Category Archives: News

Why is Kashmir (once again) engulfed in political crisis?

Political crisis brews in India-held Kashmir as police files murder charges against army after recent killings in Shopian.

An FIR was launched by Jammu and Kashmir Police against an army unit over the shooting of two civilians in Shopian district of south Kashmir last month.

The alliance is in trouble as BJP is vehemently supporting the army while PDP wants a police investigation and magisterial probe into the killing of two youth.

The army, however, is protected by a special act called Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA, which gives it sweeping powers to shoot to kill or destroy a building on mere suspicion.

Indian shelling wounds 8 in Azad Kashmir

Indian troops’ shelling across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir wounded at least eight people on Thursday, officials said.

The shelling, which was reportedly started at 7:00 am and halted at 11:00 am, wounded Amna Ilyas, Ahtisham Ghufar, Shahnawaz Ghufar, Farooq Alif Din, Tassarraf Javaid, Shabeena Abrar, Muhammad Asghar and Shehnaz Akhtar in Kotli district’s Khuiratta sector.

 

“Five from Jogalpal and two from Janjot Bahadur village were brought here and we have sent all of them to Khuiratta and Kotli”, a paramedics Rauf Khan at Basic Health Unit Seri said.

“Raja Ilyas’ sixteen-year daughter was most critical among the injured and Farooq from Janjot Bahadur also sustained critical injuries around his neck”, Rauf added.

Sixteen-year Amna’s uncle Raja Aftab said, “She is in critical condition. Her family took her to Kotli after being referred from BHU Seri, and then they transferred her to Rawalpindi.”

Shiraz Ahmad, a resident of the area said, Janjot Bahadur, Chattar, Khenthi, Khanpur and adjacent villages were targeted in the “heavy” shelling.

Afraz Ahmad, a private secretary at Kolti District Headquarters Hospital confirmed that 3 injured, two males and one female, were brought to the hospitals. However, he did not confirm their identities.

The heavily militarised LoC is once again witnessing sporadic skirmishes and artillery duels as the situation in India-held Kashmir gets worse.

A little late but again; why did Donald Trump win?

This question has already been asked and answered all over the world many times in the last couple of days. Different theories have been presented by different people. Thinkers, writers, political analysts and people almost from all walks of life have already tried to make sense of this historical upset they say had happened in the United States presidential election of 2016.

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Why Did Trump Win? By Imran Khushal

But here in Pakistan, Trump’s triumph is being discussed in a different way. Pakistani anchors, politicians, and analysts are mainly concerned about how the Trump’s America will affect the world in general and how it will raise white supremacism, racism, and extremism.

Obviously, a racist, male chauvinist, and white supremacist, the government in world’s super power’s capital can influence many things and change a lot in politics. But what I’m interested in discussing is why did Donald J. Trump win the presidency?

The answer is in the phenomenon of globalization. Let’s assume that the Americans didn’t know what’s outside the America. They didn’t know how Hindu extremism is taking roots in India and how Muslim extremism is burning the how Muslim world. Let’s say they didn’t fear the outer world and the outer world where extremists, racists, and chauvinists, are already ruling didn’t influence the American voters. Would they still have elected Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States of America?

I don’t think so. When we say the “Trump Epidemic” would affect the whole world, we accept that the world is connected. If we are living in a global village with every notorious, warmonger, racist, and wicked person as the head of his family how could we expect the American house to not have one?

Today, socio-political developments in the Europe and the Americas affect peoples in Asia and Africa and similar developments in Asia and Africa affect peoples of Europe and Americas. Unending wars in Afghanistan, instability in Iraq, the crisis in Syria and Yemen, Hindutva in India, Takfeer in Arab, Ku Klux Klan in the Christian world and religious extremism everywhere were the main causes why did Donald J. Trump win the presidency.

Definitely, there were domestic reasons as well which made Trump’s victory possible but the globalization was the main reason. Donald J. Trump repeatedly (ab)used the Muslim and Mexican cards, who reached as a result of globalization. He successfully drew a line between the Americans and non-Americans. He frightened them of Muslim extremism and Mexican crimes. He frightened them of Chinese and every other THEM to create cohesion among the Americans and select him as their president.

And this will no doubt affect us all. It would heat up white supremacism in the Europe and hatred against non-European as well religious nationalism among Muslim, Hindu, and others. With the presidency of Donald J. Trump, a more violent world is waiting for all of us. The future will be more uncertain and unpredictable than it was ever before. Also, the chances of a nuclear warfare under such leadership can’t be ruled out. But it is important to note that there is not only one trump in the United States, they are everywhere in every country and Yes they are prime ministers and presidents.

The Author is an Independent researcher and political analyst. He holds an MPhil International Relations degree and blogs for SAMAA TV, Express News, and Dawn News. His personal blog is Kashmirica.wordpress.com and he can be reached on twitter at @imrankhushaal and on email at imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

Why Kashmir cannot be an integral part of India?

Kashmirca, Imran Khushal's Blog
Kashmirca, Imran Khushal’s Blog

India claims; Kashmir is its integral part, here’s why Kashmir cannot be an integral part of India? I maintained that: It is for Kashmiris to decide whether Kashmir will become someone’s integral part or otherwise and if they have eyes and ears they can see and hear what Indian minorities are going through under a so-called secular and socialist India run by Hindu extremists and followers of Hindutva. They can see the atrocities of the Indian forces in Nagaland, Assam, Punjab and more vividly in Jammu and Kashmir.

So Kashmiris will not buy a minority status with blood and blood of their ancestors in a country which does not guarantee any fundamental rights for its minorities yet claims to be the world’s largest democracy. Kashmir cannot be an integral part of India for the sake of Kashmiris and let’s say if it becomes an integral part of India it would be anything but not Kashmir. It would not be Kashmir in its historical, cultural, and traditional sense. Click here to read my latest blog post on SAMAA TV

World War III

What do you think of another World War? Is it possible or the world has already begun it? Which country do you think is more likely to start a Third World War? Read my latest blog on SAMAA TV and let me know how do you see it? To read the blog, click at the picture below!

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Blasts in Brussels

On Tuesday, terrorists killed at least 34 people in attacks on the Belgian capital of Brussels and responsibility was claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ISIL or ISIS once had 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria. From these, some 5,000 were believed to be young people of immigrant descent from European Union countries.  Belgium, in its counterterrorism measures like other European Union countries, has also made it difficult for the terrorists to move in and outside the country easily. It seems, that young people of immigrant descent which were previously fleeing to Iraq and Syria to join ISIL, have now started targeting their countries of residence because of these strict measures. So in a way the strategy of not letting these immigrants join ISIL is counterproductive and a dilemma. Because, if they join ISIL in Iraq and Syria they will become more powerful to defeat there and if they couldn’t join, they’ll carry attacks like these. This carnage poses a serious question; that what led to these attacks?

On a philosophical level, there are two things which have made these attacks possible. One is Europe’s inability to integrate Muslim immigrants and other is ‘Globalized Islam’.

After World War II when there was a shortage of labor in the European market, Muslim countries provided manual labor to Europe through agreements which gave birth to the establishment of the Muslim communities in Europe. These immigrants neither abandoned their homelands nor integrated into European society completely. Ultimately these immigrants and their following generations faced social exclusion and hindrance in accessing better education and better employment opportunities.

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There is a gap between the Muslim youth of immigrant descent and European society as well as between the Muslim community and their youth. These youth when faces problems in integration and understanding cultural and social differences need to talk to the representative of the Muslim communities that is their local Imam, but in many cases these Imams who are obtained from different Muslim countries, lack an understanding and interest in Western society and necessary knowledge of its history. When young Muslims consult them on everyday problems such participating in Jihad, drinking alcohol, partying, or having a girlfriend, they can’t guide them because of the language barrier and their own confusions.

 

Europe’s failure to integrate immigrants forces Muslim youth, which might have different skin color, Islamic names, and backgrounds, to grow up with a non-European and non-Western identity. In this state of identity crisis, translocality pushes them to adopt a transnational identity. And a proof to this is ISIL varied complexion. Studies have shown that ISIL fighters vary in terms of origin, class, culture and education.

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Social exclusion segregates European Muslim youth of immigrant descent from European societies and globalized Islam, which has become deterritorialized and deculturalized, segregates them from Muslim societies of their ancestors. They face an identity crisis in European societies because of Europe’s inability to integrate them, and they face an identity crisis in their ancestors’ Muslim societies because of globalized Islam which distorts their familial, cultural and national identity. This leaves them in search for a new identity. Because dissociation from both emigrated and immigrated societies makes it hard for them to live in a state of permanent identity crisis.

The author is an independent researcher and political analyst. He has authored On Kashmir and Terrorism and can be reached at @imrankhushaal and imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

Pakistan’s Journey to Nowhere

After the 9/11, Pakistan became an American alley and started fighting, what then was called, a war against terror. In its initial years, Pak-Army conducted ‘operations’ almost with zero public support against extremism and fundamentalism. From the beginning of this mess to a significant way down, for years, no Pakistani media reported incidents of terror in the country and that’s why initial reports are only available with the international media even today when you Google it.

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Over the years, the media started reporting and public seems to stand with law and enforcement agencies in order to eradicate terrorism, but this was not the case, and agitations on Mumtaz Qadri’s execution proved it. Pakistan has lost more than 70,000 its men, women and children along with billions of dollars of resources and had reached nowhere in its combat against terrorism. Three mega developments are important to note down while examining Pakistan’s journey to nowhere.

First; the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979, which changed the very fabric of Pakistani state and society. This provided an opportunity to gain short-term benefits, for example, teaming up with the Western Block against communism and averting the potential of any revolt within the country against capitalism. Also, gaining assistances/funds and avoiding international sanctions, because of being close to the United States of America. But this brought more harm than good. The state and society radicalized during these 10 years, from 1979 to 1989, and what came out was a decision of keeping the irregulars or non-state actors as force multipliers.

Second; meanwhile, Iran had an ‘Islamic Revolution’, which triumphed the Shia political Islam over the Sunni political Islam. This started a battle of proxies, just like the US and Soviet, but definitely on a regional scale. Saudi Arabia, being the traditional rival and nucleus of the Sunni political Islam, started promoting its version of Islam, across the Muslim world and so does in Pakistan. To avert an uprising in the Kingdom, it supported Jihad in Afghanistan, later in Palestine and Kashmir.

Third; these non-state actors played a significant role in the 1989 Kashmir insurgency. Apparently it was started by a Kashmiri nationalist group called Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, better known from its abbreviation, JKLF, but when Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM) took the control of the movement and started slaughtering JKLF, it showed a different picture. Pakistan opted the strategy of Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) after 1971 when the East Pakistan was separated from the rest of the country and conventional means yielded nothing in Kashmir. It worked fine but not after the 9/11. When on the pressure of the U.S Pakistan enforced a ban on Jihadist organizations they started blowing back.

The way forwarded is clear but difficult. Pakistan needs to take a fresh start but this time with educating the masses and restricting the religion to everyone’s personal life. By not prioritizing the short-term benefits over the long term goals. By behaving like a civilized nation instead of a mob of 1.8 million people. As long as the state and society are not on the same page against extremism and terrorism, Pakistan’s success will remain limited.

The author is a researcher and blogger. He has authored On Kashmir and Terrorism and can be reached at @imrankhushaal and imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com