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2017 full of Western indifference to Muslims

Meryem Ilayda Atlas

The international system as we know it is pushing all of us toward an apocalyptic future. It is insane to allow things to advance as they had in 2017. The grand narrative of “civilization” is no more. Injustice and cruelty are spreading all around, with a lack of tangible resistance to this devolution deafening. The year 2017 will be seen by the future generations as one of the years when the world became a worse place.

Terror attacks, nuclear threats, civil wars, proxy wars, forced migration and ethnic clashes were aggravated by the irresponsibility of leading powers. The retreat of a dominant power may be seen by some as an encouraging development. However, narrow priorities of states and ever-growing domestic problems suffered by many countries have produced a chaotic environment where limited understanding of conflicts is preventing the formulation of comprehensive solutions to our problems. The world has never been this indifferent to suffering since the Bosnian Wars. Even worse, nowadays, it is usually the victims who are blamed.

Aime Cesaire, in his “Discourses on Colonialism,” says: “A civilization that chooses to close its eyes to its most crucial problems is a stricken civilization. A civilization that uses its principles for trickery and deceit is a dying civilization.” A more perfect analogy for today’s Europe cannot be made. As millions of Syrian refugees flooded into Europe, the EU adopted a siege mentality rather than mobilizing its resources to help fellow human beings. How long can Europe preserve its prosperity and peace when its neighbors are facing the biggest disasters in centuries?

A civilization incapable of resolving its internal and external problems becomes weak. The West self-legitimizes its inhumanity toward refugees. None of us should forget that future generations will judge us for the way we responded to the refugee crisis as we judge past generations for the way they responded to the humanitarian tragedies of the time.

What is unique in this day and age is that the leading powers not only work to resolve the world’s problems but rather compound them with their irresponsibility. People and their leaders need to resist recklessness for the good of humanity. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership in mobilizing the opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the U.N. General Assembly’s decision to condemn the American move was one of the few actions that redeem trust in our common humanity.

Palestinians have demonstrated the fact that their minds remain immune to colonization despite the world order collapsing around them. They are the guardians of the long Islamic history of Jerusalem and eventually history will trump “interests.”

Some interests also will be written adversely to the West. Being indifferent to what is happening in Myanmar, Syria, coups in Venezuela and Zimbabwe, only supporting the civil groups and democratic initiates when necessary, shortly being hypocritical to all people living in the “risk societies.”

Drawing red lines for your own country, concerns only about your own security, observe only “your democracy” makes it impossible to speak up for a universal ethic.

After the Paris attacks, all the world leaders poured into Paris. They stand and united together. These attacks and all terror attacks wherever they happen in the world should be condemned at the highest level and at every opportunity. Including the Charlie Hebdo attack, even though I do not find any value to mock with the sacred values of Muslims, a group already suppressed and disadvantageous in French society, yes, indeed, we are all very sorry. We feel the proximity and intensity of the threat and the feeling of loss because we have the same here. However, we are still far away to develop a comprehensive understanding for terror, still arming proxy groups in the field to a region that exports terror all over the world.

We Muslims are expected to turn the other cheek every time we are attacked. European Muslims continue to be on the firing line of hypocrisy. In 2016, 1,500 Islamophobic attacks happened in Germany. That number fell to 718 last year, which is cheered and welcomed as progress. Still, each and every one of these hundreds of attacks is a symbol of bigotry, prejudice and racism’s victory over humanity and decency. No European country is immune to Islamophobic actions. Meanwhile, Muslims are put in a very difficult position to find evidence from Islamic jurisprudence that Islam is not genuinely and essentially violent. We journalists and academics are being asked about the same stereotypical questions everywhere and every time when we visit Europe.

Questions are about the incompatibility of Islam and democracy, about violence, financing of terror, et cetera. We are being tasked with proving ourselves innocent of these charges. I personally view such interrogations as invasive. They are examples of hidden fascism, an attempt at nullifying their complicity in Islamophobia. Intellectuals are, or at least should be, capable of determining what is good and bad in their own societies. At least, that is what intellectual honesty demands from us. When there is a lack of honesty, nihilistic ideologies take over. These nihilistic ideologies, like those followed by the Nazis and Daesh militants, are naturally violent and normalize the mistreatment of the other, whoever they may be.

Today, we apologize for slavery, apartheid, Hiroshima, colonialism in Africa, and the genocide of Aborigines. For these apologies to be perceived as sincere, we should demonstrate our intention not to repeat them ever again. And this can only happen if we truly take action to resolve the many catastrophes occurring all around us. Every passing minute is an opportunity to say, “O.K., I am not responsible for these tragedies in the Middle East, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, but at least I feel the responsibility to alleviate their suffering. I need to understand and help. I shouldn’t turn my back on the needy. Denial and rejection is tacit acceptance of these crimes.” Tens of millions of refugees around the world are the community most susceptible to violation and abuse. Whole generations and cultures are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. As Ulrich Beck says, we are building walls because we think building walls is cheap but dialogue is costly and uncomfortable. That is why we are now turning into “risk societies,” seeing the other as a threat and less wise. There is nothing more costly to humanity than building walls between countries and cultures.Borders are necessary only to mark a capacity, not for humanity.

 

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History of the world at year 1 after Trump

Hamid Dabashi

The world has endured one complete and completely calamitous year of Donald Trump, the president of the United States – “Mr President”, as Americans reverentially refer to him.

After a tumultuous and deeply divisive presidential campaign, in a free and fair general election, Americans elected a notoriously racist, consistently misogynistic, white supremacist, xenophobic, real estate charlatan as their president, entrusting him with their highest and most revered political office. He was solemnly sworn in “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” on January 20, 2017, at 9am.

To be fair, in electing Donald Trump as their president Americans did not have much of a choice, for opposing him in the final election was a singularly corrupt corporate lackey and carpetbagger named Hillary Clinton who systematically sabotaged the campaign of the only decent American that could have been elected president – Senator Bernie Sanders.

Given their choice between Hillary Clinton and a nefarious charlatan, Americans opted for the nefarious charlatan. There are certain snakes in hell from which you run to dragons, as we say in Persian.

The world thus nosedived into perhaps the most dangerously destructive year in its recent history. We are now living that history. We are about to finish its first year: year 1 AT (after Trump).

We, the future historians of our present

The future historians (if Trump leaves us a future to fathom and does not cause a nuclear holocaust or an environmental calamity does not put an end to us all) ought to know that this US president wakes up early in the morning and the first thing he does is start bombarding the globe with the most inane, most imbecilic salvos of gibberish that emerge from his mental and moral indigestion.

He calls them his “tweets”. What a beautiful word to abuse and waste for his blithering verbal diarrhoea – no harmless birdie ever chirped anything but joy in this world. Then he goes about issuing his racist misanthropic fatwas against one thing or another.

One day, he bans Muslims from entering the US; another day, he pulls the US out of environmental accords meant to preserve the earth; the next day, he wants to build a wall at the Mexican border because he thinks Mexicans are rapists; and the day after, he steals a whole historic city and gives it to his Zionist financiers, before, just for fun, saying Haitians “all have AIDS”.

If he doesn’t have anything else to do, he just tweets – a few Islamophobic videos, defends some neo-Nazi thugs, and makes a few anti-Semitic remarks. His supporters just love him for these spontaneous outbursts of his true nature. “He tells it like it is,” they say.

Trump consistently lies, systematically cheats, unabashedly insults weak and vulnerable people.

He keeps up with his predecessors’ habit of mass-selling arms to Arab tyrants to kill more Muslims, gives them for free to Israelis to keep killing more Palestinians and stealing their lands, and he then awards them by declaring Jerusalem their capital.

The world is scared witless of climate change. He says global warming is good to combat cold weather.

The world is aghast at the range of sexual assaults and sexual harassment perpetrated by powerful men and here he is the president of the United States, the most dangerously powerful man on planet earth, facing allegations of predatory sexual misconduct.

We the future historians of our present must rush to anachronism to tell our posterity (if there will be a posterity) what has happened to us.

A neo-globalist

The world looks at the United States today and shivers with outrage, with fear and trembling, aghast at the moral and political bankruptcy of a “democratic system” that results in such disgraceful insults to common human decency. This is in sharp contradistinction to what any decent American thinks of himself or herself. Trump’s election has brought the majority of Americans to the bosom of humanity at large – fearing for themselves their own elected imperial officers.

There are those among Americans who think Trump is a political isolationist or an economic nationalist. But that is not the case. Politically, he is a warmongering bully that has intensified bombing of nations and then sought to close the US borders to its catastrophic humanitarian consequences. That is not isolationism. That is amoral cowardice.

The same goes for his economic policies. He wishes to rob the world of its natural resources, destroy the environment, and enrich his obscenely rich political backers. That is not economic nationalism. That is highway robbery on a global scale.

The first target of Trump’s nefarious economics has been American people themselves.

His monumental tax scheme that his fellow Republicans just passed will target the poorest segments of the US society to enrich the tiny upper echelon of the country. What sort of “nationalism” is that? He is a thief stealing from the poor enriching the rich even more.

What Donald Trump has staged is first and foremost the moral and political crisis that “Western democracy”, in general, and American democracy, in particular, face today.

All the way from Plato and Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville, the world has been force-fed, lectured at and politically held hostage to overdoses of highfalutin treatises about “Western liberal democracy” – the crowning achievement of which is this clinically diabolical buffoon.

Trump is no isolationist or nationalist. He is a neo-globalist of fear and fanaticism, of thievery for the rich and destitution for the rest.

The law of diminishing returns

A year into the Trump presidency, the global perception of common American decency has been seriously diminished, the fear of its vulgar and violent militarism increased, the brutish impact of US disregard for planetary environmental calamity intensified, nefarious US allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel given free hands to slaughter people in Yemen and Palestine with impunity, the poorest and most vulnerable segments of American society targeted for even more impoverishment, its richest pockets made even deeper and more obscenely rich.

The world, including the majority of Americans, stand today on one side, and Donald Trump and his richest and most dangerous beneficiaries from Washington to Tel Aviv to Riyadh on the other. They are wreaking havoc across the globe and we are bracing for even worse to come.

A shining truth emerges from this calamitous condition of humanity at year 1 AT of our world history. The world is forever freed from all its dangerous delusions: from the nativist American democracy to European liberal globalism, from the corrupt Russian oligarchy to the globalised Chinese communism, from xenophobic Zion-ism to megalomaniac Islam-ism, from homicidal Hindu fundamentalism to genocidal Buddhist nationalism.

Free at last, as the moral voice of Martin Luther King Jr, declared, thank God Almighty we are free at last from all the false god terms of our history – just a year into the presidency of our very own Roman Emperor Mr Donald Trump, Real Estate Developer, Inc.

We are freed from all delusional fantasies East and West and walk through this valley of despair with our eyes and hearts wide open, our minds and intellect clear and caring – the modest prophets of our own uncharted destinies.

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350 dams in KP?

Ghulam Idris Khan

PTI chairman Imran Khan claimed the other day in public meeting and later in press talk, that KP govt has been able to construct about 350 or more dams and is producing electricity at cheap rates than that generated by WAPDA.

In KP, the Pukhtunkhwa Energy Development Organiz-ation (PEDO) is major instrument for producing power from hydel, wind, solar and thermal sources. This organization was established in 1986, was made autonomous and named Sarhad hydel development organization in 1993. In 2013 it was named Pukhtun-khwa Hydel Development Organization (PHYDO). In 2014, through an act, it was made as Pukhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO).

The KP govt energy department and PEDO have completed and operationalized ab-out five hydel projects since 1999. These projects were planned and worked started from 1999. The operation of Malakand 111 power house with the capacity of 81 MW started commercial functioning in November 2008. The Pehur power house started commercial operation in Mar-ch 2010. In Chitral, the power houses started commercial operation in 1999 and 2009. All this electricity generation was inducted in national grid during previous govt of MMA, ANP and PPP coalition govt. About 107 MW of power produced by these small dams w-ere contributed to national grid in KPK in previous reg-ime.

PTI is claiming that it has initiated work on 350 small dams in the province, but looking at the documents and the progress made by PEDO, it becomes clear that the work is still on paper. The tall claims either made by Chairman Imran Khan or CM Pervaz Khattak are far from reality.

Feasibility studies of these ongoing projects were also conducted during the last govt of PPP and ANP. These projects are located in Swat, Dir lower, Mansehra and Shangla.

One project is by the name of KOTO Hydropower project at Dir for which study was carried out in 1992. Progress on it was at snail’s pace, however in 2008 technical study was conducted by German agency, and the feasibility study was completed by M/S Associated Consultant Engineers (ACE) in 201. This also has not been completed to date.

The PTI govt projects are still on paper. It has identified some projects and divided them in three categories namely solicited sites (Feasibility studies carried out but no physical work started yet), semi raw sites (Feasibility studies in progress) and raw sites (Feasibility studies not even started). PEDO has earmarked six locations in the hilly areas of Dir, Mansehra, Chitral, Batagram and Shangla. According to PEDO website, their feasibility studies have been completed and physical work has not been initiated yet. Last month, in November 2017, the government was been able to issue letter of award to successful bidder for one of the projects.

PTI Chairman Khan while addressing a public meeting in 2014 in Swat announced that PTI-ruled government of KPK has launched 350 small dams which will generate cheap electricity for the people of Pakistan along with availability of irrigation water for the local farmers. He also claimed on record that electricity generation will be surplus and it will be “exported” to the rest of Pakistan. The Chief Minister of KPK Mr. Pervaz Khan Khattak claimed while signing agreement for generation of power that they will produce 1200 MW of electricity. The minister of power and energy went a step ahead and doubled the figure. But what is the position on ground? None of them will now come forward to answer that.

PEDO acts as an engine and main governing body for producing power in the KP. The government appointed Shahkil Durrani as Chairman Board of Directors for smooth functioning of the organization. Durrani, a retired civil servant, previously posted as Chairman WAPDA, sent his resignation to the government of KPK due to unsatisfactory state of affairs. A news report in a leading English newspaper claimed that Durrani’s resignation letter says that PEDO is “suffering from incompetence, lack of effective system and a dysfunctional organizational structure.” The letter also said that he tried a number of times to get matters redressed at the appropriate levels but found that “both the Minister for Energy Mr. Muhammad Atif and CEO PEDO  Mr. Akbar Ayyub had a near total disinterest in improving matters. They wanted to retain arbitrary control.”

Durrani further stated that even the two dams initiated in the coalition govt of ANP and PPP namely Machai and Ronolia comlpleted in July 2015 are not generating power because the transmission lines have not been completed.

According to media report, Durrani disclosed that CEO has been authorized to draw salary of PKR 1.4 million per month. Other senior officers who were inducted by the present setup were allowed monthly salary of PKR 0.6 to 0.8 million per month. CEO is now seeking to further increase up 1.8 million per month. Durrani who had served as Chairman WAPDA disclosed that Chairman WAPDA gets PKR 0.6 million as monthly salary while members draw PKR 0.3 million per month. WAPDA is hundred times larger than PEDO.

PEDO CEO at that time, Mr. Akbar Ayyub, is a friend of Asad Umer, a member of National Assembly from Islamabad. The Peshawar high court had later shown the door and declared his appointment as illegal on petition filed by one of the employee of PEDO in June 2017. However, the govt of KPK tried its best to keep Akbar Ayyub on position by making amendments in the laws of PEDO Act 1993, that is changing the requirement for the post. Opposition members of KPK assembly strongly reacted to it, due to which he left the position under the court orders.

The other six member of the Board of Directors submitted resignations. The cause of their resignation as reported in the national press was that PEDO has become hub of the corruption.

It is important to note that how the affairs of the organization, responsible to produce energy (purely an engineering organization) were run thr-ough blue eye political nominee of the high ups of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf who appointed non-technical personnel selected on whim from private sector, which created mess and none of the project has been commissioned by them.

Now in KPK and in Peshawar particular, recent summer rains occurred, due to which some famous streets and localities were inundated, due to the drainage system, rain water flowed onto roads and ponds were formed. People jokingly called those streets as Hashtnageri small dam, Dabgeri and Lady Reading Hospital small dam. Locals tell each other that these are the dams of which PTI chief Imran Khan promised with the public. It is now a famous joke in Peshawar, whenever people see a small water pond of rain water, they call it a micro dam of Imran Khan and these are way more than the planned 350. People enjoy it as a joke the same way that of Billion Trees in KP.

 

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As guns fall silent, Russia to shape Syria’s political endgame

Sami Moubayed

Many analysts predict that the upcoming year will witness a phased end to the Syrian conflict — at least, militarily. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 85% of Syrian territory has been liberated from ISIS and other groups that had controlled entire cities and towns since 2012. Aleppo was re-taken by the Russian and Syrian armies in December 2016, followed more recently by Albukamal and al-Mayadeen in the Syrian northeast.
In early December 2017, President Vladimir Putin landed in Syria and, from Russia’s military base in Hmeimeem, on the Syrian coast – he announced a thundering “mission accomplished,” promising to bring Russian troops back home in the weeks and months ahead. Excess troops that had been shipped to Syria in 2017 will be returning to Russia in the first weeks of 2018.
This will not apply to the 1,200 Russian military police deployed in the countryside of Aleppo and Damascus, or to the 1,000 troops monitoring the ceasefire in southern Syria. The Hmeimeem base will remain intact – it was leased to the Russians in January 2017 for 49 years, extendable for another 25.
Putin hopes that other stakeholders in the Syrian conflict – like Iran, Hezbollah, Turkey, and the United States – will take their cue from him and start evacuating soon. Politically, Putin hopes to jumpstart peace talks at the Red Sea resort of Sochi some time in January or February. Over 1,000 Syrians will be invited to attend a “national dialogue conference” hosted by the Russian Foreign Ministry, ahead of Russia’s presidential elections in March. They will be tasked with signing off an endgame to the Syrian conflict, in accordance Putin’s terms and conditions.
This basically amounts to the drafting of a new constitution, followed by setting a date for parliamentary elections. Presidential elections won’t happen before 2021, and Putin insists on President Bashar al-Assad’s right to run for a fourth term in office when his present term ends in three years. Anybody who wishes to challenge him is welcome to do so, say Russian officials, promising that the elections will be free, open, and conducted under UN auspices.
As for the new constitution, a Russian-proposed ch-arter is presently being debated at UN-mandated talks in Geneva, and many expect it to see the light by mid-2018. The Russian draft dilutes some presidential powers, such as the right to name the governor of the central bank, for example, but keeps him firmly in control of the army and security services.
This has already been flatly rejected by Damascus. The Russian draft goes so far as to modify the name of the country, dropping the word “Arab” from its title, in order to please non-Arab components of Syrian society (namely the Kurds). This has, inevitably, raised the ire of Arab nationalists and they are struggling to restore the present name: “the Syrian Arab Republic.”
The draft also drops Article 3 of the present constitution, which names Islam as the religion of the president, an omission that is strongly opposed by Islamists in the Syrian Opposition. And finally, the proposed charter calls for a quasi-federal system, one that gives different Syrian districts the right to elect their local councils and governor, rather than have him named by Damascus, along with the right to a share of their region’s natural resources. Syrian Kurds, naturally, are happy with this suggestion.
Unless parliamentary elections are called for, the new constitution will likely be the only serious political development in Syria in 2018. Both – elections and a new constitution – will be debated at Sochi, then agreed through the Geneva process, in compliance with United Nations Security Cou-ncil Resolution 2254. Passed two years ago, that resolution calls for “elections” without specifying whether they should be presidential or parliamentarian, as well as a new constitution and the start of a transition process.
Russian and Syrian lawmakers interpret that as being a transition from war to peace, and from one constitution to another, rather than from the present government to one made up of its opponents. The opposition, however, insists that it should lead to the departure of President Assad — something that is strongly vetoed by Moscow and Tehran.
At the latest convention of the Syrian Opposition, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in late November, they called for Assad’s departure, but framed it as a goal, rather than a precondition. Damascus insists that demand must be scrapped completely before an agreement is reached, threatening to boycott future talks if it is not. If it does, the Geneva process would be announced dead, but Moscow is keen to keep it afloat, wanting Geneva to effectively legitimize Sochi – so that, in other words, a Russian-engineered endgame enjoys the international community’s stamp, via the UN.
During his November meeting with Putin in Vietnam, US President Donald Trump agreed to let Sochi happen, provided that Iran’s role is controlled and curtailed in the process. The US president has seemingly surrendered to Putin’s endgame on Syria, so long as Iran is curtailed, ISIS is defeated, and the Kurds are empowered. He has already canceled funding for all but one of the armed groups that were on the CIA’s payroll, while other allies of the opposition, like Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, have shifted almost completely into the Russian orbit.
Militarily and politically, much is in store for Syria in the upcoming 12 months. Left standing, though, is the gigantic problem of the Syrian economy – a problem which everybody is clueless on how to address, the Russians included.
According to the World Bank, the cost of rebuilding Syria stands at a staggering US$226 billion. This is money that no single country can provide. China and Russia have indicated a willingness to pitch in, along with other BRICS countries. Even with their combined resources, however, a Herculean task lies ahead.

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How Trump is the Gorbachev of US

Ghazanfar Ali Garewal

Toward the end of the 20th century, the Soviet empire was facing myriad challenges. At that time, Mikhail Gorbachev, who had an altogether different outlook from his predecessors, assumed the leadership of the USSR. He introduced the twin policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), which were in stark contrast to the Soviet culture and sociopolitical system.

These policies raised concerns among the friends of the Soviet Union, particularly in China, and even brought them into a confrontational position. While intending to make the Soviet Union prosper again, he deconstructed the very fabric of the Soviet empire and accelerated its downfall. In the same “Gorbachevian” manner, the current president of the United States, Donald Trump has been rapidly pushing his country toward its decline.

Two striking parallels: Though many a parallel can be drawn between them, two are most striking. First, Gorbachev introduced policy reforms that were incompatible with the Soviet system and culture, and thus eroded the very base of the Soviet empire. In the same vein, Trump has been taking policy initiatives, at home and abroad, that have been considered anathema to US liberal values.

Second, by introducing his policy measures, Gorbachev drifted away from his country’s allies and even became at odds with them. In the same fashion, Trump has distanced the US from its allies and partners to a degree that was unimaginable before.

His recent decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is but one example. Despite his warnings and threats, the world stood against him and, rightly so, against  the US. A rare emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly was called after the US vetoed the Security Council resolution to condemn the decisions. President Trump and US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, resorted to threats and warnings to swing the countries to their side. But even friends of the US such as the UK, Egypt and India remained unmoved.

According to a US news website, a correspondent for an Israeli news channel reported that the heavy-handed approach backfired when Canada decided to switch to abstention just to dispel the impression of being a US puppet. Political analysts in the US questioned the productivity of Trump’s decision. One prominent critic of Trump’s policies, Fareed Zakaria, called it an act of pandering rather than diplomacy. According to a recent poll, Trump’s approval rating has gone down as low as 35% since he failed to deliver much of what he promised during the election campaign. Going against public opinion has hardly been a celebrated tradition in the US political system.

Toward the same consequences?

In June, a Pew Poll found that the US image in international affairs had suffered badly because of Trump’s views. The survey revealed that US favorability had fallen to 49%, and in this backdrop, it is not surprising that the world abandoned Washington at the UN. The US has long been known as the champion of liberty, democracy and human rights. These three elements strengthened US supremacy in the world. Now, however, far from being an advocate of globalization and internationalism, the US has withdrawn into the cocoon of protectionism and nationalism. It is these policies that are leading the major powers to think they have to do without the US.  At the same time, these policies are making America’s allies believe that Trump’s rhetoric is not a matter of conjecture only. It has eroded American credibility, so they are compelled to look for alternatives.

Faced with this dilemma, Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore, asked a very pressing question when Washington withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership: “How can anybody believe in the US any more?” While giving an interview to Time magazine, Lee predicted that Washington’s failure to ratify the TPP would diminish  US influence in the region. Herein lies the problem: the United States’ unwillingness to fulfill its international commitments and its failure to restore the confidence of its partners and allies. The Group of Seven Summit in May was another episode of erosion of trust in the US, which ended with exposing splits between Trump and the European leaders.

They voiced their concerns and, at times, severely criticized US trade policies and its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

These developments brought uncertainty to the long-term partnership between the US and its European allies. Trump began his presidential election campaign with a very attractive slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and he believes the key to reviving the old glory is avoiding globalization and reinvigorating the spirit of nationalism.

In doing so, he has failed to incorporate the US values of liberalism, democracy and human rights. He might be looking for the right thing, the revival of the US supremacy, but his instruments are faulty: military power, threats, and coercive policies. These amount to an antithesis of the US norms that became global.

If his policies continue the same trend, it should not come as a surprise if a tragic event takes place in the very matrix of the United States of America.

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US turns screws on North Korea after UN move

Robert L. Anderson

The United States is ratcheting up the pressure on North Korea after imposing sanctions on two high-ranking officials involved in the country’s nuclear missile program. Kim Jong-sik and Ri Pyong-chol were both said to be “key” players in the d-evelopment of Pyongyang’s ICBM strategy.

In a statement, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stressed that Jong-sik and Pyong-chol had been crucial in helping North Korea switch its missile program from liquid to solid fuel, as well as increasing the rogue state’s ballistic missile capabilities.

“The Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea’s ballistic missile programs as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate [North Korea] and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Mnuchin said.

This is just the latest in a series of sanctions imposed by the US and the United Nations. On Friday, the UN increased the pressure after North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile test. The resolution passed by the Security Council invo-lved limiting Pyongyang’s access to refined petroleum products and oil, as well as clamping down on its earnings from workers abroad.

But the decision prompted a tirade from the Hermit Kingdom, which is already reeling under a raft of sanctions from the US, the UN and the European Union.

“This is a violent breach of our republic’s sovereignty and an act of war that destr-oys the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and a wide region,” according to foreign ministry statement on Christmas Day. The resolution will ban nearly 90% of refined petroleum exports to the Pyongyang regime by imposing a stringent cap of 500,000 barrels a year. Further sanctions include changing the procedure in which North Koreans working abroad can send money home. This has been put back to two years instead of 12 months, which was originally proposed.

Still, Tuesday’s move by the US Treasury Department is largely symbolic, blocking any property, or interests, Jong-sik and Pyong-chol might have within the jurisdiction of the US. It also prohibits them from having any dealings with American citizens. The standoff between the US and Kim Jong-un’s administration has raised fears of a new conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Washi-ngton has made it clear that all options, including military ones, are on the table, but it prefers a diplomatic solution.

Earlier this week, Russia again waded into the diplomatic row when it announ-ced it was ready to act as a mediator.“Russia’s readiness to clear the way for de-escalation is obvious,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, told the media.

In response, a spokesman for the US State Department, Justin Higgins, said Washington “has the ability to communicate with North Korea through a variety of diplomatic channels”.

“We want the North Korean regime to understand that there is a different path that it can choose, however it is up to North Korea to change course and return to credible negotiations,” he told the US media.

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Trump and National Security Strategy

Abdullah Muradoglu

Yes, the “National Security Strategy” announced by U.S. President Donald Trump is continuing in terms of its scope and objectives, but it doesn’t seem like everybody is happy with the resulting document. American analysts see the document as the day to day pacification of the theory of globalists and neo-nationalists who say, “America first.” Even during the speech, in which he announced the strategy, Trump moved away from the text and used conflicting terms in many areas. Nobody thinks Trump will remain completely loyal to the strategy document. Such that, American commentators are not sure if Trump even read the strategy document.

Mainstream political elites had leaned toward Gen. H. R. McMaster being made national security adviser, Gen. James Mattis being made secretary of defense and Gen. John Kelly the White House administrator, based on the justification that they would prevent Trump from acting on his impulses and ruining everything.

The National Security Strategy document appears to meet some of Trump’s demands – such as economic protectionism and anti-climate change. However, it can’t be said that Trump left his mark on the entire document. Even though some commentators say, “Welcome to little Ame-rica,” as it reflects Trump’s “America First” discourse, the situation is not that clear. “American interventionism” and “American exceptionalism” are emerging once again.

An unnamed “globalism” is observed in the document. Let us remind that there was a serious war between the Globalists and Neo-nationalists in the first couple of months of the Trump administration over determining the new American strategy.

Sebastian Gorka, one of Trump’s former White House advisers, had said the new National Security Strategy would fill the gap between “isolation” and “internationalism.” Gorka had also advocated that the new American strategy would not be dominated by “political correctness.” Accordingly, “Trump’s America” would prioritize “national interests” rather t-han universal values. Politi-cal correctness is supposedly not excluded from the do-cument, but it is only there as abstract generalizations. As it was also stated by Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Chairman Richard Fontaine, national security strategies lack the conventional “strategy” characteristics. According to Fontaine, the strategy documents do not express the desired aims, they only state the steps necessary to reach these aims, or they identify the sources required to realize these steps. These documents clearly do not prioritize aims. On the contrary, objectives are inclined to be vast and abstract.

These documents generally lack detailed action pl-ans. National Security Strat-egy documents tend to give a logic to governments’ act-ions. Such documents that are filled mostly with generalizations, look, in terms of rhetoric, like long speeches. One other issue is how much the national security strategy documents that are open to the public reflect the reality. Thus, Patrick Porter, a strategic research professor at Exeter University, says in his Dec. 22 article, “War on the Rocks,” that, naturally, there is something “anti-strategic” about strategies that are published in a way everyone can see them.

Porter states that most great strategies in history were confidential, saying, “In a world where states are competing for security and they are expected to show reaction to unexpected situations, strategy must be hidden to a certain degree.” In other words, the strategy documents open to the public must be flexible on stating the true objectives. In reality, states do not reveal their true intentions either. The real strategy is what is not shown to all, but what is kept secret. States spend a whole heap of money to find out other states’ intentions. We should know this too.

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Fahreddin Pasha: We forgot him, but the Arabs couldn’t

Aydin Unal

The Armistice of Mudros was stipulating that Medina be left to the British-backed Arab insurgents and the Ottoman soldiers in the city surrender. The command explaining the situation to Fahreddin Pasha, who oversaw the defense of Medina, had arrived. However, the pasha had no intention to surrender or hand over Medina to the British. He resisted until the last moment. As a matter of fact, he decided to abandon his weapons and remain in Medina as a “neighbor,” in other words, a resident who came from outside the city. However, in the eyes of most Arabs he was a hero, while among the insurgents, he was a monument of fear. He was not allowed to stay in Medina.

Fahreddin Pasha’s glorious resistance spread through the Muslim geography like wildfire and he gained fame beyond the borders.

The pasha was sent to Afghanistan in 1922 as ambassador to keep him “out of sight.” They did everything that was necessary to render him forgotten.

Fahreddin Pasha, the defender of Medina, was not a known, remembered figure in Turkey until recent years. Like our Kut al-Amara victory, he was carefully made to be forgotten and carefully kept out of history books.

Fahreddin Pasha started to be remembered, known again mostly because of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan mentioned Fahreddin Pasha in many of his speeches since 2008. He recommended youth to read Feridun Kandemir’s memoir on the pasha on many occasions. In a lesson he gave to staff officers at the Turkish War Academies and during his visit to the Turkish unit in Afghanistan, he presented Fahreddin Pasha as example to the soldiers.

Fahreddin Pasha, who was tried to be made forgotten in Turkey, was never ever forgotten in the Arab streets during the 99-year period.

The statement of the impertinent United Arab Emirates (UAE) minister shows how alive the memory of Fahreddin Pasha remains in the Arab street. The statement that came 99 years later, reveals that Fahreddin Pasha was not only a “terrifying” figure in the eyes of the treacherous Arab tribes that cooperated with the British, but that he also disturbed the consciences of these tribes.

In his must-read memoir, Feridun Kandemir says the following about the way the Arabs viewed Fahreddin Pasha:

(The people of Medina) “would point to this and that direction and say, ‘he would enter from this door and when he came out nobody could approach him and he was taller than everybody; when he rode a horse nobody could catch up with him…’ while wanting to see even the footsteps remaining from the pasha, they couldn’t even pluck up the courage to take a step forward thinking he might suddenly appear before them.”

“The fear of and respect for Fahri was dominant throughout the entire desert. There used to be Bedouins who poked their animals that were scared when drinking water saying, ‘What happened, you see Fahri in the trough?’ There used to be those who came to us and asked, ‘Please, tell us for the sake of God, has Fahri really gone? Or is he still around here somewhere?’ Fahri Pasha had become a legendary hero. Such that many who wanted their children to be brave and heroic like him would name their newborns Fahri.”

“When dawn broke, morning came and the pasha appeared at the door of his tent to get in the automobile that would take him to Yenbu. That is when all hell broke loose. When the crowd of Bedouins waiting for hours, without any sleep, despite being kept quite far from the tent, saw the pasha’s face, they echoed like they were struck by lightning, ‘Fahri! Fahri!’ They were so afraid that if Fahri took one step, it was like he would crush and destroy them all under his feet; they didn’t know where to run.”

Some Arab tribes still carry the fear and pain of Fahreddin Pasha inside them. Because for the last 99 years, Fahreddin Pasha remind some Arab tribes of the heroism, the honor and the love of the prophet they lost. Fahreddin Pasha reminds some Arab tribes of how they betrayed and handed over Jerusalem, Arabs and Muslims to the Crusades, how they ignored all kinds of values in the 99 years after him and became the slaves of the Crusaders. Some of these Arabs still want to forget Fahreddin Pasha, who holds up the same mirror to them even today, but can’t.

It is not for nothing that they call Erdogan “Fahreddin Pasha’s grandson.” It is obvious that some of these Arabs see the stance of Fahreddin Pasha in President Erdogan. Erdogan’s courage, determination, his sincerity, telling some Arab administrators mistakes to their face as it is, disturbs them.

The UAE minister’s impertinent statement angered us at first, but later it gave us a great and rightful pride. The treacherous Arab tribes that know their fault, their mistake, see how Turkish state tradition lives on, how that tradition is passed on from one generation to another, how the upright stance passes on from “grandfather to grandson,” and this scares them.

The nightmare of the traitors being Fahreddin Pasha and Recep Tayyip Erdogan is, by the grace of God, going to be the salvation of Muslims.

Congratulations Ankara

The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality changed the name of the street on which the UAE Embassy is located to “Fahreddin Pasha Street.” Now, they are going to have to use the “Fahreddin Pasha” name, which they already could not forget, in all their correspondences. We thank Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mustafa Tuna for this excellent step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quaid-i-Azam – A leader par excellence

Zafar Khan Safdar

When frustration and despondency envelop a period of history like blinding fog, there arises at times a genius among his people, whose confidence in himself and the cause he advocates become the solid foundation on which is built the magnificent mansion of immortal achievement. The first half of the 20th century was one such period confronting the Muslims of Indo-Pak sub-continent and Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was their stand bearer on the political battle-field, where they were fighting for their very existence as a nation. The Quaid did not have greatness thrust on him, he achieved greatness through the cultivation of his talents and capacities and building up of a character that emerged unscathed from all vicissitudes like burnished gold out of fire.

“Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the recipient of devotion and loyalty seldom accorded to a man”. This was the glowing tribute that President Truman of the United States paid the Quaid-i-Azam. Acc-ording to Allama Iqbal, Jinnah was the “only Muslim in India to whom a community had a right to look up for safe guidance”.

In the history of Indian Muslim life and thought, he is one of the most striking and distinctive figure. At one time or other, he was the greatest legal luminaries India had ever produced during the first half of the 20th century. An ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, a great constitutionalist, a distinguished parliamentarian, a brilliant and strategist politician, a tireless freedom fighter, a gifted debater and orator, consummate master of logic, a profound lawyer, a sound statesman, a dynamic mass leader and above all, one of the great nation builder in modern times. He stood for justice, for freedom, for equal rights, for the rule of people, for an open society and for a noble Pakistan. Through ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ he converted Muslim nation into a dynamic force which swept the sub-continent and altered the destinies of a human race by lying the foundation of the second biggest Muslim State, an achievement without parallel in the annals of civilization.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah lived through remarkable times – a tremendous period of upheaval and struggle in modern history. He saw two world wars and freedom’s triumph over the forces of fascism. He was part of the epic battle to end colonial domination and liberate Asia and Africa from the stifling hold of imperialism. He watched the rise of socialism with its promise of peace, justice and equality. It was inevitable that his political beliefs should have been shaped by these momentous events and to have led him unerringly to his commitment to democracy and liberal humanism. The Quaid tried, in the short time he was given to run the affairs of Pakistan, to pass on this commitment as his legacy to the leadership and citizens of the new nation. Unfortunately, we have betrayed that legacy time and again. Mr. Jinnah was something more than Quaid-i-Azam, supreme head of the state, to the people who followed him; he was more than even the architect of the Islamic nation he personally called into being. He commanded their imagination as well as their confidence. In the face of difficulties which might have overwhelmed him, it was given to him to fulfill the hope foreshadowed in the inspired vision of the great Iqbal by creating for the Muslims of India a homeland where the old glory of Islam could grow afresh into a modern state, worthy of its place in community of natio-ns. Few statesmen have sha-ped events to their policy mo-re surely than Mr. Jinnah. He was a legend even in his lifetime.

With his unusual powers of persuasion, luminous exposition, searching arguments, and sound judgment, the Quaid was able to win the battle for Pakistan. His ability for counter-argument was on display even at the formal ceremony on August 14, 1947. When Lord Mountbatten made a speech to the Constituent Assembly in which he offered the example of Akbar the Great as the model of a tolerant Muslim ruler to Pakistan. The Quaid, however, was equal to the task. In his reply to the speech, he immediately presented an alternative model; that of the Holy Prophet (SAW). “The tolerance and goodwill that the great Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back thirteen centuries ago…” Quaid thundered back.

Since 1937, Quaid-i-Azam steered the ship of the Muslim League through stormy and rough seas. He had to create and unite a nation and remove the wave of pessimism that was overwhelming the Muslim minds. He had to remake men and furnish them with fresh emotional equipment. Renan – the French philosopher rightly says “Man is enslaved neither by his race nor by his religion, nor by the course of rivers, nor by the directions of mountain ranges. An aggregation of man, sane of mind and warm of heart, creates a moral consciousness and infuses in the masses the idea of reasserting their hegemony, and prepares them for achieving their lost empire”. How beautifully our poet of East, Iqbal, defines the conception of true leader “By leader, I mean men who by divine gift or experience possess a keen, a perception of the spirit and destiny of Islam along with an equal keen perception of the trend of modern history. Such men are really the divine forces of people, but they are God’s gifts and cannot be forced to order”.

H.V. Hudson in his ‘The Great Divide’ eulogizes Quaid’s character in these words “Not even his political enemies ever accused Jinnah of corruption or self seeking. He could be bought by no one, and for no price. Nor was he in the least degree weathercock, swinging in the wind of popularity or changing the times. He was a steadfast idealist as well as a man of scrupulous honour”. Even Lord Mountbatten for all his hostility towards Pakistan and Quaid-i-Azam made the admission that “If it could be said that any single man held the future of India in his palm, that man is Mohammad Ali Jinnah. To all interests and purposes, Jinnah was the Muslim League and if the dream of Pakistan ever did come true, it could be Jinnah who brought it to life and fashioned it”. Once Sir Staf-ford Cripps described Quaid-i-Azam as “A man of the h-ighest probability and honour, difficult to negotiate wi-th; for the very reason that he was so determined in his purpose”. He further added “It was the honesty of his conviction and the clarity of his purpose that marked him as a great leader of his people”.

As a true Muslim and sincere individual, Quaid-i-Azam paid great stress on dignity and strength of character. It was the aspect of his personality that marked him out as the leader of undisputed influence and power. To him character was not a thing to talk about; it was the basis of all human conduct. Addressing the Muslim Youth’s League at Aligarh in 1942, he said “Build your character that is more important of all degrees and no character is mere waste of time. You should also develop keen sense of honour, integrity and duty”.

Quaid-i-Azam fought his entire battles single handed with courage, fortitude and determination. Often his firm adherence to what he considered to be right and tenacity of purpose was misunderstood by lesser people as obstinacy. He never wanted to share his sorrow with others. The great leader did not live long to witness the progress of the state that he founded. His excessive work soon confined him to bed. Disregarding medical advice, he devoted much of his time to official work that impaired his health and died. According to Richard Symonds (The making of Pakistan) “Mr. Jinnah had worked himself to death, but contributed more than any other person for survival of Pakistan”. To quote Lord Pathick Lawrence “Ghandi died by the hands of an assassin, Mr. Jinnah died by his devotion to Pakistan”.

It is easy to forget the unsettled and confused circumstances in which Pakistan was born, and to cavil at some of the decisions made when the Quaid was governor-general. But his personal incorruptibility and his belief in the supremacy of the will of the people were never in doubt. Throughout his career as a politician and as a legislator, his dedication to the rule of law and constitutionalism was unswerving. During the past seven decades, we have made a mockery of these values. It is not as if there has been no progress and development. No country ever wholly stagnates, we have progressed in many fields. We have become a nuclear power. Our economy has expanded. The cities of the Quaid’s days have grown beyond belief, and glittering new palaces have come up everywhere. It would have been impossible to stand still for seven decades but the benefits of development have been unevenly spread, and mostly have accrued to the privileged classes. Most of all, there is a sense of general disorientation: we do not know where we are heading and what we want to make of our country. For years together we have functioned without the benefit of constitutional governance, and our destiny has been decided by a string of military rulers. Periods of representative rule have been perverted by the venality of a few politicians. In this protracted struggle between politicians and the military, both have suffered a loss of popular trust. The people have seen the two wrangled as economic and social problems have piled up. There has to be a future for Pakistan beyond all the skullduggery of the past and the present.

This can be possible only if the basic right of the people to govern themselves is unreservedly and unequivocally recognized. Democracy is often confusing business, but it appears even more so in our circumstances because the structures that support it – the constitution, parliament, the judiciary – have been systematically weakened. The generals have been guilty of repeatedly blocking the political process; the politicians have been guilty of treating their own electorates with contempt and of flagrant abuse of office. There is no doubt that the Quaid wanted to see the country move ahead and prosper in all fields of life. “The first duty of the government is to maintain law and order… The second thing that occurs to me is… bribery and corruption. That really is a poison” he said in his speech on 11 Aug 1947. Seven decades later, the poison Quaid has referred to has spread like cancer. That is the greatest dis-service one can do to the Father of the nation, and we, as a nation, do it every single day. Indeed, we have so emasculated the Quaid’s ideals that some people question whether they are any longer relevant as a frame of reference. But it would be a grievous mistake if we fell into the error of seeking to compromise further on his faith in democracy and moderate Pakistan as the only course to follow.

(The writer is Ph.D in Political Scientist, civil servant posted in Islamabad. He can be reached at zafar-khansafdar@yahoo.com and twitter@zafarkhansafdar).

 

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Uncertainty surrounding general elections 2018

Abdul Rahman Malik

Pakistan has been going through very tough times especially the disintegrated Political parties raising questions regarding the Upcoming General Elections since the main Political parties specially PML-N Leadership has been in disarray ever since when Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on the charges of corruption and Mayfair flats ownership issue as well as Panama Papers Issue. The national accountability Bureau has woke up after a long period of dormancy and started actions against high profile Cases specially Shareef Family and related leaders.

All the parties enjoy watching Sharif Family being dragged to the accountability courts for prosecution. The Supreme court orders for Probe against Mian Nawaz Sharif ,His Two sons Hassan and Husain Nawaz , His Daughter Mariam Nawaz , His Close Relative Ishaq Dar and His Son in law Captain Safdar for their alleged involvement in illegal Money transfer , tax Evasion and Illegal Property purchased through transferring the Black money by establishing Offshore companies in UK .

The charges against Sharif Family Members are very serious as Nawaz’s sons and Ishaq Dar are absconding from the NAB proceedings whereas Mian Nawaz Sharif along with her Daughter and son in law Captain Safdar are facing Corruption charges in the NAB courts and as per the orders of the Supreme court of Pakistan, NAB has been given the 6 Months time to decide the cases against the Sharif Family and take the Panama case to its logical End by punishing the Perpetrators of The Crime.

Meanwhile, PTI has also lost their main wicket when MNA Mr Jahangir Tareen was disqualified over Tax evasion and submission of Fake Asset Details and Paying less Tax on his Agriculture Production and having Offshore company that was not declared as his assets at the time filing his nomination. Luckily, The Captain of PTI was absolved from the charges of having received foreign Funds in the name of charity or welfare activities with special reference to Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. Given the disqualification of Jahangir Tareen, PTI has suffered great loss as its main financier who funded the most of the party activities was disqualified by the Apex Court through a Petition filed by PMl-N Leader Hanif Abbasi.

PTI is being considered the favourite for upcoming General Elections of 2018 as it has emerged as the 3rd largest Political party after PML-N and PPP. But with the disqualification of Its General Secretary MNA Jahangir Tareen, It might have suffered a setback but luckily the Chairman PTI was absolved of the charges.

JUI and Jamaat Islami are also main religious Political Parties having roots in Politics across Pakistan especially, JUI in KPK and Baluchistan whereas Jamaat Islami in Punjab and KPK as Jamaat Islami, currently ,is in alliance with PTI in Provincial Govt of KPK.

The Religious parties are trying to revive the -the MMA (Muttahida Majlis Amal ) but in current political arena, it would be very difficult to form a religious Alliance as Most of the religious Parties have loyalties with mainstream political parties such as Jamaat Islami with PTI and JUI Fazal with PML -N and In past -With PPP led Government . If the Religious parties succeed in the revival of MMA then this will be great setback for all the partied i.e PTI, PPP and PML-N. While other Political parties such as MQM, PSP, PML – Q, PML-F and ANP are not strong enough to make the Provincial or Central Government but they will rather prefer to be part of a coalition with the party having a clear majority to form the Government at the Centre and The Provincial Level.

At the Moment , as per the Survey conducted by Gallop and Pildat , the Parties which are considered favorite for Upcoming General Elections 2018 are PTI in KPK, Punjab, Sindh, Jamaat Islami in KPK, Punjab and Baluchistan, MQM, PSP, PML-F in Sindh specially the urban areas of Karachi , Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur as these parties are also the part of GDA-Grand Democratic Alliance. It is also said that in the upcoming General Elections 2018, Independent Candidates will also play their role as their number will be very high in future.

The Elections Reforms Bill was the only hurdle in holding the Elections on time that was luckily passed from NA and Senate. The Election Commission will soon start the exercise of Delimitation of the Constituencies on the basis of Census 2017 Statistics.

The Election Reforms Bill 2017 was much-echoed Issue in the National Assembly and Senate as PPP was aggressive against the Census Results as they were raising objections against the Census Results and wanted the Elections on old Constituencies and opposed the delimitation exercise . But the consensus rejected the rumours of Delay in Polls or Early Polls. The Political Pundits and Experts are of the View, given the Passage of Election Reforms Bill from both Houses, the Signs of holding elections are becoming clear.

But the Preparation of the parties is still a far cry as No party is ready or organized to contest General Elections 2018 due to Political Crisis and Prevalent Accountability Proceedings against the Leaders of Various Parties specially PML-N, PPP and PTI. However, The Political parties i.e PTI, Jamaat Islami, PSP or GDA in Sindh may sweep Seats from Rural and Urban areas of Sindh and form Provincial Government as well. But so far it seems to be very difficult parties to defeat PPP in Sindh as it enjoys Monopoly in Sindh as it has not faced any strong Opposition in the last several Years. GDA may work if PTI becomes the part of it.

Despite all this, The uncertainty still prevails regarding General polls and There are some reports of Technocrat Government to be installed but Political parties especially PTI, Jamaat Islami or Even PPP will strongly resist if such move or plan was unearthed or Establishment played any role in the forming Government in General Elections. As precedence was available with MQM-PSP roma-nce to contest Election on the same platform with joint El-ection Symbol but the ro-mance didn’t last long with PSP leader Mustafa Kamal spilt beans regarding Estab-lishment role for Merger or coalition to keep PPP, PML-N out of Mainstream Politics.

It is also expected that there may be coalition Government as No party will have any clear majority to form their Government in the centre or at Province, given their weak political Organization and Activities especially, several forward Blocks are likely to be formed in PML-N and PPP. As per vote bank, PTI has climbed the 2nd Position as per recent by-election results.

Whatever, result or outcome of Panama papers or NAB References against Sharif Family should be , But it is clear that PML-N may not form a government in Upcoming Elections Except they may clinch some seats in Punjab, given the Development Projects Initiated by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Unfortunately, the sword of Disqualification looms upon him due to Model Town Massacre Case and the decision may go against him as Awami Tehreek Leader, Tahir ul-Qadri has announced to hold Protests and Sit-ins Dharnas until the resignation of Punjab CM and Law Minister Rana Sanuallah. Let’s wait and see what happens next but people opine with the uncertainty that the Election on time, will be distant dream owing to prevailing Political Scenario and preparation.