Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spy who Hates Me

In the modern world, the diplomacy is termed as the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war, economics, culture, environment and human rights. International treaties are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. In an informal or social sense, diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational or polite manner. Unfortunately , the term diplomacy , as orchestrated by the Capitol Hill , almost opposite to it , there are glaring examples of double standards ie vociferously supports the democracy and democratic traditions, but practically aiding , financially and morally, to the dictators , semi- kingships and monarchy for its own vested interests. Theodore Parker (Lexington, Massachusetts, August 24, 1810 – Florence, Italy, May 10, 1860) was an American Transcendentalist and reforming minister of the Unitarian church. A reformer and abolitionist, his own words and quotes he popularized would later influence Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. He maintains “that America is a rebellious nation. Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born; our creeds were infidelity to the mother church; our constitution treason to our fatherland.” But present successive US presidents have failed to visualize the in-depth reality that any nation can become rebellious, if it is forced to lay in a closed street corner.

Americans demonstrated different standards for diverse or similar situations. Sovereignty of any country is the most important factor of nationalism, which is, to strengthen, its integrity and solidarity, within the territorial limits.

The American Judicial System was also exposed, when innocent Dr Aafia Siddiqui was sentenced to 85 years, unprecedented punishment by a local court , just as she tried to snatch a heavy automatic gun from 5 US Marine Commandos in Afghanistan. While the , President Obama and his aides jolted the politicians of Pakistan, by threatening, of dire consequences event Pakistani government failed to release the murderer, Raymond Davis, a CIA agent, under an illogical and illegal ‘blanket diplomatic immunity’.

In a dramatic move, the former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi , in a press conference, maintained that the US employee, Raymond Davis doesn't enjoy blanket immunity as sought by USA. 'Pakistan and America need each other's help.' The issue of killing two Pakistani citizens in Lahore in broad daylight by a US embassy employee has become a matter of national respect, he added. Qureshi said that I was instructed to stay quit on the burning issue. Shah Mehmood Qureshi , mastered the immediate applause of common Pakistani and termed as a hero in the whole scenario, probably he may rethink to devise his political strategy, too.

The Case of Raymond Davis, is worst of its kind when, evidently, a CIA agent killed two innocent Pakistani, in a crowded market of Lahore, the third youngster was crushed to death by a rescue car , driven by US Consulate’s driver. The driver and the car are yet to be handed over to the police. Raymond Davis, whom Washington insists has diplomatic immunity, says he acted in self-defence when he shot dead two men in a busy street in Lahore on January 27. Police also recovered sensitive maps and pictures/images from the possession of Raymond Davis. Which necessitated that a Joint interrogation Team (JIT) should have formed, under the aegis of ISI and MI, to conduct interrogation of the suspect, also to dig out his anti-state activities and his’ contacts’. It is yet to determine, on which intelligence operation, he was assigned, in that crowded area of the Lahore. Also how many such agents are operating in the sensitive areas of Pakistan, under the CIA umbrella? The national security can never be compromised, at any cost by any foreign individual, whether he or she holds diplomatic immunity or otherwise. The national security institutions must review the procedure, under which multiple visas are being issued by Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC, reportedly, most of the information are not given on the Visa forms and especially purpose of the visit of Americans to Pakistan.

In the meanwhile, Lahore High Court on last Friday remanded Raymond Davis, accused of killing two Pakistanis, in custody until February 25; he has been remanded in custody since his arrest following the incident on January 27, to decide if Raymond Davis holds diplomatic immunity.

Foreign Ministry of Pakistan and US legal counsel were supposed to make representations to the chief justice, ultimately sought three weeks time to submit the reply.

The private petitions for questioning Davis' status are filed which also aimed at stopping him from leaving the country. The judge can substantiate or decline the US claim of diplomatic immunity, or can postpone the hearing to get more time to decide. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Ex-foreign minister, has said Davis does not have full diplomatic status, on the other hand the ministry in a statement Wednesday denied media assumption that it had already confirmed the US citizen's right of immunity.

Reacting to the hearing, US ambassador Cameron Munter said the US was “disappointed that the government of Pakistan did not certify that Raymond Davis has diplomatic immunity.” The government in Islamabad is under enormous domestic pressure not to be seen as kowtowing to US demands for Davis’ release and has come under fire over how American officials are seemingly free to drive around with loaded weapons. There are deliberate leakages in the US newspapers that USA , probably think to send Hussain Haqqani to home and impose sanctions on Pakistan and block the aid under the Kerry Lugar Bill.

“Senator Kerry’s visit to Pakistan manifested our intention to work with the government of Pakistan to resolve this issue,” said Munter”. “As the senator said during his visit, we want to work together as two countries that have a common interest in the same goal and find a path forward.” He added

The court adjourned until March 14, extending tensions between the United States and Pakistan. Raymond Davis, whom Washington insists has diplomatic immunity, says he acted in self-defence when he shot dead two men in a busy street in Lahore on January 27. “This is not a simple case. It has legal, social, political and international implications, and the government therefore wants to find a solution with consensus,” Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said. But political analyst Hasan Askari maintained : “The longer the delay, the more difficult it will become for the government. You create room for a lot of speculation.”

Another court on Thursday remanded Davis in custody until March 3 in a separate case of illegal arms possession, the American making an appearance by video link from jail, said Punjab government prosecutor Abdul Samad. Demonstrators in Multan, the home town of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, burnt the US flag and an effigy of US Senator John Kerry, who visited Pakistan this week, to protest against pressure for Davis’ release, witnesses said. Many Pakistanis remain suspicious about why Davis, who reportedly worked for a security contractor, was carrying loaded weapons and a GPS satellite tracking device.

US authorities , continuously changing their statements, from private security personnel to technician , then an aide to US Consulate Lahore, now maintained that “he is a diplomat assigned to the US embassy, Islamabad”.
A statement on January 28 that identified him as a “staff member of the US consulate general in Lahore” was a mistake owing to the “effort to get information out”, US embassy spokeswoman Courtney Beale told journalists.
“When we checked the diplomatic note we realized that he was assigned to the embassy. We mistakenly said he was with the consulate,” Beale said. When it came to not releasing his identity, she said Davis gave them permission to use his name only after a week.

The enormous pressure of USA, was so far vehemently countered by Pakistani civil society and vibrant Media , a blessing from the blue for both the federal and provincial governments. Fauzia Wahab spokesperson of the ruling party, PPP, was sacked by PM Gillani for issuing pro-Raymond Davis statement, to pacify the resentment of the public and their wrath. The Establishment and Pakistan Army are visibly supporting the public sentiments. As per early reports some Pakistani security personnel allegedly planted two persons from Lahore, who claimed that the victims snatched their wallets and cell phones. But after few days, both were disappeared from the media and access of journalists, when the counter- pressure started emanating.

USA is sensing a different Pakistan now, whatever the decision of the court may be; the Pakistani nation now, is not ready to accept any verdict, which is against the popular feelings. Any ‘forged diplomatic document’, in support of claimed diplomatic immunity, will prove counter productive at this stage; this aspect is also clear to both President Zardari and the PM. All efforts too moo the families of the victims , by US authorities have failed , so far, primarily for the reason that the families of the victims foresee an immense reaction from the public if they accept the “diyat”, even under the Islamic law to pardon the murderer.

US Senator, John Kerry who claimed to take Raymond Davis with him at his plane , was showed the door . Senator John Kerry is considered as an intellectual too, one of his famous quotation “Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism” He realized that now, it is a hard nut to crake, as he has to face only one reply from every corner of Pakistan… which is - the decision of the court, will determine the fate of the Spy, ‘who hates Pakistanis’’’. If America forced Pakistan to accept the verdict of the Court against Dr Aafia Siddiqui , then she has to respect the courts of other countries too. Simultaneously, the judiciary of Pakistan is pitched against a very sensitive case, where people of Pakistan, who struggled a lot for an independent judiciary, are not expecting any new “law of necessity”, in the respective case.

The political analysts believe that there is a remote possibility of Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s extradition in lieu of Raymond Davis, event he will be convicted by the court, the Zardari’s presidential immunity can be grated to him. The extradition of Dr Aafia, might reduce the intensity of the wrath against USA, which is multiplied now, in Pakistan, at the surface.There is another possibilty, that 'foreign elements'may kill or try to kill Raymond Davis , to get two benefits--To stop extraction of valuable information and secondly to put immense pressure on Pakistan. Analysts also observed that Drone attacks in bordering areas of Pakistan have ceased to exist, the day when Raymond was taken into custody. As we have witnessed that CIA, even sacrificed its top diplomat , Arnold Raphel, in the murder conspiracy of General Zia-ul-Haq. American intellectuals also believe that ‘no other country except Pakistan can rescue from the total disaster in Afghanistan and a safe exit. The Kerry- Lugar aid syndrome can be stitched to this much more important US dilemma .USA, on the other hand, must visualize the civilians’ renaissance for their fundamental rights, in the Arab world and the wave of public anger, which in fact, personifies the reaction and opposition to the US international anti-people policies in the region.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Renaissance of Civil Liberties in the Arab World

The recent happenings in African Arab World is a personification of an indigenous uprising against the dictatorial policies of the ‘semi-kingships’, which engulfs Tunisia , Egypt , Jordan, Yemen, Qatar and Syria . The popular anger forced Ali Zainul Abideen to leave Tunisia. The seeds of new awakening of civil rights in the region threatened the , even established dynasties , which have solid roots, since decades. President Hosni Mubarak, is at the verge of collapse , though all time robust Egyptian Army and Intelligence , came to his rescue for the transition power , at the surface , to save the country from going into complete chaos .

The newly installed Egyptian Government offered negotiations to the powerful opposition “Akhwan al Muslemeen’, amid Obama administration’s remarks that pro-government forces in Egypt were “thugs” . The streets of Cairo were turned into a battlefield at Tahrir Square, , for last 15 days, between those who support President Hosni Mubarak and their adversaries, who are demanding the leader’s immediate ouster.

The Egyptians are not ready to accept the assertion of Hosni Muabarak to step down in September – In the meanwhile USA has started demonstrating similar policy to leaving the ‘Closest Ally ‘ in the lurch .. In 1978 the deepening opposition to the Shah erupted in widespread demonstrations and rioting. Recognizing that even this level of violence had failed to crush the rebellion, the Shah abdicated the Peacock Throne and departed Iran on 16 January 1979. Despite decades of pervasive surveillance by SAVAK, working closely with CIA, the extent of public opposition to the Shah, and his sudden departure, came as a considerable surprise to the US intelligence community and national leadership. As late as 28 September 1978 the US Defense Intelligence Agency reported that the Shah "is expected to remain actively in power over the next ten years." In fact USA was interested to retain Shah on the throne , with certain political reforms , which became inevitable due to unprecedented and ruthless dictatorship of the King. But the public uprising and entry of Imam Khomeini wrecked the CIA future course of Action , even to that extent that USA even refused exiled Shah to enter into the air of USA, he died in Egypt . The then vice President of Egypt, Hosni Muabarak had witnessed the the gory details of Shah’s ouster and his awful death with Cancer when no world leader was ready even asylum in ‘ custody’.

The recent uprising of civilians or citizens in Arab , is, a directly outcome of the absence of any democtraic tradition in a fast changing world scenario of globalisation with additional contributing factors included perceptions of oppression, brutality, corruption, and extravagance. Basic functional failures of the regimes have also been blamed — economic bottlenecks, shortages and inflation; the Arab regimes’ flawed economic programs, the sudden failure of its security forces to deal with protest and demonstration and the overly centralized power structure, forced the the lava to erupt and expand .

The world is in the grip of economic and food crisis, the state-control medias will cannot keep a band on the common eyes , too long. The globalization process has exposed, or still exposing the cruel governance of the dictators viz a viz Western world.

The Egyptian activists, apparently young and secular at the core, who have been out on the streets every day since the Tehrer Square has become hub of violent activity. . One useful way to think about such revolutions is to remember 1989. There was the revolt in East Germany, which nobody expected to start, and then nobody expected to end peacefully. And then you had Romania, which no one expected to end in a fusillade of bullets... except the Romanians. President Nicolae Ceau┼čescu and her wife Elena Ceau┼čescu were killed by a firing squad on 25 Dec 1989.
What will happen after Hosni Mubarak ? The most famous face outside of Egypt is former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei, who is well-known in the West and respected, but not universally loved, at home. His efforts to unite Egypt’s opposition behind him have had mixed results, and he seems to have been free and detained at various points during the day. The Egyptian nation is not tuned to the true democratic norms or traditions of the West, in fact the nation will continue to accept the US domination with certain ease in the provision democratic rights. But USA is not ready to accept the similar happenings as she failed to control over the return of hardest religious or institutionalized Clergy to capture the power after the exit of Shah of Iran.
It is not CIA , which created rumpus against Hosni Mubarak , which, in fact took roots from the stems of dictatorial regime of Tunisia , however the analysts of Capitol Hill are spending sleepless nights to formulate a political strategy which may not hamper any peace process in the Middle East nor damage any interests of Israel in the region.

The seismic upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt have triggered unrest elsewhere in the Arab world, particularly in Yemen and Jordan. Syria, ruled by the Baath Party since 1963 and the Assad family since 1970, also seems at first glance potentially vulnerable. It shares some passing similarities with Tunisia and Egypt, particularly economic hardship – rising prices, unemployment, poverty, and the cancellation of subsidies on basic commodities.
Yet there are also critical differences, which may lessen chances of a Tunisia-style revolution taking hold. Perhaps chief among them are the sectarian divisions within Syria. Such divisions, if unleashed by protests, could cause bloodshed and chaos similar to the experiences of Lebanon and Iraq in recent years.
“The cautionary tales of its neighbors to the east and west – Iraq and Lebanon – have only reinforced Syrian anxieties about the dangers of weakening the central government in a country with a mixed sectarian and ethnic population,” says Elias Muhanna, author of the influential Qifa Nabki blog.Syria’s population is predominantly Sunni, but the backbone of the regime is drawn from the minority Alawite community, an offshoot of the Shiite sect. The marginalized Kurdish population is also a potent factor in the country’s sectarian and ethnic composition.

In Yemen, president Ali Abdullah Saleh syas he will not seek the presidency when his term expires in 2013. Saleh has been in power for 30 years.He spoke to parliament ahead of a rally in the capital on Thursday which, echoing protests in Tunisia and Egypt, has been dubbed a "day of rage".
He spoke ahead of the planned protests, organized by civil society groups and opposition leaders in a country which suffers from high population growth, 40% unemployment, rising food prices and acute levels of malnutrition. Meanwhile, in Jordan King Abdullahon on 1st Feb, entrusted Marouf Bakhit to form a new government tasked with realizing “genuine political and economic reforms”, a Jordanian Court issued a statement. Bakhit succeeded outgoing prime minister Samir Rifai whose resignation was accepted by the King three days back, the Royal Court said.

The soft revolt can be turned into violent outburst by the citizens of the Middle East , in the comparatively secular states , event the respective regimes failed to allow or facilitate their nations to give them fresh breath of political reforms and ease out checks on civil liberties and rights as given under US Charter. Things are not all the time under the control of USA, any adventurism by CIA can be proved , at the present stage, counter-productive to give way to the ‘fundamentalism’ , or hardened religious anti-American element in the corridors of the power.