کا  بھی آغاز کیا جس کے تحت دہشتگر د انہ حملو ں کی نئی لہر شروع کی گئی ۔ احسان اللہ احسان کے حراست میں آنے سے پاکستانی سکیورٹی ایجنسیو ں کو جما عت الا حرار کے نیٹ ورکس اور  آپریشنز کے متعلق بے پنا ہ معلوما ت مل سکتی ہیں جو انکے سد ِباب کے لیے انتہا ئی معاون ثابت ہو ں گی ۔

بھارتی ایجنسی “را” کا تحریک طالبا ن کی قیا دت کو مددفراہم کرنے کے انکشا فات نے تحریک طالبان کے نظریا تی اساس کو معد وم کر دیا ہے ۔ احسان  اللہ احسا ن نے ٹی ٹی پی کما نڈر عمر خا لد خُراسا نی سے کہا کے ہم کا فر و ں سے مد د لے کر ان کے لیے اپنے ملک میں ہی مسلما نو ں کو قتل کر  رہے ہیں جو سر اسر غلط ہے تو خرا سانی نے جو اب دیا کہ ” اگر اسرائیل بھی پاکستان میں دہشتگر د ی کے لیے میر ی معاونت کر ے تو میں اس کی مدد لینے سے بھی گر یز نہیں کر وں گا ” ۔ اس مو قع پر احسان نے اس بات کا احاطہ کر لیا کہ تحریک طالبان کی قیا دت اپنے ذاتی مفا د اور ایجنڈے کے لیے کا م کر رہی ہے اور جہا د کی آڑمیں لگا یا گیا  گمر اہ کُن نعر ہ کبھی  بھی ان کا حقیقی مقصدنہیں رہا۔تحریک طالبان کی قیادت پر ان کے قلیل امیروں کا قبضہ ہے جو معصو م لو گو ں کے قتل ، اغو ا اور ان سے بھتہ لینے کا کا م کر واتےہیں۔ یہ امیر معصوم لو گو ں کو عوامی مقا مات ، سکو لو ں ، کا لجو ں اور یو نیورسٹیو ں میں دھما کے کر نے کے لیےبھی  استعما ل کر تے ہیں ۔ اسلا م ہمیں  امن سے رہنے کی تلقین کر تا ہے اورایسے تما م اقداما ت اسلامی تعلیما ت کے سراسر خلا ف ہیں ۔

قبائلی علا قوں میں پا ک فوج کے آپریشن کے آغا ز کے بعد تحریک طالبان کی صفوں میں اندرونی تنا زعات اور قیا دت کے حصول کے لیے جھگڑوں میں اضا فہ ہو ا ۔ حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلا کت کے فو راً بعد جا نشینی کی جنگ میں عمر خا لد خُر اسانی ، خا ن سید سجنا اور فضل اللہ ایک دوسرے کے آمنے سامنے آ گئے اور قیا دت حا صل کر نے کی یہ  لڑا ئی وزیرستان آپریشن  کے  بعد مزید شدت اختیار کر گئی ۔ جب تنظیم میں ہر  ایک قیا دت کے حصول لے لیے لڑنا شرو ع ہو گیا تو شو رٰی نے قرعہ اندا زی کر نے کا فیصلہ کیاجس کے نتیجے میں فضل اللہ نیا سر براہ  مقرر ہوا۔ ایسی تنظیم سے کیا توقع کی جا سکتی ہے جس کے سربراہ  کا تعین قر عہ اند ازی سے ہو ا اور اس کا سربراہ )فضل اللہ( اپنے ہی استاد کی بیٹی کو اٹھا کر زبردستی شادی کر کے برے کردار کا مظاہرہ کرے۔ ایسے لوگ اسلام کی تعلیمات سے نالاں ہیں بلکہ یہ اسلام کی بدنامی کا بھی باعث ہیں۔

موجودہ صورتحال میں پاکستان دہشتگردوں کے خلاف انتہائی مضبوط مقام پر کھڑا ہےاور آنے والے دنوں میں مزید مضبوط ہوتا نظر آرہا ہے۔ پاکستان کی نئی فوجی قیادت کی آپریشن ردُالفساد میں نئی حکمت عملی انتہائی موثرثابت ہو رہی ہے جو ایک طرف تمام دہشتگردوں اور تخریب کاروں کے خلاف بلاامتیاز بھرپور طاقت کا استعمال کر رہی ہے وہیں دوسری طرف مفاہمت کا راستہ بھی اپنائے ہوئے ہے۔ وہ لوگ جنہوں نے ریاست پاکستان کے خلاف ہتھیار اٹھائے ہیں ان کا منہ توڑ جواب دیا جائے گا جبکہ وہ لوگ جو  اپنے گمراہ کن نظریات کو ترک کر کےقانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں سے دہشتگردوں کے خلاف معاونت کریں گے ان کے خلاف مقدمات میں رعایت کی جائے گی۔ احسان اللہ احسان کے مطابق ہزاروں کی تعداد میں دہشتگرد پاک فوج کے سامنے ہتھیار ڈالنا چاہتے ہیں۔ کا ینیٹک آپریشن کے ساتھ ساتھ اس بات کی بھی ضرورت ہے کہ جودہشتگرد ہتھیار ڈالنے کا ارادہ رکھتے ہیں ان  کی حوصلہ افزائی کی جائے ۔ بلوچستان کے عسکریت پسندوں کی طرح ان لوگوں کو بھی خودکو  سیکیورٹی فورسز کےحوالے کرنے کا موقع دینا چاہیےتاکہ وہ مزید گمراہی اور درندگی سے بچ سکیں۔

پاکستانی ریاست ، اداروں اور قوم نے ملک میں سیکیورٹی صورتحال بہتر کرنے کے لیے قابل ستائش پیش قدمی کی ہے۔ آپریشن ردُالفساد میں ہم نے اس حد تک پیش رفت کی ہے کہ سرحد پار بیٹھے  پاکستان کے خلاف دہشتگرد حملوں کی منصوبہ بندی کرنے والے اب بدلتی صورتحال سے دل شکستہ ہیں۔ ریاست پاکستان کی رٹ پورے ملک میں بحال ہے اور یہ بات واضح رہنی چاہیے کہ جب ریاست غیرضروری عناصر کو ختم کرنے کی ٹھان لے توان عناصر کا خاتمہ ان کا مقدر بن جاتا ہے۔ پاکستان  کے لیے اس سے بڑی کوئی کامیابی نہیں ہو سکتی کہ ہمارے بڑے دشمنوں کوگمراہ کن راستوں کے انتخاب کی غلطی کا احساس ہو رہا ہے اور وہ ان راستوں کو ترک کر رہے ہیں۔ احسان اللہ احسان نے سب کے سامنے یہ راز بھی افشاء کر دیا کہ پاکستان میں گزشتہ کئی برس سے جاری دہشتگردی کے پیچھے  کس کے ناپاک ہاتھ ہیں۔پاکستانی خفیہ اداروں کے لیے کلبھوشن کے بعد احسان اللہ احسان ہندوستان کے خلاف بڑی کامیابی ہے۔پاکستان اپنے دشمنوں اور دہشت گردوں کا بھر پور مقابلہ کر کے صفایا کر رہا ہے اوریہی وجہ ہے کہ شکست خوردہ  تحریک طالبان کے کارندے اپنی وفاداریاں بدل کر ہتھیار ڈالنے پر مجبور ہیں ۔

تحریک طالبان میں اندرونی خانہ جنگی

22 May

 

(شیخ محمد بلال)

 

تحریک طالبان پاکستان میں جاری اندرونی خانہ جنگی کو بے نقاب کرنے سے پہلے یہ بات اہم ہے کہ دہشت گرد گروہوں اور تنظیموں کے وجود میں آنے کے عمل پر ایک نظر ڈالی جائے کہ یہ تنظیمیں کیسے شیطانی کام کرتی ہیں اور ان میں کس کردار کے لوگ ہوتےہیں ۔ روایتی طور پر دہشت گرد تنظیمیں نظریاتی بنیاد پر اُبھر کر سامنے آتی ہیں۔ان کے وجو دمیں آنے کی ایک وجہ پانچ سو سال پُرانہ نو آبادیاتی نظام ہے جس سے روایتی معاشروں ،ثقافت اور مذاہب کی تباہی ہوئی جس کے نتیجے میں انھوں نے ظلم وجبر کے اس نظام سے آزادی لینے کا احاطہ کرلیا۔ موجودہ دہشت گرد نہ ہی نظریاتی ہیں اور نہ ہی ظلم کے خلاف ہیں بلکہ اب یہ جرائم ،بغاوت اور تخریب کاری کے گٹھ جوڑ میں تبدیل ہو چکے ہیں۔

موجود ہ دور میں ان دہشت گرد تنظیموں کے زندہ رہنے کا انحصار چار اہم پہلوؤں پر ہے۔ سب سے پہلے مالی امداد ہے جو یہ غیر قانونی سرگرمیوں مثلاً منشیات کی اسمگللنگ ،بھتہ خوری اور جعلی خیراتی اداروں سے حاصل کرتی ہیں یا پھر باقاعدہ ریاستی سرپرستی کی مالی امداد کی شکل میں حاصل کرتی ہیں۔ دوسرا اہم پہلو یہ ہے کہ اب دہشت گرد تنظیموں کو بعض ریاستی عناصر کی اخلاقی حمایت حا صل ہوتی ہے۔تیسرا اہم پہلو بین الاقوامی سطح پر ظاہراً یا پوشیدہ ان غیر ریاستی عناصر کی سیاسی حمایت کا حاصل ہونا ہے۔چوتھا ان دہشت گردوں کا متاثرہ علاقے کے مقامی لوگوں میں گھل مل کر پناہ حاصل کرنا اور اس کے بعد اپنے نام نہاد نظریات کےپرچار سے وہاں کے لوگوں کو گمراہ کر کے مزید بھرتیاں اور اثرورسوخ بڑھانا ہے۔ ان چار اہم پہلوؤں کی وجہ سے تحریک طالبان وجود  میں آئی جس نے دوسری دہشت گرد تنظیموں سے گرینڈ الائنس  بنایا تاکہ پاکستان کو نظریاتی طور پر چیلنج کیا جاسکے ملک میں تصادم اور خانہ جنگی ہواور پاکستان میں اندرونی علاقوں کو متنازعہ بنایا جاسکے۔مگر 2009 میں بیت اللہ محسود  کی ہلاکت کے بعد اس  گرینڈ الائنس میں اندرونی لڑائی شروع ہو گئی جس سے ان کے ناپاک مقاصد کےحصول میں رکاوٹ پیدا ہوئی ۔بعدازاں حکیم اللہ محسود کی ہلاکت اور اس کے بعد مُلّا ریڈیو کو سرپرستی ملنا تحریک طالبان کی اندرونی لڑائی، خونریزی میں مزید اضافے کا باعث بنی۔

پاکستان دشمن ممالک بلخصوص بھارت ان دہشت گرد تنظیموں کی اندرونی لڑائی سے سخت پریشان ہے جو انھیں پاکستان میں خانہ جنگی کےلیے استعمال کرتا رہا ہےاور مزید انھیں مذہبی ،نظریاتی اور نفسیاتی جنگ کا محاذ کھولنے کے استعمال کرنا چاہتا ہے۔بھارت نے اس مقصد کےلیے بہت سے ہتھکنڈے استعمال کیے مگر خاطر خواہ کامیابی حاصل نہ کر سکا ۔ ان کا ایک ہتھکنڈہ ریسٹورنٹ مینیو  کی طرح دہشت گرد ا   نہ اہداف اور ان کے انعامات کےتذکرے پر مشتمل تھا تاکہ اس  گرینڈ الائنس کو یکجا کر کے پاکستان کے خلاف استعمال کیا جا سکے ۔ ان انعامات کےحصول کےلیے ٹی ٹی پی اور دوسری دہشت گرد تنظیموں میں اندرونی خانہ جنگی مزید تیز ہوئی۔ بھارت کے خفیہ ادارے اس منصوبہ بندی میں ناکامی کے بعد اس گرینڈ الائنس کو دوبارہ سرگرم کرنےکےلیے کوشاں ہیں تاکہ پاکستان میں ایک مشترکہ محاذ کھولا جا سکے۔

2017 کے شروع  میں یہ خبریں عام گردش کرنے لگیں کہ ٹی ٹی پی اور خان سجنا گروپ  میں موجود اندرونی لڑائی ختم کروانے کےلیے بھارتی اور افغانی خفیہ ادارے سرگرم ہیں جس کا واضح ثبوت  یہ ہے کہ ان خفیہ اداروں نے خان  سید سجنا کو  ٹی ٹی پی کا ڈپٹی امیر مقرر کروایا اور فضل اللہ کو گرینڈ الائنس دوبارہ یکجا کرنے کےلیے  ذمہ دار مقرر کیا تھا تا کہ پاکستان کی عوام کے خلاف دہشت گردی میں اضافہ اور سی پیک کےخلاف تخریب کاری بڑھائی جاسکے۔ان دہشت گردوں کی ناکامی کی ایک وجہ غیر قانونی ذرائع سے حاصل کردہ وسائل پر اپنا اپنا قبضہ جمانا ہے جس کی وجہ سے پاکستان کےخلاف ان کی یکجہتی متاثّر ہوئی۔

ٹی ٹی پی کے دو بڑے دھڑوں کی آپس میں لڑائی کی وجہ سے مقامی محسود ،وزیر اور داوٗٗٗٗٔد قبائل بھی ایک دوسرے کے آمنے سامنے ہیں جسکی وجہ سے مقامی امن بھی متاثر ہورہا ہے۔ذرائع کے مطابق فضل اللہ خان  سید سجنا کو اپنے راستے سے ہٹانا چاہتا ہے اور حا ل ہی میں خان سجنا نے حضرت اللہ نامی ایک شخص کو وحشیانہ  طریقے سے ٹھکانے   لگایا جس کو  فضل اللہ نے خان سجنا کےقتل کا ہدف سونپا تھا۔ کمانڈر سیف اللہ محسود نے پوری ٹی ٹی پی کے لیے ایک وڈیو پیغام جاری کیا جس میں وہ خان سید سجنا کو ٹی ٹی پی کی اندرونی لڑائی کا ذمہ دار ٹھہرا کر غدار قرار دے رہا ہے۔ اس وڈیو میں سیف اللہ نےخان سجنا کی ٹی ٹی پی کی نائب قیادت کو مسترد کردیاہے۔ اپنے ساتھیوں حضرت اللہ ، پیر  عبداللہ و دیگر  کے بدلے کےلیے  خان سجنا کےقتل کا عہد کیاہے ۔

موجودہ  واقعات دہشتگردوں میں افراتفری کا باعث بن کر فضل اللہ کی قیادت  اور ٹی ٹی پی کےلیے نقصان دہ ثابت ہورہےہیں۔پاکستانی فوج کی ٹی ٹی پی کے ٹھکانوں پر حالیہ بمباری سے فضل اللہ بھاگ کر روپوش ہوگیا جس کی وجہ سے ٹی ٹی پی  میں قیادت کا بحران بڑھ رہا ہے۔خفیہ ذرائع کے مطابق “را” اور “این ڈی ایس” نے بھی  فضل اللہ کو فی الوقت زیر زمین رہنےکی ہدایات دی ہیں تاکہ موجودہ بحران سے نکلنے کے بعد اس سے دوبارہ گرینڈ الائنس کا کام لینےکےلیے کوئی متبادل شیطانی راستہ نکالا جا سکے۔آنے والے وقت میں اس بات کے واضح امکانات موجود ہیں کہ ٹی ٹی پی  ودیگر دہشت گرد تنظیمیں اپنےلیے وسائل پر  قبضہ جمانے کےلیے مزید کوششیں کریں جس کی وجہ سے یہ آپس  میں ایک د وسرے پر وحشیا نہ حملے کریں  اور وفاداریاں تبدیل کر کے  ایک دوسرے کی قیادت کو قتل کرنے کی کوششیں کریں۔

دہشت گردی کے جال میں پھنسے ہوئے عسکریت پسند بھی اپنے شیطانی رہنماوں کے جھوٹے دعووں سے آگاہ ہو چکے ہیں اور اب یہ اخلاقی طور پر اپنے رہنماوں کے احکامات کو کھلم کھلا ترک کررہےہیں۔پیروکار عسکریت پسندوں کو معلوم ہو چکا ہے کہ ان کے رہنماوں کےپیچھے اسلام دشمن طاقتیں ہیں جو ان کو شیطانی کاموں کےلیے استعمال کرتی ہیں۔ ان میں یہ احساس تب پیدا ہوا جب ان کے رہنماوں نے ان کو بے یار و مددگار پاکستانی مسلح افواج کے سامنے چھوڑ دیااور خود اسلام دشمن طاقتوں کے احکامات پر زیر زمین چلے گئے۔

 

Unrealistic Propaganda: Fictional Contents of Rumiyah to Defame ISLAM

22 May

 

(Syed Saqib Ali Shah)

In the 7th edition of Rumiyah, a neophyte female DAISH terrorist slams Muslims of not understanding actual Islam under DAISH. Al-Finlandiyyah influenced by DAISH’ fabricated prespective of Jihad without any sound knowledge of Islam has tried to justify the terrorism of DAISH as sacred act. She has completely ignored DAISH’s involvement of sexual enslavement and rapes of women in Iraq and Syria and blindly writes on propaganda of DAISH for justifying that the ignorant ‘Muslims’ are blaming DAISH for spreading fitnah and ‘spoiling the jihad, though the only true jihad for Allah’s cause is what DAISH is actually conducting for the establishment of Allah’s rule on earth. No doubt jihad is a directive of Islam but DAISH’s killing of innocent Muslims, children and women is not Jihad but it is the worst form of terrorism. The Quran requires of its followers that if they have the strength, they should wage war against oppression and injustice. Those having insight know that Muslims are not given this directive of jihad in their individual capacity but with order of ruler after consensus. No individual or group of Muslims has the right to take this decision on the behalf of all Muslims. It is for this reason that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “A Muslim ruler is a shield; war can only waged under him.” (Bukhari : 2957)  The directive of jihad given by Islam is war for the cause of Allah; therefore, it cannot be waged while disregarding moral restrictions. Hence, it is absolutely certain that jihad can only be waged against combatants. The words of the verse which mention the directive of jihad are totally against to what DAISH perpetuates, “And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight against you and do not transgress bounds in this fighting. Indeed, Allah does not like the transgressors.” (2:190).

 

The writer, who may be a fictional character created by the publishers of Rumiyah, also called Muslims to turn their backs on anyone who votes in elections and become part of democracy. She holds that “Participating in government elections and voting in them, as well as military service, working as a lawyer, and criticising the Shari’ah of Allah, are only a few of the many things which can nullify one’s Islam. So as an example, anyone who denies that a so-called ‘Muslim’ Member of Parliament is a murtadd kafir as he has committed shirk (holding something as equal to Allah) with Allah in legislation is himself a murtadd.” However, In Islam, Judicial Shariah represents sovereignty of Allah whereas sovereignty of nation is represented in the assemblies or consultations (parliaments). Therefore, the people are the one, who select the representations and own the popular will to choose the ruler and the judicial framework that fits within the state, according to the economic, societal, political and other factors. The concept of sovereignty creates various absolute divine rules, however, it gives the people space to design and exercise their power over their polity, policy and political life.

 

Centuries before the thinkers of the present age, the Quran had declared: “And those who obeyed the command of their Lord and established prayer and their affairs are decided by mutual consultation and they spend something out of Our provision in Our way.” (42:38). This clearly meant that an Islamic government would be established through their consultation and everyone will have equal rights in this consultation, whatever done through consultation will only be undone through consultation and every individual will become part of the consultative process. Moreover, if a decision cannot be reached through a consensus or total agreement, then the opinion of the majority shall be accepted as the decision. This is precisely what democracy is. Thus dictatorship is not acceptable in any case whether it is of a dynasty or a group of people and not even of religious scholars in the interpretation of issues related to religion and Shariah. In modern states, the institution of the parliament has been constituted for this very purpose. It holds and should hold the final authority in the system of state. People do have a right to criticize the decisions of the parliament and point out their mistakes; however, no one has the right to disobey them or rebel against them. Neither scholars nor the judiciary is above the parliament. The Quranic principle mentioned above binds every individual and every institution to practically submit to the decisions of the parliament even though they may differ with them. It is only this way which is justified in setting up the rule of Islam and to run it.

 

She said, “While DAISH tries to protect the Muslims living in its shade from kufr (non-believers) and riddah (apostate), every Muslim living in Dar al-Kufr (Islam) must study for himself and protect himself from these actions, and having made hijrah (migration) to become one nation under Caliphate.” On the contrary, what the Quran has said is: “Muslims are brothers, therefore make peace between the two brothers and fear Allah that the mercy may be shown to you.” (49:10). Thus the relationship between Muslims is based on brotherhood. While being divided into several nations, countries and states they are brothers in faith. Hence, what can be demanded from them is that they should keep themselves aware of the circumstances of their brothers, help them in their troubles and tribulations, support those who are oppressed among them, give them preference in economic and social ties and in no circumstances close their doors on them. However, what cannot be demanded from them is that they give up their nation states and national identities and become one nation under so-called Caliphate of DAISH. Just as they can create separate nation and states, in the same way if they have the freedom to follow their religion, they can live in the capacity of citizens of non-Muslim states and adopt their nationality. None of this is forbidden by the Quran and Sunnah.

 

The magazine, which promotes the indiscriminate killing of Muslims and Kafr (non-believers), is widely mocked online. The proponents of DAISH terrorist ideology is at mercy of advocators who do not understand Islam and exploit its teaching.  One of its best instances is the neophyte female DAISH terrorist who criticizes Muslims of not understanding Islam. However, it is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims and DAISH is a group of no more than several thousand. DAISH’s claims to jihad are also illegitimate that they have killed many innocents who were neither combatant nor armed and even DAISH’s terrorists have no definite knowledge about their victims whether they disagree with their opinion or not. There is distinction between Islam and DAISH. DAISH has been carrying out all what is forbidden in Islam, including denying women and children their rights, sexual enslavement and rapes of women in Iraq and Syria, torturing and killing innocent people. DAISH are terrorists and criminals whereas, murderers and criminals have no place in our ranks, in Islam.

DAISH’s Version of a Color Revolution Banks on Challenging the Legitimacy of Salafi Scholars of Arab World

22 May

 

(Shaikh Muhammad Bilal)

Color revolution is a term denoted by academics and the international media to describe various movements that developed in Europe particularly in the former communist countries since the early 2000s.  Color revolutionaries employ both nonviolent civil resistance simultaneously with violent struggles to achieve the goal of overthrowing the ruling regime which is perceived to be corrupt and totalitarian. These movements generally adopt a specific color as their symbol and involve multiple stakeholders including NGOs, INGOs, diplomatic missions, etc in organizing creative non-violent resistance and violent struggles. However, the post color revolution results have been far more catastrophic and devastating for the economy and highly disillusioning for the general masses. Military experts from leading countries consider these color revolutions as a new form of warfare or subversion and sabotage in the garb of popular revolution.

 

In the Islamic world, the most prominent proponent of attracting attention to any socio-political cause is religion. Connect Islam with any cause and the results would be explosive with global implications. When Daish emerged in Iraq it was considered as another terrorist and violent non-state actor, however its ideologues including its leadership were eyeing for gigantic consequences for Islamic countries globally. Color revolutions or new form of waging war controlled from complex situation centers reached the Islamic world in the shape of Arab spring but did not have any significant military – political implications. A slight divergence in state continuity by Arab Spring happened but still majority of the regimes not only survive but prevailed. The project of political ideals leading to revolution in the Islamic world subsided due to being rejected by the populace. This political process was well analyzed by Daish and its affiliates reaching a conclusion that to overthrow governments in Islamic countries it had to challenge the religious scholars of all the Muslim countries of the world especially the Salafi Ulema of Arab World. Challenging and de-legitimization of Saudi Ulema who are revered globally by Muslims would result in Daish gaining a coherent foothold and legitimize its actions in overthrowing regimes in Muslim countries. To pursue this aim, Daish replaced political ideals with religion. Its declaration of the Caliphate was to attract disillusioned youth from Muslim countries to its cause and it received widespread support during the start of its nefarious designs.

 

The declaration of the Caliphate was backed by utter ridicule of the Salafi Ulema and aimed directly at the common Saudi masses to create in them symptoms of revolt against their own state. The results were exceptional as psychopaths, self proclaimed religious zealots, criminals, etc all were now given an opportunity and unwittingly were fulfilling the agenda of Daish and the global conspirators of causing destruction of the Islamic countries especially of Saudi Arabia and capturing the most sacred places of the entire Muslim world, Makkah and Medina. There overt vision of Caliphate is in fact guised under this very aim. The narrative of Muslims do not kill Muslims and Caliphate can never be founded on the blood of the Muslims has been replaced and buried. Daish’s activities, areas under its control and the areas of its brutal and barbaric operations are overwhelmingly in Muslim countries with just sporadic incidents in Europe that too conducted or claimed to gain worldwide notoriety through the mainstream media which feverishly proclaims Daish as the Islamic State, a Caliphate and thus giving them legitimacy to pursue their interests.

 

However, Daish’s lone successes has been only that it’s narrative has been connected to the Salafi teachings (the mainstream religious ideology in Saudi Arabia) out of complete ignorance of the edicts issued by Saudi Ulema on it being apostate. This preplanned preposition of Daish gaining a foothold in the global media was a success while rejection of Daish by the Ulema who deliberated to the Muslims and the international community as working against the universality of peace and coexistence being rejected. It was this victory of its narrative being connected to Saudi / Salafi ideology a victory which resulted in Daish spreading its tentacles physically out of Iraq, Syria and beyond and psychologically attracting fascinations from Muslims with lack of in-depth religious knowledge, and of fear among non- Muslims. If this false narrative of Daish which was purposely in sowed by it would have been rejected at the start and the edict of its denunciation given its true projection, their barbarity could have been halted and rolled backed.

There is a requirement that to turn the tide against Daish, the edicts of the council of grand muftis of Saudi Arabia be the narrative against it. These edicts project the universality of peace and coexistence while utterly rebukes and rejects terrorism in all its manifestations. This has been realized only after the true activities of Daish have become clear that it was trying to adorn itself in the robes of Islam in order to deceive the people, violate sanctities, commit large scale plunder, finally now it is on the run and on the verge of being extinct.

 

Why Daish targets Saudi Arabia including the Saudi Ulema and why does it not target the Zionists in Israel? The true destructive potential of Daish lies in undermining the foundations of Saudi Arabia as a cornerstone of the modern Middle East. And it must be understood that at the moment the West which is allied to Saudi Arabia, is almost doing nothing about it. It is just sitting back and watching. In its publications including Rumyiah, Dabiq and Naba, Daish usually explains its version of the Islamic law (sharia) and it considers Muslims as its targets and not non- Muslims especially Israel which is occupying force of sacred places astonishingly are not the priority targets. This smells of a greater plot of regime change through religious fundamentalism as a differential tool to color revolutions elsewhere. If one analyzes the essence of the articles in the publications, Daish considers the destruction of the Jewish state does not prevail over the “jihad against the godless regimes of Muslim countries”. So only the liberation of Islamic holy places in Saudia Arabia – Makkah & Medina and ousting the Saudi dynasty from power is the only priority of their movement which it has branded as “struggle of the faithful”.

 

This struggle of the faithful according to Daish leadership works according to a well defined secret plan. In 2014, after the Israeli military operation “Enduring rock” against Islamic terrorists who control the Gaza Strip, a spokesman of the Daish justifying the inaction of the organization, who has not come to the aid of Palestinians, confirmed that the destruction of Israel is part of jihad. However, he said Daish works according to plan, and there are a number of steps that need to pass before starting a confrontation with the Jewish state. Currently the initial stage is to bring down regimes especially in Saudia Arabia and to challenge their ulema so that their de-legitimization within their own country and globally occurs at a rapid pace and then Daish’s fills in the religious ideological vacuum left due to this de-legitimization.

 

In the current situation, DAISH’s promotion of hate against Salafi/Wahabi Ulema of Arab World is the most worrisome for the Muslims all over the world. The rejection of violent extremist narrative of DAISH by Imam-e-Kaaba, Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al-Sudais, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, the Grand Mufti of KSA and other senior Salafi/Wahabi Ulema is very troublesome for Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. As DAISH projects itself as a force fighting a war on the behalf of Muslim World and its ideology is exploitive of sectarian sentiments of Sunnis, many radicalized individuals are trapped to join it. Therefore, it’s the utmost duty of the Sunni Ulemas to create awareness in general public about the evil designs of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and DAISH.

 

 

Af-Pak, an Illusory Assessment of Terrorism and  the Mistrust between USA and Pakistan

22 May

 

(Syed Saqib Ali Shah)

A military professor at the United States Naval War College has urged US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan to cast off the illusion of Pakistan being a most important ally in the war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and rather see that country essentially as one of its worst enemies. Colonel Robert Cassidy in an article published in the realcleardefense.com website maintained that Islamabad is and acts as an incubator for Islamist insurgents, and suggested eight steps for changing this politico-military equation between Washington, the Coalition and Islamabad, which are: Stop paying for malice; stop major non-NATO ally status for Pakistan; state intention to make the Line of Control in Kashmir permanent; shut down ground lines of communications via Pakistan; declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism; issue one last ultimatum to help end the sanctuary; invite the Indian armed forces into Afghanistan for security operations. He said that for the last fifteen-plus years, Pakistan has employed irregular warfare to promote its chimerical notion of strategic depth by supporting the Taliban and more lethal proxies in Afghanistan. The sanctuary in Pakistan is the most significant obstacle to strategic success. This war will not end, or it will end badly if Pakistan does not stop its perfidy.

The entire article is based on unrealistic assumptions and false notions. It lacks research and objectivity that rightly pointed out an anti-Pakistan bias. These prejudiced ideas and opinion of Col Cassidy reverberate till the end. The fact of the matter is that he deliberately missed the historical facts when, where and how the US had deceived Pakistan in the last six decades of its bilateral relationship. We wish if Cassidy might have mentioned all the facts before lambasting Islamabad for being an incubator of Islamic insurgents. A recent example may open the eyes of critiques against Pakistan as a senior Al-Qaeda commander Qari Yasin linked to major attacks in Pakistan including the 2008 Marriott hotel bombing in Islamabad and the deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009 has been killed by a US air strike on 19 March 2017 in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s counter-terrorism department had offered a bounty of 2 million rupees ($19,000) for Yasin. The death of Yasin once again reminded of Pakistan, the victim of terrorism being the front line ally against war on terrorism. This is the right time for the US to stop unnecessarily pressurizing Pakistan and if it failed to do so, the distrust and doubts will only widen in the coming days.

It is ironic when a country which supported extremely questionable groups in Syria accuses another country of supporting proxies. It is generally acknowledged that US made big mistake of Iraq invasion in 2003 which created the conditions leading regional imbalance and increased radicalization. If Pakistan is source of problem in Afghanistan what happened to US in Iraq where Pakistan did not have any stake. The desperation is evident as US failure in Iraq looms over Afghanistan where it faces similar future once it withdraws. The threat of DAISH, emerged from US war torn Iraq now have recruiters present in 25 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, the United Nations reported in September 2016. This new DAISH dynamic is quite troubling with their eyes toward Central and South Asia and if US premature behavior prevails what happened in Iraq will happen in Afghanistan. DAISH has similarly getting hold in Afghanistan. Afghanistan looks an unwinnable war for US who spent near a trillion dollars, lost many personnel but the country is still dysfunctional. All those who have been operational commanders or policy makers, when they are held accountable, obviously the defamation characters like Cassidy come up to rescue them with just surfacing blame on Pakistan to incubate Islamic insurgents.

The stalemate in Afghanistan is a sequel to the wrong policies of the US and the lack of clarity in its vision about how to resolve the Afghan conundrum. It has failed to make a realistic appraisal of the prevailing ground realities. US is trying to make Islamabad a “scapegoat to cover up its own failures” in Afghanistan. To add to its woes, the Afghan security forces raised by the US are simply not capable of defending the Afghan cities. Therefore, the US in a bid to cover up its own failures and inadequacies find it convenient to blame Pakistan for the prevailing Afghan situation.

Col Cassidy said that Pakistan has been an epicenter of terrorists and its establishment has maintained links between Al-Qaeda and Taliban. He has sidestepped from the facts as since 2009, 31 military installations, including airbases and intelligence headquarters, have been attacked by the militants affiliated with the Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliate Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The attacks on Pakistan’s naval and air bases have led to the destruction of expensive equipment and loss of military personnel. If these terrorist networks and terrorism is sponsored singularly by Pakistan’s intelligence networks, then it would be irrational to believe that the military attacks its own installations. There seem to be few takers of Pakistan’s position as a “victim of terrorism”. The facts, however, cannot be brushed aside. More than 55,000 civilians and 6,000 or more Pakistani security personnel, have been killed during the past decade.

Pakistan is making “all endeavors” against terrorists of all hues and colour. It initiated indiscriminate action against all the militant outfits based in North Waziristan, including the Haqqani Network through Operation Zarb-e-Azb now extending it with Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. Their entire infrastructure has been dismantled. However, the leadership of these terrorist groups managed to escape in Afghanistan due to non-cooperation from the Afghan government. Pakistan has taken unilateral action to manage and monitor the border to prevent across-the-border movement of the terrorists. Pakistan has deployed more than 200,000 troops to clear areas near the Afghan border of all insurgents and established government control over most of the treacherous terrain. The counterterrorism campaign has cost Pakistan tens of thousands of lives with economic losses estimated at $107 billion. Pakistan has long said that while it has established hundreds of border outposts in recent years, Afghan and coalition forces have not matched the action.

Pakistan has paid a staggering human and financial cost of the conflict in Afghanistan. Yet, the remarkable success of its military and law enforcement measures has successfully broken the back of terrorist outfits. It was only possible due to indiscriminate targeting of all terrorist groups. But instead of appreciation and applying a similar squeeze on its side of the border, it heard complaints that our strong action was “pushing” terrorists into Afghanistan. The fact is that terrorists found safe haven in Afghanistan because of US failed policies, conducive conditions and weak border controls. The US needs face saving when it has been trying to do something for years and constantly failing at it. However, it’ll be damned if Pakistan is solely blamed for its own failures in Afghanistan.

It is time for the US to realize that it cannot achieve its objective just by applying shear force to dominate its opponent and relying on blame game. Pakistan firmly believes that peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan. The solution to the fighting in Afghanistan lies in dialogue between the two local stakeholders facilitated and supported by neighbors. Pakistan, in any case has a pivotal role in this regard. The US attempt to revive the trilateral dialogue with Afghanistan and India while keeping Pakistan out of the loop further complicate the issue. The US administration and regime in Afghanistan therefore need to develop a realistic view about the ground realities. Pakistan remains committed to all the ideals and hopes its partners will share them with the same zeal. The blame game emanating from there should come to a stop. A particularly good sign from this country’s perspective is General Joseph Votel’s assertion that his side is working closely with Pakistan’s new Army chief and his commanders to eliminate various terrorist groups hiding on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border. That should mean the US will do all that is necessary to wipe out TTP terrorists’ sanctuaries from Afghanistan’s south-eastern provinces which they have been using to launch cross-border attacks on the security forces as well as civilians all over Pakistan.

CPEC  Moving From Discussion To Solutions

30 Mar

By Zulfiqar Qazilbash

CPEC is a major Chinese project closely related to its One Belt, One Road initiative that aims to boost Asian trade internally as well as externally. The initiative is ambitious on an unprecedented scale. It dwarfs the Marshall Plan which rebuilt Europe after the Second World War. It will impact about 65 per cent of the world’s population, about one-third of the world’s GDP, and about a quarter of all the goods and services the world moves. We are fortunate to be part of it. However, it is time for Pakistan to move from discussions around the project into developing a national vision that takes full advantage of the opportunities presented. Much is at stake if we do not do this in an accelerated time frame. Following are some of the major areas that need to be addressed:

Environment: Environmental cooperation is usually a major part of such agreements but this component has yet to be addressed. This is a problem since it has been estimated that once trade starts flowing up to 7,000 trucks a day will pass through the ecologically sensitive Khunjerab Pass and generate up to 36.5 million tons of Co2 emissions en route to Gwadar.

All experts agree that the emissions will melt the northern region’s glaciers and negatively impact agriculture and food and water security of our growing population. We need a solution and one that has not been discussed so far is to use the project to facilitate the migration of our transportation sector to first hybrid and then electric power. This will have three major benefits. The repowering station requirements of CPEC transport vehicles moving to electric power will accelerate and enable the early migration of our remaining transportation infrastructure to renewable energy. Oil-related products currently account for approximately a third of our annual imports. It will free us from the circular debt problem associated with them. Secondly, it will open up opportunities for the private sector to set up micro hydroelectric plants in G-B, AJK and K-P and small-scale solar and thermal power plants in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan that generate power for the vehicle repowering stations along the route.

Thirdly, if properly regulated this could allow communities to be brought together in common economic interest to service the traffic passing through their area (repowering stations, food outlets, workshops, hospitals, etc). The vested economic interest will enhance security and provide more confidence to the Chinese sponsors to increase investments along this corridor.

If environmental impact is not addressed then as factories get built in the economic zones, the pollution will further exacerbate our problems of climate change. This is a great concern given that according to PWSER research, Pakistan is on track to experience an African-style, large scale water famine as early as 2025.  The only solution is massive water storage projects which can also generate cheap renewable hydropower electricity for our residential, agricultural and industrial sectors.  Currently, 35 per cent of our energy is oil based which requires foreign exchange externally and has led to circular debt internally. The suggested projects will generate a lot of employment and most of the large-scale construction could be locally managed minimising foreign exchange requirements which depreciate the local currency. We should seek assistance from the Chinese to set up a regional carbon trading market that finances a lot of these renewable energy projects. Ideally we should have been debating and finalising a comprehensive programme put together by our government to address this upcoming crisis before this time. In our democracy, an endeavour this big will take time to educate and build national consensus and then it will take more than a decade to implement this programme.

Industrial development: CPEC is a game changer and opens up trade between the Central Asia and the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Its major purpose is for China to increase its trade with these regions by improving and simplifying logistics and transportation. Currently imports into Europe from China account for about $450 billion which has room to grow in a $7 trillion market. As trade increases along this corridor, it would be foolish if Pakistan did not develop its own national strategy to cooperatively capitalise and cash in some of the economic opportunities presented. However our current exports are dominated by textile and organic commodities with low value addition. Clearly, our current corporate and SME sectors is by and large not ready to address this upcoming opportunity and we are in danger of being swept aside.

An illustration of what can happen is found in many marginalised communities who are situated along the Iran trade corridor in Balochistan or the Afghan trade corridor in K-P and get no visible benefit from the passing trade. Under the Obama Administration, USAID had announced a $40 million project called SME-A for intervention that provides technical assistance to 6,000 SMEs in the areas of textile, ICT, light engineering, hospitality, minerals, leather, logistics and packaging. Given what’s at stake, the government should seriously consider taking a piggy back ride on this initiative and expand collaboration if it continues in the Trump administration. It should consider taking it over if for some reason the US backs off the project.

Regional hub: CPEC provides an unprecedented opportunity to Pakistan as it fulfills its geostrategic potential as the gateway of trade between Central Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. It is ideally situated to become the defacto maritime trade hub between the Europe and Asia. A regional hub provides many opportunities other than logistics and transportation including legal, financial, marketing, business communication and other services.

China has created the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank and the Silk Road fund to support this realignment of global trade with roles loosely defined around the World Bank and IFC. Many new institutions will be required for instance similar to the World Bank International centres for Settlement of International Disputes. Pakistan is in an ideal position to develop these capacities if our government provides the enabling environment for it through capacity development programmes, enlightened legislation and policies. Our argument would be that Karachi is more suited location wise than Mumbai or Colombo and cheaper than Singapore to address these needs. Pakistan has in the past shown the ability to set up world-class institutions that serviced global trade and can rise up to the challenge if it puts the right people in charge. In time, the acquired competencies and broader understanding of the benefits would give us the political will to overhaul our internal justice system and inefficient bureaucracy. Ranked at 106/113 in the WJP Rule of Law Index, this is something we badly need.

In conclusion, CPEC is a game-changing opportunity for Pakistan. Global pundits are looking at the multi-trillion dollar investments being made by China and saying that its effective utilisation is key to the success of this vision. Similarly, for Pakistan, if we do not evolve a vision of how we use this improved infrastructure and realignment of global trade in this region for our benefit, and execute on it effectively we are in danger of being left behind. Indeed it will be a shame if we do not rise to the opportunity and fashion national consensus on an inclusive strategy that leverages this project to propel a major part of our population, and not just a few families, into the economy of the 21st century.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2017.

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CPEC: Regional impact

17 Mar

 

Dr Zafar N Jaspal

Since the announcement of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in April 2015, Islamabad and Beijing have been endeavouring to construct and operationalise its infrastructure as soon as possible. Both sides are cognizant to the immense dividends of the project. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif categorised it as a “game changer.” Chinese also consider it imperative for their “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Simultaneously, the adversaries of both nations have been struggling to sabotage the project. Therefore, both sides need to remain vigilant to the implicit and explicit challenges to the project.
CPEC project has amplified Pakistan’s pivotal role in the connectivity of West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. Though, Pakistan and China would be the main beneficiary of the project, yet other regional actors would be equally benefit from the operationalisation of the project. Islamabad always advocate that without increasing economic cooperation among the regional actors, the Central, West and South Asiannations could not resolve their economic challenges. The regional organizations such as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and Economic Cooperation Organisations primary objective is to promote trade between/among the members of these organizations. The member nations of these organizations are economically underdeveloped and also encountering socio-political challenges. Perhaps, without economic stability, the political stability is a wishful thinking. These nations need mutual cooperation for the sake of their socio-economic improvement. Hence, CPEC would be having positive consequences for the members of regional organizations.
Islamabad is encouraging the neighbouring states to invest in the CPEC project. Indeed, the neighbouring states investment enhances the significance of the project, but it also has constructive impact on the investors’ economies. On April 21, 2015, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated: “it is catalytic project that will help us combine the geo-economic streams of our countries. The corridor symbolizes our commitment to create win-win partnerships which threaten none and benefit all.” Precisely, CPEC would be having dividends for the entire region.
The ruling elite of the neighbouring countries, except India, also expressed their immense confidence in the CPEC project. On March 1, 2017, Pakistan successfully held the 13th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit at Islamabad. The participants in the ECO expressed their resolve to enhance the regional connectivity. Therefore, they endorsed the theme of the summit—“Connectivity for Regional Prosperity.” Certainly, without regional connectivity, the ECO members cannot resolve their socio-economic problems.
The CPEC has a potential to revolutionize the regional cooperation in the fields of socio-economic development, trade, shipping, road and railway transportation, communications, industry and banking. It would also encourage tourism in the region. The CPEC project seems very advantageous for the ECO member states. It is because one of the main objectives of ECO is “development of transport & communications infrastructure linking the Member States with each other and with the outside world.” Importantly, out of 10 ECO member states 7 are landlocked. The operationalisation of CPEC routes would provide shortest route to sea at least 6 members of ECO. In addition, CPEC would also facilitate the Eurasian trade.
The 13th ECO Summit Islamabad Declaration states: “Welcome in this regard CPEC as a far-reaching initiative that would act as catalyst for development of entire region.” Perhaps, CPEC would enhance ECO-wide connectivity in terms of transport and transit; telecommunications; cyber; and all forms of energy; as well as people-to-people exchanges, including through regional tourism arrangements.
Pakistan with the assistance of China has been building Gwadar Port. The port obviously holds enormous promise for neighbouring countries and regions such as Afghanistan, China, West Asia, Central Asia and Eurasia. The successful implementation of the CPEC would provide Turkey, Iran and Pakistan access to Central Asian States, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan-Russian Federation and Europe through China. The shipping, trucking and logistics industry of these states would have immense opportunity to grow after operationalisation of the CPEC. Certainly, this unprecedented sea and road link would have far-reaching positive geo-economic dividends for the entire region.
To conclude, the region is primed for a network of rail and road linkages besides sea routes, energy, and trade corridors. Thus, operationalisation of CPEC definitely leads to a new era of regional socio-economic stability through enhanced regional cooperation for development.
— The writer is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
Email: jaspal_99@hotmail.com