Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Gladiators: Arabs, Camel Jockey Slave Kids & WikiLeaks.

The Roman Gladiator: Adopted from the earlier Etruscans, perhaps by way of Campania, gladiatorial games (munera) originated in the rites of sacrifice due the spirits of the dead and the need to propitiate them with offerings of blood. They were introduced to Rome in 264 BC, when the sons of Junius Brutus honored their father by matching three pairs of gladiators. Traditionally, munera were the obligatory funerary offerings owed aristocratic men at their death, although the games did not have to be presented then. Elected aedile in 65 BC, Julius Caesar commemorated his father, who had died twenty years before, with a display of 320 pairs of gladiators in silvered armor (Pliny, XXXIII.53: Plutarch, V.9). Still mindful of Spartacus' rebellion, a nervous Senate limited the number of gladiators allowed in Rome (Suetonius, X.2). In 46 BC, after recent victories in Gaul and Egypt, Caesar again hosted elaborate games at the tomb of his daughter Julia, who had died in childbirth eight years earlier (together with stage plays and beast fights, they included the first appearance of a giraffe). The display was criticized, however, for its extravagance and the number slain, including several of Caesar's own soldiers, who protested that none of the money was being allotted to them (Dio, XLIII.24). During the Republic, munera had been privately financed by the family, whose duty it was to present them. Increasingly a display of aristocratic wealth and prestige, the ritual lost much of its religious significance and became more overtly political. To limit this power, Augustus assigned the games to the praetors and restricted the number of shows to two per year and sixty pairs (Dio, LIV.2.4). Eventually, the games were assumed by the emperors, themselves, as enactments of their own power. Indeed, by the end of the second century AD, Tertullian could criticize in De Spectaculis (XII) that "this class of public entertainment has passed from being a compliment to the dead to being a compliment to the living." After the slave revolt of Spartacus in 73 BC, the State assumed greater control of public games (ludi), and large numbers of gladiators were trained in imperial schools. (Interestingly, ludus means "game" and "school," because both required imitation and repetition.) Under the tutelage of a manager (lanista), a troupe (familia) of gladiators could be sold or hired out, and many were retained privately by politicians and wealthy citizens as bodyguards, especially in times of civil unrest. Most gladiators were prisoners of war, slaves bought for the purpose, or criminals sentenced to serve in the schools (damnati ad ludos). At a time when three of every five persons did not survive until their twentieth birthday, the odds of a professional gladiator being killed in any particular bout, at least during the first century AD, were perhaps one in ten. But for the criminal who was to be publicly executed (damnati ad mortem) or for Christian martyrs who refused to renounce their faith and worship the gods, there was no hope of survival in the arena. Seneca, who once arrived at the amphitheater in the middle of the day, between the wild-beast shows that occurred in the morning and the gladiatorial shows presented in the afternoon, protested this lunch-time slaughter of common criminals. "The men have no defensive armour. They are exposed to blows at all points, and no one ever strikes in vain....There is no helmet or shield to deflect the weapon. What is the need of defensive armour, or of skill? All these mean delaying death....The spectators demand that the slayer shall face the man who is to slay him in his turn; and they always reserve the latest conqueror for another butchering. The outcome of every fight is death, and the means are fire and sword. This sort of thing goes on while the arena is empty" (Epistle VII). REFERENCE: The Roman Gladiator http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/gladiators/gladiators.html

LAHORE, Pakistan, 28 June 2005 - Fifteen-year-old Ghulam Sarwar spent almost half of his young life racing camels far away from his home in Pakistan. His parents sent him to the United Arab Emirates seven years ago to work as a camel jockey. In exchange, the family received a recruitment fee, and Ghulam was paid a few dollars a month. “Sometimes I had enough to eat, and sometimes not. They would hit us when we made mistakes,” said Ghulam during a recent interview with UNICEF. “The job is very tiresome. We have to work from morning to night, tenting the camels, training them, cleaning their waste, and racing in the games. I was lonely. I missed my parents. I didn’t like it there at all, but I had no way out.” Ghulam said that there were more than 100 children – mainly from Sudan, Pakistan and Bangladesh – who worked alongside him as camel jockeys. “I have won seven races during the past 7 years. At the beginning, I was scared. As I grew older, I become better, and no longer felt fear when riding the camels,” said Ghulam. Convention on the Rights of the Child: Camel racing is a popular sport in the United Arab Emirates, and using children as jockeys is equally common. But subjecting children to the danger posed by participating in the race, economically exploiting them and depriving them of an education are all in violation of the rights mandated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Almost all countries, including the United Arab Emirates, have ratified the Convention. As time passed, it seemed to Ghulam that he would never have a chance to go back home and return to school. But following an agreement between UNICEF and the United Arab Emirates, the government banned the use of children under 16, or weighing less than 45 kg, as camel jockeys. On 21 June, the first group of 22 children, including Ghulam, returned to their home country of Pakistan. At the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore City, Pakistan, government officials and UNICEF representatives were on hand to meet the returning children. As an interim measure, the children were then placed in a child protection institute where food, clothing, and medical care are provided. Reclaiming a lost childhood: The resilience displayed by these children is impressive. “We have worked with all kinds of children in Pakistan, mostly street children and beggars. We have never seen children this clever, confident, and brave,” said Zubair Ahmad, Assistant Director of Pakistan’s Child Protection and Welfare Bureau. “However, there are signs of psychological trauma, and some of the children are definitely malnourished.” The next step will be to reunite the children with their families. This could turn out to be a very long and difficult process. “Some of the children left home many years ago,” says Mr. Ahmad. “They have forgotten who their parents are and where they lived. It may take DNA testing in some cases. “For those whose origins we can’t trace, we will provide education and vocational training, to help them be better prepared to return to society one day.” The government of the United Arab Emirates has now agreed to send an estimated 3,000 child camel jockeys back to their home countries. UNICEF and its partners will be there to repatriate the children, helping them reintegrate into their societies, and reclaim their lost childhood. REFERENCE: Child camel jockeys return home By A. Sami Malik and Kun Li http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_27517.html

The United Arab Emirates: Background and U.S. Relations : The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (principalities): Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujayrah, Umm Al Qawayn, and Ras Al Khaymah. National authority rests in the hands of a Federal Supreme Council, which is composed of the hereditary rulers of the country’s constituent emirates and elects the national president from among its members. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, was elected UAE president in 2004 following the death of his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had ruled Abu Dhabi since 1966 and served as UAE president since 1971. Sheikh Khalifa was reelected for a second five-year term in November 2009. In practice, the wealthier and more powerful emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai exercise the strongest influence over the country’s affairs; under current convention, the ruler of oil-rich Abu Dhabi serves as the UAE president, and the ruler of the UAE’s commercial hub, Dubai, serves as vice president. The Supreme Council appoints the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers (cabinet), which initiates legislation for ratification by the Supreme Council and the president. The United States and the UAE have enjoyed close and cooperative relations in recent years, in spite of periodic differences with regard to political reform, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, counterterrorism, and U.S. policies regarding Iraq and Iran. Military cooperation and arms sales form a key pillar of U.S.-UAE relations. The UAE hosts frequent port calls and shore visits for U.S. naval vessels and allows the U.S. military to use Al Dhafra air base in support of a variety of missions in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations. In 2007 and 2008, the Bush Administration notified Congress of over $19.4 billion in potential arms sales to the UAE, including what would be the first overseas sale of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system. In 2009 and 2010, the Obama Administration notified Congress of a further $8.8 billion in potential sales, including the potential sale of 60 remanufactured and new AH-64D Block III APACHE helicopters. Bilateral trade has increased in recent years, with 2009 U.S. exports valued at over $12.2 billion, making the UAE the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East. The Bush Administration began negotiating a free trade agreement with the UAE in 2004, but did not conclude the negotiations. The United States does not import a significant amount of oil from the UAE. However, the UAE exports over 2 million barrels of oil per day, making it a key global energy producer. REFERENCE: The United Arab Emirates: Background and U.S. Relations http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R40344.pdf

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WikiLeaks 2011 KARACHI: A US official in a cable sent to the State Department stated that “financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith clerics in south Punjab from organisations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments.” The cable sent in November 2008 by Bryan Hunt, the then Principal Officer at the US Consulate in Lahore, was based on information from discussions with local government and non-governmental sources during his trips to the cities of Multan and Bahawalpur. Quoting local interlocutors, Hunt attempts to explain how the “sophisticated jihadi recruitment network” operated in a region dominated by the Barelvi sect, which, according to the cable, made south Punjab “traditionally hostile” to Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith schools of thought. Hunt refers to a “network of Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith mosques and madrassahs” being strengthened through an influx of “charity” which originally reached organisations “such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Al-Khidmat foundation”. Portions of these funds would then be given away to clerics “in order to expand these sects’ presence” in a relatively inhospitable yet “potentially fruitful recruiting ground”. Outlining the process of recruitment for militancy, the cable describes how “families with multiple children” and “severe financial difficulties” were generally being exploited for recruitment purposes. Families first approached by “ostensibly ‘charitable’” organisations would later be introduced to a “local Deobandi or Ahl-i-Hadith maulana” who would offer to educate the children at his madrassah and “find them employment in the service of Islam”. “Martyrdom” was also “often discussed”, with a final cash payment to the parents. “Local sources claim that the current average rate is approximately Rs 500,000 (approximately USD 6,500) per son,” the cable states.

Children recruited would be given age-specific indoctrination and would eventually be trained according to the madrassah teachers’ assessment of their inclination “to engage in violence and acceptance of jihadi culture” versus their value as promoters of Deobandi or Ahl-i-Hadith sects or recruiters, the cable states. Recruits “chosen for jihad” would then be taken to “more sophisticated indoctrination camps”. “Locals identified three centres reportedly used for this purpose”. Two of the centres were stated to be in the Bahawalpur district, whereas one was reported as situated “on the outskirts of Dera Ghazi Khan city”. These centres “were primarily used for indoctrination”, after which “youths were generally sent on to more established training camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and then on to jihad either in FATA, NWFP, or as suicide bombers in settled areas”. The cable goes on to quote local officials criticising the PML-N-led provincial and the PPP-led federal governments for their “failure to act” against “extremist madrassas, or known prominent leaders such as Jaish-i-Mohammad’s Masood Azhar”. The Bahawalpur district nazim at the time told Hunt that despite repeatedly highlighting the threat posed by extremist groups and indoctrination centres to the provincial and federal governments, he had received “no support” in dealing with the issue unless he was ready to change his political loyalties. The nazim, who at the time was with the PML-Q, “blamed politics, stating that unless he was willing to switch parties…neither the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz provincial nor the Pakistan People’s Party federal governments would take his requests seriously”. REFERENCE: Saudi Arabia, UAE financing extremism in south Punjab By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui | From the Newspaper | 22nd May, 2011 http://dawn.com/2011/05/22/saudi-arabia-uae-financing-extremism-in-south-punjab/ Cable referenced: WikiLeaks # 178082. 2008: Extremist recruitment on the rise in south Punjab madrassahs DAWN.COM | 22nd May, 2011 http://dawn.com/2011/05/22/2008-extremist-recruitment-on-the-rise-in-south-punjab-madrassahs/

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WikiLeaks 2009/2011: Classified By: Anne W. Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b) (d): 1. (SBU) Summary: Though the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) continue to grab headlines for terrorist violence, poor and underdeveloped regions in the rest of “”settled”" Pakistan are increasingly the recruiting and training ground for extremism and militancy. Areas such as the Southern Punjab’s Seraiki-speaking belt and interior northern Sindh are mired in choking poverty and underdevelopment. This lack of prosperity is coupled with a rising number of disaffected youth who have a window to the outside world through television and the internet, but no prospects for social mobility. Moreover Pakistanis in these areas have lost their traditional patronage structure, be it the religious Sufi Pirs or the landlords, who once protected the basic needs of their citizens and delivered simple justice. In such places, as well as parts of urban Karachi and Quetta, religious extremists, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), find fertile ground to spread their ideology and recruit new militants. End Summary.



2. (C) Both Southern Punjab and Northern Sindh are still mainly agricultural societies with few other viable industries. Traditionally, the economies of these areas have been dominated by large landowners who outsource their farming to tenant farmers. Additionally, the highest rates of bonded labor in Pakistan are found in these regions, with most of such labor concentrated in agriculture, brick kilns, and carpet weaving. With the old agricultural system failing and “”modern”" farming taking hold, farming alone can no longer support the region’s labor pool.

3. (C) As farming disappears as a source of income for the populace, government education systems fail to prepare their students for anything else. Public schools are yielding young graduates who can not find jobs, even when they move to large cities such as Lahore and Karachi. Many young high school and college graduates are frustrated because the years they spend in government schools do not provide them any employable skills. This common occurrence is reflected in the story of Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Mumbai attacker, who by his own admission graduated from a Southern Punjab government school and unsuccessfully looked for jobs in Lahore. He ended up pursuing unskilled labor, then petty crime, and ultimately was lured to LeT with promises of money and adventure. Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director of the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), described the extremism in Southern Punjab not as “”talibanization”" but rather as a battle between haves and have-nots. He stressed that the education system had to be rationalized so that it led to real job opportunities, otherwise jobless youth would find a source of income in militant organizations. Those that actually graduate from public high schools are in the upper echelon of have-nots; illiteracy rates are high, and even primary school enrollment low, in these areas.

4. (U) Unlike in the recent past, the poor and jobless youth are no longer cut off from the outside world. Increasingly free media and internet access show these disaffected youth the wealth and corruption that exist outside their immediate circles. Also, newly rich local merchants who benefit from corruption, along with lavish foreign-financed madrassas, stand in stark contrast to the meager existence of this disaffected generation.


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5. (SBU) Several academic studies, including a recent look at the connection between poverty and militancy by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, have found that while poverty alone is not sufficient to give rise to extremism, it is a contributing factor pushing people towards militancy, provided an enabling environment exists. Poverty has long existed in Pakistan well beyond southern Punjab and northern Sindh; however, recent changes to the power structures and ideologies in both regions have provided the conducive environment for militancy to take hold.

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6. (C) Traditionally, landlords and religious Sufi Pirs (who were often the same individual) lived among their communities and were largely protective patrons. Tenant farmers and Sufi devotees, while poor, could count on their leaders to deliver basic justice, food, and protection against corrupt police or other government functionaries. Peasants tolerated a feudal system because it also provided them protection through their individual benefactors. In the last several decades, exploitative landlords have increasingly moved to big cities and Pirs no longer deliver community uplift. The breakdown of the traditional systems – similar to the breakdown and corruption within the FATA’s malik system – has left the populace without a social welfare net or any real access to justice.

7. (C) Many have claimed that a region so steeped in Sufi mysticism could not fall prey to militancy. To a certain extent peaceful Barelvi ideology and Sufism can act as a bulwark against extremism; however, Sufi and Barelvi leaders alone can not fight poverty, underdevelopment, and bad governance. Additionally, the new generation of Sufi leadership has not been able to articulate its religious doctrine to the region’s disaffected youth. In contrast, since the Zia ul-Haq regime, the growth of Deobandi and Salafi madrassas and religious institutions in Southern Punjab has been exponential. The gap in Barelvi and Sufi welfare services is now filled by well-heeled, foreign-financed Deobandi madrassas. Poor Barelvi families often are forced to send their children to Deobandi madrassas to receive food, boarding, and monthly stipends. According to defense analyst Aisha Siddiqa, the number of Deobandi madrassas increased 140% between 1988 (1320) and 2000 (3152). These religious seminaries and their accompanying evangelical wings have worked on converting communities to Salafism and neutralizing resistance to more rabid interpretations of Islam. Secondly, madrassa students are indoctrinated about jihad at these institutions, which can lead them to joining any number of militant groups on their own. Lastly, according to Siddiqa, the madrassas can act as transit points where kids from government schools are shown the social mobility that can accompany militancy and are offered a doctrinal justification for militant action.



8. (C) Across Southern Punjab and increasingly in Quetta and Karachi, Pakistani militant groups openly recruit young men with promises of a better life, adventure, money, and a way to express their frustration against the status quo. The social fabric of northern Sindh is also breaking down in similar ways, which could allow more extremist influence in the future. Groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), have graffiti emblazoned on buildings and schools openly inviting young recruits to join up. Often militant groups invite young disaffected men to come visit them for a few days and show them a better life, plying them with money and other perks before sending them home to “”think”" about their options. Many of these young men are jobless government school graduates, while others are recruited from madrassas. Most join militant groups without the knowledge of their families. There are several active militant groups based in Punjab which have vast networks across Pakistan, and also have developed recent ties with the Taliban. Pakistani military and intelligence agencies have funded many of these groups in the past, and the extent of current establishment support is unclear. Regardless of government support, analysts argue that the majority of current militant funding comes from foreign and domestic donors, as well as criminal activities such as extortion and kidnapping.



9. (C) The Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) was formed in 1985 in Jhang, Punjab by anti-Shia clerics. This banned terrorist organization is focused on sectarian violence and the group was originally supported by Zia-ul-Haq’s government in a move to counter Shia Iran’s influence in Pakistan. The funding for SSP comes from both external and local sources such as the trader-merchant class in Jhang. SSP was responsible for the rise in sectarian violence in the 1980s and 1990s. SSP advocates Deobandi ideology and has served as the basic ideological and militant birthing ground for other militant groups. The group was linked with the 1997 attack on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and they take credit for killing several Shia doctors in Karachi in 2001. Recently, the SSP has resurged in Southern Punjab and has links with other militant outfits. Qari Hussain, the most feared deputy of Tehreek Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) recently killed leader, Baitullah Mehsud, came out of SSP and many of the TTP’s foot soldiers are from SSP ranks. (Note. The SSP is also believed to be behind the violence against Christians in Punjab in late August and early September 2009. End Note.)

10. (C) Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) grew out of SSP and was founded in Bhakkar, South Punjab. The Deobandi organization was initially focused on the elimination of Shias, but after 9/11 its attention shifted to fighting the war on terror against the United States. According to Siddiqa, LeJ was the first militant group to send recruits to Al-Qaeda, through LeJ’s contacts with wealthy Arabs who visited Southern Punjab. LeJ has strong connections with prominent terrorists, including Khaled Sheikh Mohammad and Abu Musab al Zarqawi. The LeJ and Taliban currently have linked networks that allow the Taliban to carry out terrorist attacks in Punjab with LeJ assistance. According to Amir Rana, Director of Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, LeJ also has powerful networks in Karachi and Quetta.

11. (C) Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is another SSP breakaway Deobandi organization that was started by Masood Azhar of Bahawalpur after he returned from India in 2000. (Note: Azhar was arrested in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1993, was exchanged by the Indian government for passengers hijacked to Afghanistan on an Indian Airlines flight in 1999, and subsequently returned to Pakistan with the help of Afghanistan’s then-Taliban government and Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. End Note.) JeM has had a long-standing relationship with intelligence agencies, and according to Rana, it is the only militant outfit still under Inter-Service Intelligence’s (ISI) protective umbrella. JeM continues to be dedicated to the Kashmir fight; however, the group maintains ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Umar Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl’s convicted murderer, was also part of JeM.

12. (C) Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is an organization based in the Central Punjab city of Muridke, but has spread across Southern Punjab as well. It is ideologically Wahhabi, making it different from its militant Deobandi cousins. LeT, and its subsequent cover charitable organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), attract a broad range of supporters, including women, through their welfare work in the Seraiki belt, earthquake-affected Azad Jammu-Kashmir, and among Swat’s internally displaced population. The Mumbai attacks were masterminded by LeT operatives and they continue to focus on militancy against India. The group was created and trained by Pakistani intelligence services to fight a proxy war against India. According to Rana, LeT leadership has ideological and operational disagreements with TTP and does not allow its militants to attack the Pakistani government.

13. (C) Since the 1980s, there has been a history of Punjabi extremists fighting and training alongside Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Rabbani, and now the Taliban in Afghanistan. Siddiqa estimates 5000-9000 Punjabi youth are fighting currently in the FATA and Afghanistan. CRSS’s Gul argues that TTP has strong network links with radical groups such as SSP and LeJ, and many Taliban leaders have studied at madrassas in Southern Punjab. Rana explained that the TTP are capitalizing on the pool of militant recruits already indoctrinated by JeM, LeT, and LeJ in these areas, but the actual arms training takes place in the NWFP and FATA. The Taliban is using the Punjabi militant network to carry out many of the terrorist attacks in Islamabad, Lahore, and other settled areas of Pakistan. FATA parliamentarians claim that many of the Taliban fighters in their agencies are actually Seraiki, and that much of the training comes from existing Punjabi militant commanders.

14. (C) Comment: Aisha Siddiqa, who herself is from Southern Punjab, maintains that the message of militancy is quite potent, especially in terms of the dreams it sells young disillusioned village boys. Dismantling not just the infrastructure but also the potent message of militancy is a complicated problem. Punjab and Sindh represent the heart of Pakistan and deploying the military in these areas, as was done in Swat and FATA, is politically untenable and practically impossible. In the immediate future, the Pakistani government must dismantle both public and state support for militant groups. Many of these networks exist in the open, and until the message against them is clear, average people will continue to be drawn to them. The harder and longer-term solution is to offer real alternatives to disaffected potential recruits. Although the actual number of militant recruits is a small percentage of the population, the sympathy for such groups runs deep. New industries and real economic development would reinvigorate these regions. More importantly, relevant education, including vocational training, that offers people a better future and social mobility will be the best disincentive to joining militant groups. In terms of access to justice and ideology, traditional Sufi bulwarks against extremism and new social welfare nets need to give citizens confidence that their futures are secure. Pakistan’s challenge is to offer alternate and positive dreams to the disillusioned and frustrated youth. We should anticipate and mitigate backlash from the feudals, who are accustomed to having an ignorant and weak peasant class to tend their fields. In order to prevent traditional secular and religious powers in these areas from subverting needed reforms, they will have to believe that reforms are needed to forestall a revolution. End Comment. PATTERSON. REFERENCE: 2009: Southern Punjab extremism battle between haves and have-nots DAWN.COM | 22nd May, 2011 http://dawn.com/2011/05/22/2009-southern-punjab-extremism-battle-between-haves-and-have-nots/ 2009: Was Qaddafi funding Sipahe Sahaba? 26th May, 2011 http://dawn.com/2011/05/26/2009-was-qaddafi-funding-sipahe-sahaba/

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