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Religious conflicts around the globe and a solution

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“When adherents of one faith take to the extreme and force their religious views on those of other faiths, religious conflicts emerge”

It is evident that prejudices arising from adherence to religious forms and imitation of ancestral beliefs  have hindered the progress of humanity thousands of years. How many wars and battles have been fought, how much division , discord and hatred have been caused by this form of prejudice.

Religious conflict is caused by intolerance against another’s religious beliefs or practices. Much war and death has emerged from these conflicts. Today we see such intractable inter-religious wars between Muslims and Jews in Palestine, Hindus and Muslims in south Asia and in many other places. Attempts to bring out peace have failed again and again. Most religiously motivates hate crimes are acts of vandalism. But personal attacks are not uncommon. Religious conflicts have escalated dramatically since the onset of cold war. Throughout the1950- 1996 periods, religious conflicts constituted 33% or 47% of all conflicts.

The reason why there is so much of conflict and bloodshed is very simple. It’s the fact that both the parties don’t understand the true essence of their faith. It is about proving which religion or which faith is better and which is superior.

While a religion is often a significant generator of armed conflict both in the past and in the present, the two principal causes of human warfare are in fact culture and greed for territory, resources or power.   –  Meicpearse

There are a number of conflicts in the world, and religion has played a significant role .

Australian conflicts :

The state government rules that the police in Australia have the power to demand a Muslim woman to remove her face veil. The Australian government allows its people to dress the way they want as long as it does not interfere  with the smooth functioning and safety of society. According to a survey, there are more than 340,000 Muslims in Australia of whom 128,904 were born in the country. Australia is along way from baning the burqa in public, unlike France where women can face fines up  to 200$.

Europe conflicts:

Tensions and violence involving people from minority groups of Muslim culture are perhaps the greatest source of societal tensions and violent conflicts in contemporary Europe.

The Bosnian war:

In Bosnian war over 8000 unarmed Muslims were killed by the Serbian military forces.  During this conflict Muslims seemed to pay the highest price. When  the massacre  began in different cities of Bosnia, it was clear that the aim was to cleanse the country from Muslim population. After years of bitter fighting between Bosnia (Muslims), Serbians and Croats western  countries stepped in (backed by NATO) and imposed a final cease-fire. The death toll of Bosnian war was 102,000.

Sudan genocide:

Complex ethic, racial, religious conflict in which Muslim regime committed genocide  against Christians in the south of the country. For more than 2 decades the Sudanese government has waged war against the Christians  in the state.

North American conflicts:

 58% of Americans believe Muslims face a lot of discrimination in the united states. After September 11, a religious violence in the name of a holy cause has escalated. A series of four attacks that were committed in the united states on September 11, 2001 suspicion fell on Al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden. The FBI reported increase in anti- Muslim crimes nationwide during 2001, largely due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Israel and Palestine conflict:

The roots of the modern day Israel and Palestinian conflict can be traced back to mass migration of Jewish people to Israel following the world war two. Both the Muslims and the Jews regard Jerusalem as their Holy land and both have been trying to occupy it completely.  Israel has fought many wars with the Arab neighboring countries.

Hindu- Muslim conflict in India:

Two atrocities have been largely associated with religious unrest in India; the burning of the Babri Masjid Mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh in 1992, and the 2002 massacres in Gujarat. Both also sparked national protests and reprisals and have played an important part in exacerbating violence among the Hindu and Muslim community. The  key causes for religious violence in India are the systematic incitement of religious hate for political purposes.

Religions are meant to create peace and unity among people but they begin to cause conflicts. There can be no single causal source of religious conflicts here. Nonetheless, if we are to see what causes religious strife, it is ignorance. In order to fulfill their fixed agenda, some people ride in the ignorance of the majority to whip religious sentiments.

How religious violence can be reduced :

Religious violence can be cured by deeper understanding of religion. An international campaign must be launched to teach people to respect other religions. If our children are being taught that Christians are disbelievers, Muslims are terrorist, Hindus are extremist. Then what could we expect?  We are pouring hate in them and we will get hate out of them. We must teach them the simplest rule that is  tit-for-tat. When you act towards others, so others act towards you. If you are wanting respect, then you must give respect . You must show empathy if you ask for empathy. If you do not want to be insulted, you have to make sure that you do not insult others.  We must teach them to respect other religions, despite the differences. It doesn’t matter if there god is different from ours, we must be tolerant towards others. We must be open and we must be broadminded to accept the similarities and respect the differences.

“The more people come together, the more borders will be opened and people and opinions get together, the more tolerance will be a fundamental part of our social life. Without tolerance there is no religious liberty, no freedom of conscience and no freedom of thought.”~ Thomas Klestil

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Defense

India’s Sprouting Counterforce Posture

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In recent years, the technological advancements by India in the domain of counterforce military capabilities have increased the vulnerability of the South Asian region. While trying to disturb the strategic stability in South Asia, India through its adventuresome counterforce posture against Pakistan is on the verge of becoming a rogue state. Notwithstanding the repercussions, India is voyaging towards destabilization in the South Asian Region.

India’s enhanced strategic nuclear capabilities which includes-the development of Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs), Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMD), Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles, and acquisition of nuclear-capable submarines- indicate that India is moving away from its declared policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU) towards a more aggressive, counterforce posture against Pakistan. The BMD and MIRV technology along with the provision of an advanced navigation system under BECA would embolden India to go for the first strike against Pakistan. While having reliance on BMD, as to be sheltered in return. These technological advancements made by India are sprouting a new era of counterforce posture, which would further make the South Asian region volatile and vulnerable to conflicts.

India’s urge to acquire counterforce capability is strongly associated with its doctrinal shift. As the stated posture requires flexibility in the use of nuclear weapons, which fortifies the first strike capability, and thus a deviation in India’s declared policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU) has become more significant, particularly concerning its impact on regional stability. India’s declared policy of NFU, set out in Draft Nuclear Doctrine in 1999, followed by its first amendment in January 2003 has since then been into hot debates. Pakistan has long doubted the Indian policy of NFU, as the actions and statements by the officials of the latter have always been aggressive and protruding towards the former. India, now, is drifting away from its policy of NFU with the acquisition of counterforce capabilities, particularly against Pakistan. This is further evident from the statement issued by India’s Defense Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, back in August 2019. It stated “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘no-first-use’ (NFU). What happens in the future depends on the circumstances.” A change at the doctrinal level is evident in the Indian strategic enclave. Notwithstanding the challenges and repercussions caused by the counterforce strategy and with an attempt to destabilize the nuclear deterrence in the region, India would go unjustifiably low to attain such measures.  

In the same vein, India has been enhancing its nuclear capabilities for strategic flexibility against its regional rivals. By the same token, it wants to attain nuclear dominance, which would ultimately result in chaos in the region. The counterforce capability by India would compel its adversaries to heed towards the preemptive strike, in case of a crisis, out of the fear of the use of Nuclear weapons first by the patent enemy.  Moreover, the counterforce capability pushes the enemy to put the nuclear weapons on hair-trigger mode, which is directly linked with the crisis escalation.  The acquisition of counterforce capability by India would likely provoke a new arms race in the region. This would further destabilize the already volatile South Asian region. The far-reaching destabilization which India is trying to create, just to have an edge on the nuclear adversary, would be back on India’s face, faster than she knew it.

On the contrary, Pakistan has been maintaining a posture of Credible Minimum Deterrence (CMD) and does not claim to have a No-First Use (NFU) policy. Moreover, Pakistan’s nuclear capability is defensive in principle and a tool for deterrence. Given the Indian evolved notions of counterforce preemption, even now Pakistan would be left with no choice but to leave room for carrying out a ‘first strike’ as a feasible deterrent against India. Nevertheless, with the advent of technological innovations, its countermeasure arrives soon, too. Presently, there are two aspects that Pakistan should take into consideration; the growing Indo-US nexus and India’s concealed innovations in the nuclear posture. Though India is far from achieving counterforce strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear targets, concrete steps are required for maintaining future deterrence stability. With that intention, Pakistan might need to look towards its allies for getting hands-on the modern capabilities which includes- advanced communication and navigation systems, sensors, and advancements in artificial intelligence and otherwise, is essential for strengthening its deterrent capability. Pakistan should heed towards the development of absolute second-strike capability; as, what is survivable today, could be vulnerable tomorrow. Therefore, advancements in technology should be made for preserving nuclear deterrence in the future as well.

Summarizing it all, the existence of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence has created a stable environment in the region, by deterring full-scale wars on multiple occasions that might have resulted in a nuclear exchange. With the revolution in nuclear technology, the threat of nuclear war has emerged again. Instead of going towards the attainment of peace and stability in the region, India has been enhancing its counterforce capabilities. This would likely remain a significant threat to the deterrence stability in the region. Moreover, any kind of failure to maintain nuclear deterrence in South Asia could result in an all-out war, without any escalation control. India, in its lust for power and hegemonic designs, has been destabilizing the region. Both the nuclear states in South Asia need to engage in arms restraint and escalation control measures. This seems to be a concrete and more plausible way out; else the new era of destabilization could be more disastrous.  

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Defense

A pig in a poke of Lithuanian Armed Forces

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The proverb “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” perfectly reflects the situation in the Lithuanian armed forces. It is it unclear how the army will carry out its tasks, if everything that happens there runs counter to common sense.

The conscription took place in Lithuania. The recruits once again were revealed by an electronic lottery on January 7, 2021. 3,828 recruits were selected from the list of 38 thousand conscripts aged 18 to 23.

The idea of using electronic lottery in such a serious procedure arises a lot of questions among Lithuanians. Young people are suspicious of this method and fully admit the possibility of corruption. Nobody could check the results and so nobody could be blamed for random selection. The more so, the armed forces could get weaker recruits than in case of using usual ways of choosing among candidates. So, the army buys a pig in a poke.

This approach to recruitment in Lithuania results in presence of those with criminal intents and inclinations. Сases of crimes committed by Lithuanian military personnel have increased. Incidents with the involvement of military regularly occurred in Lithuania in 2020.

Thus, a soldier of the Lithuanian army was detained in Jurbarkas in October. He was driving under the influence of alcohol. A Lithuanian soldier suspected of drunk driving was detained also in Siauliai in December. Panevėžys County Chief Police Commissariat was looking for a soldier who deserted from the Lithuanian Armed Forces and so forth.

Such behaviour poses serious risks to public safety and leads to loss of confidence in the Lithuanian army in society.

Lithuanian military officials have chosen a new way to discourage young people from serving in the army, which is already not popular.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The ministry of defence decided to run a photo contest that would reflect service in the country’s armed forces. It is doubtful that such pictures will attract to the army, but the real situation is provided.

Usually, popularization is the act of making something attractive to the general public. This contest served the opposite goal. Look at the pictures and make conclusions.

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Defense

Fatah-1: A New Security and Technological Development About Pakistan’s Indigenous GMLRS

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Islamabad: It seems like 2021 has been a good start for Pakistan specifically with regard to stepping up its missile testing. On the 7th of January, the Pakistan military has successfully conducted a purely indigenously developed missile test flight known to be Fatah-1. As stated by various reports, Fatah-1 is an extended-range Guided Multi-Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) which itself is a developed variant of the guided MLRS family.

According to the recent statement given by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) about the newly developed rocket, it was stated: “The weapon system will give Pakistan Army capability of a precision target deep in the enemy territory.” Director-General of Pakistan Army, Media Wing, major general Babar Iftikhar on 7th January tweeted: “Pakistan today conducted a successful; test flight of indigenously developed Fatah-1, Guided Multi Launch Rocket System, capable of delivering a conventional Warhead up to a range of 140 km.”

Defense analyst Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali also stated in his capacity: “the new system was very fast, accurate, survivable, and difficult to intercept”. A video was also shared by ISPR on their official website, in which the missile launch can be seen while being fired from the launcher however, the details on when and where the test flight has taken place, along with the specification of the rocket system are yet to be announced.

Currently, Pakistan Army owns a wide range of Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM), Battlefield Ballistic Missiles (BBM), Rocket Artillery, and Surface to Surface Cruise Missile (SSCM). In the previous year, Pakistan had also maintained prime success in conducting the Ra’ad-II cruise missile and Ghaznavi surface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSBM). Besides, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on 30thDecember made apt progress when it comes to the national air defense arsenal as it was announced that PAF is beginning the production of the State-of-the-art JF-17 Thunder Block 3 fighter jets, at the same time acquiring the 14 dual-seat Jf-17 aircraft.

According to various reports, the JF-17 Thunder Block 3 will be said to have a new radar operational capability which will be far better in the practical domain as compared to the Raphael aircraft acquired by India. Whereas, the exchange of 14 dual-seat aircraft, manufactured with Pak-China cooperation were also given to the PAF which will be used for extensive training.

The recent successful testing of Fatah-1 has been considered to be another milestone for Pakistan as it tends to be a fitting response to the recent developments in the conventional capabilities carried out by India and also to India’s Cold Start Doctrine.

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