September 21, 2017

Berlin Conference Outcome Report “China's One Belt One Road Initiative

Berlin Conference Outcome Report “China's One Belt One Road Initiative; Its adverse impacts on Balochistan and the region”

(Daily Sangar) Baloch National Movement (BNM), organized a one-day conference titled “China's One Belt One Road Initiative; Its adverse impacts on Balochistan and the region”, in the capital city of Germany on 11 August 2017. Noted experts on international affairs and south Asian regional geopolitics from around the world participated in the conference and shared their views on the theme.

The event was moderated by Ms. Laurie Deamer, a leading human rights activist from the United States. BNM’s international representative, Mr. Hammal Haider, delivered the opening address and welcomed the guests.

The conference was divided into three sessions. In the first session, eminent speakers-- German researcher and security observer Dr. Siegfried O. Wolf, regional security expert from Afghanistan, Mr. Ehsan Monnawar, security analyst from India, Mr. Alok Bansal, and strategic expert and analyst from Japan, Mr. Shunichi Fujki— shared their perspectives on the theme with the audience.

The speakers in the second session were, President of UNPO, Naser Buledai, Convener of MQM in London, Nadeem Nusrat, noted Baloch author and researcher, Dr. Naseer Dashti, General Secretary of the World Uyghur Congress, Mr. Dolkun Isa, President of the World Sindhi Congress, Lokko Lohana, BNM’s representative in North America, and Dr. Zafar Baloch.

The third session was addressed by Chairman of the Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB), Mr. Taj Baloch, President of Baloch Republican Party, Germany Chapter, Mr Jawad Baloch, and Foreign Committee Organizer of the Baloch Students Organisation-Azad (BSO-A), Niaz Baloch.

The sessions focused on change in the global strategic environment, the state of Chinese economy, the relevance and impact of CPEC, and growing strategic presence of China in different parts of the world and its implications for regional and global security.

Mr. Hammal Haider Baloch, in his opening remarks, said that the local population of Balochistan was being converted into a minority in its own land because of the unabashed colonization taking place in the state in the name of “CPEC”. He held that this project was for military and strategic purposes, and the economic content of it was meant to serve the interest of the colonisers rather than the people of Balochistan. The project, he said, would start a cold-war in the region by seeking to change the existing balance of power in the region. This had serious implications for global security, he concluded.

Dr Siegfried O. Wolf said that, the OBOR project was supposed to connect Asia and Europe. The CPEC, as a flagship project of OBOR, was a controversial project between Islamabad and China, about which local people were kept largely unaware and their needs and interests were being ignored. This project, he said, was meant to extend military outreach of China in the region. As far as OBOR was concerned, it is meant to boost Chinese exports at a time when Chinese economy was undergoing severe stress due to global economic slow-down. The Chinese plan, he said, could harm Germany’s financial interests, in the long run. Chinese products have started displacing German goods in the markets and would make Germany dependent on China in future, he observed.

Dr Zafar Baloch dwelt on the importance of the day, "11th August", on which the conference was being held, and told the audience that it was an extraordinary day because, seventy years ago on this day in 1947, the Baloch people achieved their freedom and they remained free only for the next 227 days because the Pakistani army attacked and occupied Balochistan on 27 March 1948. Jinnah forced the then ruler of Balochistan,  the Khan of Kalat, to accede to Pakistan and carried out an brutal military offensive to suppress a popular movement, which opposed this move. The national resistance movement of the Baloch people has been going on since that day, he said. Today, after the announcement of the CPEC, with China's help, human rights violations are on rise. He regarded CPEC as a Chinese strategy aimed at military expansionism in the region. He indirectly mentioned the fact that apart from the military forces, Pakistan army has unleashed the radical Islamist and jihadi groups on the innocent Baloch people. He said that Balochistan is home to a million Zikri people who believe in Sufism and Balochistan, as a whole, is proud of its secular tradition and spirit of tolerance. However, today they are the targets of Pakistani jihadi groups funded and enabled by the military of Pakistan. Thus, the project was a matter of life and death for the people of Balochistan, he concluded.

Mr Ehsan Monnawar said that Afghanistan was the heart of Asia and owned several trillion dollars of resources, but the new democratic Afghanistan was facing a bad situation due to external interference of neighbours, especially Pakistan. He said that the world knew quite well that Afghanistan had been in a state of war for the past four decades and the neighbouring country, Pakistan, was sheltering terrorists. When Russia attacked Afghanistan, Afghanistan managed to defeat the Russians, but the people of Afghanistan were still struggling to achieve peace, because Pakistan made it impossible for Afghanistan to overcome the challenge of terrorism by funding and sheltering terrorist group in its soil. He held, that Pakistan was nurturing ISIS and using it against the people of Balochistan and Afghanistan. By turning Gwadar into a military base with Chinese help through CPEC, Pakistan is ensuring its strategic hold over the entire coast and the connecting overland route and denying Afghanistan, a landlocked country, access to the sea.

Mr. Alok Bansal said that, the OBOR project would economically affect Europe more than others. He said that India was the only country that did not join the project. Raising a legal and constitutional issue, he held that Gilgit-Baltistan, which provided the critical connecting link to the CPEC, was not a part of either Pakistan or China, because the area was not mentioned in the Constitutions of both the countries. Same was the case of the so called ‘Azad’ Kashmir. India's Constitution clearly mentioned the area as part of its territory. In such a situation, it was illegal on the part of both Pakistan and China to build CPEC through its territory without consulting India. Bansal further said that, when the leader of the Baloch Nationalist Party (BNP), Ataullah Mengal was told that Gwadar would become another Karachi, he retorted: “Those who are building Gwadar as Karachi, are willing to eliminate the Baloch nation." There is no Baloch working on the Gwadar Port project. People in China were not being allowed to keep fast on Muslim religious occasions and are forced to shave beards, but the same Chinese are being welcomed by an Islamic state to build connectivity infrastructure in Pakistan. This was an anachronism and it could only be possible because of a strategic nexus between the two. He held that the people of Pakistan were not aware of the long-term implications of the CPEC. He cited the example of Chinese investments in Sri Lanka and said that China constructed the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, which was not commercially viable. When Sri Lanka was asked to repay the loan, which went into the making of the port, it could not return money to China. Sri Lanka was compelled to hand it over to China and lease away 15000 acres of adjacent land to China for 99 years, to develop it as a commercial township. The real intention of China is to expand its strategic footprint in the Indian neighbourhood. He said that this was being replicated in Gwadar and Pakistan would face the brunt of it later. According to him, the CPEC had unsettled regional strategic balance and made the region more insecure than it was earlier.

Mr. Shunichi Fujki said that no one knew about Balochistan in Japan and got to know about it only after obtaining information about CPEC and agreed with other panelists that it had a negative impact on regional security. Mr. Naser Buledai said that Pakistan and Iran were using the name of Islam politically to suppress the genuine nationalist movement in Balochistan. Human rights violations were at their peak in Balochistan and nobody was taking notice of it. He said that Pakistan was using the Islamic card and provoking the Baloch people to target Chabahar Port, which India was constructing to access Afghanistan and Central Asia. Pakistan backed Lashkar-e-Khurasan of ISIS is active in Eastern and Western Balochistan, he said.

Mr. Lakoo Lohana of the World Sindh Congress said that the Baloch and Sindhi nations faced a critical existential challenge. In 21st century, when all human beings were supposed to live freely in their native land in their own way, the people of Balochistan and Sindh were being denied that right by the state of Pakistan. He said that Sindh generated seventy percent of Pakistan's resources and was home to the only port of consequence in Pakistan, i.e., Karachi. But seventy percent of the people of Sindh living were living below the poverty line. “Pakistan does not need the people of Sindh but its resources and the land”, he said. Both the Sindhis and the Baloch people were facing oppression, cruelty and slavery and the CPEC was going to increase their problems as Pakistan army is eager to provide utmost security to the Chinese and enhance its deployment in these states.

Mr. Nadeem Nusrat said that Karachi port was being expanded and Gwadar will become another Karachi. Religious proxies were being created in Balochistan to unleash a reign of terror on the innocent people there. It is exactly the same tactic Pakistan had adopted in Karachi for a long time. He said that the Muhajirs were, like the Baloch, the most secular of all people in Pakistan and MQM was the most secular of all the mainstream Pakistani political parties. However, the muhajirs were suffering at the hands of ‘rangers’ for the last four years, while the jihadis were allowed to hold rallies, collect money and distribute pamphlets openly. Pakistan Army and Intelligence agencies were helping them, while MQM offices were forcibly shut down. The same tactic was also being adopted against the Balochi people and the process would only intensify because it was natural for the Baloch people to oppose CPEC and Pakistan had decided to do everything possible to provide security to Chinese projects in future.

Echoing Dr Zafar Baloch’s statement, Dr Naseer Dashti said that CPEC was a matter of life and death for the Baloch and the Sindhis. “If there is CPEC, there will be no Baloch”, he said emphasizing the contradictions further. He argued that Gwadar Port was planned to be built in the 1990s but could not be built because of western resistance. However, after 9/11, when relations between Pakistan and the West worsened because of the support provided by the Pakistani agencies to the Taliban, Pakistan thought seriously in terms of deepening relations with China as an alternative and invited the latter to implement the project. He said that Pakistan has planned to settle thousands of people along the corridor to provide protection to these projects. Ninety percent of lands around Gwadar, he said, had already been provided to the Army and people from Punjab. About two million people have already been forced to flee Balochistan and settle outside Balochistan in different parts of the world. There is a plan to settle more than three million other people in Balochistan and reduce Baloch to a minority in their own land. After a few decades, the Baloch will be effectively pushed out of Balochistan. He also regretted that the Balochi language was on the verge of extinction and all the Baloch political parties were being severely suppressed by the army. He supported the argument that Pakistan had created many religious extremists in Balochistan to suppress Baloch nationalist spirit. Security agencies were also backing drug mafias and extremists in return for their cooperation in persecuting the people of Balochistan, and curbing the ongoing freedom movement there.

Uyghur activist, Dolkun Isa, said that the first victims of the CPEC were the Uyghurs because it started from Xinjiang, their native land. China had enslaved the Uyghurs and was bent on wiping out their language, culture and religion. The same was going to happen to poor Baloch people as CPEC would be implemented, he opined.

Talking about the Human Rights violations in Balochistan, Mr. Taj said that his institution has access to only 25% of Balochistan, which made the information base very limited. Even then, he averred, the scale and magnitude of violations were too large not to attract the attention of the world. He informed a shocked audience that all the villages on the CPEC route were being systematically destroyed and depopulated. Through targeted military operations, the army forced the locals to migrate and villages after villages were being besieged by armed forces and the males of the villages were being forcibly arrested and eliminated. “The cases of forced disappearance in Balochistan has assumed grave proportions and it is strange that the conscience of the international community remains unaffected”, he said. According to his information, in 2005, the army abducted BSO-Azad leaders who went missing for one year. The "kill and dump" policy started in 2009 and it has taken a new shape today. The Pakistani army abducts people and keeps them in dungeons for weeks, months and years, where they are tortured and then killed and their bodies are handed over to hospital administration or local authorities with the claim that they were terrorists and killed in encounters. Teachers and disabled people are also not being spared. He urged the audience to go through HRCB reports to get a detailed and unbiased view of the massive violations taking place in Balochistan today. He said that whosoever opposed or disagreed with the CPEC project in Balochistan was being picked up, tortured and killed. Balochistan is under siege, and media and Human Rights organizations are not allowed to enter Balochistan. People who live outside Balochistan and speak for Baloch human rights are also not safe. Sabeen Mahmood is one such example who was killed in Karachi because she dared to host a programme on Balochistan. Dr. Manan, a politician who raised concerns and opposed CPEC, was killed with one bullet in his head. The situation would worsen further of the world community did not react to such barbarity, he concluded.

Jawad Baloch said that the situation in Balochistan was worsening day by day. There are ruthless and brutal military operations being conducted by the Pakistan army in all parts of Balochistan. Scores of people have been abducted. Houses are being burnt. Genocide of Baloch is taking place in the name of CPEC project. The lure of dollars being pumped into this project by China have made Pakistan determined enough to go ahead with the Baloch genocide to remove all trace of resistance to CPEC. They want to complete this project on the dead bodies and mass graves of the Baloch. The silence of the world has encouraged Pakistan to keep committing human rights violations in the name of eliminating anti-national elements.

Niaz Baloch stated that throughout history the youth and the students had always fought injustice and oppression and sacrificed their lives for the sake liberty and independence. The Baloch people CPEC project is an exploitation project even worse than the ongoing projects with Chinese investments in Saindak and Rekodik. The CPEC is a move to further strengthen the process of colonization of the whole of Balochistan. All areas that are on the CPEC route are under heavy military control. Several areas have been handed over to the death squad groups raised by the military to kill the Baloch people. Balochistan has been transformed into a large military garrison. He appealed to the international human rights activist and media persons to visit Balochistan and show the real picture of Balochistan to the world.

There was a consensus among the participants that the CPEC was more strategic than economic as far as its objectives were concerned. The participants agreed that it might push Pakistan into a debt trap and turn it into a colony of China and exacerbate the regional geopolitical tension contributing to the security concerns of other neighbouring states. China’s control of Gwadar and economic resources of Balochistan was detrimental to the interests of the Baloch people who were likely to come under two colonial masters instead of one. The determination of Pakistani military to execute CPEC by all means would result in eventual liquidation of the people of Balochistan, which was a grave challenge for human rights advocates all over the world. The participants appealed to all concerned to keep a closer tab on the developments on the ground in Balochistan, as the CPEC was being implemented, and generate pressure on Pakistan to stop atrocities on the people of Balochistan in the name of bringing economic prosperity with Chinese help to Pakistan.
http://sangarpublication.com/home/page/480.html

Subramanian Swamy urges Home Ministry to probe into Rahul Gandhi’s secret British citizenship

Subramanian Swamy urges Home Ministry to probe into Rahul Gandhi’s secret British citizenship

Rahul Gandhi signed as a British Citizen in company filings, MHA should probe - Swamy

By Team PGurus -

 

September 21, 2017

    

Rahul Gandhi

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint with the Union Home Ministry against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for secretly keeping a British citizenship. In the complaint addressed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Swamy produced documents of Company Register in the United Kingdom about the company called Backops Limited, floated by Rahul Gandhi. In these documents, Rahul Gandhi has declared himself as a British citizen, said Swamy producing the documents of Rahul Gandhi’s company floated in London.

Swamy produced documents of Rahul’s company showing on many occasions declaring himself as a British citizen with two London addresses.


“I am enclosing this with letter some authenticated documents regarding the registration in 2003 and dissolution in 2009 of a Private Limited company in United Kingdom with an address located in London. The name of the company is BACKOPS LIMITED and Director and Secretary of this company were Mr. Rahul Gandhi, presently Lok Sabha MP. The incorporation papers of this company No: 4874597 was filed with Registrar of Companies England and Wales on August 21, 2003, and the dissolution was on February 17, 2009.

“As you can see from the company Annual Return (on Page 6 bottom of the enclosed document) that Mr. Rahul Gandhi has given his date of birth correctly but has declared himself to be of British nationality with a United Kingdom address at 51 Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9EH,” said Swamy asking Home Ministry probe on Rahul Gandhi’s secret citizenship and cancel  his Indian citizenship and Lok Sabha Membership for violating laws.

Swamy produced documents of Rahul’s company showing on many occasions declaring himself as a British citizen with two London addresses. “Finally in the dissolution application in 2009 as well, Mr. Rahul Gandhi states that his nationality is British as on the date he was appointed as Director of the said company,” said Swamy.

“This is, prima facie, a violation of the law and the Constitutional position in the country as stated below:

As per Article 9 of the Indian Constitution, every citizen of India is barred from voluntarily acquiring citizenship of any foreign State. While the United Kingdom permits Dual Citizenship, India emphatically does not. Article 18 prohibits an Indian citizen from accepting even foreign titles. Hence Mr. Rahul Gandhi has, prima facie, committed an unconstitutional act and therefore liable to be stripped of his citizenship and membership of the Lok Sabha.No Member of Parliament can incorporate a company abroad without prior permission under the existing laws and without declaring the same in his nomination form as candidate for election to Parliament.

Hence In urge you to treat this matter with great urgency and immediately take necessary steps to see if this prima facie evidence is rebuttable, and if not, order that Mr. Rahul Gandhi be stripped of his citizenship, and his membership of the Lok Sabha, forthwith,” said Swamy.

The BJP leader in November 2015 had brought this issue before Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and she had ordered Ethics Committee to probe on the matter.  The Ethics Committee headed by LK Advani had sought a response from Rahul Gandhi. In his Rahul’s reply, he never explained why he has declared himself as a British citizen and made evasive replies that none can doubt his Indian origin.

Now Swamy himself became petitioner to Home Ministry, the custodian of Citizenship related issues.   The detailed complaint and documents produced by Swamy demanding Rahul Gandhi’s secret British citizenship are published below

September 20, 2017

Naela Quadri: Pakistan has license to kill baloch

http://wap.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/baloch-republican-party-protests-against-violence-on-baloch-women-and-children-in-pakistan-117091600790_1.html

ANI | Berlin [Germany] Sep 16, 2017 09:57 PM IST

The Baloch Republican Party held a protest demonstration in Wilhelm-Leuschner Platz, Germany against violence on Baloch women and children by Pakistan Army.

Baloch Republican Party staged a protest in Wilhelm-Leuschner Platz/Petersstraße Leipzig , Germany on Saturday to highlight the ongoing Baloch genocide and human rights violations and the disappearance of Baloch people through the hands of Pakistani military and intelligence agencies in Balochistan, the Baloch National Movement (BNM) Germany chapter held demonstrations in different cities.

"Thousands of Baloch women and children continue to fall prey to the sexual harassment and illegal detention at the hands of the Pakistan Army," a protester said.

Accusing the Pakistan Army of having the licence to "kill, rape and torture Baloch people and to take out their organs to sell them", Baloch Kurd liberation activist and World Baloch Women's Forum president Naela Quadri Baloch has demanded that the United Nations which has "turned blind and has closed its ears and mouth" - to wake up and listen what is going on in Balochistan.

"The Pakistani Army has (a) licence to kill us, licence to rape us, licence to torture, licence to take out organs and sell them, because the Pakistani Army is involved in the organ trade of the Baloch people with the help of the Edhi Foundation; and, Pakistan is running rape cells, where Baloch women are abducted, kept and raped. Pakistan is doing all kinds of those atrocities that a sane human mind cannot imagine," Naela told ANI.

Stating that Pakistan is committing this genocide of the Baloch people with the full support of China as a form of "ethnic cleansing", Naela said: "The International Day of Human Rights was announced by the U.N., but it is silent despite the atrocities and the level of genocide going on in Balochistan by the Pakistan Army and the Pakistani establishment. It's like a kind of situation where Baloch people have no rights that even your animals have."

Buttressing her claims, the Baloch activist said, "We have found more than 100 mass graves with more than 100 bodies in each, and doctors say they were alive when they were buried in those mass graves."

They are burning Baloch villages and towns - it is a situation that no human heart can see and keep silent, she said, adding, "But we are surprised and we are worried about the legal status of the U.N. now."

She said that what is going on in a part of the world (Balochistan) is very much needed for connecting the Indian Ocean to the Central Asia; it's very much needed to be a route; it's very much needed for people's trade; and it's very much needed for the economic corridor (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor-CPEC). "It is not a corridor; it is our home; it is a corridor for outsider; it is a corridor for occupiers and passersby; for us it is our home," she said

Army, Pentagon Upgrade ATACMS Missile to Attack Ships at Sea

http://scout.com/military/warrior/Article/Cross-Domain-Fires-Army-Pentagon-Upgrade-ATACMS-Missile-to-Attac-107725880


Scout Warrior - 45 minutes ago0

The Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office is working with the Army on a technical upgrade to the Army Tactical Missile System long-range missile to better enable “cross-domain” warfare and configure the weapon such that it can destroy moving enemy ships at sea.

By Kris Osborn

Cross-domain warfare is an area of increased strategic focus for the Pentagon’s SCO (Strategic Capabilities Office), an entity specifically stood up for the purpose of connecting promising emerging technologies with existing weapons platforms.  

The conceptual foundation of cross-domain fires is to not only recognize fast-progressing newer warfare domains such as space, cyber and electronic warfare -- but to also adjust to the growing extent to which air, land and sea platforms need to interoperate in a high-threat modern combat environment. For instance, fighter jets and drones need an ability to transmit target information or ISR data to surface ships, land combat mission stations or even space-based assets.

One of the key elements of this strategy involves an Army effort to think of traditionally land-based weapons such as artillery, rockets or missile systems as a joint combat asset able to use mobility, range and sensor technology to, for example, destroy moving targets such as enemy air assets or ships at sea.

Army senior leaders, working in close coordination with joint planners and Pentagon strategists, have explored this concept with respect to using mobile, land-based artillery to counter Chinese maritime aggressiveness in the South China Sea. A mobile 777 Howitzer or Paladin self-propelled artillery vehicle could just as easily track and target maritime threats as it can attack fixed land-based targets, senior Army officials explained to Scout Warrior.

--- To Read Scout Warrior's Previous Report on SCO Efforts to Fire a Rail Gun HPV from an Army Howitzer CLICK HERE ---

The Army’s ATACMS falls clearly within the scope of these strategic concepts and could potentially be closely aligned with cross-domain warfare tactics. It is a 13-foot, 3,600-pound surface-to-surface missile first fired during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s; ATACMS is a Lockheed-developed weapon able to hit targets as far as 100 miles away.  Using GPS/INS guidance technology, ATACMS can explode a unitary blast fragmentation warhead. 

“Partnering with the Army, SCO is incorporating an existing seeker (into ATACMS) that will enable our ground forces to threaten mobile targets on land and sea,” Dr. William B. Roper, Jr. Director, Strategic Capabilities Office, told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense earlier this year.

--- To Read Scout Warrior's Previous Report on Possible Deployment Mobile Army Land Weapons in South China Sea CLICK HERE ---

Army weapons developers did not wish to elaborate upon the technical specifics of the ATACMS seeker they are working on with SCO, likely for security reasons. However, the service has talked about ongoing work with Lockheed to engineer a proximity sensor for the weapon such that it can detonate above or near intended targets without needing to make contact or detonate on impact.

Also, Army officials did describe some of the key advantages their work on ATACMS with SCO will bring to the joint warfighting enterprise.


“Deploying this upgrade on an operational system like ATACMS will enable the Army to use existing force structures for rapid development and fielding, while providing a near-term capability to service moving land and maritime targets,” Dan O’Boyle, spokesman for the Army’s Program Executive Office Missile and Space, told Scout Warrior.

SCO’s multi-domain weapons integration and testing approach is as part of a broader effort to more quickly bring enhanced combat capability to the force more quickly than longer-term developmental programs.

“Modifying systems for new missions in new domains—a practice likely to become easier as designs become open and payloads, modular—has the obvious advantage of creating fog of war, but it also provides an additional bonus—rapid force structure—whenever modifications can be retrofit to current inventories en masse,” Roper said.  

Other fast-developing SCO projects include releasing small drones from the flare dispenser on an F-16, firing the Navy’s rail-gun Hypervelocity Projectile from an Army Howitzer and exploring ways of configuring an existing large air platform to function as a high-tech arsenal plane.

Visit Warrior

Assessing the Sino-Russian Baltic Sea Drill


Source: Jamestown Foundation

By: Richard Weitz

September 20, 2017 05:08 PM Age: 6 hours

From July 21 to July 28, 2017, the Chinese and Russian navies conducted a week of joint drills in the Baltic Sea, the first of their planned two-phase bilateral maritime exercises for 2017. This was the latest iteration of what the Chinese call “Joint Sea” and the Russians their “Maritime Cooperation” exercises. The Russians and the Chinese have conducted these naval exercises regularly since 2012. The Chinese and Russian contingents in the Baltic maneuvers featured some of their newest warships, as well as several fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and marine units. The symbolic aspects of these drills are important for both countries. Moscow wants to underscore its relationship with its most important security partner and counter Western efforts at isolation. Beijing’s status also benefits from a display of global military potential, though China also makes more concrete operational gains since its fleet is less experienced deploying so far from its mainland. While the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is not going to engage in combat in the Baltic, a theater of secondary importance for China and a location where PLAN warships could hardly survive against NATO, the expanding foreign presence of the Chinese Navy has implications far beyond the Sino-Russian relationship.

The PLAN’s Participation

On June 18, 2017, the three participating Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy PLAN vessels from the South Sea Fleet departed their home port of Sanya, in the Southern Chinese province of Hainan (China Daily, July 24). After a month-long, 10,000-mile voyage through the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean, British Channel, and the Danish Straits, the Chinese destroyer, frigate, and support ship arrived at the Russian harbor of Baltiysk for a welcoming ceremony on July 21. This exercise marked the first occasion that a PLAN flotilla entered the Baltic Sea (Sputnik, July 25). After the military maneuvers, the Chinese ships docked at the Lieutenant Schmidt Quay in St. Petersburg, opening the ship to visitors (New China, July 28). They also participated in Russia’s July 30 Navy Day celebrations and maritime parade (Xinhua, July 28).

The PLAN contingent of three warships was led by the Hefei, a Type 052D Luyang III-class guided-missile destroyer, one of China’s most advanced warships. The PLAN flotilla also included a Type 054A Jiangkai II-class missile frigate, the FFG-546 Yuncheng, which already participated in a multinational anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden (Sputnik, July 24). The last ship was the type 903A Quiandaohu-class supply replenishment ship, the Luomahu. The PLAN vessels brought several ship-borne helicopters and a contingent of marines to the drills. Participating Russian vessels included two newly-launched Project 20380 class corvettes, the Stereguschyand Boiky, the Admiral Tributs, an anti-submarine ship a Project 02980 rescue support tug. Russia’s largest submarine, the Project 941 Akula class (Typhoon) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, a contingent of marines, shipborne Kamov Ka-27 multipurpose military helicopters, Antonov An-26 military transport aircraft, and land-based Su-24 tactical bombers also participated (Eurasia Expert, June 25).

The forces were commanded by Russian Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov and PLAN Vice Admiral Tian Zhong, who issued guidance through a joint headquarters and binational tactical command post, with Russian as the operational language (Xinhua, July 24; and TASS, July 21). As in previous bilateral exercises, Joint Sea 2017 had two stages. From July 21-24, they engaged in ceremonial, planning, and tabletop activities inland and on the Kaliningrad coast. From July 24-July 27, they divided into two tactical groups and conducted mixed tactical drills at sea. Their tasks during this “active phase” consisted of inspecting suspicious ships, liberating vessels seized by pirates, defending cargo ships, maritime search and rescue of sailors, rendering assistance to distressed vessels, and joint air defense, anti-submarine warfare (ASW),and surface maneuvers in which some 1,500 shells were fired (TASS, July 21; and Sputnik, July 26; and Xinhua, July 28).

ASW has been a recurring activity in these joint naval drills. Both China and Russia worry about protecting their littorals from US attack submarines armed with cruise missiles, torpedoes, and other land-attack and anti-ship weaponry. China’s developing strategic submarine fleet means that PLA planners increasingly share the concern of their Russian counterparts about how to defend their boomers from US ASW. Russia has readily sold ships and submarines to China optimized for ASW. The two militaries likely find the other a willing exercise partner when it comes to enhancing their ASW skills—the PLAN in particular can benefit from Russia’s superior experience in tracking US submarines.

Partnership and Presence

The Chinese Ministry of Defense said that the exercises aim to enhance their “capability to jointly cope with threats to maritime security by ensuring joint rescue and joint protection of maritime economic activities” (People’s Daily Online, July 21). China and Russia depend on maritime trade and participated in joint counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden. The two governments routinely insist that their military partnership is not directed against third parties. True to form, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said that the Baltic drill is not aimed at anyone but was merely the latest routine Russian-Chinese exercise (TASS, June 22). Some Chinese media commentators argued that Western observers were overreacting to these innocent exercises (People’s Daily Online, July 21).

Others were less circumspect. Writing in Global Times, Cui Heng, a scholar at the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University, said that the exercises “demonstrate to the West the determination of China-Russia strategic coordination” and “the determination of their joint efforts to maintain regional balance and strategic stability.” He urged that “China should not back down from its current stance in the face of criticism from NATO countries,” which he considered “inevitable in the growth of a great power.” In his view, “China is enhancing its presence in oceans around the world. An appropriate entry into the NATO countries’ ‘backyard’ like the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic Sea will reflect China’s confidence and strength” (Global Times, July 20). Yang Mian, a scholar at the Chinese Institute of Communications, said that, while the exercises were “not directed against any third country…they act as a strategic deterrent against any potential aggression. The current drills in the Baltic Sea show the world that such drills could be held anywhere when the security interests of the two countries are affected” (Sputnik, July 25). Ma Bin, a professor at Fudan University, perceived Beijing’s decision to hold military maneuvers in the Baltic Sea “as China’s support of Russia in its confrontation with NATO” (Sputnik, July 25). Ni Lexiong, a military expert at the University of Politics and Law in Shanghai, described Sino-Russian security cooperation as natural since “China and Russia have their backs against each other now…They need to lean on each other for support to deal with hostilities from different fronts” (Sputnik, July 21).

Besides its operational contribution, these drills affirm that Sino-Russian military cooperation constitutes a significant element of their partnership despite their lack of a formal bilateral military alliance. Navy expert Li Jie observed that “By sending its most advanced guided-missile destroyers, China is expressing its sincerity to Russia” (Global Times, June 19). Although this summer’s Sino-Russian drill was smaller in size than prior exercises, limiting the two sides’ ability to learn skills or enhance operational interoperability, Moscow needed Beijing to dispatch only a few advanced ships to such a critical region to demonstrate the symbolic importance China attaches to cooperation with Russia, as well as provide tangible evidence of the maritime might of both states. Similar to the various Moscow military parades that for decades have shown off Russia’s newest military hardware, that Beijing sent a flotilla halfway around the world to some of the globe’s most sensitive waters demonstrated how important China sees its defense ties with Moscow.

Furthermore, engaging in military maneuvers in a region so far from the Chinese mainland underscores the developing global reach of the PLAN’s new “blue-water” fleet. The PLA Navy has been making a sustained effort to improve its long-range deployment capabilities. In recent years, the Chinese government has been boosting its spending on the Navy and elevating the service’s importance in the PRC national security hierarchy traditionally been dominated by the ground force. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, “China’s expanding international economic interests are increasing demands for the PLAN to operate in more distant maritime environments to protect Chinese citizens, investments, and critical sea lines of communication (SLOC).” [1] In recent years, the PLAN has been expanding access to foreign ports and logistical networks to sustain longer deployments. In 2015, it took part in joint maneuvers with Russia in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. China’s recently launched first overseas military base in Djibouti, a key strategic area in the Horn of Africa proximate to critical international sea routines, further enhances its global maritime capabilities. The establishment of this base and China’s participation in joint exercises far from its territorial waters confirms Beijing’s quest for a more expeditionary military capable of enhancing China’s international power and prestige. Although there are no indications that the PLAN aims to establish a permanent presence in the Baltics, Chinese officials have justified developing a blue-water Navy by citing the need to protect shipping lanes and Chinese trade interests. Beijing’s massive One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, which is building land-based roads, rail lines, and other trade and transportation conduits, complements its growing maritime presence.

Looking Ahead

China’s compensation for undertaking exercises in waters contested by Russia adversaries will occur in September, when Phase II of Joint Sea 2017 takes place in the Sea of Japan near territorial waters Beijing disputes with other Pacific states as well as in the Sea of Okhotsk, in northeast Asia near the Korean Peninsula (People’s Daily OnlineJuly 23). At an August 5 meeting in Vladivostok, Chinese and Russian representatives decided that this second stage would practice joint protection of maritime communications (Economika Segodna, August 5).

Sino-Russian military will expand further in coming years. At a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in June, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan remarked that, “The sphere of our cooperation is constantly expanding, there is a positive trend in the development of military cooperation” (Sputnik, June 7). At this session, Russia and China adopted a new roadmap for bilateral defense cooperation for 2017–2020, with regular bilateral exercises and other defense activities projected throughout the period. China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson in a regular press briefing, said that the signed roadmap “shows high-level mutual trust and cooperation” and helps “both sides to face new threats and challenges in the security field and to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability” (China News, June 29).

Although Sino-Russian defense ties are mutually important, both countries engage in important military drills with other countries. A week before Joint Sea 2017, a PLAN flotilla conducted live-fire drills in the Mediterranean in a joint exercise with Italy. At the time of the Baltic drills, another PLAN patrol, led by Changchun, a Type 052C guided-missile destroyer, was also in the Mediterranean Sea, on what the PRC Defense Ministry called “a goodwill voyage to more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania” (PRC MOD, July 12). Both China and Russia had modest military drills with Iran in July. The Chinese and, until recently, Russian navies also engage in bilateral and multilateral exercises with the U.S. Navy. Following Joint Sea 2017, the three PLAN ships visited Helsinki, the capital of Finland, perhaps to reassure the Scandinavians of Beijing’s friendly intentions. China and Russia also engage in large unilateral maneuvers and military shows of force that are arguably more significant than their join drills. For example, shortly after Joint Sea 2017, China conducted naval exercises in the waters between the coast of Qingdao and Lianyungang to highlight its capabilities for Korean contingencies (South China Morning Post, August 8).

Interestingly, that the United States and European navies have regularly operated in waters near China, despite Beijing’s objections. During Joint Sea 2017, the UK government announced it would send its two new carriers on freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) into the South China Sea when then enter service (The GuardianJuly 27). Now the Chinese Navy is developing an enduring international presence, as seen by its recent sending of an “intelligence” ship near Alaska to monitor a concurrent THAAD test (CNBC, July 14). Perhaps the Chinese objections to U.S. FONOPS near China may decline as the PLAN develops the capacity and practice to engage in such blue-water patrols itself.

Richard Weitz, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.

Notes

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017, U.S. Department of Defense, June 6, 2017. p. 5. https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2017_China_Military_Power_Report.PDF?ver=2017-06-06-141328-770

Diversity Is Radical Islam’s Greatest Weakness


http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/20/diversity-is-radical-islams-greatest-weakness/

LAWRENCE SELLIN

Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve

2:31 PM 09/20/2017

Since its inception, religion has been used politically, as a unifying force, as a pretext for conquest and as a means to suppress dissent. It is the same for pseudo-religions like fascism and communism.

Although fascism and communism were historically short-lived, one by defeat in war, the other by its inherent economic infeasibility, even pseudo-religions are subject to ideological fissures, ethnic fault lines and differing national interests, not the least of which was the Sino-Soviet split exploited by the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s.

There is much discussion about defeating radical Islam “ideologically” because, they say, you can’t defeat it militarily. But what exactly does that mean in practice?

Most often, that plan can be distilled down to a nebulous combination of approaches to discredit radical Islam through education, social media and encouraging moderate Muslims to “reform” Islam or “mainstream” radical Islamic movements, as in the following contribution from the Brookings Institute, sentiments often regurgitated by American political literati:

“It is not enough to assert the numerous and very real divergences between mainstream Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and extremists like ISIS. The true task at hand lies in fighting ideology with ideology. The obligation, then, is to undermine the foundations upon which extremism has drawn and to lay to rest those controversial rulings, religious personalities, and eras which provide fodder for an Islamic legitimacy for extremist ideologies to hide behind, and with which to deem their actions Islamic. Such rulings rely upon certain interpretations of the Quran and Sunnah (sources of legislation in Islam).”

That may sound profound, but it is preposterous. ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood have the same goals, a global caliphate and the imposition of Sharia, only differing in their methods, one by violence the other by subversion. Whether they interpret the Islamic texts literally or by clerical edit is irrelevant in terms of their opposition to Judeo-Christian-based Western democracy. Neither believe in coexistence.

There are, in fact, a more easily understood and practical strategies for fragmenting radical Islam by applying the principles of DIME (Diplomacy, Information, Military, Economics) and domestic legislation against radical Islamic elements:

Whether by providing funding, safe havens or both, radical Islam is largely state-sponsored led by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan.Leverage the Sunni-Shia schism (e.g. Saudi Arabia versus Iran or within countries), ethnic separatism (e.g. Kurdish and Baloch nationalist movements in Iran) and the conflicts arising among the various radical Islamic groups, such as in Pakistan.Using legal remedies, do not allow into or tolerate within society radical Islamic individuals, policies or practices meant to undermine Western democracies.

The problem with the education, social media and moderate Muslim approach is that it was developed from a liberal Western democratic perspective, which has little utility in the fanatical world of radical Islam.

Rather than fighting ideology with ideology, the U.S. should become more comfortable with fighting insurgency and instability with insurgency and instability.

For example, continuation of the 16-year-old mostly reactive counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan is a fool’s errand.

You get at the Taliban through Pakistan and you get at Pakistan through China. Making China nervous about its investment in Pakistan by Pakistan’s investment in Islamic terrorism would be more effective in changing the strategic conditions in Afghanistan than troop surges.

Amping up the ethnic insurgency in Balochistan would do just that. It would also put pressure on Iran, whose southeastern province has a Balochi majority seeking autonomy, complementing the Kurdish nationalist movement in northwestern Iran, placing Tehran inside an insurgency sandwich.

Approaches exploiting the fractures in the edifice of radical Islam would allow the U.S. to go on the offensive in a manner less costly in blood and treasure than its current defensive posture.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

Naela Quadri Baloch at UN conference

September 19, 2017

‘Vistar dalam’ centre-stage in conf on Naxal strategy

Soumitra Bose | TNN | Updated: Sep 3, 2017, 02.08PM IST

 

NAGPUR: The formations and functional aspects of Naxalites' 'Vistar dalam', active at the tri-junction of Gondia (Maharashtra)-Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh)-Rajnanadgaon (Chhattisgarh), was discussed in the inter-state conference on Naxalites held at Gadchiroli on Friday. The conference was organized and conducted by DIG, Naxal range, Ankush Shinde.

The main aspects of the conference, also attended by officials from Kanker district of Chattisgarh, revolved around 'operational coordination' and 'information sharing'. Officials from Gondia too had participated in the conference. It's learnt that the officials from Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) too were present from both Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

Shinde, who had chaired the conference, said much emphasis has been laid on the intelligence collection and activities of the vistar dalam which is required to be nullified. "We have discussed the Standard operational procedures (SOPs) to remove glitches in the communication. In future, the aim would be to improve communication," he said.

It was also learnt that inter-state operations along the borders and other joint actions were also discussed. The information regarding the dalam members, key leaders, their locations and movements too were discussed among the officials. The inputs regarding formations of other new outfits and groups among the Naxalites, active in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, too were exchanged.

Information regarding urban cadres too were exchanged along with the reds' latest strategies and plans of the Naxalites from the seized materials and literature

The Hidden Magic of Uncertainty

Geoff Pilkington

Futurist, Neo-Generalist, Minimalist, Millennial, Indigo Kid, Actor, Blogger, Podcaster, and Content Creator.

Sep 15

www.tylershields.com

“All Great Changes Are Preceded By Chaos.”


~ Deepak Chopra


Who made the rule that we had to have an answer to everything? Who made the rule that we had to know who we are, what we want to do with our lives, what career we want to have, what religious doctrines (if any) we want to follow, who we want to marry, and what are hobbies, interests, or lack thereof entail? Who said there are these rules about being decisive? Everyone likes to give people reasons to “find themselves”. I want to take a step back today and examine the idea of the question. I digress. I know I’m asking a lot of questions here. But what if the answer was in that questioning and undecided state? We do not have answers without questions right? So as you’re wondering if you are interested in someone, if you should take this job or that job, or if you should get a salad at Whole Foods vs. drive through at Taco Bell take a step back and realize that we are constantly finding answers within our uncertain states. Want to know why?

Let me tell you a secret:

Uncertainty = Vulnerability

That’s where the magic is.

By not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable we deprive ourselves of feelings. Without feelings, we are lost. We are talking heads. In a society that endlessly pounds away at us to have the answer to the question, who’s to say “I don’t know.” is not the right answer? What is Vulnerability? What are some examples of it?

The dictionary defines it as:

Vul·ner·a·bil·i·ty


noun


the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.


What does this evoke? Fear. And fear is scary. It goes without saying. But only by facing these fears, does change occur. So what are some examples of vulnerability?

In a recent presentation Melanie Childers (MA, MDiv, BCC, LPC) gives some great examples:

Telling my CEO that we won’t make payroll next month


Laying off employees


Presenting my ideas to the world and getting no response


Standing up for myself and for friends when someone else is critical or gossiping


Being accountable


Asking for forgiveness


Having faith


Waiting for the biopsy to come back


Saying no


Calling a friend whose child just died


First date after my divorce


Getting fired


Trying something new


Sharing an unpopular opinion.


Wow. Uncertainly requires bravery. It’s hard to be brave in 2017.

But ultimately…

Vulnerability = Facing Fears

Anyone ever been SkyDiving? I have. In Australia above the Great Barrier Reef. I must say it was a peaceful experience. Surprised? It was a lot of fun. And a rush. What is it about skydiving? Most people’s reaction is it seems like something incredibly scary. But once you’re in the air if you open your eyes it’s really not. Truly. It’s a “BLISSFUL” experience as Will Smith describes in the video I’m about to share.

“THE POINT OF MAXIMUM DANGER IS THE POINT OF MINIMUM FEAR.”


~Will Smith


Take a look at Will Smith talking about FEAR and SkyDiving:

I can personally confirm what he is saying is 100% correct. What can we learn from this? Ultimate serenity is on the other side of fear.

With that being said here are a couple of phases of our humanity and and proof that being a little uncertain in each phase that proves that uncertainty actually is a hidden answer in and of itself.

1. Vulnerability In Romance aka. The Problem with Dating Apps

Oscar Wilde once brilliantly proclaimed that the very essence of romance is uncertainty. Dating Apps are cool but wow do they strip away the real you. You can hide behind whatever you want. You don’t ever have to meet the person. You can put whatever your best photo is forward. You can show yourself doing fun things in exotic places. All this is wonderful, but it’s rare we see someone laying on their couch watching TV and eating Doritos.

Here’s another secret. The best moments expose real vulnerability and often lead to romance and connection.

Regarding the boom of online dating apps in the past few years, writer Cassie Werber in her article “Dating Apps Make People Less Attractive In Real Life”writes:

This is quite different from the traditional romantic trajectory, in which two people get to know each other and become closer over time. “Tinder feels more like a huge menu than mutually dependent reciprocal choice,” Hall says. Based on general evaluability theory, “people devalue their partner when they rate their conversation partner against attractive others, because they had other people they would have wanted more.”

The bottom line is to find a potential mate we have to love. We have to be out in the world and raw and real. I also truly believe that most of the time the person you meet in online dating is not what you expected when you see them in person. This is not always the case however it is very easy to be let down. Want to know why? Several reasons.

Our mind creates an imaginary, idealistic view of the person on the other end making it virtually impossible to ever match it. There’s many times when a person idolizes a movie star, band, or TV personality only to meet them and be let down when they realize they are actually just another person. Same goes with dating apps but on a smaller scale.People tend to make themselves look better on dating apps instead of being true to their own inner being and inner vulnerability.We are currently living in a spur-the-moment age of wanting it all fast and now. People want something right now and are easily distracted. They play into the idea that there is always something better around the corner.

But being vulnerable is not easy to do. We have to face things we don’t want to face. Living in the raw so to speak isn’t fun at first. But once we’ve jumped out of the airplane, realize we have a parachute, and see the beautiful view, fear turns to bliss.

The fact is:

Facing Fears = Not Comfortable

Finding love online is a tough game going in. That’s not to say plenty of people don’t meet their future soulmates on apps. But it is a hard platform to find connection on. The best thing you can possibly be is you and being you comes with allowing yourself to not necessarily be a perfect 10 in your real life or online life. There’s magic in vulnerability. There’s a hidden truth in uncertainty. Embrace this and you’ll be surprised what turns your life takes.

2. Vulnerability in Career

We are constantly told we have to be ready for job interviews. You better go in and know the answer to every questions, say the answer with confidence, and do all the right things or you don’t get the job. Bit of pressure no? First off, who says you have to have the answer to every question? Even in the biggest job interview of your life, not knowing the answer could be what makes a company hire you. The reason for this is it’s the moment we are most vulnerable is when we are most connected to our inner truth and humanity. Those moments of brash rawness are a beautiful and very authentic thing.

Mallory Blair, Co-founder of Small Girls PR met with a woman recently from an investment firm who runs communications for a portfolio that includes companies such as ASOS and Facebook. The woman asked her if she felt, at 25 years old and new to the PR world, vulnerable and insecure. It reminded her of an important human truth that is often overlooked.

Mallory writes:

So yes, I definitely feel vulnerable. Some days more than others. But it’s knowing that I don’t know everything that causes me to live by these four rules:


Hire people more experienced and smarter than I am


Be clear and upfront about anticipated results and capabilities


Charge based upon the value I can confidently deliver


Work tirelessly


Those are the same four rules that end up defining the quality of my personal output and, in turn, contribute to the character of our company.


Mallory realizes the power in vulnerability and in being honest with people about it. See, vulnerability drives progress. If we aren’t vulnerable, we are comfortable. Mallory concluded that not being comfortable meant change was inevitable.

Not comfortable = Change

If we are comfortable we are at a standstill. And last I checked you can’t steer a parked car. Identifying weaknesses improves strengths. There’s no better example of this than the gym. Breaking down muscle tissue builds stronger muscle tissue. See any La-Z Boy recliners at a gym recently? Comfort is boring and not attractive to the onlooker. I was working out with professional host and fitness trainer Brittani Zonkerrecently and she mentioned focusing on the parts of the body that are weakest during the workout. Not just to go in and work out those parts. But WHILE you’re working each part think about the part. Think about the muscles moving. This is what really builds muscle. It occurred to me afterwards that by identifying those “parts” in our day to day life, we build each muscle. So it’s best to embrace this power of not knowing the answers, seeing and recognizing your flaws, and embracing your vulnerable side. This will ultimately catapult you forward.

What have we learned so far?

Uncertainty = Vulnerability

Vulnerability = Facing Fears

Facing Fears = Not Comfortable

Not comfortable = Change

So what can we conclude?

Uncertainty = Change

You must live in and embrace uncertainty if you want to build a path to change. There’s magic in vulnerability. There’s hidden truth in uncertainty. What if the real answers to the questions of life were in the questions themselves?

By Geoff Pilkington

You can connect with me on my website, or a recent podcast I was on discussing my theories on ADHD

Time for Turkey and Iran to recognize Kurdistan state as an asset

Hemin Hussein Mirkhan

Source : Kurdistan 24

The highly anticipated meeting between the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, and Turkey’s Minister of National Defense Nurettin Canikli and their views on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) upcoming referendum was the trending headline of the Turkish and Iranian media in mid August. The current state of affairs is a strong feeling of Déja-Vu. The neighboring countries' strategy is to subdue the Kurds’ ambition of having their own state. Both countries perceive any given initiatives from the Kurds as a common threat. Ever since the emergence of modern Turkey and Iran, both governments have been fighting a disgruntled Kurdish entity in their respective backyards. The main theme and challenge of the KRG’s diplomatic missions, to Baghdad and abroad, has been to alter the regional power’s misperception toward the Kurds’ political agenda. The historical context of the Turkish-Iranian cooperation/alliance against Kurds reveals how an independent Kurdistan would be an asset to other countries.

Turkey, Iran, and Iraq‘s Saadabad’s non-aggression pact was the first significant act of cooperation to avert and destroy the Kurdish movement in the region in 1937. Even though some claim the reason for the treaty was to stop Iran from reclaiming Afghanistan and the east of the Tigris River, the underlining purpose was to subdue any Kurdish movement in their respective territories. This was part of their nation-building process, a vain effort to homogenize the identity of their countries. In 1975, after over a decade of a war of attrition between Iraq and Mustafa Barzani’s so-called Aylul revolution, the regional powers were against the Kurdish nationalist's aspirations. Ultimately, they managed to end the Kurdish movement, not by force, but through diplomacy. As anticipated, it did not have a happy ending. Iran and Iraq's eight years of war were the result of that. Turks' exhausting reluctance of dealing with its resident Kurds is another example. In short, substantial facts show that military means undermine the security of the region.

The KRG can upend the century-long neighboring countries' security dilemma. It is conspicuous that the mainstream discernment of neighboring countries' – Turkey, Iran, and now Iraq – views differ from KRG’s position on an independent Kurdistan. Political theories refer to this as fear of the domino effect, which some have cited as an excuse. These countries have been unsupportive of Kurdish aspirations in Iraq as they believe the same scenario would occur within their regions. The status of the Kurds in those areas however is dependent on their situation within those states. Irrespective of what happens to the Kurdistan Region, Kurds in Turkey and Iran have to cope with their own problems. Given the increasingly globalized setting, the Kurdish issue in Iran and Turkey will last for the foreseeable future. The trend is such that nations all around the world are becoming conscious of their rights. Therefore, Turkey and Iran are going to encounter ongoing threats: dealing with non-state actors, Kurds within their countries. To solve their prolonged security issues, both countries should think twice about a new independent Kurdistan in Iraq.

The rugged-mountainous terrain of Kurdistan has been a blessing and also a curse to the Kurds. It has deprived them of access to the sea and, therefore, international commerce and modern trade. The blessing is that the national armies of their adversaries cannot efficiently operate. Last century’s “Kurdish Issue” illustrates that very compellingly. Therefore, Turkey and Iran would have an unprecedented opportunity to cooperate with independent south Kurdistan to contain these Kurdish non-state actors. Turkish Kurdish Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), Iranian Kurdish Parties such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala are applying guerrilla warfare methods. An independent Kurdistan would only eliminate the threats of Turkey and Iran through full and sound security collaborations. The term is known as “triadic deterrence,” wherein “one state uses threats and punishments against another state to coerce it to prevent non-state actors from conducting attacks from its territory.”

The past 20 years of self-rule highlights the Kurdish leadership’s priority on national security and economic prosperity. Thus, from an economic standpoint, an independent Kurdistan, as other rentier states, would be an importing country. According to the KRG’s investment board, “Imports account for 85 percent of the estimated USD 5–5.5 billion of annual external trade in the Kurdistan Region.” Turkey and Iran share almost 90 percent of the imported goods and services. As such, this makes a landlocked Kurdistan ever dependent on these two countries. It would benefit both sides to maintain a partnership with Kurdistan. Turkey has a strategic economic interest in Kurdistan’s cheap natural resources. Iran’s export and trade with Kurdistan contribute to Iran’s employment growth and well-being, especially in its western borders. A strategic tri-lateral relation (Turkey-Iran- Kurdistan) based on common interests and opportunities would eliminate the common security threats and work on economic incentives.

The other side of the coin is maintaining the status quo, preserving Iraq’s territory, which by all standards has been unsuccessful. The failed state index placed Iraq on the alert category. Currently, Iraq is on the brink of an economic and security collapse. The United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq’s (UNAMI) monthly report on civilian and military killings in Iraq are extremely alarming. Thanks to Peshmerga forces and the coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State (IS), Iraq was saved from external military invasion. Intra-rivalries among the Shia, who have had a majority representation in the Iraqi Parliament since 2005, is discouraging. On the other hand, Sunnis neither have a strong leader nor see hope in a foreseeable future. Furthermore, relations between Baghdad and Erbil are minimal as both sides accuse each other of dishonoring the constitution. As a result, Iraq is, and will be, the source of instability for Turkey and Iran.

Baqeri and Canikli met to put pressure on the Kurds in Iraq to halt their upcoming referendum. Overtly, they asserted they wanted to secure their borders and deter terrorist activities. Nonetheless, both sides acknowledge the fact Iraq is a failed state. Excluding Iraq in the aforementioned meeting is a clear indication of their views on Iraq’s future. Therefore, the KRG’s policy-making intention is for an independent Kurdistan to be an asset to both Iran and Turkey. Against their conventional misperception toward an independent Kurdistan, these countries have a lot to lose if they try to mend an already broken Iraq. The Kurds are vigilant enough to sell their argument: An independent Kurdistan would be a source of stability and prosperity in the region.

 

Hemin Hussein Mirkhan is the Director of Centre for Regional and International Studies (CRIS) at the University of Kurdistan – Hewler (UKH).

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Kurdistan 24.

 

Editing by G.H. Renaud

September 18, 2017

Pakistan has been the face of international terrorism

Permanent Mission of India

Geneva

India’s Right of Reply

in response to Pakistan's Statement under Agenda Item 3

General Debate at the 36th Human Rights Council Session

 

  Mr. President,

       I am taking the floor to exercise India’s right of reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan.

 2. Pakistan has been misusing this august platform to pursue its perverse political objectives. Let me reiterate, Mr. President, that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India and will remain so. Pakistan is in illegal occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan's unsolicited and unwarranted comments pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir are factually incorrect and absolutely misleading. We outrightly reject them.

 3. The foremost challenge to the stability in Kashmir and in the region is the scourge of terrorism. Pakistan’s malicious attempt to hide its interference behind the facade of domestic discontent carries no credibility with the world.

 4.  In fact, Pakistan has been the face of international terrorism. Even the Foreign Minister of Pakistan has admitted recently that internationally banned outfits, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), are operating from within Pakistan. In the wake of growing international concern, Pakistan must shut down its terrorist manufacturing units and bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

5. Concrete evidence on cross-border support for the terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir has been handed over to Pakistan. Instead of working with a sense of purpose to address these issues, Pakistan resorts to shortsighted tactics of diverting the attention of this Council, as we have once again seen today.

Mr. President,

6. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have chosen and reaffirmed their destiny repeatedly through India's well-established democratic processes. On the otherhand, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is run by a ‘deep state’ and has become an epicenter of terrorism. Its human rights record in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Baluchistan is deplorable. Pakistan is known for using air-power and artillery against its own people, not once but repeatedly over the years.

7. It is high time for Pakistan to do some deep introspection and focus its energies on improving the human rights situation and dismantling the terrorist infrastructure - in Pakistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. This would go a long way in bringing peace and stability to the region and beyond.

Thank you, Mr. President

18 September 2017 Geneva

India slams OIC at UNHRC for making incorrect Statements

India slams OIC at UNHRC for making incorrect Statements

India's Right of Reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation under Agenda Item 3.

Mr. President

I’m taking this floor to exercise India’s right of reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation

India notes with utmost regret that the OIC in its statement contains factually incorrect and misleading references to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inseparable part of India.

India outrightly rejects all such references.

The OIC has no locus standi on India’s internal affairs.

We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future.

Thank you

Balochistan: Video - BLF fighters ambush Pakistani Army

BLF fighters ambush Pakistani Army convoy in balochistan.

VIDEO

https://vimeo.com/234240426

Political Activities are considered Terrorism, but Impunity to Real Terrorists 

Date: 18thSeptember 2017

His Excellency,

Mr. António Guterres,

Secretary General

United Nations,

New York

Sub: Political Activities are considered Terrorism, but Impunity to Real Terrorists 

I have the honour to submit some chilling facts about the atrocities committed by Pakistani regime against the two million indigenous people of UN disputed region, Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB). Political activists, religious persons and students of Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB) who do not comply with occupation regime’s dictation have been framed under the controversial anti-Terrorist act and Schedule 4. On the other hand, real terrorists who actually kill innocent civilians by bombing shrines, highways, and other places of peaceful social gatherings, roam freely despite video evidence and eye-witnesses. Those terrorists who killed thousands of innocent citizens of PoGB on KKH and in Gilgit on the basis of their faith have not been brought to Justice to this day. 

 

The New Definition of Terrorism in PoGB

It’s not necessary to impose anti-terrorism law in PoGB if (or when) anybody kills indigenous people or poses threat to humanity through bombing or any other means of violence. But this anti-terrorist law is instantly imposed against anyone who seeks help and raises voice against any injustice, or tries to hold a Press Conference, or writes letters to the UN, or demands for UNCIP declared rights, or the rights given by UN in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In spite of no presence of any UN declared terrorist organizations here in PoGB, more than a hundred and fifty people of PoGB are facing Schedule 4 (this is a China-Pakistan draconian law). Schedule 4 accused are subject to worst conditions than a prison, whereby the accused persons are even barred from dropping their own minor children at schools, or taking them to a Hospital for treatment. Anyone who attempts to violate these senseless restrictions is put behind bars without bail for years. Qayoom Khan of BNF is languishing in Gilgit Jail, along with several others, for the past one year without bail under this new definition of terrorism.

Those who disobey Pakistani orders by making peaceful demands for their rights are declared as terrorists. On the one hand, in an utterly disgraceful move to ensure its own colonial control over PoGB, Pakistan has deployed its citizens in all the departments including Administration, Police, and Judiciary to deprive the indigenous employee from their due rights. These Pakistani deployed senior officials are prejudiced and have evil designs against the indigenous people, who bully and defer fundamental rights of the people of occupied Gilgit Baltistan. On the other hand, Pakistan shamelessly keeps blowing the siren for self-determination for Indian controlled Jammu &Kashmir, at almost every international forum where it is invited. Since there does not exist a free, fair and legal/constitutional Judicial system in this UN-declared disputed part of J&K, the indigenous people of PoGB and BNF particularly have no place whatsoever to file an appeal/writ against any of these Pakistani allegations, slanders, and atrocities. Even in Pakistan the Judiciary is subservient to its Military. To make things worse, here inPakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB) the whole Judiciary is under the control of Military and its intelligence agency, besides its imposed Administration. The consequence is that no Judge dares to deliver any judgement on his own against the will of Pakistan Military and its Administration (which is appointing Authority).

BNF (Balawaristan National Front) has been banned and our books, brochures, and newspapers, including the daily Baang-e-Sahar and weekly Baang have been banned and its Editor-in-Chief Daulat Jan has been put behind bars by imposing Schedule 4 and anti-terrorist act, while religious hatred and anti-Gilgit Baltistan propaganda is openly and fully supported by Pakistani occupation regime.

The lives, property and freedom of the people is under serious threat due to Pakistan and China’s joint conspiracy to strengthen their occupation under the garb of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor).

Pakistani forces have choked legitimate voices and grabbed our lands to build cantonments and torture cells for Pakistani and Chinese forces and their intelligence agencies. We may recall that under UNCIP resolution, Pakistan has no right to remain in this disputed land. Pakistani forces and its civilians had to withdraw within a period of 3 months after this UNCIP resolution passed on 28th April 1949. After a lapse of 69 years of non-compliance, Pakistan has now virtually changed the whole demography and converted 72000 Sq KM area of this UN declared disputed region into a Nazi-style Torture Camp. 

People of PoGB have no Right of vote, freedom of speech, or access to impartial Justice:

i.   Our people have no right to choose their representatives, either in India or in Pakistan parliament.

ii.  Freedom of speech is 100% denied

iii. Access to Justice is denied, because there is no Legal/Constitutional High Court and Supreme Court. The Judicial system of PoGB is under firm control of Administration and Military regime.

iv. The right to their land and resources is violated.

v. There is no free Media and Human Rights Organization.

vi. Shia religious majority of PoGB is under threat.

Pakistani political and religious parties are fully sponsored by its Military power and civil Administration to practice on their will, but the voices of indigenous nationalist political parties are choked by imposing terrorist laws, and labeling those who dare to oppose CPEC and Pakistani occupation as anti-nationals and traitors. The tyranny of Pakistan against indigenous people is not only a flagrant violation of UNCIP resolutions but it also ridicules The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and even violates Pakistan’s own constitution and Supreme Court verdicts.

BNF members and others who have been sent to Jail in false cases can be hanged or kept in prison for life without giving them the right to appeal in any fair, impartial and legal/constitutional High Court and Supreme Court. One Naveed Hussain from Bargo, Gilgit was hanged in a fabricated crime case, which, according to documents, astonishingly transpired after he was put in Jail. Baba Jan, Iftikhar and many others have been given life imprisonment, when they protested the killing of an innocent father and his son who were demanding help.

Many people including political workers and religious workers and leaders are facing death sentence in Gilgit and Chilas Jail and other areas without giving them the right to appeal in any Legal/Constitutional High Court or Supreme Court.

It’s the duty of the UN to send Fact Finding Mission to ascertain the truth of its own declared disputed region as per UNCIP 13 August 1948, 5th January 1949 and 28th April 1949 resolutions.

Finally, BNF appeals to the UN and UNSC to take over the control of this disputed region, or, at least, ask Pakistan to give the cases of the above mentioned political workers and other activists to the International Court of Justice or any other impartial Court for a fair trial. Clearly, Gilgit Baltistan (according to UNCIP resolutions of 13th August 1948, 5th Jan. 1949, and 28th April 1949 and so on) does not fall under the ambit of Pakistan’s constitution and its imposed Administration and Judicial system.

BNF and other Political and religious workers in Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan are facing death sentences in fake cases without right of appeal in any High Court and Supreme Court.

 

Abdul Hamid Khan

Chairman

Balawaristan National Front (BNF)

Head Office: Majini Mahla, Gilgit, Balawaristan (Pakistan & China Occupied Gilgit Baltistan)

Website: www.balawaristan.net

Email:     balawaristan@gmail.com

               balawaristan@hotmail.com

          Ph: 0032 22311750

 

 

 APPENDIX:

 The following BNF (Balawaristan National Front) workers and leaders are languishing in Jail for the last one year without bail:

 1.     Majeedullah Khan (from Yasen) arrested on 2nd Oct 2016, seriously tortured by JIT (Joint Investigation Team, includes all the Pakistani agencies and Police under the ISI). A staged drama was played out alleging recovery of weapons from his possession. He was tortured until 25th October 2016 and then sent to Jail on the same day by labelling him as an Indian agent. Constant rounds of malignant rumors were spread around against him, BNF, and the whole disputed GB region, with the help of the Pakistani media.

 2.     Sanaullah Khan, a student who was living in Rawalpindi for his college was arrested by ISI and Police on 4th Oct 2016 from Rawalpindi, and sent to Jail on 25th October 2016 on judicial remand on terrorist charges. His only fault was to dispatch Brooshaaski language books from Rawalpindi, Pakistan to Gahkuch of PoGB.

3.  Inayat Karim was arrested on 30th September 2016 and sent to Jail on 25th October 2016 , charged on collecting books on Brooshaaski language and pamphlets.

 4.     Qayoom Khan GS, BNF Ghazer and candidate GBLA, arrested in Schedule 4 on 26th August 2016 from Yasen, because he participated in a meeting without permission.

 5. Qoowat Khan President BNF Yasen Unit, once released and re-arrested on 12th Oct 2016 and sent to Jail on 25th October 2016 in fake arms act.

 6. Marooko (Haveldar retired) from Yasen on 8th September 2016 was sent to Jail, when he denied to quit BNF.

7.      Mahboob Ali Advocate arrested on 12th Feb. 2017, when he was going to address the Media, along with Safdar Ali, to refute IG Police Zafar Awan’s false allegations against BNF Chairman and its members. Both Safdar and Mahboob were sent to Jail, after 7 days of JIT torture, by labelling their intended action of holding a Press Conference as an act of terrorism.

8.      Safdar Ali Central President BNF arrested on 12th  Feb. 2017, just before his Press conference in Gilgit. 

The list below consists of members of BNF who were arrested under Schedule 4. 

9.      Qayoom Khan, General Secretary district Ghazer, president Yasen unit and ex candidate GBLA, is in Jail, arrested on 26th August 2016, tortured by JIT with false cases registered against him.

10.  Daulat Jan, Chief Editor Daily Bangesahar (Urdu) and weekly Baang (Eng) was arrested under schedule 4, because of his journalistic endeavors. His newspapers were banned.

 

Those who are facing Schedule 4 and can be detained any time if and when they dare to speak for their rights.

1.  Asif Ali Ashraf, Leader of BNSOB hails from Yasen

2.  Aslam Inqalabi, from Yasen

3.  Burhan, General Secretary, Gilgit

4   Liaqat Ali (N.Sub. Ex ISI)  from Yasen

5.  Mohammad Rafiq, Vice Chairman, BNF from Gilgit

6. Mohammad Wali (Ex-Soldier), from Yasen

7. Saqib Umar, Kashorot, Gilgit

8. Wazir Shafi (Advocate), from Yasen 

 

Those who fled the country due to dire threats to their lives:

1.  Advocate Shokoor Khan was forced to flee PoGB on 14th December 2016, due to severe threats to his life. His only crime is being my brother, and refusing to take ISI’s order to be their agent against me and BNF.

2.     Sher Nadir Shahi fled on 22nd October 2016, because of severe threat to his life. He is Coordinator of BNSOB (Balawaristan National Students Organization).

3.     Shahid Hussain, BNF leader and Chief Coordinator of BNSOB & G and ex candidate of GBLA from Gilgit

4. Aafaq Ahmed (Aafaq Balawar), leader of BNSOB from Gilgit