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Pakistan Press ( 18 Dec 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan Press on EU’ DisinfoLab and 1971 Crisis: New Age Islam's Selection, 18 December 2020

By New Age Islam Edit Desk

18 December 2020

• EU’ DisinfoLab & Chanakyan Dictums

By S M Hali

• How The 1971 Crisis Was Mismanaged?

By Dr Moonis Ahmar

• Stateless People

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

• Pakistan’s Economy Is Back On The Track

Col (R) Muhammad Hanif


EU’ DisinfoLab & Chanakyan Dictums

By S M Hali

December 18, 2020

The exposé by European Union’s DisinfoLab in its 90-page report has shocked the world because it unearths the machinations of an international network funded by organizations with Indian leanings.

The detailed disclosures labeled “Indian Chronicles” comprise 265 fake media outlets, multiple dubious think tanks and NGOs, financed by Indian or pro-Indian entities surreptitiously working to destabilize Pakistan while simultaneously besmirching Islamabad’s image internationally. The clandestine operation was cloaked slyly using defunct media, think tanks, NGOs and even using the identities of deceased writers and academics to lend an aura of authority to the bogus stories but being quoted by mainstream media to add authenticity to the intrigues being hatched to denigrate Pakistan.

While it is startling that it took so long to uncover the heinous plot and can be considered a failure of the concerned departments, India’s use of odious means to obtain the desired effects, stem from centuries old teachings.

Espionage, euphemistically called the second oldest profession of the world finds a mention in the Indian Vedas, one of the most – if not the most – ancient of the human texts. Varuna, one of the chief gods of the Vedic pantheon is considered to be a forerunner of Secret Services. Magha, one of the most erudite and lucid poets and pragmatic thinkers, unequivocally asserted that statecraft cannot exist without the assistance of espionage. Secret Agencies in ancient India were not conceived of as an instrument of oppression but as a tool of governance. Secret agents were considered as 'eyes of the king'.

Indian history illustrates that ancient Indians had gained great expertise in this secret art. The techniques and operational methods adopted by them were highly advanced, and can be usefully emulated today. From the spasas of Varuna, the fore-runners of the modern globe-trotting spies (the etymological affinity of the two terms is noticeable) to Chanakya's final manifestation of this art in the Arthashastra which is in fact a systematic codification of a wide variety of scattered information copiously found in the Epics, – the Mahabharata and the Ramayana – the Puranas and literary works of Bhasa, Kalidäsa, Magha and Bana; and the Tamil Sangam literature, transcends unprecedented heights in this discipline.

The vision of the Arthashastra is truly breathtaking, its practical utility timeless and the clarity of its exposition unique. The techniques of manipulating public opinion and creating disinformation, propounded by Chanakya anticipated modern intelligence systems by several centuries. No wonder then that the nearly 2500 years old lessons in deceit, guile, hypocrisy, machination, and gore taught by that Master strategist, Chanakya alias Kautilya (literally meaning 'crooked') was adopted in toto by India and its chief intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

While laying the foundation stone of RAW, India's late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi approvingly quoted Louis F Hallis, when she said that its objectives should be the 'Ability to get what one wants by whatever means: eloquence, reasoned arguments, bluff, tirade, threat or coercion, as well as, by arousing pity, annoying others, or making them uneasy'.

While we lament the fall of Dhaka forty-nine years ago, which was achieved through malicious propaganda, twisting facts to mould public opinion of the Bengalis, the forerunners of the Pakistan Movement to the extent that they were willing to part ways in a bloody struggle and slandering the good name of the defenders of Pakistan to be perceived as barbarous marauders, heartless butchers and rapist. Indian propaganda, faithfully echoed by its clients in Bangladesh reached such a crescendo that ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh, which were on the mend took a nosedive 2009 onwards when a pro-India dispensation assumed the mantle of power and still continues.

Trials of Bengalis, who had supported Pakistan in the 1971 War with India, which Bangladesh labels as its war for liberation and the continued suppression of Biharis, who had cast their lot with the integrity of a United Pakistan and are now doomed to spend their life in squalor and poverty in concentration camps further challenged the growing ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh. The persistence of Bangladesh to continue repeating the oft parroted lies of genocide and rape and insisting on seeking an apology further tarnished the diplomatic relations.

Despite independent researchers, academics and even Bangladeshi investigators reaching a conclusion that the claims of mass brutality by Pakistani troops in erstwhile East Pakistan were vast exaggerations.

They came to the conclusion that mass graves being shown to international opinion builders as pertaining to massacred Bengalis were in fact Biharis, non-Bengalis and Pakistani armed forces personnel, who were tortured, massacred, raped and disposed of mercilessly. A simple DNA test could have nailed the lie.

Mercifully good sense is finally prevailing in Bangladesh as the ugly visage of India was exposed through its unilateral and illegal action on August 5, 2019 to annex Illegally Occupied Indian Kashmir and Ladakh in the Indian Union and the draconian Citizenship Amendment Law and the National Citizenship Register to deny Muslims of their citizenship rights finally opened Hasina Wajed’s eyes. Dhaka had the largest protest rally to register its displeasure with the oppressive anti-Muslim legislation.

Chanakya’s “Disinformation and Dissension” campaign professed that manipulation of public opinion is as important an object of the State today as it was in ancient India. It is used to create disharmony and distrust among the enemy's friends, ill-will among his allies, loss of confidence in their leadership and disruption by psychological means, his capacity and will to fight. Chanakya had perfected the technique of disinformation and highly eulogized the use of dissension in enemy's ranks for winning a battle without any military action.


How The 1971 Crisis Was Mismanaged?

By Dr Moonis Ahmar

December 18, 2020

The writer is Meritorious Professor of International Relations and former Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi. He can be reached at

A leadership with strong nerves, capability and courage is required to face and manage a grave crisis. Unfortunately, all three qualities which were required to cope with the East Pakistan crisis were not present in the Pakistani leadership in 1971.

While there was a degree of optimism following the general elections of December 1970, the tone and attitude of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of the majority party (the Awami League), became inflexible after the election win. On January 3, 1971, while addressing a massive public meeting at the Race Course ground in Dhaka, he bluntly said: “None would be able to stop us framing a Constitution on the basis of the Six-Point programme.” He also took an oath from the newly elected national and provincial assembly members of his party to remain loyal to the Awami League’s Six Points.

The 1971 East Pakistan crisis worsened when neither Mujib nor Bhutto or president Yahya Khan expressed the political will, wisdom and courage to pull the country from a dangerous situation. Mujib was unwilling to compromise on the Six Points which were unacceptable to PPP, as it got majority seats from West Pakistan. The nexus between Bhutto and the hawkish generals who were unwilling to transfer power to the Awami League because they suspected their loyalty for Pakistan triggered the outbreak of East Pakistan crisis particularly when the National Assembly’s inaugural session on March 3 was postponed by the Yahya regime without taking Mujib into confidence. 

Hasan Zaheer, a former civil servant who was posted in then East Pakistan during 1950s and in 1971, in his book, The Separation of East Pakistan: The Rise and Realization of Bengali Muslim Nationalism, gives a vivid account as to how the 1971 East Pakistan crisis got mismanaged: “The decision to postpone the National Assembly meeting is regretted, in retrospect, by the West Pakistani intelligentsia as a tragic decision which led to the breakup of Pakistan. A considerable body of opinion holds Bhutto responsible for it.” In remembrance, one may contemplate that had the inaugural NA session taken place in Dhaka on March 3, the crisis which augmented because of its postponement by Islamabad and on Bhutto’s insistence, would have been managed. Events unfolding after the unilateral postponement of the assembly session escalated Pakistan’s grave crisis which ultimately culminated into the country’s breakup in December 1971.

For the successful management of a national crisis there are six major requirements: leadership which should be wise and courageous; political will and determination of the concerned stakeholders; planning to prevent the deepening of the crisis; timeline by making suitable timely decisions; role of external factors and internal forces who want to use the crisis for their own interests. The absence of most of these requirements was responsible for the outbreak and deepening of the 1971 East Pakistan crisis. Three major realities must be taken into consideration while examining why the East Pakistan crisis was mismanaged. First, even before 1971, Pakistan was under a political crisis during the 1950s and 1960s, but the crisis which emerged after December 1970 elections was different because the majority party, the Awami League, and the minority PPP were unable to pursue a flexible approach and develop a consensus on participating in the NA’s inaugural session. It means both political parties lacked wisdom, prudence and flexibility to place the interests of the country supreme, and rather plunged the country into a perpetual state of crisis, chaos, violence, war and ultimate disintegration. A power-hungry approach and inflexibility on the part of PPP and Awami League mismanaged the East Pakistan crisis.

Second, the Martial Law regime of General Yahya Khan, which should have been neutral and prevailed over both parties to abandon their intransigent positions, miserably failed to deal with the crisis dynamics. If the attitude of president Yahya towards Mujib was highly formal, then his relationship with Bhutto was friendly which was reflected in January 1971 when he and his generals went to Larkana for hunting. Yahya never visited Mujib’s house but the majority party leader was summoned to the president house for a meeting. Such an asymmetrical treatment on the president’s part caused enormous anger among the Bengalis who accused West Pakistan of treating East Pakistan as a colony and maintaining a master-slave relationship. Yahya’s non-serious attitude and lack of leadership qualities to deal with a grave crisis emanating after December 1970 elections also contributed to the breakup of the country.

Narrating the eventful days of March 1971, when Yahya Khan reached Dhaka on March 15 to manage the crisis, Brig (retd) AR Siddiqi, the then director Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), writes in his book, East Pakistan: The Endgame: An Onlooker’s Journal 1969-71, that: “Mujib had accused the president of betraying his trust by unilaterally deciding to postpone the assembly. The president, on the other hand, accused Mujib and his party of overreacting by taking the law into their hands.” Yahya’s pathetic condition after the military operation in East Pakistan was reflected when Yahya looked completely lost and was requested by his senior colleagues to realise the gravity of the situation and visit Dhaka to see the situation himself. He replied: “What can I do for East Pakistan?” The mental and physical condition of General Yahya Khan was a source of disgrace for the country as he not only let the people down at a critical juncture but utterly failed to prevent a humiliating defeat of Pakistan Army at the hands of India and their subsequent surrender on December 16, 1971. It was a misfortune for the country to have a leadership which was intoxicated and indifferent when the country was facing a critical situation and was on the verge of disintegration.

Third, apathy was prevailing in West Pakistan about the events which led to the launch of the military operation and the outbreak of civil war in East Pakistan. Press censorship and jubilant feelings in West Pakistan on the military operation against Awami League and Mujib’s arrest reflected the total insensitivity of the people of West Pakistan that their counterparts in the eastern wing were passing through a difficult situation. Except muted voices which were raised in West Pakistan against the military operation in East Pakistan, people and political parties remained indifferent to the reality that the country was fast moving towards disintegration. Official media and the press in West Pakistan used to depict a rosy picture of East Pakistan and ruled out the existence of a grave crisis. As a result when the news about the surrender of the Pakistani armed forces before the joint command of the Indian army and Mukti Bahini on December 16 reached West Pakistan, people were shocked but it was too late and Jinnah’s Pakistan was gone.


Stateless People

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

December 18, 2020

Every year on December 16, Pakistani citizens mourn the tragic separation of East Pakistan. Historically, the Pakistan Movement gained momentum after the 23rd March, 1940 jalsa in Lahore, under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. It is an undeniable fact that many Muslims, including Bihari Muslims, as well as non-Muslims like Jogandra Nath Mandal were active supporters of the Pakistan Movement. They believed that civic, social and religious freedom could be enjoyed in a Muslim-majority country.

The population of Bihari Muslims in their own native province was not more than 10 percent. However, they managed to secure 34 seats for the Muslim League during the 1946 elections. They were well aware that their province would not become part of Pakistan but they stood with Quaid-e-Azam in a hope of a better future.

On the occasion of Independence, Biharis preferred to migrate towards East Pakistan. Because they came from educated backgrounds, they were appointed on key posts to run state affairs. The announcement to adopt Urdu as the national language made the majority Bengali population panic and they started to protest. However, Biharis welcomed the decision wholeheartedly.

The martial law imposed by Gen Ayub Khan resulted in further widening the gulf between ethnic Bengalis and ethnic Biharis. During the 1970 national elections, the majority of Bengalis supported the Sheikh Mujibur Rehman-led Awami League, while Biharis were supporters of the Muslim League Convention and the Jamaat-e-Islami since they wanted to keep West and East Pakistan together. Soon thereafter the Mukti Bahini came into being. In reaction, Al-Badar and Al-Shams were established.

After the creation of Bangladesh, all those Biharis who had once contributed to development of Pakistan were forcibly confined to refugee camps. Pakistani flags were raised on their camps to declare them foreign refugees. Even today, they are spending their lives below the poverty line due to lack of opportunities and nationality. They are being harassed by using various tactics. Reportedly, many young girls are also trafficked to Kolkata.

Despite all miseries and exploitations, Bihari refugees used to celebrate Pakistani national days and other events. But it is also a bitter fact that after spending five decades in refugee camps, Biharis are now becoming hopeless and depressed. The new generation of Biharis is convincing their elders to adopt Bangladeshi nationality, but their love for Pakistan is an unforgivable crime in the eyes of the Bangladesh regime.

In the past, the issue of resettlement of Biharis in current Pakistani territory has also faced violent resistance from nationalist elements. In Sindh, the concern has been that the presence of Biharis in Karachi would increase the Urdu-speaking vote bank. Similarly, other provinces have no interest over the issue of these stateless Biharis.

In my view, the patriotic Bihari community decided to live in Pakistan on the assurance of Quaid-e-Azam. Sadly, he passed away just one year after Independence but today we all have to keep struggling to fulfil his promises. We must never forget our oppressed Bihari brothers and sisters who are in a miserable condition for the last 49 years just due to their love and support to Pakistan. Today, with the cooperation of the United Nations and the international community, we must urge Bangladesh to find a sustainable solution to resolve the Bihari issue on humanitarian grounds.


Pakistan’s Economy Is Back on the Track

Col (R) Muhammad Hanif

DECEMBER 18, 2020

In August 2018, when the PTI government took over the Office after winning the general elections, Pakistan’s economy was ridden with a heavy foreign debt of more than US $ 90 billion, a large current account deficit of above US $ 20 billion, a wide budget deficit of 6.6 % of the GDP, and a large amount of total public debt equal to 70 percent of the GDP, 10 percent higher than the limit (60 percent) set in the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDLA) 2005, amended in 2017.

The exchange rate in July 2018 had come to Rs. 121.00 per one USD, as the caretaker government in May 2018 had let the overvalued rupee fall, since it thought that the policy of maintaining artificial exchange rate stability for years adopted by the PML-N government was not sustainable.

In August 2018, the foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank were US $ 12 billion. To repay the foreign debt instalments and its interest, the government was required to pay almost US $ 7 billion per year.

In view of the above economic situation, to pay back the foreign debt instalments, to run the government affairs and maintain a reasonable foreign exchange reserves to pay for the necessary imports, the PTI government had to get loans worth US $ 7 billion from the friendly countries and US $ 6 billion from the IMF. To strengthen the economic position of Pakistan, the PTI government’s economic team has been working hard by focusing on further stabilizing the value of rupee, to correct the negative current account balance and increase the foreign exchange reserves by reducing the import of non essential goods and increasing exports by providing incentives to the industrial sector.

The government has also encouraged the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country by providing CPEC related, and other incentives to the foreign investors. Special attention was also given to reform the FBR to broaden the tax base and improve the tax collection system to meet the tax collection targets to facilitate annual budget preparations and reduce the budget deficit. Efforts have also been made to limit the circular debt in the power sector by signing fresh accords with the private electricity producing companies. To meet power shortages, the government has also started to build new dams, hydropower and other power projects and it is also importing more LNG. To increase economic activity and growth the government has also encouraged the construction industry by giving them major incentives.

All the above mentioned reforming measures undertaken by the government are showing positive results despite the fact that the government has been facing difficulties due to the united opposition’s anti government campaign and street protests and the prevalence of the COVID-19.

While these factors have discouraged the foreign investment, these have also lowered the economic activity, thus lowering the economic growth, reducing the revenue generation, and increasing the unemployment. The revenue levels also suffered as the government had to provide the financial support to the poor families, whose earning members had lost their jobs due to the lockdowns.

However, despite the above stated hurdles, due to the rigorous efforts of the economic team of the government, Pakistan’s economy has overcome its major issues and it is back on the track. While most of the major economic indicators have turned positive, the international financial institutions are also talking positively about the revival of Pakistan’s economy. The IMF Mission led by regional chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo in February 2020 said that Pakistan has made considerable progress in advancing reforms and continuing sound economic policies.

The IMF Mission Chief further said that the foreign reserves of the country continue to rebuild at a pace considerably faster than anticipated. Rigo said, the Inflation should start to see a declining trend as the pass-through of exchange rate depreciation (Rupee depreciation) has been absorbed (as the exchange rate is now stabilized around Rupees 160.00 equal to one US dollar), and supply-side constraints appear to be temporary.

Based on the latest assessment of Pakistan’s economy, the World Bank has stated that the balance of payments consequently swung to a surplus of 2.0 percent of GDP in FY20, and official foreign reserves increased to US$13.7 billion at end-June 2020, sufficient to finance 3.2 months of imports.

And, in FY20, the fiscal deficit narrowed to 8.1 percent of GDP from 9.0 percent in FY19. Total revenues rose to 15.3 percent of GDP due to higher non-tax revenue, as the central bank and the telecommunication authority repatriated large profits.

The above discussion indicates that Pakistan's economy has made a good start despite the coronavirus pandemic challenges as the country’s current account balance swung into surplus in July 2020. The government's foreign income remained higher than the expenditures with receipt of record-high workers' remittances, notable growth in export earnings, and no major growth in import payments.

Whereas the above mentioned successes achieved by the government in strengthening Pakistan’s economy are worth appreciation, analysts are emphasizing that the government should also pay equal attention towards controlling and lowering the high prices of flour, sugar, pulses, vegetables and fruit as the poor masses of the country have been hit hard by the ever rising prices. This should be done through a strict monitoring system, curbing the hoarding and ensuring that supply and demand situation of the aforementioned commodities remains in balance by the timely import of the essential commodities and not allowing the export of these commodities without catering for the domestic demand.



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