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Musharraf discovers Latin America and vice versa
First visit by any Pakistani Head of State or General to South and Latin America

Yasser Arafat addressed the UN in New York on November 13, 1974 and said, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.” If the leader nations among the international community had acted promptly then, there might not have been rise of Osama bin Laden and fall of twin towers on 9/11. It appears that there is a direct and proportionate connection between falling down of olive branch from Yasser Arafat's hands in 1974 in New York and falling down of twin towers in the same city in 2001. USA, UK and Israel think that Yasser Arafat's death on November 11th, 2004 has removed a hurdle in the way of peace process. Many other countries, especially Muslim countries, think that it is his 40 years-long struggle and sacrifices of millions of Palestinians that forced these powers to look for a peace at the first place.....more

US Presidential Elections 2004

The US Presidential Elections 2004 is over which was one of the expensive elections on our planet. Mr. George W. Bush is the winner and has been re-elected. John Kerry senator and candidate of US presidency has admitted defeat with a brave heart in the crucial swing state of Ohio and called George Bush to congratulate him on his re-election as American president. Mr Bush’s victory is much more decisive than in 2000. George Bush and his vaunted campaign team have attained victory in America’s presidential elections. Some say that “Gun and God“ has defeated John Kerry in the recent elections and “god” is back in White House. Others are of the opinion that religious (fundamentalists) gave Mr. Bush another chance to fulfil his uncompleted agenda. According to most of the nations the world’s most powerful, affluent, intellectually robust, innovative nation has elected a president much of the free world loathes. China and Pakistan showed satisfaction on the re-election of Mr. Bush as President of USA....more

Indian Army Doctrine
A nalysis of the new Indian Army doctrine.

The Indian Army created quite a stir by announcing its ‘Cold Start’ doctrine2 early this year. It was also announced at that time that the draft doctrinal document was being disseminated to the various commands of the Indian Army for review and would be finalized in six months time. True to this assertion, the new Indian Army Doctrine was unveiled in the last week of October 2003.

The doctrinal document has been prepared in two parts; while the first part has been cleared for dissemination, the second part contains classified material and its circulation is planned to be very restrictive.

As per the announced plan, Part-1 of the document will be reviewed and updated every five years while the entire doctrinal document will be re-issued every ten years. The author has been able to gain access to the 70-odd page Part-1 of the 120 page document and has based this article on its contents....more

Nuclear Diplomacy
T he recent efforts of the IAEA to curb nuclear non-proliferation

Hectic efforts are being carried out to resolve the nuclear issue of Iran. Recently, Iran and three major European countries France, Britain and Germany have reached a preliminary greement. Now, the ball is in Iran’s hands, where and when the final decision will be taken. Earlier the Iranian Parliament has given its verdict in favour of its national nuclear programme. The International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] is pressing hard to convince the Iranian government to restrain from the enrichment of uranium....more

An old soldier remembers
Sheds tears for those who died with their boots on

According to F M Wavell “Military history is a flesh-and-blood affair – the man is the first weapon of battle – it is he who brings reality to it.” But war is a terrible episode as far as destruction and casualties are concerned. On some it bestows victory and glory and to some it brings defeat and humiliation. And how long death of a soldier is mourned and remembered? Only his close kith and kin carry the scars of tragedy, and majority of his comrades in arm, with the passage of time, forget him. But there is someone whose death on battlefield remains in memory as an unforgettable event....more

Reformation or Stagnation?
Crisis which the muslim community is faced with since 9/11.

Terrorists’ attacks on 9/11 with its aftermath have pushed three themes to the spotlight on the world stage. These themes remained vibrating undercurrents throughout the better part of the 20th century but were not at the center stage like now. Those are expedient economic and political policies by the powerful nations, politically toothless international bodies (League of Nations and UN) and urgency of internal reforms in the Muslim countries. Political and economic reforms in Muslim countries are closely linked to the religious outlook and environment. The arena of religion is traditionally reserved for and monopolized by the orthodox religious leaders. Others do not dare to speak about it or get lost or burnt. But the threatening circumstances are forcing that common men and women will have to think and decide for themselves, at least in the worldly matters, and not leave this to pundits, pulpits, puppets and pugnacious....more

Non-Proliferation Treaty Ambiguities
Challenges ahead for the 2005 NPT Review Conference.

The 2005 Review Conference of the parties to the nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be held at the United Nations in New York from May 2-27, 2005. Article VIII of the Treaty provided for a review conference to be held after every five years to review the operation of the Treaty with a view to assuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty were being realized. The Preparatory Commission for the 2005 Review Conference had met in April 2002, April/May 2003, and April/May 2004. Proliferation concerns dominated the Preparatory Committee meetings. The 2003 Preparatory Commission proceedings for the 2005 NPT Review Conference, for example, highlighted ongoing problems with Iraq, newfound allegations of an extensive nuclear programme in Iran, and North Korea’s destabilizing withdrawal from the 35-year-old accord.....more

Kofi Annan
It is time for the UN Secretary General to go

They say that Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general is an unhappy man today. He is fighting battles on different fronts to save his reputation. There are many allegations against him but the worse is the Iraqi oil-for-food scam involving his son. What is the truth behind these allegations? Has Mr Kofi really let the UN be used and abused by the sole superpower to further its interests? Has he been an activist or has he opted for a restraint role as a secretary general? Has he helped to establish peace and security as enshrined in the UN Charter or has he been part of the game plan to make the world chaotic? Why is there suddenly a hue and cry to overhaul the UN? Will it really make any difference or is there a need to scrap the organisation?.....more

Fast Forward
The situation in the world in 2050

It is 2050. On a cold winter night I sat watching the television amazed at the technological and scientific advancement the world had made. Now 114 years old, I am part of the living past. I have travelled a long way from a stage when many parts of Rawalpindi were without the facility of electricity. When a telephone call outside Pakistan took 24 hours to mature, when people did not have television to watch, when fewer cars moved on the road, when coal was used for heating and wood for cooking, when winters were colder and summers milder, when more time was at one’s disposal but there was less to do and, indeed, when ignorance was truly a bliss.

Today is not the same, we live in different times, in the age of touch buttons and remotes. Our thinking and behaviour is programmed and facilitated. Fashion fascinates our lives and glamour has made it expensive. Relationships show no enthusiasm and warmth, Intellectually we are lonely people unable to differentiate between conformity and agreement, affinity and affection and between desire and ambition....more

New Local Government System – An Appraisal
Detailed appraisal of the new LG system

The new Local Government System has been in position for over three years now. The elected representatives in the last three years have done a good job in spite of many hurdles like inefficient service structure of the supporting staff with mindset of exploitation of the poor. Some of the District Governments, TMAs and Union Administration due to excellent leadership have produced very good results, providing relief to the common man, service delivery has not suffered adversely. It is agreed that to the ordinary Pakistanis, however, devolution is a promise being kept, a promise still far from but one that is already bringing change in some schools, courts and clinics and, most visibly, in the political life of the countryside and the cities and towns. But when, we see the overall picture, we still find that the common man at the grassroots level is not feeling the relief that he should or was envisaged in the Local Government Ordinance 2001. Health, education and infrastructure has been improved but justice and crime rate has further deteriorated....more

Leadership qualities
Gen Sir Frank Messervy
The various freedoms and how they are being enjoyed by different people in different regions.

General Sir Frank Messervy KCSI KBE CB DSO and Bar was the first C-in-C of the Pakistan Army from 14th August 1947 to 10th February 1948. He was a daring and dashing leader, whose creed was always to move to the sound of guns. He lived with danger throughout most of the 4½ years during the 2nd Great War.

He was GOC 7th Division and Commander 4 Corps in Burma during the 2nd Great War (from Nov '43 to Nov '45) and I, as a young officer, had the great honour of serving in both the formations. During this period on few occasions I met him, heard him narrating his exploits in the various battles of Middle East and saw him meeting troops and watching battalion and brigade attacks. The troops under his command trusted him completely for his inspiring courage and brilliant leadership, his humanity and his constant identification of himself with fighting soldiers....more

Iraq War Strategy
The US is in the process of re-thinking its war strategy
[Contributing Editor Air Marshal (Retd) AYAZ AHMED KHAN]

he high troop casualties in Iraq especially the deadly rocket/suicide bombing by Iraqi resistance on the tented Mess Hall in Mosul on December 21, and several bombings since, has brought home the realization that Pentagon’s war strategy has become disfunctional. A new strategy is required to control the mounting chaos from Iraqi guerrilla ambushes and attacks. The US media and the public is shocked at the ferocity of the Mosul attack that caused 95 casualties – 26 dead and 69 injured. Fifty soldiers flown out to medical facilities in Germany are in critical condition. Since the “victory” in March 2003, 1,330 American soldiers and officers have been killed. The number of Iraqi’s killed could be over fifty thousand. Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party guerilla’s fighters and fanatic terrorists have intensified suicide and rocket attacks and ambushes. Besides the heavy toll of dead and injured Americans, thousands of Iraqi police officers, military personnel, recruits and civilians have died in suicide bombings, attacks on police stations, mosques and market places. Scores of foreigners and locals have been beheaded. About one hundred personnel of other Coalition countries – UK, Poland....more

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