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Contents - October 2003

The making of a
suicide bomber?

Columnist Gp Capt (Retd) SM HALI provides insight into the
indoctrination of suicide bombers.

On Sunday May 18, 2008, I had the opportunity to accompany a team of national/international media persons, who were flown into the remote former Baitullah Mehsud territory of Spinkai Raghzai (South Waziristan) by ISPR. We witnessed a human tragedy of epic proportions. The village was devoid of any human life apart from army soldiers patrolling to keep the miscreants at bay. The houses in Spinkai Raghzai village indicated that their occupants had left in extreme urgency, not even bothering to take their valuables with them. Earlier at Dera Ismail Khan, the GOC 14 Div. Major General Tariq had briefed us that not a single civilian casualty had occurred because leaflets were dropped asking the civilians to vacate or face the wrath of the Army. Those who stayed behind were killed or forced to retreat. 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) were provided refuge in different camps..........more

“Maritime Strategy and
Nation Building Technology”

Columnist M. NAIM SHAIKH makes a case for adoption of dual purpose marine technologies to help naval build up and also contribute to nation-building.

The Pakistan Navy (PN) is at the crossroads of history both in terms of the armed forces of Pakistan and the Indian Navy (IN). It has the smallest budgetary allocation as well as personnel in Pakistan’s three military services. It can not match IN either man to man or boat for boat. Neither can PN squeeze a larger budgetary allocation as compared to the Pakistan Army (PA) or the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Yet, its mandate of defending the sea frontiers is larger than either the country’s air corridor or its borders with four neighbouring countries. In fact, the sea is the limit! Add to all this is the adage that, as Admiral Mahan would have said, all great nations are indebted to their command of seas for their great power status.1Pakistan is more concerned with the security of its sea dependent commerce, a whopping 97% of its total trade, than dreaming any great power status. However, PN is mindful of India’s quest to make the Indian Ocean its own lake as a successor to the British Empire. Any discussion on PN must discuss the challenge posed by IN. India, on the other hand is also mindful of its own maritime history and how it was dominated for almost two hundred years by a tiny seafaring nation – Britain.........more

NPT Preparatory Conference -2008

Columnist FAZAL HABIB CURMALLY explains why the US finds itself in a mess in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other things.

“Congress has lost its ability to defend its own role in governance, and over time has demeaned its constitutional mandate by transferring powers inherent to the legislative branch to an executive branch which has assumed the role of caretaker of the military. By vesting absolute power in the hands of the executive, Congress has all but assured that America has become a nation no longer governed by the rule of law, but rather the rule of man.” Scott Ritter The Pentagon vs. the U.S.: “How Americans Have Become Targets of Their Own Military.” Scott Ritter-in Truthdig. Posted on May 7, 2008 and published in Alternet of May 8, 2008.............more

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