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Operation Rah-e-Rast
and Durand Line
Commander (Retd) MUHAMMAD AZAM KHAN focuses on gains made by
the military operation against militants and calls for permanent fencing of
the Durand Line.

To say that under the present Chief of Army Staff, General Kayani, Pakistan now has a born again army, a made over institution with a strategic reawakening, would not be an overstatement. The following words of the Chairman U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, perhaps best certify why; ‘so far he has done everything he told me he would do. He said he would provide Frontier Corps with material support and strong leaders. He did it. He said he would send more Pakistani army troops to the northwest border region. He sent nearly 2,000. He said he would go after al-Qaeda and extremist groups in Bajaur and the Swat valley. They have mounted several operations in just the past few months. There is much more to do, of course. But I also think it’s important to look at what Kayani hasn’t done. For starters, he hasn’t let the army meddle in politics. Kayani helped foster a peaceful outcome to last year’s constitutional crisis, but he did it in a way that was totally in keeping with his military responsibilities. He also hasn’t let tension over the involvement of Pakistani based militants in Mumbai terrorist attacks spin out of control’........more

Post Operation Strategy
Brig (Retd) INAM UL HAQ caution that success of the military operation
alone will not restore peace and go on to make some practical suggestions.

Once Military operations are well on their way to success. Large parts of Swat Valley have been purged of the militants and given the intensity and speed of operations, it is hoped that the entire Valley shall soon be brought under control. However, it should be understood that the success of military operations alone will not restore peace in the turbulent region unless the Government takes immediate follow up actions to establish its writ.........more

The Re-location of
US Marines in Japan:
Strategic Implications for Asia & Beyond

Columnist TAUQEER H. TAKI SIRGANA argues that the relocation of US
Marines in Japan will exacerbate tensions within the region as the alliance
is a fundamentally flawed approach to security for Japan.

On February 17, 2009, Japan’s Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an accord on the planned relocation of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam.1 Currently, there are approximately eighteen thousand Marines and under the already agreed Roadmap “United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation” dated May 1, 2006 Tokyo and Washington agreed to transfer about 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam by 2014.2 The two countries also agreed that Japan would assume about 59% of the financial cost of the relocation. The new accord reconfirmed the willingness of the two countries to actually implement the relocation as stipulated in the Roadmap. On May 13, the Japanese Diet officially endorsed the accord.3 Reasons ranging from domestic pressures to strategic depth are behind this re-location, which raise definite security challenges for the rest of South East Asia particularly including North Korea and China.

Lingering Crises
of our Nation

Columnist Dr QADAR BAKHSH BALOCH analyzes the problems being faced
by Pakistan and recommends some remedies.

Ever since its creation, Pakistan has been in the midst of one crisis after another. The sad and untimely demise of Quaid-e-Azam left the nascent nation in doldrums. We kept groping in the dark without a Constitution for nearly 9 years and the one that we had was abrogated after 2 years of its formation. Then came the dark era of military bureaucracy which lasted for nearly 11 years followed by another dictational regime that ended with the tragic breakup of Pakistan. Democracy finally came in 1971 but before it could make inroads, it was abruptly ended in 1977. This brief period of democracy gave us a consensus constitution famously known as the 1973 Constitution that created mass awareness and political insight. It was during this period that Pakistan embarked upon its acquisition of nuclear technology but foreign powers did not view this progress favourably and conspired to overturn the process of democracy. The result was another military takeover which endured till divine intervention in 1987. Democracy got another chance but this too was crushed under the boots by another spoiler in 1999 who ruled the country with brute force for 9 long years, in the process trampling the constitution and the judiciary. It can be said without doubt that while General Zia ul Haq sowed the seeds of Tablinisation, General Pervez Musharaf wilfully allowed it to flourish leaving the nation at the mercy of highly intolerant vultures who adopted cold and brutal tactics.........more

The Covenant, Chosen
Race & Promised Land

Columnist Brig (Retd) AFTAB AHMAD KHAN reviews, in light of the Qur'an,
Bible and history, a complex geopolitical and religious issue that is an impending flashpoint of clash of civilizations.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, Covenant is an agreement or treaty among peoples or nations, but most memorably the promises that God extended to humankind (e.g., the promise to Noah never again to destroy the earth by flood or the promise to Abraham that his descendants would multiply and inherit the land). God’s revelation of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai created a pact between God and Israel known as the Sinai Covenant. According to Christian traditions Jesus Christ established a new covenant with God. Islam holds that the Last & Final Covenant was between God and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for all the humanity till eternity.
Hence for proper understanding of this doctrine of ‘Covenant’, it should be studied in the light of Bible, Qur’an and the history. Without going in to the historic details of the issue, well known to the readers, here the scriptural aspects are being covered. There is general agreement that Prophet and Patriarch Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) believed and worshiped same God. In Arabic this supreme God is called Allah, while Hebrews have been calling Him; El ‘Elyon, Yahweh (Jehovah), elohiym,(el-o-heem) or Adonai. God is the supreme creator and Sustainer of all the worlds. He is the God of all the creatures and people, He is not the God of any one group only, though He loves and prefers those who obey Him and dislike those who are disobedient, transgressors, and disbelievers. He is Kind and Merciful to those who repent and perform deeds pleasing to Him. He is not unjust; God established His Covenant with the humanity, individually as well as collectively through prophets. ......more

Coverage of War on Gaza in Pakistani Leading Newspapers:
Exploring News Framing
Researchers Dr Syed Abdul Siraj, Dr Seemi Naghmana and Dr Saqib Riaz present a Study on coverage of the Dec 2008 Israeli attack on Gaza by the Pakistani media.

This study looks at the coverage of Israeli attack on Hamas in Gaza in leading Pakistani newspapers. Within the context of the sore relationship between Israel and the Muslim countries, this study is particularly interested in the frames used to describe Israel hegemonic design and its approval by the Western world, particularly, USA.
The study studies how the Pakistani media, subject to the various influences that result in journalists assigning meaning and significance to people and events (Shoemaker and Reese, 1996), framed the Israeli attack on Gaza. The literature on content theory suggests that ideological factors influence news coverage, particularly in the form of frames. Frames are encoded in specific phrases journalists use, and once they are widely accepted, they result in social impact (Entman 1993; Kerr 2002).

“The Battle of Administrative Box-Arakan-February 1944” 
Columnist M A GILLANI presents the second part of the Battle of
Administrative Box.

Enemy Counter Offensive
Based on detailed recce of the terrain, location of the various units of 7th DIV and 5th DIV, existing gaps between the brigades, units and exposed flanks, the various fighting groups of the SUKURAI force commenced the counter offensive on the night of 3rd/4th February 1944. A major part of the SUKURAI force had passed through a gap of 2 to 3 miles between 114 Bde and the river VALAPANZIN via KYAUKYIT and PYMISHA KALA, and the gap between the left flank of 114 Bde and 81 West African DIV. The British battalion (Summerset Light Infantry – SLI) of 114 Bde was responsible for keeping effective vigilance on the gap between the 7th DIV and 81 West African DIV.........more

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