Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Punjab tops in gang rape cases: 80%

Punjab has the highest crime rate out of proportion to its population and the conviction rate is low, estimated to be 5%. Yet, the CM claims good governance and the foreign dignitaries admire him out of ignorance. 

Read the stats at http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/11095-countrywide-crime-rate-drops-by-slight-margin-of-1.16-percent and http://tribune.com.pk/story/714690/low-conviction-rate-report-seeks-reforms-in-criminal-justice-system and http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?358151-Pakistan-Crime-Rate-2015-Punjab-tops-most-categories.

Will the CM Office tell us the reasons for high crime rate and low conviction rate in Punjab?

Good Governance Forum
Leading the Way to the Challenge of Change in Pakistan
Web: www.goodgovernanceforum.com
Email: ggfpakistan@yahoo.com
Blog: ggovernance.blogspot.com

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Modi Embraces The Vajpayee-Manmohan Way Of Dealing With Pakistan

Posted: Updated: 


"I dream of a day,” prime minister Manmohan Singh said in 2007 , “while retaining our respective national identities, one can have breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul. That is how my forefathers lived. That is how I want our grandchildren to live."
Today, Narendra Modi has done what Manmohan couldn’t. Singh was able to visit Kabul in 2011, but he could never visit Pakistan in his ten years in power. Some say his own party didn’t let him do it.
When external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had announced a comprehensive bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, this website had seen it as the moment when everything had suddenly changed between India and Pakistan.
Modi’s flip-flop approach to Pakistan had made many wonder what his Pakistan policy really is. Ultimately, he is doing what Vajpayee and Manmohan would have liked him to do, and not how the hardline security hawks would like. Modi has been forced to make a choice different from the one that goes with his hardline image. With all the imminent dangers that come from risking political capital over Pakistan, people also realise that this is how India-Pakistan relations always are, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.
Modi’s brief stopover was in Lahore, not Islamabad. The purpose was to wish Nawaz Sharif happy birthday, not to talk Kashmir or terrorism. In cricketing terms, it’s a sixer. There are several reasons why this visit, and the way it has been done, is important.
Stealth diplomacy is the new normal
It is clear now that taking everybody by surprise on Pakistan is going to be the new Modi normal. It is not going to make the Parliament and opposition happy, but everybody will agree that surprise diplomacy with Pakistan helps remove the burden of great expectations, and the media hoopla that comes with it, before any engagement with Pakistan. It is not just the media or opposition in India that’s taken by surprise, but possibly even the Pakistan army, and definitely hardliners in Pakistan.
In other words, diplomacy by stealth with Pakistan makes sure that those opposed to talks don’t get the time to pre-empt talks with terrorism, protests or excuses. In case this visit is followed by something terrible like a terror attack, the government can shrug and say it was just a birthday visit, not a grand effort at resolving India-Pakistan ties.
With NSA Ajit Doval and foreign secretary Jaishankar in Nawaz Sharif’s personal drawing room in Raiwind, the signal to Pakistani hard-liners couldn’t be clearer.
A budding Modi-Nawaz equation
With this birthday visit, which also happens to be birthday of Prime Minister Vajpayee, Pakistan founder Muhammed Ali Jinnah and Prophet Mohammed, Modi has also established that he has a good personal rapport with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. That would be good news in relations between any two countries. With Pakistan, good rapport with the Indian Prime Minister is said to strengthen the political capital of the Pakistani ruler with the Pakistan Army.
Modi invited Nawaz Sharif along with other South Asian leaders for his swearing-in in 2014. The Ufa summit’s follow-up was a disaster but the summit itself, between Nawaz Sharif and Modi, had gone well. The brief meeting between the two in Paris clearly showed good chemistry. The back-story in this chemistry is an hour long secret meeting the two had in Kathmandu in November last year. That meeting,Barkha Dutt revealed in her book recently, was arranged by businessman Sajjan Jindal in his hotel room in Kathmandu, even as the two prime ministers seemed to snub each other publicly at the SAARC summit. With Sajjan Jindal in Lahore since morning today, it is clear that this trip didn’t happen as suddenly as the government would like us to believe.
The bear hug between Modi and Nawaz Sharif at the Lahore airport spoke a million words.
Via Kabul, a statesman-like move
Modi’s plane landed at the Allama Iqbal airport in Lahore not from Delhi but Kabul. In Pakistan, India’s role in Afghanistan is viewed with great suspicion. Images of Modi inaugurating the new Afghan Parliament, built by India, could not have gone down well with the Pakistani hardliners, who see Afghanistan as Pakistan’s backyard which India shouldn’t mess around with, and also accuse India’s intelligence agencies of aiding anti-Pakistan activities in Afghanistan. India’s presence in Afghanistan is used by Pakistan to justify and hard-sell its support of the “good Taliban” and generally be over-involved in Afghanistan.
Modi’s visit to Lahore serves to soften the Kabul blow, assuring Pakistanis, in a statesman-like manner, that India wants peace and stability in the region, and is not trying to use Kabul against Islamabad. The move will no doubt be very warmly welcomed in Washington and other major world capitals, who are trying to secure the best possible co-operation from Pakistan in making sure that Kabul isn’t over-run by the Taliban once more.

If Modi can’t solve the India-Pakistan problem, who can?
Pakistani liberals are always happy to see the hardline Bhartiya Janata Party come to power in Delhi. The argument is that it is only the BJP which can make peace with Pakistan, solving the problems created by the Congress. When the BJP is out of power, it would never let the Congress make big-ticket moves with Pakistan. When the Congress is out of power, nobody can take its protestations at being more nationalist than the BJP too seriously.
No matter how hard it is being played down as a birthday visit, it rekindles great hopes of India-Pakistan d├ętente. That is because Narendra Modi is India’s strongest leader since Indira Gandhi, he is the first prime minister to get a clear majority in 30 years, and our most hardline Hindutva PM yet. If Modi can’t resolve India-Pakistan, nobody can. What often comes in the way of India-Pakistan relations moving forward is the timing. With the strategic master-stroke of visiting Lahore on 25 December, Modi has finally seized the moment. Until now, the Pakistani establishment could say, ‘Look Modi doesn’t want to talk.’ That’s changed. The onus is now on the Pakistani establishment to match deed for deed.
We are now very likely to see foreign secretary level meetings in Islamabad, and it may not be surprising if, with such stealth diplomacy, India is able to find a face-saving exit to the meet-the-Hurriyat problem. The greatest thorn at India-Pakistan diplomacy under Modi has been that Modi doesn’t like the idea of visiting Pakistani leaders meeting Kashmiri separatists before talks. Well, they can always meet them after the talks. Modi today has shown he’s willing to be flexible when it comes to Pakistan.

Modi’s detour to Lahore may well redefine future India-Pakistan engagement

Modi’s detour to Lahore may well redefine future India-Pakistan engagement

NEW DELHI: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Lahore to wish Nawaz Sharif on his birthday, in effect, he restored a process started in May 2014 but derailed in August when his government cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan over its high commissioner's meeting with the Hurriyat. After a year when mis-steps characterized his Pakistan policy, the PM appears to be finally taking control of his neighbourhood initiatives.

But for many who have followed the twists and turns of the past year, a legitimate question is, what is Modi government's Pakistan policy? Honestly, it's not very different from the policy followed by his predecessors -- engagement with Pakistan, while trying to stop terrorism emanating from there, sponsored or supported by elements of the Pakistani establishment. A difference is a determined effort to increase options with some active diplomacy with Gulf states and tougher responses to cross-border firing.

With Modi, the original vision was of building a regional policy with Pakistan as one of the elements. For almost a decade before, former PM Manmohan Singh, despite holding a similar vision could barely proceed with neighbours, let alone Pakistan. This was a decade when Pakistan-sponsored terrorists conducted some of their most horrific attacks in Indian cities. The official dialogue stopped and started and stopped again - it was only by 2012-2013 that India began to gather some of the tools to deter Pakistan.

After the initial gesture of inviting his neighbours to his swearing-in, Modi moved quickly on Bangladesh, which remains the most successful bilateral relationship in this region. With Sri Lanka too, Modi's visit and a new government there helped to turn around a deteriorating relationship with a crucial island neighbour. Another island neighbour, Maldives, remains a problem, while in Nepal, India is part of a very messy situation.

Pakistan was a clear negative. After the foreign secretary-level talks' fiasco, India tried again in March and then in Ufa which ended up an unmitigated disaster. The personal initiative taken by Modi in Paris, Bangkok and now Lahore is very much a part of his style of diplomacy - Modi is his own best diplomat and problem-solver. Just like Vajpayee over a decade ago, Modi has maneuvered himself into a sweet spot. His "chai at Raiwind" was also intended to do something else - make such interactions between Indian and Pakistani leaders ordinary and de-mystified, not massive media-driven events where governments lose control of the plot. As one official observed, "We want to move out of Page 1 to Page 21."

On the optics, his Lahore initiative cannot be faulted, despite the Congress party's protestations. Internationally, India is back in the peacemaking saddle. If things go well from here on, Modi can take the credit for breaking the logjam created by his aides. If they go south, Modi will have given himself the space, politically and internationally, to take tough steps against Pakistan. Most important, India has begun to talk to the party that matters in Pakistan - the Army, after the NSA talks between Ajit Doval and Nasir Janjua took off in December. This will serve as back and front channel to Pakistan in the Modi years, dealing exclusively with terrorism and its manifestations, including confidence-building.

Over the past year, India has also worked to increase its options internationally vis-a-vis Pakistan. Witness India's initiatives with the Gulf Arab states when Modi visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai in August - amidst all the business and investment deals, it was clear India and UAE were building links to constrain Pakistan's operating room. The UAE has been Pakistan's traditional playing ground, for its rich, for those seeking better place to live, for a place to park their money, even for terror groups and the Army to make their off-shore investments. But haunted by the spectre of IS, Pakistan's toxic jihadist politics and their refusal to participate in the Yemen campaign, UAE is in the process of a change of heart. India was on hand to exploit that. It remains to be seen how far India can take this, but certainly, an opportunity to constrain Pakistan has presented itself.

On the LOC, India has changed its terms of engagement with Pakistan - the retaliation from this side is now savage and more intense. With Modi, the instructions to border forces have been much clearer. Technology and equipment on the border have improved and remain on an upward trajectory. During his recent conversation with Pak NSA Janjua in Bangkok, Doval countered on LOC ceasefire violations by asking Janjua, "If we are the aggressors on the border, how come only we are building up our defences, and not you?" Internally, Doval has been presiding over a massive effort to beef up India's security capabilities, which has been a silent work in progress.

Although India did not make a show of it, New Delhi's decision to gift attack helicopters to Kabul is a game-changer. India is breaking its self-imposed arms embargo and this would not go unnoticed in Kabul. India's capabilities are not great, so the gift is modest. The intent, however, is clear. And that message is loud in Rawalpindi.

Modi enunciated his Pakistan policy most clearly last week when he addressed the commanders' conference on board INS Vikramaditya: "We see terrorism and ceasefire violations; reckless nuclear build-up and threats; border transgressions; and, continuing military modernization and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer. ... We are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region. There are many challenges and barriers on the path. But, the effort is worth it, because the peace dividends are huge and the future of our children is at stake. So, we will test their intentions to define the path ahead. For this, we have started a new NSA-level dialogue to bring security experts face to face with each other. But, we will never drop our guard on security and we will continue to judge progress on their commitments on terrorism."


Pakistan Army helped revive talks with India

By Reuters Published: December 26, 2015

PM Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi upon latter's arrival at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PID
PM Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi upon latter's arrival at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PIDPrime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart in a meeting on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PID
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army paved the way for reviving a stalled dialogue with India this year, officials said, a thaw leading to the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in almost 12 years.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise trip to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday raised hopes that stop-and-start negotiations between the nuclear-armed neighbors might finally mean progress after more than 65 years of hostility.
Aides say the meeting was arranged directly between the two prime ministers on just a few hours’ notice when Modi called to wish 66-year-old Sharif a happy birthday.
But even before Modi arrived in the eastern city of Lahore, relations between the nuclear-armed rivals had begun to thaw, with a resumption of dialogue already in the offing.
On Friday, Modi and Nawaz agreed that their foreign secretaries would meet in mid-January to restart talks.
Officials say “ownership” of peace talks by the military and the appointment of a recently retired general as the national security adviser have given Pakistan renewed confidence to restart dialogue with India, including speaking about the thorny issue of terrorism.
“This round is different because there is backing from the top where it matters … the army chief is himself on board,” a top diplomat said before the visit.
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif is said to be close to the new national security adviser, recently retired general Naseer Khan Janjua, who in October replaced civilian Sartaj Aziz, an ally of the prime minister.
Many saw the move as strengthening the army’s hand in talks with India, with the military remaining wary of a civilian government giving too much away.
“General Janjua has immense experience in these matters. He’s the best man for the job and he has already proven to be an asset to this (peace) process,” one member of Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet said earlier in December.
“It’s only an added benefit that he has a direct line to the (army) chief,” he added.
A senior Indian official in New Delhi also said military backing for peace talks marked a major change, with Janjua’s involvement as national security advisor a key sign that General Raheel supports resuming the dialogue.
Direct contact between the two prime ministers is a major factor in thawing relations – they met on the sidelines of the Paris climate change summit last month. However officials said that true change only became possible after Janjua’s appointment.
Earlier this month, the national security advisers of both countries met in Bangkok, paving the way for Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan for the Heart of Asia summit where she agreed to reopen dialogue with Pakistan, thereby resuming a process broken off since 2012.
By contrast, Pakistan says the disputed territory of Kashmir is the paramount topic.
With a military man having a greater say in the process, there is more confidence about discussing such sensitive topics, several officials said.
“I think in the past there was a hesitation from Pakistan, understandably, to talk about terrorism [with India] but that may have changed,” the diplomat told Reuters.
“There is better division of labor. The real decision-making is happening behind the scenes. The rest is just optics.”
American pressure
A close aide to Modi in India said US officials always push for reviving India-Pakistan talks and external pressure was not a factor.
“Modi-ji’s visit to Pakistan was not dictated by America but it was planned to keep the national and regional interest in mind,” the aide said, using a Hindi term of respect for the premier.
A senior security official close to the talks process was wary when responding to the Modi visit.
“It is a positive step that he came … definitely … but we still have to move with caution,” he said. “It’s a new Modi in an old bottle; Nawaz Sharif should take it one sip at a time.”