Monthly Archives: June 2012

Exclusive – understanding life on Siachen

This is a cross post from: http://www.mediapoint.pk/life-on-siachen-how-tough-job-pak-army-is-doing/

An exclusive view and photographs of an officer who performed duties in Siachen in 1990 on posts as high as 21000 feet are placed for viewers of media point.

Gayari Sector being displayed on media is a battalion head quarters at about 13000 feet. The company headquarters are usually at a much higher place and the individual posts of platoon and section level are usually as high as 19000 to 21000 feet above see level.

    Toilet

                                                                                          Sleeping Room

 

 

                                                                     View of the area outside the post

                                                                  Calling ariterllry fire on indian post

                                                                          Guarding the borders

                                                                               Company Headquarter

                                                                             Climbing on the post

                                                             Artillery air burst attack from India

                                                                         An Artillery gun position

                                                         Targets of harsh weather and high altitude

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Study from BNU 2- PAK-US RELATIONS, NATO AND DRONE ATTACKS

This is a cross post from media point where the research was originally published:

http://www.mediapoint.pk/study-from-bh-2-pak-us-relations-nato-and-drone-attacks/

Another study from students of  Beacon House National University, Mass Communications Department Lahore (BNU)  for the ‘mediapoint.pk’   on ‘”PAK-US RELATIONS, NATO AND DRONE ATTACKS ″ . We appreciate the hard work of the students and course instructor and feel pleasure in publishing this study for our readers. These studies may not have the experience of an analyst behind it but they certainly show the line of young and upcoming professionals in this field.

Course Instructor’s Remarks

MA Part II, of Beacon House National University, Mass Communications Department ,did a research study on ‘”Western & Local Media Coverage on Closure of NATO supply lines :Nov 2011-May 2012″ as their Final Exam Project for the subject of Media Laws under the supervision of Course Instructor Yasmeen Aftab Ali. The research study is being offered to be used,or part thereof, to Media Point.

Yasmeen Ali

The students doing the 4 segments is as follows:

M.A 11

  • Ayesha Yaqub: Group Leader
  • Aleena Naghman
  • Ali Hur
  • Amara Tanveer
  • Anam Saeed 

Summary of the Study

The study is mainly covered under three headings as under and conclusion:

  • PAK- US RELATIONS  , NATO AND DRONE ATTACKS
  •  FOREIGN MEDIA COVERAGE ON NATO SUPPLY BLOCADE– APRIL 2011- MAY 2012
  • LOCAL MEDIA COVERAGE ON NATO SUPPLY BLOCADE – APRIL 2011- MAY 2012

CONCLUSION


Pak-US relationship has been on a nose-dive since blockade of US made NATO Supply routes from Pakistan to Afghanistan in April 2011 as already discussed in chapter 1. US has more likely decided that Pakistan has a much deafening role in this issue as also viewed by Hilary Clinton’s Pak-disoriented speech in the latest Indian conference even though having full account of the already tormented relations between India and Pakistan.

NATO ATTACK 2011

Strained relations between both countries i.e. Pakistan and United States have fuelled speculation on the criteria of future alliance where the weaker stand is that of the Pakistani government being a developing country with less economic resources than the US. As this Western presence ebbs, Pakistan, whose tribal areas are considered home to Taliban and other militants, will be key in shaping Afghanistan’s future where the supply routes have been a major sticking point.

VARIABLES OF MAINTAINING ALLIANCE WITH FOREIGN DEVELOPERS

Strategies of a country’s alliance with foreign countries depend upon the variables of:

1.      ECONOMIC FACTORS

No matter how much Pakistan be right in its decision to stop NATO supplies, it has to face the consequences of American policy making, America being on top of the aid providers to Pak economy. One twist would be that of budget for the year 2013-2018 i.e. Pakistan has to pass the new budget for which it requires American aid and not opening NATO routes would consequently mean no future aid as already highlighted by the US Bill.

However, the Pakistani approach has been well-planned out as it has played safe in the eyes of the Pakistani nationals and the wide ranging Islamists etc by banning the supply route in consent to preserving the “integrity, security and defense of Pakistan” according to exception of article 19 of the constitution of Pakistan. The American Bill says that Pakistan’s aid has been made subject to their co-operation. The stakes are really high as this sensitive issue challenges the economy of both countries. However, the question lies that would Pakistani government put its state’s integrity at stake with the US policies, while also keeping in mind the previous lop-sided record of US’ assistance in the recent issues of Raymond Davis, Osama Bin Laden, Aafia Sidiqi and Shakil Afridi etc.

2.      SOUND FOREIGN POLICIES

Every country needs a foreign policy. Policies are often determined by vested interests or developed over a long period of gaining multi-party consensus and it doesn’t seem to be enough to point out shortcomings in policies. The foreign policy does not change for every other incident that takes place, be it NATO’s Salalah attacks or Afghan war etc.

The policies are for the future 5 or 10 years. Foreign policy should include Pakistan’s relations with Iran, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka and Turkey prior to relations with the US and Western countries in order to strengthen its support at home in the Asian region that will benefit Pakistan in the long run.

3.      MILITARY STRENGTH AND REGIONAL ALLIES

Countries have to have regional allies but along with that, there is a need to have sane policies to tackle with the problems resulting from the alliance e.g. Pakistan’s demand on supplementing the roads affected by the NATO trucks in carrying tons of supply every day cannot be given secondary importance.

However, the lack of policies does not render it the vigilance that needs to be put into this issue. The resistance against NATO is not from the government but the army due to the involvement of RAW agents. India thought that Pakistan will have a diminished role in the final equation of the Afghan War.

4.      GEO-POLITICAL PLACEMENT

Dismembering the NATO supply to Afghanistan eventually leads to the elimination of US combat troops posing security against war on terrorism. Consequently, making the US stop their aid to Pakistan’s growing needs for development of national interest. Pakistan’s placement on the globe is very strategically planned. America formed bases of Drone attacks in Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan is in a strong geo-political position to threaten the US.

5.      QUALITY OF LEADERSHIP

The quality of leadership is very important in the governance paradigm of not only relations with foreign states but also with that of the natives living within the territorial boundary of a particular state. It is important for us to analyze the standard of credibility entrusted upon the officials by the locals of the area keeping in mind the flabbergasting incidents that appear on the headlines, most definitely that of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani’s Contempt of Court on not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities on reopening of President Zardari’s cases which gives a shady impression at the motives of the officials themselves as discussed by the outburst of local and foreign media at the time. Therefore, PPP alleged government of Pakistan should keep a control and order situation on the media outburst since the PEMRA amendment 2007 has failed to do so.

6.      RESOURCES

Pakistan is undoubtedly rich in its natural resources of coal, gas, oil, minerals, mining, uranium and water etc which caters to fewer audiences as the means of extraction and usage are very rare and few. The foreign invader is usually attracted to such a treasure of natural resource and a structure open to industry and economic boost lacking just the adequate infrastructure needed. This is another passage of manipulation thus employed by the invader in setting foot on the area to make the Pakistani’s feel that they are being helped by superior powers of science and technology but rather fed blindness in the game of vested interests.

CHICAGO SUMMIT 2012

If presented as an “implementation summit” at which the alliance’s leaders could assess the progress of the program agreed during the Lisbon Summit in 2010 and designed to speed up NATO’s adaptation to the new security challenge, the Chicago Summit may in fact be an historical moment for the future of the alliance and for the transatlantic relationship as viewed by [1]Rabah Ghezali in his article posted on 17thMay 2012 in huffingtonpost.com entitled as “A Chicago Road To Perdition”.

The indication of the US to change its perspective on global security is more evident than ever. President Obama’s strategies of defense given the defense strategy report in early January, Washington made it crystal clear that U.S. defense policy is“shifting from the North Atlantic towards Asia”. Europe remained at the core of Washington’s security concerns since the Second World War. However, the challenges coming from the Chinese Republic have been on US’ major agenda lately.

SUSTAINING GLOBAL RELATIONSHIPS: PRIORITIES FOR 21ST CENTURY DEFENSE 2012

This document will be used to analyze the parallelism of the above discussed foreign and local media coverage on the NATO issue with the factual groundwork of policies and agenda’s as shown in the President’s assertion and how far the reporting of this has been kept in consideration by foreign and local journalism.

In the strategic plan of reviewing and improvising global relationships of US with other nations, the new diplomatic defense policies highlighted in the PDF of “Sustaining US Global Leadership- Priorities for 21st Century Defense, January 2012”[2], the US presidential and executive consent to the strategy has been shown that vests interests within the circumference of the American global policy circle as says President Obama:

“I am determined that …we emerge even stronger in a manner that preserves American global leadership, maintains our military superiority and keeps  faith with our troops, military families and veterans.”

The chapter entitled “The White House- Washington 2012, 3rd January 2012” gives account of President Barack Obama’s stance on the defense strategy as:

“Our nation is at a moment of transition. Thanks to the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, we have responsibly ended the war in Iraq, put Al’Qaeda on the path to defeat- including delivering justice to Osama bin Laden- and made significant progress in Afghanistan responsibility…”

The sacrifices of American men and women in uniform thus remain honest with the American side rather than preserving world peace as will be discussed later in the coming chapters. The language of the report is so obliviously explaining the American agenda and its faith in America’s input on war against terrorism that is exemplified with “delivering justice to Osama Bin Laden” and the Afghanistan “responsibility”.

President Obama has thus unveiled the recommendations of a Defense Department study group that he said would produce a military that is “agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats”. That would be accomplished by smaller increases in defense spending, a policy telegraphed by Obama’s 10-year budget projections for fiscal 2012, which were $105 billion less than his 2011 blueprint[3]. The “contingencies” and “threats” posed emerge from the rapid global development and China’s threatening capability to emerge as the next hegemonic force against Uncle Sam’s ruling Court in the name of preserving World Peace as says the report:

“This review has been shaped by America’s enduring national security interests. We seek the security of our Nation, allies and partners. We seek the prosperity that flows from an open and free international economic system. And we seek a just and sustainable international order where the rights and responsibilities of nations and people are upheld, especially the fundamental right of every human being.”

Ironically, the preservation of fundamental rights of free speech as mentioned in the 1st Amendment to the US constitution pertains only to US media which can easily pronounce Pakistan’s anti-American agenda’s and sustained war with Al’ Qaeda as ally.

IMPORTANCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE REPORT

The importance and significance of the report given by US Secretary of State Defense and the strategies of Obama Administration of preserving “world peace” are important in analyzing the Pak-US relationship as it provides ample evidence of the US government’s lop-sidedness on defense against terrorism that has confined itself within the walls of the US territory rather than to the larger context of the global world. The structural form of this defense strategy exerts full pressure upon US allies and non-allies that the US can wage war against any state which asserts signs of danger against the US or targets world peace.

TIMELINE OF NON-COPERATION OF THE US

The defense report given by the US structurally denies co-operation with any factor posing threat to the US integrity and defense. No signs of cooperation were shown from the US side in the incidents of NATO attack on Salalah airbase primarily and also the recent incident following the attacks was the Shakil Afridi case where the alleged US officials accused Pakistan for its non-co-operation.

VESTED INTERESTS

Before these incidents, in 2011, the incidents of Raymond Davis and Osama Bin Laden’s assassination were major examples of US’ non-cooperation with the Pakistani officials, much to the accord of our ruling government as well which posed signs of ignorance and non-vigilance in making the US comply with swapping of Aafia Sidiqui with Raymond Davis. No action was taken by the Pakistani government in arresting this undercover US agent for carrying an unlicensed weapon and taking lives of innocent Pakistani citizens.

If the Pakistani government denies the responsibility of peace-keeping in its own region, then the foreigner is not to be held responsible for its ravenous attacks. The maintenance of peace at home is important to devise credibility and trust between the government and the locals. If the government does not help its people in times of war and crisis then who are they to look up to for their welfare. However, very unfortunate is the fact, that however much one denies it, there are interests within interests between the two governments upon which the integrity of state has been compensated where no measure was taken or policy devised to stop the attack on Salalah airbase that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

 UPCOMING ELECTIONS

Now interestingly, elections for the next government are very near in both countries, Pakistan and the US. The defense report for the Obama administration can be one psychological tactic to make the American public feel safe in the hands of a politically powerful government. On the other hand, not supplementing NATO’s application of opening supply routes to Afghanistan is a decision made by the Pakistani government to gain more credibility in the otherwise lost trust of Pakistani citizens.

LAST WORD

Again, no hard and fast conclusion can be given upon the future of this alliance as vested interests change overnight and govern the governance of the state government which eventually makes up policies for its public.

TABLE OF CONTENTS of Study

CHAPTER                                                                                       PAGE NO.

1)      INTRODUCTION: PAK-US RELATIONS, NATO AND DRONE ATTACKS

  1. Geostrategic and geopolitical significance of Pakistan for America…….2
  2. Drones: Evolution and Rise in Demand…………………………………10
  3. NATO Background………………………………………………………13
  4. Drone Attacks: History…………………………………………………..16
  5. e.       Statistics…………………………………………………………………19

 

2)      FOREIGN MEDIA COVERAGE ON NATO SUPPLY BLOCADE– APRIL 2011- MAY 2012

  1. Introduction to Foreign Media…………………………………………..26
  2. Timeline: television, blogs, magazines, newspapers……………………27
  3. Foreign Channels………………………………………………………..32
  4. Foreign Blogs……………………………………………………………42
  5. Foreign Magazines………………………………………………………61
  6. Foreign Newspapers…………………………………………………….80

 

3)      LOCAL MEDIA COVERAGE ON NATO SUPPLY BLOCADE – APRIL 2011- MAY 2012

  1. Introduction to Local Media…………………………………………..100
  2. Timeline: television, blogs, magazines, newspapers………………….101
  3. Local Newspapers……………………………………………………..104
  4. Local Blogs……………………………………………………………113
  5. Local Channels………..………………………………………………129
  6. Local Magazines………………………………………………………140

 

4)      CONCLUSION

  1. Chapter 1: Introduction: Pak-US relations, NATO and Drone Attacks……………………………………………………………………145
  • Chicago Summit and US Defense Strategy Report………………148
  1. Prelude to Conclusion of Chapter 2 and 3: Trends of Journalism………..152
  2. Chapter 2: Foreign Media Coverage of Nato Supply Blocade – April 2011- May 2012…………………………………………………………………154
  3. Chapter 3: Local Media Coverage of Nato Supply Blocade – April 2011- May

2012………………………………………………………………………165

  1. Chapter 4: Final Conclusion “United States: Friend or Foe?”……………174

Study: Media Coverage on Closure of NATO supply lines :Nov 2011-May 2012

This is a cross post from media point where the research was originally published:

http://www.mediapoint.pk/study-media-coverage-on-closure-of-nato-supply-lines-nov-2011-may-2012/

It is a matter  of satisfaction and pride for the ‘mediapoint.pk’ to have received a study from Beacon House National University, Mass Communications Department Lahore on ‘”Western & Local Media Coverage on Closure of NATO supply lines :Nov 2011-May 2012″ . We are pleased not only to accept the study for publish but also congratulate the institution and the course instructor for guiding the young generation towards research work which is almost fading away in this part of the world. We also thank the Course Instructor for appreciating the research base which we are trying to provide to our readers. The remarks of course instructor and the important portion of the study are as below and the complete study has been placed on the link.

The students doing the 4 segments is as follows:

M.A 1

Group Leader: Syed Ali Raza Hassan(Part 2 & 4)

Group Members

Yasir Sharif (Part 1)

Muneeb Sheikh(Part 3)

Rhansha Hassan(Part 3)

Conclusions of the Study

Data Analysis and Conclusion

 

PAK-US Relations:

The relations between both the countries were remained critical since the start. The reason behind it was that both of the nation always remained firm in their attitudes and benefits. The relations were totally selfish for own benefits. According to former Ambassador Bilminar, “I think Pak-US relations are somewhat rocky but both nations have always processed the benefits instead of friendship.”

…When the war between Pakistan and India were started, it was shocking for Pakistanis that Americans did not help us in this situation. Yet again, in 1971 and 1999, the U.S did not help us in the war against India. But Zia got a chance when Soviet Union attacked the Afghanistan and to defeat the super power the Americans needed someone in that region to help her to defeat that time’s super power in the Afghan war. After a long fight, the Soviet Union was defeated and this was the time when Taliban came into existence.

These are the few examples which depict that Pak-US relations were always used for their own benefits.

 

NATO Attack on Pakistani Check post:

On 26 November 2011, the NATO planes bombarded the Salala Check Post near the Mahmund Agency in which 26 soldiers were martyred. It was not the first time that such incident took place but the martyrs were greater in number this time that the Pakistani Government had to take action due the Pak army’s involvement and pressure. Pakistani official condemned this US drone attack and they demanded immediate action called inquiry of this incident. After sometime; the United States claimed that the incident has come into their notice; they offered their condolence to Government of Pakistan and they assured for timely inquiries.

Pakistan closed these supplies after the attack of NATO on Pakistani check post as a protest against this accident. Its Pakistan’s right!Pakistan reaction; stopping NATO supply Pakistani Government demanded U.S troops to vacate the Shamsi Air Base within 15 days. According to the inquiry report given by U.S that was released; it was mentioned that NATO had made a drone attack as a self defense from Pakistani troop’ firing. This increased the relationship barrier between the two countries. It is proving that Pakistan is guilty of everything because they fired first and NATO did was in defense. The most important point discussed in this article confuses the reader by saying that American officials did not trust their Pakistani counterparts enough to give them detailed information about American troop locations in Afghanistan. The reality is that there is no border clearly defined on the incident place where NATO killed 24 soldiers.

 

Collateral Interest:

  1. 1.    United States:

The interest for U.S is as follows:

  • Pakistan was charging negligible fee of transit which was just US$250 per truck.
  • The price for the same trucks would have cost double; if the transportation route would have been Russia and Central Asia. In addition, if America would adopt Russia’s route, she would have to change her policies. In that case, Russia might put forth several conditions before U.S.

·         Other route is costly than the Pakistani government has demanded US$5000 transit fee for each NATO container and also said that we know that US is using far longer transport routes through Central Asia, is paying at least double the amount they have requested from them.

  1. 2.    Pakistan:

The interest for Pakistan is as follows:

  • Pakistan gets aid of billions of dollars.
  • Pakistan is given ammunition from America as exchange deals.
  • It remains convenient for Pakistan to continue its nuclear programs since no sanctions are imposed by U.S.

 

Mutual Interest:

It tells us how the NATO supplies benefits the people in different ways. An ordinary person tells that get quality things with reasonable prices by smuggling, the government of Pakistan gets an aid from US, for US this route is cheaper than western Asia and Russia and also Taliban gets weapons and ammunition when they attack the containers.

The option is giving to Pakistan that its presence is important because they will help striking a peace deal with the Taliban for US. Also HinaRabbani interview is actually clear diagnosis of what will happen? Chicago meeting is about forthcoming of Afghanistan once the withdrawal of Americans and also NATO in 2014.Apart from these issues like drones and also the apology, the two countries targeted four targeted things of energy cooperation: counterterrorism, the NATO provide lines, military help payments and also the Taliban serenity process are yet to be solved.

 Threat to Pakistan:

In any case the sufferer is Pakistan; if it keeps the NATO supply block U.S would block Pakistan’s aid and on the contrary if Pakistan opens the NATO supply, it might suffer future repercussions from the Taliban’s side since U.S is expected to call back its troops in 2014. Now it is up to Pakistan to make the decision whether it need short term or long term advantage.

Media Coverage Analysis:

This scenario reached its critical situation when as a time of Chicago Summit; U.S imposed a condition on Pakistan that she would be allowed to attend the Summit when the NATO supply would be restored. So it’s obvious that Pakistan was invited in Chicago after giving a clue to re-open the NATO supplies.The deal was expected between both sides after getting invitation of Chicago Summit. But the results of the summit were not so fruitful since Pakistan had charged a new price of rupees US$5000 per truck and the US expectations were not met. US still wants the NATO supply to be restored because this route is actually the key for them as it costs much less. The reason given by Pakistan for charging high prices were that NATO trucks are quite heavy and they cause a significance damage to the roads thus for maintaining the infrastructure Pakistan added the cost for the infrastructure maintenance. In addition to that Pakistan included the cost for scanning and road taxes. Pakistan held the stance that it needs to boost up its economy; this included the expenditures in upcoming elections and the budget. Regardless to interest to any specific country U.S has either ways to pay for the NATO trucks.

 The US believes that the supply issue will be solved because this route is critical for them because it costs less and it is much important for both sides.

It is clear that western media is hoping that Pakistan is interested in opening NATO supplies that’s why Pakistani president is going to attend summit in Chicago because he has plans to end its six-month blockade of the NATO supplies. It is pointing on the military establishment that they are forcing the government to open supplies because the US has frozen the flow of aid which is rated over $1 billionby U.S.

The western media has shown biased attitude by putting the examples that Pakistani Islamic parties are the biggest hurdle in the opening of supplies since Pakistan is under the influence of Taliban.

The second point tells us that this summit is important for Pakistan because it will decide the future of Pakistan when the Americans will withdraw in 2014. It is obvious that when the US and its allies will leave Afghanistan then in my point of view, the Taliban will come back because Karzai will also flow back but future will answer this question better.

It’s evident that the restoration of the NATO supplies hold the mutual interest for both the countries.

But it tells us that the refusal of apology by U.S would bring a domestic outcry in Pakistan which indicates that it will affect the US repute in the eyes of the people. Pakistan is divided into different thoughts and cultures which is ruling by an opinion leaders which will bring different thoughts for US in front of their followers so dual minded set will form after that refusal.

The facilitation is needed from both sides to reach the solution but the major issue still present of rampant of aid by US after blockage of routes.

The US and Pakistan talks have been failed due to the demand of the apology from Pakistan side and in return the Americans are withholding the promised military aid.

Political Interests:

The both sides are firm in their demands because if anyone step back/ showed any bent then it would not be good for its future in upcoming election. Obama if apologies with Pakistan then its competitor will raise a question that Obama spend all his era apologizing with other nations. Similarly, if Pakistan ruling alliances will open NATO supplies without apology then same thing would happen during elections.

Our unity is looked upon as a question mark in the whole world. Moreover, this step was considered to be a source for the government to negotiate with the U.S. the important point discussed was that all political parties wanted to have good relations with the United States but that “it cannot be an imbalanced relationship.” In short, the peace road and relation is open between Pakistan and U.S but the step has to be taken from both sides.

Propaganda of West:

The west is continually doing a propaganda against Pakistan by giving their biased option and telecasting the biased articles.

Our local channels are just reproducing the west propaganda because they work for money and majority of them only spreads distress and worry in society.

   

Data Analysis:

The questionnaire was given to 100 sample spaces. After collection of data we got following results which are as follows:

Do NATO Supply be opened?

 

S.N Age groups Yes No Dn’t know Total
1. 19-28 15 35 10 60
2. 29-38 9 20 1 30
3. 39-48 6 4 0 10
  Total 30 59 11  

 

 

Educational Level Awareness:

S.N Education Yes No Total
1. Media Students 12 8 20
2. Others Students 2 18 20
Total 14 26

 

Transit Fee:

 

S.N Age Group Yes No Total
1 19-28 14 46 60
2 29-38 14 16 30
3 39-48 7 3 10
  Total 35 65 100

 

Media Coverage:

S.N Age Group Satisfied Not-Satisfied Total
1 19-28 28 32 60
2 29-38 15 15 30
3 39-48 8 2 10
Total 51 49 100

 

Do you like American policies?

S.N Age Group Yes No Total
1. 19-28 0 60 60
2. 29-38 0 30 30
3. 39-48 0 10 10
Total 0 100 100

 

 

 

 

Do Drone kill terroists:-

 

S.N Age Group Yes No Total
1. 19-28 18 42 60
2. 29-38 11 19 30
3. 39-48 2 8 10
  Total 31 69 100
     

 

Complete:   Final Project NATO Supply Route