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Monday, 21 September 2009

Balochistan’s importance to Pakistan

The province is in turmoil and the people are in difficulties. The leaders of the last government were responsible for the murder of Nawab Bugti. He was always apprehensive of the way his death would take place and if there was any doubt that was put to rest by the conversation that I had with some one who had worked for and with him when he was Governor.
He asked the colleague as to whether the walls of his house could stop the artillery fire. The colleague was rightly perturbed for the reasons were simple. The Army did have more than nay civilian could understand. That prophecy was to come true within a couple of years.
What have these inconsistent actions done to the people of this country and to the Baluchis in particular? The answers have led to weakening of credibility of the successive federal governments. This is a tragedy as the present government is trying hard to get the correct measures going so that on the one hand the people of Pakistan understand the particular issue that is now eating the people of Pakistan and the options that the people of Baluchistan are living with this. As I see the situation these matters are made far worse by the functionaries of he government who are using all kinds of innuendos and a campaign of vilification of the local Baluchis and Pathans. The order is simple. They would try and keep the seniors out of coming to the province for work. At the same time they give themselves no leverage for work by using the system in such a manner that they become the precursor of determining and adding sinister aspects that enable them o rationalize lack of work. This is portrayed by such statements as the local conditions are bad and therefore one cannot go to the site. Remain desk bound and the vocational failings would follow. I had seen this in former East Pakistan and the dire consequences of personal benefits overcome public interest. As it is identities are based on 1. Ethnic element that is based on a legacy that has to be historic and 2. A developmental one that stems from the concept of modernity and in an effort to join the ranks of the reasonably developed and ultimately well developed. This essentially means that social forces generated must have centripetal strengths rather that centrifugal ones and should thus be forcing the social systems, despite any aspect that is otherwise, to take charge.
The special social aspects of Baluchistan are such that special dispensations in a number of policy matters have to be affected. Instead policy of aggressive designs were carried out and justified. It is possible to justify any aspect of life and it is also possible to find a coterie of people from the area so aggrieved to carry out parochially and to justify the whims of the powerful forces. The aspect that I have always cherished and have advocated is that nothing can be held by force and eventually the fate of any social conflict is in allowing the governance to those that believe in what is going in the province or oppressed area and how best to handle it so that the federation is preserved. Social macro misdemeanors have a nasty way of moving by geometric progression. They balloon out of context and then it is not a matter as to who is right or wrong but the manner in which these social forces gather momentum.
The development effort than has to be geared towards the betterment of the economic well being of ever person in he oppressed area and it cannot be, by definition, policies for the few and against the many. Governments in the past have followed all kinds of policies and have tried to black mail on the one hand and bribe them on the other. Such policies essentially are to be based on equity, efficiency and efficacy in which social justice and fair play have a large role. The ordinary citizens may seem helpless but they understand what is going on around them and have a stance on the policies although they may not seem to influence these policies.
The social understanding of centuries of colonialism can at best be removed by such policies as require a different kind of approach. Conveniences of other areas already well served by the federation may be excluded from the list of ‘investment’ in such areas. Instead we have seen social policies responsible for disaggregating the already social fabric. Since industry would not be possible in the short term the burden must fall on agriculture. There is much to do and Baluchistan is my favorite for the last two decades or even more as one sees potential in the area and the husbanding of resources in a different manner. Agriculture can be put on its head and in an unconventional manner much can be done. Cohesiveness and otherwise social policies are dependent on intangibles and the censorship system of the leaders that are in position democratically and one has therefore no consort with despicably indecent tyrants that come in to our lives every now and then.
The tendency has been to base our academic work on some defunct western logician irrespective of understanding the local cultural concept. Socially, culturally and an interpretation of these is based on a premise that is not desirable. Thus if I were to quote Rousseau and Locke etc what reasonable person would accept that kind of analysis for the social aspect of tribal areas and the culturally nurtured argument that comes up every now and then and not resolved. The enculturation [weaker culture imbibing the better aspects of another culture] is an important element in the development of attitudes and values that eventually must impact on the political weaknesses of a system. A tyrannical system is not answerable to any one and therefore forces policies on the body politic that on the face of it would leave the governance factors much worse than what these were than what they acquired by assuming power illegitimately.
Governance is a much abused word and has acquired sinister meaning thereby generating and furthering the fact generically of something not happening correctly. This has allowed Pakistan to be called a number of times by the international agencies for reasons that may or may not be correct. The myths attached to these systems by the international agencies themselves are questionable.
So the list of such actions may be seen in the context of what is required to be done? Development policies can improve the legacies of the past. The colonial system used money power and this is clear from the work of Sandhurst and other white men that governed on behalf of their countries. They may have seemed to be socially benign but they were not as the long term context indicates. Agriculture has to be at the forefront and yet the people’s in-charge in the province are the one’s that seem to be the biggest culprits.
Given to senseless intrigues and an ability not to work but to back bite and bad mouthing everyone and that in it self does two things: 1. Takes care of the ‘opponent’ and thus seemingly places them lower in the social and work order. 2. Places the intriguer in a psychological moment superior to the person spoken against and rationalizes the lack of work done. The best of them do it and the worst are despicably low. The time, in short is, to get going in an equitable manner and to deliver the goods so sought. Leadership change in agriculture in the short term may be a way out. We will see how it emerges. The world is ours to make or break. Dr Zafar Altaf

India to hand over those involved in the Samjhota Express terrorist attack

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has demanded of India to hand over those involved in the Samjhota Express terrorist attack in which 68 Pakistanis were burnt alive.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Rehman Malik briefed the media on Pakistan’s handling of the Mumbai issue.
He said Pakistan had taken a very serious view of the tragedy. He added that a high-level investigation had been conducted to ascertain the facts.
He said law-enforcement agencies had already arrested five suspects involved in the Mumbai terror plot.
Rehman Malik said Jamaat-ud-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed was being investigated and had been included in the Mumbai investigation.
He said Hafiz Saeed would be arrested after availability of solid evidence against him. “I assure my Indian counterpart that if there was evidence found against (him) during our investigation, he will not escape from the clutches of the law. We will take action,” he added.
Rehman Malik, who earlier held a meeting with the Indian high commissioner to Pakistan in the Interior Ministry, said intelligence information was being shared with the Indian authorities.
He said a fifth dossier had been handed over to India and that further information and statements had also been sought from the Indian authorities.
But while he apparently tried to give the impression of things working smoothly between the investigation agencies of the two countries, he betrayed his underlying frustration with the persistent Indian mantra of ‘Pakistan not doing enough’. “I am willing to have a debate over the Mumbai attacks with the Indian authorities anytime, anywhere.”
He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism and said there was no room for terrorism in the country and it would be rooted out completely.
Giving details of the Mumbai investigations, the minister said five suspects of the Mumbai attacks — Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Mazhar Iqbal, Umer Abdul Wajid, Zarrar Shah and Shahid Jamil Riaz — had been arrested and statements of 10 witnesses had been recorded. He said the suspects would be charged in the next hearing of the case on September 26.
He said Fahim Ansar, who was arrested in July, had given a statement against Jamaat-ud-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed.
The minister told reporters that the court would be provided information regarding the hideouts of the terrorists, while bank accounts used in the Mumbai attacks had also been unearthed.
He said it would prove immensely beneficial and critical for investigations if the Indian authorities provided statements of the Indian forensic experts, as requested by the Pakistani investigators.
“Pakistan wants lasting relations with India and the soil of Pakistan would not be allowed to be used against any country, including India,” he asserted.
He, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the information provided so far by the Indian authorities and said it was insufficient and Pakistan needed more cooperation in this regard.
“India must now give us credible information for the prosecution of suspected terrorists in the Pakistani courts. It should share all credible information that it possesses about the Mumbai attacks, so that such incidents could be pre-empted in future. We cannot move forward on the basis of insufficient information and assumptions,” he added.
Rehman Malik said the Federal Investigation Agency team, led by Tariq Khosa, had completed its investigations.
Replying to a question, he said Pakistan was a responsible country that sought cooperation on equal status and could not be dictated by India.
Malik said terrorism was a common threat and required concerted efforts by the international community to effectively counter it.
The minister said the Indian government conveyed preliminary information on the Mumbai attacks on January 5, 2009, through diplomatic channels.
“After examining the matter, Pakistan decided that a high-level inquiry team of the FIA should carry out the preliminary probe in order to take further legal action against the perpetrators. Accordingly, the inquiry was initiated on January 16, 2009.”
The FIA team submitted its report on February 3, 2009, indicating that some persons belonging to Pakistan and having links to the defunct Lashkar-e-Taiba were involved in the Mumbai attacks.
A case (FIR No 01/2009) had been registered by the FIA Special Investigation Unit (SIU) on February 12, 2009, against nine accused, including Ajmal Kasab, who is under arrest in Mumbai.
The remaining eight accused nominated in the FIR are Amjad Khan, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Hamza, Kahfa, Zarrar Shah, and Alqama.
Upon registration of the FIR, the Indian government was conveyed a set of 30+2 questions on February 12, 2009, for response to carry forward the investigation process. The Indian government formally responded to the questions from the Pakistani investigation agency on March 13, 2009.
Pakistan sought further material evidence on April 13, 2009, from the Indian investigators for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.
The FIA submitted the first interim challan/charge-sheet in an Anti-Terrorism Court on April 30, 2009, against five accused, namely Hammad Amin Sadiq, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Mazhar Iqbal alias Alqama, Abdul Wajid alias Zarrar Shah and Shahid Jamil Riaz.
“The Anti-Terrorism Court has declared 20 accused proclaimed offenders,” Rehman Malik said. He said non-bailable warrants had been issued against accused Ajmal Kasab and Fahim Ansari.
Agencies add: Meanwhile, Rehman Malik said in a statement that anti-state elements were instigating sectarian violence, adding that the government would deal with such elements with an iron hand.
He said a special cell had been set up in the Interior Ministry to stop sectarian violence and the provinces had been directed to take appropriate steps in this regard.

Bangladesh build strategic relationship with China & Pakistan

Bangladesh is in the throes of an existential struggle for survival and growth as an independent nation. Bangladesh was created for the democratic right of the Bengalis. However a couple of years after its creation, Shaikh Mujib Ur Rahman banned all political parties, and declared himself dictator for life. The country was supposed to be secular panacea for Muslims of South Asia. Bengali nationalism rejected other ethnicities and made the clarion call for ethnic independence.
1971 witnessed the call for Bengali nationalism ignored in Kolkota. The Hindus did not want to join a Bengali nation of greater Bengal. Religion once again proved a potent dividing line for Bengal. The same Hindu Bengalis who agitated against the partition of Bengal in 1906 are today championing the cause for fencing the border and keeping the Muslims Bengalis out of West Bengal. Partition of Bengal: Implications for Benagaldesh & Pakistan, then and now . In 1906, the All India Muslim League created by the Bengalis of the region (Nawab Waqar Ul Mulk, Nawab Mohsin Ul Mulk, Alama Iqbal and others from all parts of South Asia) rose up against the injustices of the ruling class of Hindu landlords of Kolkota. Lord Curzon cancelled the partition of Bengal and this was a victory for the Indian National Congress and  the Brahman Hindus of Bengal. They wanted to keep the Muslim Bengalis under their thumb.
After failing to take over Bangladesh on Dec 6th 1971, India is forcing a transit policy on defenseless Bangladesh that is fighting for her existence. The Transit facilites that Bharat is asking would clog existing Balgladeshi roads and pose a security threat to Bangladesh. It would also exacerbate the situation in Northeast “India” where the sevean Assamese states want freedom from Delhi. The Transit agreement poses a mortal threat to Bangladesh
In a post 71 world secular Bengali nationalism has not proved enough of a magnet to lure in Hindu Bengalis from West Bengal (Bharat) to rise up and join their Muslim brethren in a secular Bangladesh. Hindu Bengalis on the other hand are content at building fences along the border to prevent the Islamization of Bengal–which they see as the biggest threat. The supposedly non-communal communist party of West Bengal has kept the Muslims at the lowest rung of the ladder in a state that supposedly flows the Marxist ideology where religion should not matter.
Shiakh Mujib Ur Rahman signed away Bangladesh to the Rakhi Bahni led by a sitting Bharati General. The Indian agent then signed a “treaty of friendship” with India which pretty much would have made Bangladesh a province of Bharat. On 14th date the Bangladeshi patriots (they picked the Pakistani day of independence day) rose up against the Awami League and killed Mujib Ur Rahman , his coterie of commanders and his entire family. To make it a lesson, they threw his body in the streets of Dhaka and left it to rot for two weeks. They took Bengali secularism and drowned it deep into the Bay of bengal. For the briefest moment Muslim nationalism emerged. Khondakar Mushtaque announced a confederation with Pakistan. Muslim nationalism wa quickly snuffed out by the powers to be. The secularists seem to have taken control of Bengal.
Today Bangladesh once again stands at the cross roads. There is a civil war raging for its soul. It is once again divided between secularism and religion. Putting the religious leaders on trial will not expunge religion from Dhaka. Dhaka Diary: Bangladesh fights India’s hegemony designs. The country’s future stands on the strategic choices it makes.
WHEN Bangladesh became independent, the world was bipolar. Conducting foreign affairs was then relatively easy. One had to choose between the two super powers to assist small nations achieve their interests in international politics and more often than not, they obliged. At the time of liberation, Bangladesh joined the Soviet Camp to which India was aligned. They helped Bangladesh in many ways in its needs in the international relations and were thus its strategic partners. When Bangladesh switched sides, and moved away from the Soviet camp after 1975, it was helped in international affairs by the other super power, the USA and its regional ally China. Bangladesh did not thus feel that its interests could be by-passed. It may not have had the muscle but it had the strategic partners with powers to help it at times of need.
Bangladesh also had the support of many powerful countries who became its friends because they were inspired by the way it fought oppression and liberated the country. Japan to a major extent and European countries and Australia to a large extent helped Bangladesh to rebuild a war-devastated country. These countries still assist Bangladesh to achieve economic development. Unfortunately the breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991 has taken away by default the comfort zone for countries like Bangladesh, leaving it to fend for itself when faced with strategic issues. The comfort of a bipolar world is no longer there.
The international goodwill Bangladesh earned from its liberation has also gone. The United States as the world’s only super power is too involved with other major issues to have time for Bangladesh. In the meantime India, which was a not a major power when Bangladesh became independent, is today aspiring to become a world power. Unfortunately, Bangladesh-India relations have, meanwhile, lost the closeness that had brought them together in 1971 because both the countries were at fault. In the deterioration of relations, India has also stepped into areas that are critical for Bangladesh’s viability as a nation. Water of the rivers that flow from India, which gives life and livelihood to Bangladesh, are now at India’s mercy and it has interfered with the flow of a major river, namely the Ganges, by the Farakka barrage that started the process of desertification in Bangladesh’s northwest and is going ahead with building a dam at Tipaimukh on another international river that could do to Bangladesh’s northeast what Farakka has done to the northwest. In search of strategic relationship M. Serajul Islam. The writer is a Director, Centre for Foreign Affairs Studies and a former Ambassador to Japan.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) permits countries to claim continental shelf regions beyond the exclusive economic zone (giving exclusive fishing and mining rights), provided they can back it up with scientific data. On 12 May, India staked claim to large swathes of seabed under the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, which a government scientist involved with the survey process pegged at approximately 0.6 million sq. km of continental shelf. The scientist asked not to be identified.
Mint on 12 June reported that India’s claim was likely to also conflict with regions claimed by Sri Lanka as its own, quoting top government officials involved in the process.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 18 June said that her government was also planning to contest India’s and Myanmar’s claims to the extended continental shelf. This was reported in the Daily Star, a local English newspaper. India, neighbours fight for the continental shelf Myanmar says India has extended the maritime boundary unilaterally; Bangladesh to contest claims too Jacob P. Koshy
India’s interpretation of the laws relating to demarcation of maritime boundary risks closing Bangladesh’s access to the sea where there are rich marine and hydrocarbon resources. Myanmar has taken the cue from India and has used the same interpretation on demarcating maritime boundary that, if these countries have their way, will take away from Bangladesh a major portion of its claim in the Bay of Bengal. These are therefore difficult times for Bangladesh because its attempts to negotiate with India and Myanmar on the maritime issue have borne no result and neither country has shown the inclination of accepting Bangladesh’s position. According to the Convention on UN Law of the Seas, Bangladesh must demarcate its maritime boundary by July 2011; India by June, 2009 and Myanmar by May, 2009. India has submitted their claims to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Commission will hold hearing on Indian submission by March of next year. The process for ultimate demarcation of Bangladesh’s maritime boundary with India and Myanmar is likely to be protracted and complicated where it is up against two countries holding similar positions. Bangladesh feels it has a good case to convince the Commission in its favour but it cannot be certain and must wait for the Commission’s ruling on the issue. The future of Bangladesh being able to exploit the rich resources of the Bay of Bengal unhindered is therefore uncertain. In fact, Bangladesh and Myanmar faced off over the issue last year but the danger lingers. In search of strategic relationship M. Serajul Islam. The writer is a Director, Centre for Foreign Affairs Studies and a former Ambassador to Japan.
Abid adds. India has been persuing its imperialist ambitions from the time of its independence; this has been known as the Nehru Doctrine (for an Akhanda Bharata) This is to both economically and politically make the South Asian countries either part of India or make dependent on it. In this effort, it already swallowed, Hydrabad, Kashmir, Goa, Sikkhim and Bhutan through military invasion, and now Nepal and Sri Lanka are in the process, and Bangladesh through Indian dam building over the Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Barak River causing desertification and ofcourse eventually to become a failed state. In its newly earned fame as a South Asian rising power, India is now aggressively laying claims on places and the sea boundaries that are even beyond its reach. Under the circumstances, most South Asian smaller countries are increasingly couming under threat from India. It appears that South Asian countries would be better off if they together take initiatives to form a union of South Asian nations comprised of Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and like the EU also keeping the doors open in this case, for any breakaway province from India to join it. While the contemporary Indian muscle flexing is also due to its super connection with the US, in all this China should come in to extend its economic and humanitarian help to the proposed confederation. It appears that if no initiatives of this kind by smaller nations taken soon, as Nehru once said to boost his Akhanda Bharata ideology “the future of smaller nations will be doomed.”
The devastation ravaged by the East India company on the Subcontinent can be seen in land of Sonar Bengal–the richest and most affluent, most educated and most cultural part of the Subcontinent. The fatefut event in 1757 in one stroke not only enslaved the Bengalis, but transformed the entire area into a cesspool of penury and poverty from which it has not been able to unshackle itself. Partition of Bengal’s implications for Bangladesh & Pakistan then and now
The Battle of Plassey was more devastating for the Muslim than the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols. At the time that the East India Company brutally savaged Bengal, Urdu was the language of the country, and the Muslims were in power. The landed gentry was Muslim and as the overseers of culture, poetry, music, painting and industry. Muslim was made here and it was so fine an entire “than” could be pulled through a ring. 1873 all that ended. In 1873 the British government abolished Urdu as the national language. All Muslim were made illiterate overnight. The center of learning and literature moved to Hindu Bengal. They produced the attorneys, doctors, lawyers and the poets. Muslim Benglis were considered uncouth and bohemian.  In 190740 the Devanagari script was imposed on the entire subcontinent with devastating affect. Religious riots in 1947: Who were the architects?
Bangladesh is therefore in desperate need of a strategic friend with the clout for providing it the support for negotiating a fair deal with India and Myanmar on the maritime issue. Bangladesh’s long friendship with China could provide it that support, at least with Myanmar. It built and nurtured this friendship overlooking China’s opposition during its war of liberation and veto to its membership of the UN when it desperately needed the membership to be accepted by the international community as an independent and sovereign nation. After Bangladesh established diplomatic ties with China in 1976, the two moved forward and built up a strategic relationship where all the conceivable areas of cooperation: economic, political, social, cultural and defense were brought into their bilateral relations. Exchange of large number of high level visits has been an important instrument in building excellent bilateral relations.
The incumbent government in Bangladesh has been in office over eight months now. Yet there has been no move for a visit of Sheikh Hasina to China. Last time around, she went to Beijing within two months of assuming office. There has also not been any visit at the Ministerial level. The result of the Joint Commission that has been held recently has not been promising either. In that meeting, Bangladesh had sought over US$ 5 billion in assistance for 28 projects. The Chinese agreed to offer a little over US$ 1 billion in five projects in suppliers’ credit and also noted serious dissatisfaction at Bangladesh’s handling of Chinese assistance.
There appears to be a cooling of Bangladesh-China strategic relations. One reason for this could be the permission given to Taiwan by the last BNP Government to open a Trade Office in Dhaka. The permission was given at a most inappropriate time for China and embarrassed it very much. Bangladesh also did not follow the cardinal principle in strategic relationships: the need to keep the partner informed before taking a decision affecting the partner. Bangladesh’s expectation that Taiwan would bring billions of dollars in trade and investment also did not occur. It has only harmed Bangladesh’s relations with China on the issue of dependability. Before the Taiwan Trade Office fiasco, Bangladesh could have requested China for support to negotiate a fair deal with Myanmar on the maritime boundary, given its undoubted influence with the military rulers of Myanmar. China will not be inclined to come forward now because in the meantime, China has extended its strategic relationship with Myanmar further. One major reason of China’s interest in Bangladesh is its access to the Bay of Bengal, an access that Myanmar is now providing China as a dependable ally.
At a time when Bangladesh needs friends with clout for achieving its interests in foreign affairs and foreign relations, it thus finds itself standing alone. Bangladesh has become marginalized in international politics. In its best interests, Bangladesh should now try its utmost to settle problems with India and cash upon the historical friendship between the AL and the Congress. While speaking on Tipaimukh, Sheikh Hasina has recently stressed the need for unity. She should now do her best for bipartisanship in dealing with India that will not just strengthen her hands but also enhance her standing with India tremendously. Simultaneously, Bangladesh must also seek for strategic relationships with powerful countries that value its geopolitical location.
Bangladesh must also warm up its relations with China and that will not be easy because China has tilted towards Myanmar, which can satisfy China’s strategic interests in place of Bangladesh. Views emanating from USA recently suggest that the world’s only super power has not lost its interest in the Bay of Bengal where, the problems with maritime demarcation notwithstanding, Bangladesh holds a crucial geopolitical location. Meanwhile, USA and India have moved ahead in their strategic relations and hence building strategic relations with USA will be a very difficult task. The strategic choices nevertheless are there; the necessity to go forward with these choices is crucial to Bangladesh’s future. The task of achieving these strategic choices will be a test of Bangladesh’s diplomatic ability and capability. Unfortunately, this is its weakest link. Bangladesh:In search of strategic relationship M. Serajul Islam. The writer is a Director, Centre for Foreign Affairs Studies and a former Ambassador to Japan. http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=106363
Greater Brihot Bangladesh  Plassey to Muslim Bengal to Bangistan to Bangladesh to Brihot Bangal
Bangladesh today stands at a cross-roads. It is being led into subservience by the same Awami League that wanted to merge it with Bharat. It is looking for a strategic partnership with China. Obviously the road to Beijing leads from Islamabad via the Korakurams ot Beijing. If Bangladesh wants a partnership with China, it has to form a close partnership with Pakistan. The Awami League government in Dhaka is exacerbating the situation in Bangladesh by continued the civil war that ended in the 70s, and the 80s. Thier trial of the Jamat e Islam which was fighting for the Muslims of Bengal is an abomination to Muslims everywhere. The Awami League is selling the soul of Bengal to the highest bidder and allowing Tata truck to rumble through the highways of Bangladesh into Assam. Transit Routes: Shaikh Hasina capitulates Bangladeshi sovereignty?  This will not only reduce Bangladeshi sovereignty, it will bring the ire of the Asamese nationalists into Bangladesh and this militancy threat poses huge dangers for the country.
A Muslim ummah is born again in Bangladesh. How long till it uncovers its true potential and create Briohot Bengal or Greater Bangladesh? Plassey to Bangistan dream to Bangladesh to Brohit Bengal
Failure to get Assam included in East Pakistan in 1947 remained a source of abiding resentment in the
country (Pakistan). Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his book, Myths of Independence wrote, “It would be wrong to
think that Kashmir is the only dispute that divides India and Pakistan, though undoubtedly the most
significant. One at least is nearly as important as the Kashmir dispute, that of Assam and some districts
of India adjacent to East Pakistan. To these Pakistan has very good claims.
Even a pro-India leader like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his book, Eastern Pakistan: Its population and
Economics, observed, ‘Because Eastern Pakistan must have sufficient land for its expansion and because
Assam has abundant forest and mineral resources, coal and petroleum etc., Eastern Pakistan must include
Assam to be financially and economically strong. (Quoted in â˜Terror Sans Frontiers: Islamic Militancy
in North East India’).
Historic Plassey Day
The 252nd anniversary of historic Plassey Tragedy Day will be observed today across Bangladesh. The Battle of Plassey was fought between the forces of Nawab Sirajuddaulah and the East India Company on June 23 in 1757. It lasted for about eight hours, in which the Nawab was defeated by the company forces because of the treachery of his leading general Mir Jafar.
Plassey’s political consequences were far-reaching and devastating and hence, though a brief skirmish, it has become known as a battle. It laid the foundation of the British rule in the Bengal. For the English East India Company, Bengal was the catalyst from which the British expanded their territorial domain and subsequently built up the empire, which gradually engulfed most parts of India and ultimately many other parts of Asia as well.

Pakistan celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr

Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated throughout Pakistan Monday with great religious fervour and festivity, marking the culmination of the holy month of Ramazan, the official news agency APP reported.
    Big Eid congregations are held across the country with special arrangements made to offer Eid prayer. In the twin cities of Rawalpindi and capital city of Islamabad, the Eid congregations have been held at more than 300 places.
    In Islamabad, the biggest congregation was held at the grand Faisal Mosque, where the high-ups of the government offered Eid prayers. In Rawalpindi, the biggest Eid congregation was held at the historic Liaquat Bagh.
    Following the Eid prayers, Muslims spend their time feasting with family and friends and feeding those who are less fortunate. Sweets and other special dishes have been prepared for serving the guests. People also exchange gifts on the occasion.
    The government has declared Eid holidays from Sept. 21 to 23 and paid advanced salaries to employees for enabling them to meet their Eid expenses.
    On this occasion, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited has also offered a special package on Eid days to encourage people to exchange Eid greetings with their near and dear ones.
    The Radio and Television channels have chalked out a series of special programmes on the occasion of Eid while newspapers will publish special supplements, highlighting the significance of the day.

    Immediately after the announcement that the Shawwal moon has been sighted previous night, a wave of happiness surged through the masses. People swarmed the markets and Eid bazaars for shopping and women crowded the beauty parlours and shops, selling bangles and mehndi.
    Till late night people were busy in shopping in the markets. Meanwhile foolproof security measures have been adopted on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Policemen have been deputed outside mosques, bazaars, shopping centres and sensitive public and private buildings.
    Pakistani authorities said that they have further beefed up security across the country to avert any unpleasant incident on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr festival