Monthly Archives: October 2013

Nobel Peace Prize 2013

October 15, 2013
One year prior to his death in 1895, Nobel finalized his will. The relevant portion of the will, stating the criteria for what has later become known as the Nobel Peace Prize is:”och en del åt den som har verkat mest eller best för folkens förbrödrande och afskaffande eller minskning afstående armeer samt bildande och spridande af fredskongresser.” (Swedish) “and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” (English translation)
According to the Nobelprize.Org; 92 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on 19 occasions: in 1914-1918, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1939- 1943, 1948, 1955-1956, 1966-1967 and 1972. Why were the Peace Prizes not awarded in those years? In the statutes of the Nobel Foundation it says: “If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation’s restricted funds.” During World War I and II, fewer Nobel Prizes were awarded.”The Vietnamese politician Le DucTho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, is the only person who has declined the Nobel Peace Prize. They were both awarded the Prize for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord. Le Doc Tho said that he was not in a position to accept the Nobel Prize, citing the situation in Vietnam as his reason. (
Norwegian lawyer and activist Fredrik Heffermehl released a book Nobelsvilje (Nobel’s Will). He critically assesses the prize’s history and the political committee and process which now awards the Nobel Peace Prize. According to Heffermehl, prior to World War II about 85% of recipients were awarded in accordance with the will, but since the end of the war only 45% of the recipients fit the criteria. Recipients Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change do not suit the requirements, according to the author. Neither do Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, nor Wangari Maathai. “Disarmament and anti-militarism was what Nobel wanted to promote,” says Heffermehl to Aftenposten.
Talking of at least one notable Peace Prize recipient; President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize after being in office for 12 days as President in 2009. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process. The committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” It was said, “Very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.” (Ross Chainey: Reuters October 9, 2009) He further stated; despite his ambitious international agenda, Obama is yet to make a significant breakthrough in the Middle East or effectively deal with the threat of Iran’s nuclear programme and his country is currently fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There were 259 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 and 50 of them were organizations. The winner for 2013 was the chemical weapons watchdog OPCW. Set up in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention, it employs around 500 people and is an autonomous organization with a working relationship with the United Nations. According to a BBC report (Published October 11, 2013) the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was adopted by the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in September 1992. Under its terms the OPCW stringently verifies whether member nations are complying with the CWC. Part of the OPCW’s mission is to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons in a country which has signed up. The OPCW says Albania, India and a third country – widely believed to be South Korea – have completed the destruction of their declared chemical weapons. In Libya and Iraq, as well as Syria, Russia and the US, the destruction is ongoing, states the report.
If one views the spirit of Alfred Nobel’s will relating to the Peace Prize, awarding OPCW with the prestigious award makes more sense than many awarded earlier, although even this Peace Prize by many is being viewed as being one indirectly awarded to Assad and Putin. Inspectors were allowed in Syria only after the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry the US secretary of state, came to an agreement aimed to circumvent American military intervention. The prize, without question highlights the Syrian crisis, says Aryn Baker the Middle East Bureau Chief for TIME. While announcing the award, the Norwegian Nobel committee criticized US and Russia both committed to destroy their arsenals of chemical weapons under the terms of the CWC, but missed a 2012 deadline to accomplish the objective. According to the Committee, disarmament figures prominently in Alfred Nobel’s will.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has through numerous prizes underlined the need to do away with nuclear weapons. By means of the present award to the OPCW, the Committee is seeking to contribute to the elimination of chemical weapons,” the citation said. The Committee however made it clear that the nomination of OPCW was made before April 1 and “came into the picture before the impasse in Syria”. (Kounteya Sinha, October 11, 2013 in Times of India)
In Pakistan, there is a feeling of let-down by some for Malala Yusufzai not having won the coveted award after the hype created by certain sections of the media on her “leading the race.” The 16 year old shot in the head by the Taliban spiritedly said, “They only shot a body but they cannot shoot my dreams,” revealing ambitiously that she wanted to become Pakistan’s Prime Minister as news broke that she missed out on the Nobel Peace Prize. Giving credit where credit is due for bravery in her case, the spirit for a Nobel Peace Prize winner as outlined in Alfred Nobel’s will is demanding of different achievements. A friend wrote, “While not taking the credit away from Malala for having the courage to speak up, there’s a long way for Malala to go, in order to achieve the status of anyone like Abdul Sattar Eidhi for one or Mother Teresa!” Some feel her cause has been hijacked, “Her intelligence is not the issue; it’s the manipulation. Also, people like Edhi, Dr. Adeeb Rizvi (of SIUT) directly touched and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands or millions,” writes another.
I cannot but be reminded here of a very tongue-in-cheek quote by the Canadian-born experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author Steven Pinker, “Some people believe that the nuclear bomb should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, since it scared the major powers away from war by equating it with doomsday.”

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @yasmeen_9


Turkey: Roman Script and The Kemalist

By Naveed Tajammal

Editor’s Note: This is a special study conducted by Opinion Maker headed by Naveed Tajammal. The failures and the causes of the fall of Ottoman Empire have been identified in this paper. 

This is a cross post from :


By Naveed Tajammal

The Fall of Eastern Roman Empire on 29 May 1453 remained a sore point between both the Schismatic Christian Churches, as we study the past we see them in a continuous endeavour to revive their old past by fair or foul means. Vatican and the Eastern Church have since the rise of western powers 18th century onward focused on education as the sole means of transformation of mindsets as per their needs, with particular  reference to the change in the Turkish language Script, and a revival of Christian Latin script, by Kemalist one sees the role of the Church once again.

The decadence within the fabric of the Ottoman empire took its toll, earlier too; the enlightened Turks of Seljuk era had fallen prey to Persian poetry and its literature and had conveniently forgotten that they had a far superior script, which was used in the code of Ghenghis khan, and later by Amir Timur too in his Code, as well the first of Mughal Emperor Babar himself wrote his ‘Autobiography’ Tuzuk e Babari in the same old Turkish Script.

The Seljuk used a mixture of Turkish and Persian in literature and Arabic in Jurisprudence and Sciences; this is now classified as ‘Eski-Osmanla’ [Old Osamanli Turkish] and wrote in Perso-Arabic script, This remained in vogue till 16th Century, After Turks became the Caliphs, emerges the ‘Orta-Osmanla’ or the middle-Osmanali Turkish, Technically which is paramount till the fall of empire, this had Turkish as the base with heavy reliance on Persian and Arabic loan words in its vocabulary, after the Tanzimats [reforms starting 1839-comes influx of French terms or loan words within the statecraft ],as by than more and more western educated Bureaucrats entered the main stream of statecraft, The equally liberated sultan like Mahmud ll issued a Firman [royal edict] called Hatt e Sherif of Gulhane’ or the edict of the Royal garden [Gulhane] where from it had been proclaimed on 3rd November 1839,instead of improving the ‘Rot’ within the system, it was foolishly thought,  that, by importing and adopting new western ideas, codes and a change in dress and insignia, the decay would end, and the Tide would change, This edict put an end to the old Millat System evolved through ages by the empire builders of the past times, which was based on time tested solid grounds, and had been a successful, system.

Ottoman Empire was a heterogeneous empire which consisted of different nationalities and religions, Millat system  lasted with the a strong Ottoman writ enforced, however as the writ weakened the troubles  started, Turks had  always been liberal rulers, As per Millat system the subject races with their divergent religious beliefs were allowed to have their own civil laws and institutions, the head of each religious unit, had a right to impose their own tax’s ,to collect and spend it upon their own community, however loyalty to the state/empire remained paramount, all heads came directly under the Sultan and had seats within the court assembly when a member of any Millat committed a crime against a member of another, the law of the injured party applied, but in matters relating to crime against a Muslim or the state, the Islamic law was enforced, and matter adjudged in the court of the Qazi. So Eastern Greek Orthodox Church was represented by Patriarch of Constantinople [Istanbul] likewise was the head of Jewish sect in majority, or the Armenian or Syrian Church.

The Jews [Sephardic Jews] had flourished within the Ottoman empire since the fall of Muslim empire in Spain, and as the  Christian inquisitions increased the prosecution of Jews they all flocked within the Ottoman empire ”Thessaloniki, the second largest city of later Greece became the main trading centre of Jews, and was termed and called by them as ‘La madre de Israel’ [The mother of Israel],and here they lived, dominated the Trade within the Ottoman empire, till the great fire of 1917,Greeks were always an ethnic minority here in this city, it was only after the Christian ignited fire, that 72,000 Jews mainly perished in this fire and which rendered 50,000 plus Jews homeless ,all of them immigrated mainly to USA and later Israel, and Ethnic Greeks over 100,000 were transported here after 1922.

The Beheading of Kara Mustapha the Grand Vizier of Ottoman in 1683, can be termed as the day of decline of Ottoman Sultans, and rise of Harem intrigues. Sultans of late, had been having Christian Princess as mothers, who having been given freedom of their religion had vested interests. Kara Mustapha was the last visionary Grand Vizier to have thought of annexing Germany and making it the North western province of the empire.

With the decline in the moral character amongst the central figures of the administration, and with passage of time we see the emergence of ‘Eastern Question’, British throughout 18th/19th Century stood as champion’s of Ottoman empire as she had the imperial writ [Naval power] and colonies far and wide in the East; opening of Suez-canal had made it all more vital that she look after Ottoman power.

As the Russian Czars were fast moving here in this sector as well, all British key-naval routes were associated with Ottoman Empire. If had the Czars succeeded, the routes would have come under threat or blockade. Austro-Hungarian Empire too had a common foe in Russia, and Czars were spending a lot of Gold to stir the Pan-slavian movement, linked with Russian Slavs; Austria herself was a multi-racial empire, and feared a rise of slav nationalists of Balkans, as it affected her southern dominions and trade on the Danube river. French of late had become the main protectors of Roman Catholics of the Ottoman regions, and France was focused on Egypt and Syria, Germany too wanted her share in the changing fortunes of the old Turkish Empire, commercial interests were foremost for French. Serbs with Russian gold, were first to revolt in 1804 however hard did Kara George try it was only under Milos Obrenovich [1815] that Serbia emerged under Russian Protectorate, The Greeks revolted in 1820,a series of wars broke throughout empire, Ambitious Pasha’s were the foremost Actors in this Drama, privy to the weakness within the empire, at the first hand, they became the fifth columnists and secessionist, Not realizing that it was the Empire which had created them in the first place.

The Christian missionaries opened western educational schools, by the end of 19th century, 1500 such institutions were all over the Turkish Empire, with no intellectual worth his salt, left to oppose the new thought process. The, Christians, changed and created a new class of men, the champions of a new order called “Secularism”.

The same Turk who under the leadership of, Kara Mustapha, the Grand Vizer, was at Vienna, in 1683,who with an army of 500,000,was thinking of making Germany his new north western, province of the Empire, now had Sultans ,attending, like Abdul Aziz. The Paris exhibition of 1867,and later going to London to receive from the Queen of the British, Victoria, “The Order of Garter” meaning thereby, “the prime order of Christendom “which was awarded to the following five: The Prelate, or the Bishop of Winchester: The Chancellor, the Registrar, the King of Arms, or the Chief Herald (servant) at Windsor, the seat of the British Monarch, and lastly to the Usher, the man in charge of the “black rod:”An ebony stick which had a gold top of lion, the symbol of British Monarchy. The Usher was the Sergeant at Arms of the monarch in the House of Lords.

Thus such a fate befell, the caliph of Muslims and the Sultan of the Turks, when he stooped to accept the ‘Order of the Garter’ from the British Queen, it was this Sultan and his team of advisor’s, who bankrupted the state too, for the services rendered to the west he was allowed the privilege of joining their self created elitist club, It was in 1853,that the term, ‘the sick man’ was coined by the west and the process of the Empire’s balkanization started.

Unfortunately, in the last 20 years of the 19th century, all major industries of the Turkish Empire had been handed over to the foreign firms, the railways, mines, and the armament industries. Throughout, these 20 years Turkey had been gradually sold out and pawned off to foreigners. A secret revolutionary society had been formed in the period of Ali Pasha, the Grand Vizier, around 1867 or so called the young, “Ottomans” poets like Namik  Kemal Bey, and Zia Pasha, had fled to Paris, and were inciting the public. Good men and a few honest statesmen had held the tottering empire. On the other hand, under the shelter of these capitulations, British, American, French and later, Germans stared schools. The later famous Robert College at Istanbul and the American University at Beirut  arose out of the Tanzimats.

The mektab and ma’drs’ah died, they were blamed for being in the way of progress of a new Turkey. What the Turk failed to realize was that it was this very education & well established with which, they were at the doors and inside Europe, whenever they wished. With the new mode of education the Turk not only lost the empire but himself too. The cause of success had been the education and the “esnafs “or the guilds, these esnafs, were provided special privileges, thus trade and handicrafts obtained an important status and a system of self government among part of Muslim population of the empire as far as their occupational rights were concerned, Now the foreign products were allowed to enter the markets, the old guilds died.  The gradual, decay in the Ottoman Empire, cost her between, 1878 and 1882, an area of  232,000 square Kilometers of territory and a loss of 6 million subjects too.

In 1863 Robert College was established in Istanbul sponsored by a wealthy American [Christopher Robert] and the Job was entrusted to another American Religious Cleric, ”Cyrus Hamlin’[1811-1900] who was a Congregationalist Missionary, who aim in changing the mindsets through Education imparted through their own created subtle educational syllabus, however they move in a systematic way, first they create a cadre of teachers who are competent, to handle regions entrusted To  them, and with their missionary zeal they impart education, Cyrus was a product of ‘Bangor Theological Seminary located at Bangor, Maine, USA.

By 1865 Armenian Christians [Apostolic Church] had been allowed to enter the Congregational Fellowships, one such inductee was Agop Martayan’ he graduated from Roberts College Istanbul in 1915, he was a Armenian Ethnically, but a gifted man with a command over 22 languages, and became soon after a teacher of English, Ottoman Turkish and ancient Eastern Languages. He played a major role in creation of the New Roman script based Turkish Language, on the orders of Mustafa Kamal, who entitled him with a term’, ‘Dilacar’ or The Language Opener’. So Agop Dilacar, was the one who spearheaded the new Vocabulary/Dictionary of Turkish, Expunging the old Persian and Arabic Terms from it, used in the Orta Osmanali, in which till than all old literature and its treasures had been composed, which were left to Rot, in the Vast Ottoman libraries.

Agop Dilcar was also made later the Secretary General of ‘Turkish Language Association ‘in Ankara, later it was he who was the man behind, the creation of Turkish Encyclopedia [1942-1960],Earlier a need arose to go in antiquity of this script and language, therefore full reliance was quoted about the ‘The Sun Language Theory’, this theory had been put forth again by a Christian preacher [Friar] who went around under the name of ‘Hilaire de Barenton [his real name was ‘Etienne Boule’ 1864-1946] he had been ordained a Catholic Priest in 1887,and later joined the of Capuchin Friars minor in 1889,and was assigned work in Ottoman empire, here we see him in close contact with Agop Dilacar, Kemalists loved his approach and theory, and Mustapha Kemal became the foremost admirer.

The Argument of this theory was that, all human languages are descendants  of one and only Proto-Turkish Primal Language, that, because this primal language had close phonemic resemblance to Turkish, therefore all Languages can be traced back to Turkic Roots, the Theory was based on old Turkish Sun Worship, The concept of light and darkness, the role of Sun, and Fire and bitter cold of Central Asia, As per this theory as the Sumerian are alleged to have been the first to create the script they being Turks, having migrated from Central Asia and brought the concept of Time and script with them, hence it were they who had civilized the world, with their knowledge, This theory also overcame the hard reality when these Christian linguists were unable to find substitute words in Turkish for those in Persian and Arabic, hence they were legitimized in the new Turkish dictionary.

To be continued.

Turkey and Afghanistan peace

Yasmeen Ali

TurkeyPeace has eluded Afghanistan. The country has been the backyard for powers that have invaded her, plundered her and in the end abandoned her-much like one would an aged mistress! In anticipation of the withdrawal of US combat forces from Afghanistan; without a peace plan to offer a suitable drop-scene to American adventurism, there is a very real danger, in case of an Afghan meltdown that the influx of Afghans from the Durand Line into FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be inevitable. From here it will trickle downwards to other provinces. This time, it will be without any checks without USA presence. This added to the already existing Taliban and militancy problem, can only lead to further instability and deterioration of law and order situation in Pakistan.
Turkey’s commitment to a robust and flourishing Afghanistan is laudable. Turkey’s steadfast support to Afghanistan on different levels; levels that attribute positively to the quality of Afghans’ lives, separate it from other NATO members in their eyes. Hence, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Turkey aimed to co-ordinate efforts for bringing peace to Afghanistan.
Turkey has so far hosted seven meetings of Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey Trilateral summits. The Summits have mostly aimed towards strengthening multidimensional cooperation among the three countries in such fields as politics, security and economic development. Efforts by Turkey to improve the lot of Afghans’ extends to many fronts; Kabul’s international Afghan-Turkish schools have done extremely well in terms of providing quality education. In 2012, they won a total of 75 medals in the Science Olympiads. No mean achievement if we keep in mind that 1,500 students from 135 countries had participated in the competition.
Turkey has some 1,800 troops in Afghanistan and currently leads two provincial reconstruction teams (PRT): one in the central province of Wardak and the other in Jowzjan, in the north. Turkey has already established a police training centre in Kabul. It is geared to train roughly over 5,000 trainees yearly. On the economic front, though trade between Turkey and Afghanistan is not very high, it did increase by 13 percent in 2012 alone. According to a report, between August 2002 to the end of 2010, the total value of contracts held by Turkish companies operating in Afghanistan amounted to $2.8 billion.
Unquestionably, by all indicators, the input by Turkey is in areas that help nation building. Turkey has never engaged in Afghanistan for any parallel agenda for a proxy war. Countries having big stakes in Afghanistan are; first; India. She has had a good relationship with Afghanistan. The two countries signed a friendship treaty in 1950. A strategic partnership agreement was signed between the countries in October 2011 focusing to cooperate on security besides other issues. Obama’s administration supports assisting Afghanistan as a trade, transportation and energy hub connecting Central and South Asia and enabling free and more unfettered transport and transit linkages. This strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region makes sense for US to move closer to India. It is also an ideal partner in the region to be used against China. India’s interest in Afghanistan will also be to use the western side of its nuclear neighbor Pakistan in covet operations. Although a Taliban government in Afghanistan may not take a very friendly posture towards India.
China’s interest in Afghanistan is to ensure that extremist ideology and violence does not spill into Xinjiang province. Xinjiang is inhabited by Uighurs of Turkish descent and Muslim faith. There have already been uprisings in Xinjiang. As per a report, 197 people were killed during a riot in Urumqi in 2009. The region is rich in oil and gas and autonomous. China’s strong relations with Pakistan and the fact that both India and China are trying to gain more space for regional influence, automatically places both in opposing camps so far as Afghanistan is concerned. Let us also not forget that whereas India is committed to the Chahbahar Port, China has thrown in her lot with the Port of Gwadar from where goods from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan (petro-chemicals) and that from Afghanistan (minerals) can be shipped home. In addition, it offers a substitute trade route for the western Xinjiang province.
Iran had supported non-Taliban groups in 1990s and may revert to doing so yet again. To accept a predominantly Sunni regime in the face of Taliban in power may result in a proxy war, supporting the Afghanistan’s Hazara populace that is mostly Shia. Iran’s pursuance of its schismatic policy in Afghanistan will continue to provoke divisions along the fault lines in Afghan society. The Iran funded media in Afghanistan will continue focusing on differences within the ethnic groups instead of focusing on the similarities. According to a report 70 percent of media in the country today is controlled by Iran. Another report by Reuters Iran spends $100 million a year in Afghanistan, much of it on media, civil society projects and religious schools; quoting Daud Moradian, a former foreign ministry advisor, who now teaches at the American University in Kabul. (Published May 24, 2012) The impact of propaganda and one-sided “truth” are immense.
Russia on the other hand is not happy about America’s presence in Afghanistan that restricts Russian regional influence. It also does not want that extremism should spread to Central Asia and Caucasus. It is also a victim of the illegal drug trade from Afghanistan. Pakistan owing to a nonexistent border is physically effected by any development in Afghanistan.
America has not disclosed, that is if it has developed a strategy, as to in what shape it plans to leave Afghanistan in light of many diversified interests of the players involved. The main nexus here will be Pakistan, America…and the Afghan Taliban. Turkey? Definitely. Provided certain pre-requisites are swung in place first. To negotiate a settlement regarding a partial withdrawal from Afghanistan, US will need Pakistan irrespective of nicking it, “an ally from hell,” and her new found love for Pakistan’s arch rival India. Nonetheless, the bottom line is: how effective a role can Turkey play in bringing peace to war torn Afghanistan? The answer would be; not directional to other players-unless Turkey is awarded the responsibility, mutually by the other players involved to play host to a settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, facilitating withdrawal of NATO troops and helping Afghanistan develop a blueprint to maintain enduring peace. A role Turkey can play if a representative of the Taliban is onboard with Turkey; with Pakistan’s blessings and accepted by the Taliban to be representing them. The representative is also given a mandate to negotiate. “Afghanistan and the United States believe Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who has been held in Pakistan since 2010, holds the key to stopping the war in Afghanistan because he is influential enough to persuade his former comrades there to stop fighting,” says a local newspaper quoting Reuters. Will Mullah Baradar be the chosen person?
Whether this peace, if at all achieved will prove to be long term and its possible impact on Pakistan is a discussion for another day.

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @yasmeen_9


Prelude To Indus Water Treaty-Part 3



Naveed PicBy Naveed Tajammal

As one now see’s in the hindsight, no one really fought for getting Pakistan, its shares from the Division, of the British Indian Empire of India. Mr. Liaqat Ali for all his rhetoric failed even to fight for the wrong Radcliffe Award, his counterpart Nehru, the Prime Minister of India left no stone unturned to his objectives already mature in his mind, much before the 3rd June 1947, The Menon Plan. Ayub Khan, was fully in picture, being a member of the Punjab Boundary commission, from pre-August 1947 as was Asghar Khan, then member of Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee, which was to work out the division of Armed Forces Assets; he too badly failed. As one sees in the eventual outcome, to the job assigned to him, which was very vital for our struggle, in those days, Pakistan’s share of Army assets alone was 170,000 tons of stores, beside that of Air force and Navy all three subjects, later came under Air Marshall Asghar Khan. 300 special trains were assigned to do the job, only three trains eventually came from India, loaded with 6000 Tons of over-sized army boots,5000 unserviceable-vintage Rifles, a consignment of Army Hospital Nurses Smocks, rest were wooden crates filled with bricks and prophylactics [condoms].

The point being, one fails to see any nationalistic germs amongst this lot, assigned on their jobs, by the new state, in all facets, water issues aside, one is reminded of remarks given in the a American paper on the subject, dated 1st November 1960, in the aftermath of Indus Water Treaty, 1960, referring to sorry conditions found between 1947-1960, in connection to the water issues.”….But Negotiations were delayed, Pakistan, beset by changing Governments and political Opportunists, was unable to commit itself, India, growing Impatient, delivered an ultimatum, that it would divert what water it needed by 1962, settlement or No Settlement..” India had reasons to go for such a stance unlike the Pakistani Leadership they were focused on the subject, who had done their homework; pre-planned & already foresaw their future needs, and as will be explained in this part, one can only admire their dedication to the subject.

When people like Liaqat Ali Khan, Ayub Khan, Asghar Khan and some others appeared to be disinterested then who else could be trusted is a question that keeps haunting the nation.

On 1st April 1948, while our leadership was busy allotting properties to themselves and in their cloak & dagger internal games, the Indians shut off our water supply, from the Ferozepur Head works to the Dipalpur canal network, and Lahore that was using this canal water for drinking and municipal needs was left high and dry. The Indian stance was that Pakistan had failed to renew the Standstill agreement ending 31 March 1948. The re sult was while our irrigation department, & statecraft slept, 5.5 % of the total sown area in West Pakistan, found itself without water, at the beginning of the critical Khariff-sowing season. Electrical supply to Lahore and surrounding areas dependent upon Mandi scheme now in India was likewise cut off.

While it is true that Indian leadership has always had its fifth columnists within Pakistan who never wanted Pakistan to take a start. Even now, they challenge the logic of the ‘Divide of 1947.’ The congress party had gone along with partition plan, as this was the only way they could secure their partition as per their own terms or needs of the time; since then they have felt entitled to use every mean at their disposal to wreck our economy, to prove that Pakistan cannot survive without India. Thus bring her back in the fold of the ‘Oneness of India’ as had been envisaged by Nehru. Denial of vital irrigation water would be the best way to expedite this process.

Why the Pakistani Government failed to invoke the international laws regarding water regulations very much so in practice, like those of The Council of the Institute of International Law 1911[Madrid], wherein it was clear that a State is forbidden to stop or divert the flow of river which runs from its own territory to a neighbouring state or prevents it from making proper use of the flow of river on its part. Barcelona Convention 1921,”No state is allowed to alter the natural conditions of its own territory to the disadvantage of the natural conditions of the territory of a neighbouring country”. India was very much a signatory of this International Treaty, and it is a pity, if only our leadership of those days also had dedicated to statecraft, who spent time pouring over the looming matters, instead of wasting away time in the Night life of Karachi.

Indian future water plans were evident by the way Indian Prime Minister Nehru was prancing around, and passing snide remarks, ”That what India did with Indian rivers was India’s Affair.” [P-199, Leonard Mosley, ”The last days of the British Raj”]. But the point is, were they India’s rivers? To do what she pleased with, is a different issue.

India should have been challenged for appropriation of waters-by taking away waters from the regions and from the people who since the mists of times had used these rivers to irrigate, via proper canals as well as the inundation canals  and the wells, that, had been re-charged by the same rivers, All of these main three rivers[Ravi/Beas/Sutlej] later termed eastern rivers, by Nehru party had been the tributaries of the Sindh River [Indus],Therefore the new Indian entity had No right to divert our rivers to irrigate newer projects to the East or South East.

The Ruse used by India was to put forth her, new’ historical claim of oneness of India, and that partition had created a new situation, as India had succeeded to the rights of British Indian Empire, as a new Sovereign state, since prior to 14 August 1947, there had been no such geographic entity as Pakistan, hence there could be no responsibilities of a successor state [India] Towards Pakistan. The Gullible Clueless Leadership of those Times, failed to take on Indian Government, on this issue, had they contested this argument, as an, Unlimited Historical references, of the entity of Sindh Valley Civilization, a unique entity, which is the mother of all civilizations to its East, had existed, and, that, India by itself had never existed by this Name either, it was divided in petty states of numerous races and tribes, divergent to each other. The Indian census of 1991 clearly states that India has 1576 different Mother Languages. It were the British who had coined the term British Indian Empire, that also very late in history.. What to lament about our Leadership, the Alien Masters who ran our statecraft, the ICS bureaucrats were equally clueless. It is a pity that, the first Nationalist type of people, led by General Akbar Khan, i.e. Attempted Coup of Feb/Mar 1951 failed, had it succeeded, he could have taken on the Indians, as he was the one who led the earlier Kashmir Independence War of 1947/48.

As history, based on true facts surfaces with passage of time, G. Mueenuddin, ICS had been made the leader of water dispute delegation, later with the World Bank, He too, failed to pursue the matter, and relied too much on the word of World Bank officials. However the other party, India, led by its own Class of Nationalist Bureaucrats continued on their already chalked out programme and kept gaining its foothold. Pakistan should have filed her case with the international court of justice at the Hague, as per international law, no court could have denied Pakistan its Riparian Rights of the Waters.

India played its tricks of releasing in the meanwhile 20,000 Cusecs of water in the flood seasons, the sore issue was the need of urgent 6000 cusecs [A cusec is one cubic foot of water per second] in the dead of winter.

Pakistan as one sees, has been pursuing policies which have been detrimental to her own interest, instead of demanding her right from the start, her leadership fell under the spell of Nehru, who using his silver glib tongue, convinced them to seek alternative sources of water supply, thereby freeing India of the responsibility, as the upper riparian, and our Foolish lot fell for it. The case can be re-opened on account of this diabolical Indian treachery.

Even much before Indus water treaty had been Inked, India had diverted Beas river waters into Sutlej, Ravi waters in Beas, and Chenab was to be diverted by Marhu Tunnel-into Ravi. The Wular lake scheme in Kashmir, had been put forth, as well the ‘Dhaingarh Dam proposal, which would enable India to with hold waters from Marala Head works. In other words, India now bragged of holding all the cards, but that was because our lazy lot handed over the whole pack of cards. Had a Timely reference been filed in the international court of justice at the Hague, and the matter given full publicity worldwide, Indian forward planning could have been handled, But, the lack of dedicated leadership Nationalist in true sense was found absent as was seen with the way even the matter of division of Armed Forces store issue-as well Air Force and Navy, was never Hotly contested in any International court or even within the commonwealth, so one became later a Field Marshal and the other Air Marshal.

Due to negligence on the part of ruling statecraft of the Time, Pakistan’s position in the early sowing season of April/May 1948 was very weak, So a belated effort was made and a three member team led by Mr. Ghulam Mohammad, and with other two members, Mian Mumtaz Daultana and Sardar Shaukat Hayat went over to Delhi, Indians led by Nehru struck a hard bargain, they wanted recognition of their rights to all the waters of Ravi/Beas/Sutlej, and that, Pakistan should pay for such waters as were to be supplied henceforth to Pakistan, after this treaty, until such Time, Pakistan could find replacement for its needs from its own resources so on 04 May 1948,a agreement was signed, and Pakistan made to deposit in the reserve bank of India a sum, later to be specified by the Indian prime minister Nehru.

The Text of this ‘Inter-Dominion Agreement’ was in 7 articles, Foolishly signed by our team, Though even earlier the same looming issue had been thrashed in another meeting held in Jullundur, This meeting, was led by Sardar Shaukat Hayat, and Mr. Abdul Hameed, secretary Irrigation and the Chief secretary Hafiz Abdul Majeed ICS, and it was Not that Ghulam Mohammad and his team were unaware of the facts, and why did they fall for this blackmail, this has to be studied, The rules then before 31 March 1948 had been clear, the water and other division related issues had to be filed before the Arbitral Tribunal headed by Chief Justice of India, Sir. Patrick Spens, yet no such reference was filed by the Armed forces division member, Squadron- leader Asghar khan, nor the Army Member of Punjab boundary commission, Colonel Ayub khan, nor by Justice Munir or Justice Din Mohammad, also members of the same commission.

In the aftermath of this 04 May 1948,manipulated- agreement, India started work on Harike Barrage, and by 1952 had completed the upstream of Ferozepur at the juncture of Beas and Sutlej, & the official diversion of Beas waters, was so completed, and the result was our waters were diverted to feed, Bhakra-Beas-Rajasthan Canal project. In order to meet the demand to irrigate the arid lands of Rajasthan, More water was siphoned from Pong Dam on Beas river and Thein Dam on the Ravi River, and so came a long 400 mile Rajasthan canal, from Hariki Barrage.

It would be of interest to understand the earlier manipulation of Beas waters by the British, Beas and Sutlej over a period of centuries have criss-crossed each other in their old beds, sometimes in early 1800′s when British were eyeing the Sikh state, they through a covert operation diverted Beas into Sutlej, prior to this time Beas fell in Chenab, Ravi, Jhelum united waters above Punjnad, and Sutlej joined united waters of Sindh river below Punjnad. Earlier in 1800′s,the Sutlej, was the dividing line between Newly created Bahawalpur state a ally of British, and the Sikh state of Rangit Singh, as it later expanded. In order to render BIST [beas-sutlej] doab of our parts, with Sikhs, then, a Arid land, this diversion was done and also to raise the volume of Sutlej river to take tonnage of the British pre-planned Streamer ships to ply on it.

In the making of Harike Barrage a mile-long bund was built on the right bank facing Pakistan, from the left side 28 bays were built-each with a vertical electrically operated gates, followed by a divide-Groyne including fish ladder and the under-sluices set 5 feet below the sill of the barrage for washing silt away from the canal intakes.

Work on Bhakra Dam project started in April 1948,when excavation work on two diversion tunnels of Sutlej was started and in Oct.1954 Sutlej was diverted after building the upstream and downstream Coffer Dams and excavating the foundations to a depth of 260 feet below the normal river level, laying of concrete began in Nov.1955, and, by 1958, the storage  of water, for the Khariff 1958 crop was ready,[this was the period when Ayub khan and Iskandar Mirza were busy playing their musical chair games]. The eventual Full height of this Dam is 741 feet, second to Hover Dam [743 feet] USA, by just 2 feet. And has a 90 km long artificial lake reservoir, called ‘Gobind Sagar’ with a storage of 9.34 Billion Cubic meters of water [One Cubic meter=35.3 Cubic Feet].

So we see, that while our statecraft was busy elsewhere, India proceeded with plans and execution of its pre-planned moves, while Indus water treaty was in making. The Harike Barrage was completed in 1952, even when the negotiators first met under World Bank auspices.

By July-1954 while both parties submitted their plans [which will be discussed in the fourth part of this article],The Indian Side, Nangal barrage on the Sutlej had been opened-The Rupar head works re-modelled to provide a new intake for the Bist-Jullundur doab canal and the Madhopur Head works had been re-modeled for the new small-Kashmir canal [Jammu] and the new-Ravi-Beas-LINK CANAL. Even the far flung Ganges Basin was given our waters via the Bhakra Dam-link to Jumna canal towards Delhi district.

No one here raised a voice on any forum, the media too was quite, one wonders why? it was a true blatant violation of the international water laws, The physical irrigational  partition of Eastern Basin of Indus was ready & Indus water treaty still under process.

[To be continued..]

Chahbahar and Gwadar



Even before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “loud-thinking” the idea of making Gwadar into a free port- India moved in May this year to counter China, upgrading Iran’s Chahbahar port that gives a transit route to land-locked Afghanistan. An investment of $100 million is envisaged in the upgrade. Of course USA may not want big bucks being invested in developing of infrastructure in Iran by her new ally India, from the region. Admirably, India has stood for her ground in favor of her national interest; like every nation should. Chabahar is a roughly 100 miles from the Gwadar port. Surrounded by a free zone port, Chahbahar has strategic economic importance since Pakistan has not yet developed the transit route linking Gwadar with Qandahar.
Gwadar port; located at the entrance of Strait of Hormuz, offers huge economic opportunities not only to Pakistan but to others too ie the Central Asian Republics, Middle East, South Asia and the Gulf States. By the very virtue of this strategic geographical location it creates a conflict of interests between nations deeply influenced by its development. Gwadar also provides the shortest possible access for Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean and is the most cost effective.
Therefore under an agreement entered into by Iran and India, it were the Indian army engineers who built a road from the port leading to Dilaram for onward linkage across Oxus, thus creating and giving an alternative transit route to Afghanistan. In 1995 the first Tripartite Agreement was signed between India, Iran and Russia, when Iranian President Rafsanjani visited India. This focused on the opening of Bandar Abbas port for the Indian goods and trade, linking with Russia and later Eastern Europe. Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee pursued the matter further on his visit to Iran in 2001, resultantly; the Iranian President Khatami was invited in 2003 as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, which resulted in the 2003 Tripartite Defense and Trade Agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan.
Since 2001 with the laying of foundation stone of Gwadar Port by the then Chinese Vice Premier Wu Bangguo, the project has been mired in difficulties erupting from political instability overall and specifically in Baluchistan. The primary investors in the port, adjacent road and rail infrastructure and planned city of Gwadar have been China and the government of Pakistan. Construction on the highway link to Karachi and on the port began in 2002. (Reuters May 26, 2011) Sardar Akhtar Mengal admitted to the presence of “death squads sponsored by Pakistan’s neighbors and foreign powers” in Baluchistan. (Published July 8, 2013 in a local newspaper) For Pakistan, a victim of terrorism; the development of an anti-terrorism strategy cannot be emphasized enough!
I could not but link Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s words to The Kao Plan. A 240 page plan, it aims to destabilize Pakistan at three levels. “The first, known as Kao’s Bangla Plan (KBP) was chalked out to start an insurgency movement in East Pakistan and transform the Eastern part of Pakistan into a new State. The 2nd plan, known as Kao’s Balochistan Plan (KBP-II) was architected to create a similar scenario in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, while the 3rd one was relating to organize a separation movement in the then North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and now Khyber PakhtunKhwah to establish an independent State there and this one is known as the Kao’s Pakhtoonistan Plan (KPP).” The plan was, according to research source was envisaged way back in 1968 by India. Named after Rameshwar Nath Kao, the then head of IB External Division head and the founder of Directorate General of Security termed as DG (S) in India, the plan was very intelligently based on the ethnic fault lines within Pakistan.
Baluchistan’s issues are multidimensional and would require a separate article to deal with it. Suffice to say, these have been exploited by the local leaders as well as external forces interested in taking advantage of the situation. At the end of the day, it remains the responsibility of our successive provincial and central governments who have failed to evolve a cohesive economic plan for the development of Baluchistan.
China is deeply interested in Gwadar. Not because it is our “fair weather” friend as touted by many but because it sees Gwadar as a harbor from where goods from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan (petro-chemicals) and that from Afghanistan (minerals) can be shipped home. In addition, it offers a substitute trade route for the western Xinjiang province. Xinjiang shares borders with Pakistan, Eastern Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan. It provides China with an option to avail of the shortest approach to the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden, only by travelling a mere 2500km via the existing Silk Route. Gwadar is part of the “string of pearl strategy” consisting of a number of friendly ports offering possible naval facilities throughout the Indian Ocean to China. This “string of pearls strategy” can be then effectively relied upon to support any mission to protect key shipping routes between China and the Middle East or Europe through the Suez. A country like China, aspiring to take its place in the world as the next giant, is taking the right course by investing in trade routes. For Pakistan, Chinese presence in Gwader offers a strategic advantage; Chinese naval presence at this crucial point of Gulf can check the INDO-US domination of Indian Ocean. Also, Chinese naval presence is most likely to beef up Pakistan’s coastal defense. This is a development that may be viewed as threatening by many in India.
US would want to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The thawing of ice between America and Iran in the past few days notwithstanding, it does not change the American strategy. Also, US and India will be on the same page so far the question of Gwadar is concerned, both wanting to curtail the increasing China’s influence in the area, however, they may very well have different approaches towards the policy to be followed in entering into an understanding between Iran and India aimed to achieve this objective. China’s approach to the Central Asian countries has been to offer excellent terms of trade coupled with loan offers and unlike America does not pressurize Central Asian leaders to concur to a timetable and agenda for internal reforms within their country. Interestingly, there is another diplomatic twist here. Iran herself will not want to alienate China. According to a congressional commission report that came to the light in December 2012, China’s government provided goods and expertise for Iran’s nuclear program in the past and also gave Tehran’s Islamist regime missiles and other arms as part of the nations’ anti-United States policies.
Pakistan, with an objective to develop the Gwadar port, must address the issues hampering in this goal being achieved. Better sooner than later. Any country’s national interests must always first and foremost be based on the need of the country itself and then the determination as to what tactics to use and which strategic partnerships to put in use to achieve the objectives. Governments come and governments go but the long term national interest strategies are ensured implementation by succeeding political dispensations. This is exactly what India does. It does not change gears on issues of national importance with changing governments. Pakistan too must devise intelligent strategies to ensure a robust and thriving Gwadar Port. Intelligent strategies demand intelligent leadership. I am reminded here of Jeff Sessions who once said, “I certainly believe that improving our intelligence is of important national interest.”

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is : @yasmeen_9