The Coercive Uses of Rescue Aid in Pakistan

Regional Map of the Afghani-Pakistani borderEarlier this month I asked if the Taliban’s rising influence in Pakistan and their removal of Sikhs from the Swat Valley was a harbinger for more extreme religious persecution. This week, two articles caught my eye:

The first depicted multi-religious protests in Kashmir over Pakistan’s inaction in the region. The second implied complicity between the Jawat-ud-dawa (JuD) and the Taliban to use “rescue aid” as a coercive tactic.

The use of “aid” to buy sympathy, garner political favor, or build political support is nothing new, and is described extensively in Machiavelli’s The Prince [source]. Similar concerns were raised in the wake of the Indonesian tsunami, when Muslim communities alleged that Christian aid organizations were forcibly converting orphaned children and the injured by withholding necessary aid. The extent, or veracity, of those allegations was relatively unknown/unquantifiable. Given the Taliban’s extensive campaign-based strategies, in addition to the narrow regional focus of its impact, it should be less difficult to quantify the JuD’s impact.

What I want to know is how much was known about the planned ejection / jiziya in advance by different political actors in the region, and how, in light of this knowledge, the only actor on the scene is one who has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.N.

The effective delivery of aid has been known to build political support. For example, while there is a strong vein of political analysis that credits the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah to ideological polarization, there is a smaller voice that points directly to the failure of pre-existing governments to provide basic needs/services, and to Hamas’s effective delivery of food and medical aid. Given JuD’s well-timed delivery of aid, does this indicate a genuine, possibly religiously-inspired, commitment to ensuring refugee aid, or does this indicate another chess piece in the game for political dominance in the NWFP?


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23 Responses to “The Coercive Uses of Rescue Aid in Pakistan”

  1. With regard to protests in India regarding the Pakistani government's inaction in the region, it's interesting how the right-wing hindu news media has developed a sudden interest in the well-being of the Sikh community. Plain and simple, the jizya issue is being used by the Indian propoganda machine for fodder against Pakistan. For example, why hasn't Prime Minister Manmohan Singh been able to make progress with the situation in France that prohibits practicing Sikhs from obtaining an education? Why aren't there "multi-faith" [read Hindu] protests in India regarding the dire situation of Sikhs in France??? It's a completely political issue – and absolutely nothing to do with protecting the rights of a Sikh minority in a majority Sunni-Muslim region.

    The Taliban are deranged, and far removed from any spiritual or worldy reality – however, here's an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor re: Sikh/Muslim relations in the region:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0413/p7s1.html

  2. With regard to protests in India regarding the Pakistani government’s inaction in the region, it’s interesting how the right-wing hindu news media has developed a sudden interest in the well-being of the Sikh community. Plain and simple, the jizya issue is being used by the Indian propoganda machine for fodder against Pakistan. For example, why hasn’t Prime Minister Manmohan Singh been able to make progress with the situation in France that prohibits practicing Sikhs from obtaining an education? Why aren’t there “multi-faith” [read Hindu] protests in India regarding the dire situation of Sikhs in France??? It’s a completely political issue – and absolutely nothing to do with protecting the rights of a Sikh minority in a majority Sunni-Muslim region.

    The Taliban are deranged, and far removed from any spiritual or worldy reality – however, here’s an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor re: Sikh/Muslim relations in the region:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0413/p7s1.html

  3. Jeet Singh Khalsa says:

    i don't know why there are some people in the world who will go to any extent to justify there anti indian propoganda….below are some extract of indian govt taking up the issue of "ban of turbans in french schools" and the issue is widely debated in indian press…there is something called internet and if you put the issue in a search engine only then can u find who is taking up issue and who is not……i have never seen any Sikh so obsessed with pro Pakistan and anti India propaganda…..

    French Sikhs meet Sonia

    The Tribune Chandigarh, India, 2004

    Members of the French Sikh delegation discuss the turban issue with Congress President Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, November 9

    Congress President Sonia Gandhi today assured a delegation of Sikhs from France that the turban issue would be taken up through diplomatic and other channels.

    PM takes up turban issue with

    French Foreign Minister

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, October 28

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had personally taken up the issue of the Sikh community’s turban issue in France with visiting Foreign Minister Michel Barnier. Dr Manmohan Singh informed Mr Barnier that wearing turbans was a religious symbol for the Sikhs and not an item of display.

    External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh also explained to his French counterpart the religious sentiments of the Sikh community in wearing the turban.

    National Commission for Minorities Chairman Tarlochan Singh followed up the turban controversy in government-run schools in France with Mr Barnier at a dinner hosted by the French Ambassador last night.

    Mr Barnier categorically told Mr Tarlochan Singh that France would provide full protection to the Sikh community and there was no anti-Sikh feeling in his country.

    The Act disallowing children from wearing religious symbols in government-run schools in France cannot be changed or amended as it was adopted after extended and wide debate and discussions. Unfortunately, the Sikh community did not come forward with their views and objections on the proposed Bill at that time.

    The French Foreign Minister said all students of the Sikh community barring three had been admitted to schools. The problem pertaining to these three students on wearing turbans or patkas will be resolved on his return to France in the next 10 days, Mr Barnier assured.

    JUST GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT AND THEN GET ON THE ISSUE

  4. Jeet Singh Khalsa says:

    i don’t know why there are some people in the world who will go to any extent to justify there anti indian propoganda….below are some extract of indian govt taking up the issue of “ban of turbans in french schools” and the issue is widely debated in indian press…there is something called internet and if you put the issue in a search engine only then can u find who is taking up issue and who is not……i have never seen any Sikh so obsessed with pro Pakistan and anti India propaganda…..
    French Sikhs meet Sonia

    The Tribune Chandigarh, India, 2004
    Members of the French Sikh delegation discuss the turban issue with Congress President Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, November 9
    Congress President Sonia Gandhi today assured a delegation of Sikhs from France that the turban issue would be taken up through diplomatic and other channels.

    PM takes up turban issue with
    French Foreign Minister
    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, October 28
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had personally taken up the issue of the Sikh communitys turban issue in France with visiting Foreign Minister Michel Barnier. Dr Manmohan Singh informed Mr Barnier that wearing turbans was a religious symbol for the Sikhs and not an item of display.

    External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh also explained to his French counterpart the religious sentiments of the Sikh community in wearing the turban.

    National Commission for Minorities Chairman Tarlochan Singh followed up the turban controversy in government-run schools in France with Mr Barnier at a dinner hosted by the French Ambassador last night.

    Mr Barnier categorically told Mr Tarlochan Singh that France would provide full protection to the Sikh community and there was no anti-Sikh feeling in his country.

    The Act disallowing children from wearing religious symbols in government-run schools in France cannot be changed or amended as it was adopted after extended and wide debate and discussions. Unfortunately, the Sikh community did not come forward with their views and objections on the proposed Bill at that time.

    The French Foreign Minister said all students of the Sikh community barring three had been admitted to schools. The problem pertaining to these three students on wearing turbans or patkas will be resolved on his return to France in the next 10 days, Mr Barnier assured.

    JUST GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT AND THEN GET ON THE ISSUE

  5. ambi says:

    [deleted…ambi, you may email us any link that you wish for us to discuss. You are not allowed to hijack threads with different topics…Admin Singh]

  6. ambi says:

    [deleted…ambi, you may email us any link that you wish for us to discuss. You are not allowed to hijack threads with different topics…Admin Singh]

  7. an Indian Sikh says:

    [deleted…An Indian Sikh, you may email us any link that you wish for us to discuss. You are not allowed to hijack threads with different topics…Admin Singh]

  8. an Indian Sikh says:

    [deleted…An Indian Sikh, you may email us any link that you wish for us to discuss. You are not allowed to hijack threads with different topics…Admin Singh]

  9. ambi says:

    [understood, just email it in next time….Admin Singh]

  10. ambi says:

    [understood, just email it in next time….Admin Singh]

  11. Camille says:

    Jeet Singh, I'm not sure what your comment has to do with the content of the post?

  12. Camille says:

    Jeet Singh, I’m not sure what your comment has to do with the content of the post?

  13. Jeet Singh Khalsa says:

    camille

    read the comments of another person and its just a reply to his anti-indian rhetoric

  14. Jeet Singh Khalsa says:

    camille
    read the comments of another person and its just a reply to his anti-indian rhetoric

  15. Camille says:

    Hi Jeet,

    I saw the other comment; I was just curious since the convo seemed to be an unfolding of a previous comment string. Thanks for clarifying!

  16. Camille says:

    Hi Jeet,

    I saw the other comment; I was just curious since the convo seemed to be an unfolding of a previous comment string. Thanks for clarifying!

  17. RAVI SINGH says:

    INDIAN GOVERNMENTS AND THE TURBAN

    Gurfateh Ji !

    Bhai Jeet Singh Ji , if the Indian government is making huge efforts on the turban issue in France then why dont they change the Indian constitution to recognise the Sikhs as a separate religion first. We , the Sikhs are labelled long haired hindus in the Indian constitution, so pls check the facts first.

  18. RAVI SINGH says:

    INDIAN GOVERNMENTS AND THE TURBAN

    Gurfateh Ji !
    Bhai Jeet Singh Ji , if the Indian government is making huge efforts on the turban issue in France then why dont they change the Indian constitution to recognise the Sikhs as a separate religion first. We , the Sikhs are labelled long haired hindus in the Indian constitution, so pls check the facts first.

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