Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Pakistan : four probes and a killing

May 18, 2011

Pakistan has launched four separate investigations into the life and death of Osama bin Laden on its soil, according to U.S. Senator John Kerry. The army, the air force and the intelligence establishment are running a probe each while parliament last week ordered an investigation by an independent commission to be set up for the purpose.

It’s not entirely clear who is investigating what but a common theme running through the probes is to find out how did the United States launch a heliborne  operation so deep in the country, hunt bin Laden down in his compound after a shootout in the outer wing  and fly away with his corpse, without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities. Indeed the military and the government only got to know about it after the Americans told them once they were safely out of Pakistani airspace.

It’s, doubtless,  a serious breach of Pakistan’s air and ground defences and the biggest worry for the nation’s security planners would be ensure that its eastern borders are secure, lest it gives bitter foe India any ideas of mounting an incursion of its own. It is also a failure of the intelligence agencies they didn’t know it was coming, or indeed what had happened until they were informed by the Americans. All that will be the subject of the parallel investigations.

But what about the other question that people inside Pakistan as well abroad are asking : how is it that bin Laden came to live in a town buzzing with military officers, serving and retired, and not far from the nation’s premier military academy without anyone finding out. The world’s most hunted man is found to be living not in caves in the mountains of the northwest region straddling Afghanistan, but in relative comfort in a military town, barely two hour’s drive from the office of the country’s intelligence agency.  Shouldn’t that be a question the nation must ask its security establishment ?  Indeed, avoiding the issue would only put the security agencies under a greater cloud of suspicion, as Pakistani commentators themselves are saying, not to mention their rather aggressive American interlocutors.

Badar Alam, the editor of the monthly magazine Herald. said it was revealing that the unanimous resolution that parliament passed in setting up a commission to probe the incident in Abbottabad had little reference to bin Laden and the militant Islamist groups that threaten not just other countries, but Pakistan itself. Indeed, contrary to worries that parliament would use the opportunity presented by the security agencies’ discomfiture to crack open the steel curtain and reveal their functioning, it seemed to have narrowed down the focus of the investigation to the U.S. violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, he wrote in a piece for Dawn.

 ”Going by the tone, tenor and the text of the joint resolution, it is more than obvious that the investigators will be strictly focused on the American invasion into Pakistan, not on how bin Laden could live in Abbottabad undetected and whether there is any truth in unceasing reports about Pakistan army and intelligence agencies secretly collaborating with terrorists.”

Alam said members of parliament seemed more focussed on asking the military whether they could shoot down U.S. drone aircraft that had routinely violated the country’s air space particuarly over the northwest.  For all you know, the military might come out of this stronger with the politicians opening the purse strings further so they can buy expoensive equipment to better handle such incursions.

As Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said the truth is that there were many in Pakistan  “angrier about the United States’ ability to launch a special-operations raid right under their noses than they are that bin Laden was found on their soil-and the military is bearing the brunt of the criticism inside Pakistan.”  He warned that the more America puts pressure on the Pakistan military, already smarting under the humilitation of the raid, the more it risks losing it as a partner.


If Bin Laden had moved into that Abbotabad compound just two weeks earlier before the attack, there could be some semblance of belief that he sneaked in without anyone knowing about it. The problem is this – the US has been watching his place for over a year. Bin Laden had 16 children in that compound. For how long these children could have stayed inside the compound doing nothing and not venturing outside. Children would go insane. They would have had illness, infection and what not, which would have required medical attention. Who was paying the utility bills? If the Americans can get curious about a compound that stood out in the neighborhood, how come no one in Pakistan’s famous intelligence unit did not sniff anything?

It is all window dressing. Pakistan’s inquiry committees are simply an eyewash. They will keep dancing around it until the next big news replaces the old one. Mumbai attack investigations have dissipated away. Most do not even remember it now. So Pakistan will run some fake investigation to kill time until the next issue arises.

The truth is out – Pakistan hid Bin Laden, Mullar Omar, Zawahiri and many prominent criminals hoping to wait out the Americans. That the Americans did not entirely rely on them and took their own action is the only surprise element here. They had underestimated the US and have believed that they are gullible. No matter how much they can hide the embarrassment of being caught red handed, the truth remains. Pakistan’s military and the ISI have been the foundation of global Islamic terrorism. They have only pretended to be working with the world. They know that the elements they have created have started hurting their own people. But they do not care. Their soldiers are expendable. Their people are expendable. They remain.

I’d like to see Mullah Omar hunted down the same way, without relying on Pakistan, inside Pakistan, again by the US. At that point, Pakistan will face its moment of truth.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

It is (truly) disappointing to see politicians, media people in the global community still taking Paks seriously. Pak army is a rogue terrorist entity. The sooner every one realizes this better for humanity. Paks conducting “enquiry” on any terrorist is tamasha- a ridiculus comedy.

PA/ISI’S use of terrorism as an instrument of negotiation does not stop with India, Afghanistan and USA.

PA/ISI unleash terror on civilian Paks to intimidate them and keep them under control. Like the recent suicide attack that killed 90 people.

In the minds of Kayani, Pasha and pak generals, the ordinary pak soldiers, and pak civilians are dispensable fodder in their megalomaniacal delusions.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

The following is a post by a Pakistani in a different blog verbatim:

FC recruits had dreams of a happy, peaceful, future in mind, when they were were blown to pieces after graduation

Whenever Pakistan’s military feels challenged, they instill fear among people by brutal attacks that assert the army’s power over shocked and devastated citizens. Exercise of strategic depth is not restricted to Afghanistan and India. The people of Pakistan have been blown into pieces by Pakistan’s military establishment to achieve the following advantage for Pakistan-army:

1)’Taliban are killing Pakistanis’. This impression may gain sympathy from the international community.

2)Such devastating attacks scare Pakistanis into surrender to army’s capability to kill and hurt at will. To Pakistanis feeling emboldened by recent embarrassment of military establishment- ‘beware’ is the message.

3)The US effort to hire and train Pukhtoons as Frontier Constabulary to defend against extremists-terrorists, is subverted.

4) It is an assertion that peace in Afghanistan cannot be achieved without Pakistan’s strategic superiority over the Government of Afghanistan. Their message: Afghanistan’s future government must be Pakistan army’s satellite.

At this point in the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s army would like to re-impose itself as the extortionist with A-bomb in the region, as US and NATO plan to leave. But their ambitions were thwarted and their ‘mighty impression’ tattered when US took out bin Laden. President Obama announced that similar actions against other high value targets will be undertaken despite Pakistan’s fuss over violation of sovereignty.

Pakistan’s military junta will:

1)Like to retain their proxies created for strategic depth.

2)They would like US and international aid to continue flowing into Pakistan by asserting their destructive capability in the region. Though the Parliament, subservient to the military establishment, postures anti-Americanism, but it is a ploy to defend terrorist proxies.

This war has entered a crucial stage. Murder of citizens in major cities, blowing up shrines and markets, is already being done. A large scale campaign of murders, explosions and pitched gun-battles could ensue in cities like Karachi to keep Pakistan brutally under the stranglehold of a blackmail and terror enterprise

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

How typically Pakistani. Instead of addressing the root problem (the presence of virtually every Jihadist outfit in the world in Pakistan), pretend to be the victim of another problem (violation of their sovereignty by the US…to get a terrorist).

Their effort at playing victim and deflecting blame, might work with India, but it won’t with the US. India has zero leverage on Pakistan. The US on the other hand, could simply delay aid for a few weeks and create some major headaches for Pakistan. Sure, Pakistan could retaliate and make life hard in Afghanista. But every time they throw a childish tantrum like that, it simply means the US is planning to play even more hardball, post-Afghanistan.

In reality, the Pakistanis can fume all they want. From the American perspective not much has changed (except that they have now have more intel on who’s helping AQ). Should they find Zawahiri or Mullah Omar tomorrow, you can bet that they won’t hesitate to go after them, even if it happens to be in downtown Karachi or Lahore.

Had the Pakistanis been trustworthy enough to pursue terrorists on their own, unilateral action by the Americans would not have been necessary. But other than talk for public consumption, everybody (even the Chinese) know how reliable the Pakistanis are really are when the rubber meets the road. And if they really are trustworthy and the just fouled up, then this whole episode demonstrates their incompetence. So either they can’t be trusted or they are incompetent. Either way, that only leaves one choice for anybody that wants to target terrorists finding refuge in Pakistan.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

Pakistan, its people alongwith its Armed Forces and intelligence services have given termendous sacrifices in the war on terror. Our great nation has been severely destablized due to foreign intervention, time to call it a day. No matter how far we go after terrorist groups, bring countless number of terrorists to justice, even then Pakistan will be pushed for more. Time to say enough is enough, foreign forces should leave Afghanistan, this war should stop so that Pakistan’s tribal areas can be stabilized.
The inquiries are a right step in correct direction, ordinary Pakistanis have the right to know the truth. Any more unilateral actions, any more betrayals and so-called ‘allies’ will loose all the trust of Pakistani nation. Time the US/NATO/ISAF own their falures, accept their defeat in Afghanistan and withdraw.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

The widely differing debriefs in Washington and Islamabad, regarding the aftermath of the Abbotabad raid, by themselves reveal how poles apart the two allies are at the moment.

The US is debating whether Pakistan was complicit and culpable, or was it merely incompetent. While in Pakistan the debate rages around violation of sovereignty.

Both ignoring the others concerns. Both going off on their own tangents without an iota of interaction and showing no desire to interact either..

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

I think damage control measures are being taken. US is trying to absolve the Pak military / government and the ISI saying that senior personnel were not involved in hiding Bin Laden. Truth might be otherwise. But they need to be practical at the same time. They need to get steady supply of goods through Pakistan to complete their mission in Afghanistan. Until they do that, they will have to curtail themselves from exposing the truth about Pakistan. As the war goes on, think tanks will begin to look at Pakistan’s nukes. I think this will become the next big agenda for the US and the world in general. Having seen the control rogue elements have inside Pakistan, anything is possible. So the US would probably like to stay longer in this region to diffuse Pakistan’s nukes. They have made huge investments in India that they’d want to protect. Sooner or later, one would find a dirty bomb unleashed by some militant group that can be traced back to Pakistan. In all it could be a CIA staged operation to justify action of removing nukes from Pakistan. So the war objective will shift towards defanging Pakistan. If Pakistan had acted responsibly as a nuclear power, none of these would be necessary. But guns in the hands of criminals is much more dangerous than those in the hands of civilians. If Pakistan cannot control its “rogue” elements, it means the rogue elements will begin to take over the system. And the nukes in the middle of all this is extremely dangerous to leave unattended. The next world war will happen in Pakistan and will be triggered by the “rogue” elements.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

This pak author contradicts all the chest thumping by umairpk at this site: tail.aspx?ID=48070&Cat=9

Darkness descends

Dr Muzaffar Iqbal
Friday, May 20, 2011

But regardless of that money – or rather because of that money – Pakistan’s defence has reached its lowest depths since independence: Pakistan cannot even have one single plane flying without some part of that plane remaining hostage to a functional dependency on the United States, may it be short term or long term; may it be in terms of the radar system it uses or its actual engine which makes it fly. And like the cat which taught all its tricks to the tiger except climbing a tree, the US holds the magic key to the very functionality of Pakistan’s entire military operation. One turn of that magic key and it can render Pakistan’s military completely dysfunctional and lands its helicopters in the heart of Pakistan’s military establishment and then shout so loudly that no one in the client state would have the courage to stand up and say: wait a minute, before we tell you how and why Osama was resting in that house in Abbottabad, can you explain how did you violate international law and enter our airspace?

All the so-called friend of Pakistan had to do before landing in Pakistan was to make a statement in Kabul, alleging that “disturbing evidence” has been found which reveal Pakistan’s involvement with the Taliban and Islamabad and Rawalpindi started to shake. Senator John Kerry’s brief stay in Islamabad must have been one of the most rewarding of his entire career: the entire Pakistani military and political establishment was lined up before hand to receive him and listen to the minimum set of new operative instructions and say: we believe and we obey.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Ok lets try not to get carried away on this tangent, calm down and stop speculating for a moment.

How do you discover the truth of what Bin Laden has been doing?

Put him on trial.

What we DO know is that, like the september 11 attacks, the US did NOT want an investigation on Bin Laden. They most definately did not want him captured alive.

I think the reasons for this are quite obvious.

What we also know is that the US deliberately lied about every single detail of the raid in Abbotabad, in what was definately a precisely timed, crafted and long anticipated assault.

Given this fact we can’t assume anything they’ve said in relation to the raid to be true and, in my opinion, anything the US has said about if and when it informed the Pakistani authorities.

Even the claim that the choppers flew across Pakistan from eastern Afghanistan is doubtful.

What we also know to be true is that the Pakistani Government is and long has been a close ally to Washington and does nothing meaningful, aside from talk, to discourage breaches of it’s national sovereignty.

Last week the Pakistani authorities were threatening to cut ties with the US military if they violated Pakistani sovereignty again. 3 days later the US did it again…

When one puts these facts together and remembers the partnership between the ISI and the CIA in training and funding Bin Laden in the beginning… as well as the fact that Pakistani citizens themselves are by nature very anti-american, speculation seems to turn sharply towards a very different conclusion than what we are hearing from those with louder voices.

I think what is going on is simple given the evidence.

How did the US manage to breach Pakistani airspace for so long undetected??

They didn’t.

The raid was conducted with the full knowledge of Pakistani intelligence authorities, was timed politically and strategically, and was intended to create headlines to this effect. It was also intended to be an assasination from the beginning.

Why are the Pakistani authorities outraged?

Because they have to be!

The political effects of addmitting collusion in an assasination on there home soil by the much hated United States would be devestating.

Especially when unpopular regimes, like the Pakistani one, are dropping like flies to uprisings all across the region…

Make no mistake about it, the truth to this story is completely different to is being discussed.

Don’t get caught up in the hysterical speculation.

That’s the intention of leaking a mass of contradicting information, the public gets so caught up bickering about stupid side issues that they miss the obvious facts.

Posted by brian-decree | Report as abusive

May I also point out that we have the rest of the Bin Laden family in custody…

What are they saying???

Posted by brian-decree | Report as abusive

You raise some interesting questions. Conspiracy theorists aka jihadi apologists are having a field day.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

One thing this whole episode should point out (but a lesson the Pakistanis will never learn) is how dysfunctional their defence policy and posture is.

The focus on India has led to a thoroughly screwed up military organizational structure…that’s not even appropriate to fight India!

Consider these points:

1) PA officers are not promoted and rewarded in their career for fighting in the FATA as they are for time at tank regiments on the border with India.

2) A nation that’s utterly dependent on its sea lines of communication (SLOCs) for trade (because it can’t or won’t trade with the majority of its neighbours) and sustenance during war time, spends the least on its Navy (of all 3 services). Considering their worry about India cutting off its SLOCs, it’s astonishing that the PN does not field any sort of light aircraft carrier for sea control.

3) They are so enamoured with fighting WWII style armoured battles on the plains of Punjab that they actually spend more on the Army than the Air Force. This underspending is exactly why the PAF does not have enough radar coverage along its Western border or an integrated airspace management and air defence network. The Army focus is exactly why there is no unified airspace management authority in Pakistan which would allow immediate identification of any intrusion if detected.

4) They seem to assume that the Indians also have similar delusions of fighting huge tank battles. They don’t. The Indians have been smart to learn from the past and adapt to technological change. The IAF and IN may have their shortcomings, but the Indians certainly given them a fair hearing. It used to be that the PAF was technologically superior and numerically smaller than the IAF. Today, even that’s not true. By most reasonable assessments, the PAF would be destroyed within a week or two of any conflict with India. And that’s assuming they PN can keep the SLOCs open to get spares to keep the PAF flying for that long or if the lack of any serious information warfare abilities somehow escapes the attention of the enemy and the networks all stay up. But hey, the PA might still get its dream of going down in a blaze of glory in the deserts of Rajasthan!

5) Kashmir? Ha! That’s an after-thought for the PA. Nothing in their command structure notes any concern for combat in Kashmir. They’ll leave that to the insurgents.

These are conclusions of somebody who isn’t even in South Asia. One can only imagine what the Indians and Iranians have learned and understood about Pakistan’s defences. They’re probably pissed that the Americans exposed these shortcomings for the Pakistanis to learn from! Thankfully (for them), you can count on the Pakistanis to learn nothing from their mistakes. You see it wasn’t the Pakistanis that failed. It was all a HinJew-Christian-Buddhist, Indo-American-British-White guy conspiracy to steal Pakistan’s nukes! And that Bin Laden was dead ten years ago. The Americans just got his half-cousin, twice removed. And the wife of OBL? She’s obviously delusional to think some US military guys killed her husband.

Any real review should come to the earth-shattering conclusion that Pakistan’s Army-centric (and particularly armour/infantry-centric) defence posture is inappropriate for the defence and security of Pakistan. It would conclude that more priority needs to given to the PAF and the PN and that the Army needs to de-emphasize armoured operations along the Eastern border and develop strong infantry-centric and special operations focused capabilities for the mountainous Hindu Kush. That’s how they would eliminate terrorism and be able to better protect their country.

Any bets on whether any of these four probes will reach any conclusion close to what I’ve laid out above?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive


Being a student of Defence and strategic studies overseas, you need to first understand the regional dynamics of South Asia before you make judegemnts or establish opinions. I bet the strategists in National Defence University Islamabad or Command and Staff Quetta are not that stupid.
For all the crap above, the answer is simple, both Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy has considerably invested in fighter planes,IL-76 mid-air refueling tankers, AWACs radars from Sweden, submarines etc. The betrayals by allies meant Pakistan could not buy sophisticated AWACS like those Phalcons Israel sold to India. Also while India was a candidate to purchase FA-18 hornets, Eurofighter Typhoons, JAS-39 Gripen etc Pakistan on the contrary could not even acquire spares for F-16s.
Pakistan Army being responsible for defence of homeland has a bigger role and PAF and PN support it. All you are advocating here for Pakistan is to change its defence posture and move towards more counter-insurgency focus. Sure insurgents, terrorists groups are an internal threat, but Taliban do not have an Air Force with SU-27 and SU-30s, nor do they have MBTs main battle tanks, armoured divisions facing the border or aircraft carriers positioned in the Indian ocean. India’s threat perception, its capability and intention determines the strategic calculus and thus defence posture of Pakistan;s security posture. A good start would be to ask India to move the bulk of its Army away from International border with Pakistan first.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Just forgot to mention the military exercise HIGHMARK 2010 with all three services of Pakistan Armed Forces participated. That tells more about the command and control, coordination, and structure of PA in defence of Pakistan in case of conflict. wE

PAF firepower demonstration HighMark 2010

I do not agree PAF could be destroyed within a week or two in case of war with India, rather if it could hold out and put up a fight in the meantime SPD-strategic plans division deploys TNWs Tactical Nuclear Weapons it would be Indians begging for a ceasefire within no time. Pakistan Army’s strategy of “offensive defence” is one such effort to show combat preparation, willingness to use conventional force, greater resolve, superior tactics, mobility and pre-emption to deter agression from India in first place. because a conflict with India will bring mutually assured destruction.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

I’m sure they’ll get four different findings and conclusions and end up just as confused as ever. It’s all a cynical CYA exercise and a big waste of time. Paks are liars from the word go and nothing they say will have an effect on the average American except to reinforce an irresistible desire to terminate all foreign aid ASAP.

Posted by kolea | Report as abusive

“The betrayals by allies meant Pakistan could not buy sophisticated AWACS like those Phalcons Israel sold to India. Also while India was a candidate to purchase FA-18 hornets, Eurofighter Typhoons, JAS-39 Gripen etc Pakistan on the contrary could not even acquire spares for F-16s.” Umairpk

What has allies got to do with arms purchases? You show them the cash you buy it. When one borrows or gets aid and uses that aid to ‘buy’ warplanes the donor can lay restrictions. So do what India does, buy it internationally in the open market, there are other countries in the world besides the USA. Why continue with breast beating and lay the blame on a litany of ‘betrayals by allies’?

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

We are forgetting a serious villain here. Pakistan is merely a pawn. China has been behind all ills in the region. They have done all the wrong things, illegally and have cleverly hid themselves from all the smear campaign. Pakistan will not be such a rogue nuclear power without China’s steady help. See this article: rbu/who-created-pakistans-nuc_b_864124.h tml

Another post Soviet bipolar world is emerging: China and its string of rotten pearls and the rest of the world. The world has to look for alternate manufacturing hubs, and reduce its reliance on China. Otherwise they are going to choke the world with economic clout, manufacturing muscle and a bunch of rogue states and armies like Pakistan, North Korea, armed with nukes. We have to look at the larger picture.

Posted by KPSingh | Report as abusive

The tragedy of Islamic extremism continues to grow. I believe that most of the citizens of Islamic Republics around the world merely wish to have the basic human rights they see others in the West enjoying. They are victims of history, and their anguish goes ignored. But exactly what can be done by outsiders to correct decades of neglect and rot from within? As I said, this is a tragedy, an inexorable march toward disaster with no solution.

That said, what these citizens seem unable to understand is that the sheltering of Osama Bin Laden, who was actively planning more attacks on US soil, is itself an act of war against the United States. The ISI sponsored Mumbai attacks were an act of war against India. Complaints about “illegal breaches of national sovereignty” don’t just fall on deaf ears, they convince the countries who have suffered from these terrorists that Pakistan itself is an enemy.

A majority of Germans either opposed Hitler or ignored him until it was too late. Pakistan is fast approaching, or has already passed, this same milestone. Just as many decent ordinary Germans were forced to suffer for the sins of the extremists who took over their country, the ordinary Pakistanis will be the ones to pay the heaviest price for the escalation of hostilities, which seems inevitable now.

The difference between 1939 and 2011 is nuclear weapons, of which Pakistan produces approximately 20 new ones a year. If a nuclear terrorist attack occurs, and the evidence leads to Pakistan, the fate of 180 million (mostly) innocent people will be sealed. This would be a tragedy for all humankind. Global civilization itself could fall.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Pakistanis should be happy that thus far it is only their pride which has been injured.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


Your statements, declaring Pakistan an enemy and threats to a 180 million strong nation means nothing. Pakistan has given many sacrifices in war against terrorism shows Pakistan is not an enemy. If anyone would escalate, this nation oif pakistan knows how to retaliate, we have bore the brunt, face the terrorists daily and will decimate them. No internal or external enemy will hold out against the resolve of a strong nation, either they get decimated or they would have to surrender. there is no second options so keep your threats to yourself.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive


I have made no threats. Read my post carefully. I consider any escalation to be not only a tragedy for Pakistan, but for all humans everywhere. I deeply sympathize with the majority of innocent Pakistanis who are suffering through a civil war. As you say, Pakistan has made many sacrifices. Too many. And it continues to make more every day.

Your comment illustrates the problem as I have outlined it. You say no internal or external enemy will hold out against the resolve of a strong nation. Polls show about half of Pakistanis are mourning the death of Bin Laden. Wikileaks cables detail that your own generals have reported that your pilots often sabotage their aircraft rather than run missions against the Taliban. Osama Bin Laden lived for six years in an affluent suburb of your capital city. Elements of the ISI are directly implicated in the Mumbai attacks.

Your internal enemies have infiltrated every sector of your society and government. Your external enemies fled Afghanistan and operate freely in Waziristan. Your population centers are under constant siege by terrorists. Your people have been subjected to brutal repression and corruption and in return they have been fed only hatred for India and an increasingly extremist conservative brand of Islam that was imported by foreign Wahhabbis.

My country too is being attacked by conservative ideologues from within. My country too is being attacked by foreign Islamic extremists from without. I am ashamed of the corrupt and inept performance of Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney. I accept that US policies during and after the Cold War helped to weaken Pakistan’s civil society over the past sixty years. But the question remains, where do we go from here? Do we allow our enemies a safe haven while they plot our violent deaths? 9/11 was the biggest violation of American sovereignty since Pearl Harbor. Bin Laden was actively planning another attack for the anniversary in September. Should we have let him continue out of fear of hurting your pride?

You see, real strength in a nation begins with the ability to honestly assess and criticize ones own failures. Your comments are patriotic and nationalistic, but they are not honest. That’s ok. I don’t need you to be honest with me. It doesn’t matter what I think. The whole planet is relying on you to be honest with yourselves. That is our only hope.

You are correct about one thing, there are no second options.

We’re all in this together.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


You claim my comments are not honest? elobrate please.

For rest of the crap, take it easy. Pakistan Military and government is not in bed with the terrorists. And how do you claim OBL was actively plotting attacks against US? How do you claim half of people in Pakistan mourning OBL? What is the credibility of so-called “polls” you refer to? Above all who brought OBL to AFGHANISTAN TO FIGHT sOVIETS?

Today Pakistan’s weak civil society is raising its voice and standing up to the security establishment to change its strategic calculus? See the difference, it is US which has always supported dictators in place of democratic governments. After all, US foreign policy goals are attained at the expense of blood of innocent civilians abroad. Isn’t taht what they did with Pakistan?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

You seem to have some misconceptions about PA//ISI role in sponsoring terrorism. They are not collaborators, LeT is the jihadi terrorist wing of PakistanArmy.servig and retired Pam army men train , plot terrorist attacks. Your suggestions are
Misleading on this front.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Umairpk: got you to admit your “strong nation” has a weak civil society at least. That’s a start. As for the mourning of OBLs death:

>>A group of Pakistani politicians including a former minister hijacked proceedings in parliament to offer prayers for the death of Osama bin Laden, little more than a week after he was killed in a US Navy Seal raid.>support for the al Qaeda leader had fallen in Pakistan from 52 percent in 2005 to 18 percent in 2010 (the final numbers for Pakistan had not been calculated for this year at the time of the report). And 18 percent of a country of 187 million people is over 33 million.

That bin Laden took so long to find and ultimately kill is not as puzzling when it is understood that millions agreed with his policies and actions and millions more still do not believe that his policies and actions were enough to warrant his killing.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

My post was truncated and I must go to work now. Whether the ISI or the Army funded Let, or what the exact poll numbers were and when, these are details which do not change the argument. Yes the US backed the mujahadeen, we also backed Saddam against Iran. We allied with lots of undemocratic tyrants in fighting USSR expansionism during the Cold War. We became the “world’s cop” after WW1, WW2, and Stalin finally convinced us to shake off our isolationism. Most Americans would LOVE to turn off the lights and bring every soldier home. We just have seen that movie, and it has a bad ending. One can’t just turn one’s back on those who would kill one, right?

The question is not whether the Islamist jihadists have infiltrated Pakistan’s military/ISI. It is how much and how far up the chain of command. We understand (most of us) that you are in a civil war, and that you are suffering and dying. We want to help those who oppose those among you who would purposely target mass civilians. We are just very very confused as to who is who, and your lack of honesty with yourselves about the abundant evidence is the source of our confusion.

Umairpk, it sounds to me like you are not sympathizing with the terrorists. It sounds to me like we both want a secure and democratic Pakistan.

I understand your frustrations with US policy. I agree with many of the complaints you have. Why can’t you understand our frustration after our deadliest enemy is found sheltering almost in the open in Abbottabad?

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

One last thing, the reason I claim OBL was actively plotting new attacks is because HE CLAIMED TO BE DOING SO. Refer to his many, many press releases if you are unable to believe the evidence obtained at his compound.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

I would not take the lone Arizona wolf seriously. It is very hot over there, most people do strange things, or, have we forgotten the guy who shot in cold blood the congresswoman and man others at a political rally. Mr Obama said something of the sort that the (Arizona) americans need to have their heads examined.
We are witnessing new America not of ww1 or ww2. The American power is now restricted to special night operations and cheating on allies. During a very short period The super power America has been degraded to one of the world powers sharing with China and other nuclear armed world powers. Pakistan army were involved in the entire operation with the exception of the actual raid, ISI was outsmarted. ISI saw the helicopters crossing as well, stealth choppers can be seen with naked eyes!
Because of military operations in the Pashtoon land in recent times, Pakistan military have now created enemies within and this is very dangerous. Pakistan leaders have to set their prioraties.National interests are guaranteed only wen the national security is in tact, not the other way around. I am not aPakistani citizen andbelieve that Pakistan military had no knowledge of Mr Osama. The story we have been told of his death is not serious either, no body and no photo or dna. This is for the birds. The yanks are expert in spins second only tothe Brits, not in any way Pakistanis. Eventualy the US Congress will have no choice but to impeach the President for the power he granted himself for ordering to kill and hide evidence, without a trial. No one in the USAis supposed to be above the law. Th USA congress is slow but not impotent to safguard the inegrity of the Nation by a kenyan immigrant’s son. Right now they are enjoying the feeling that the enemy was caught and killed by the military. They tried to impeach Bill clinton, simply because he could not keep his tail in between his legs and then lying and the cover up. I guess the current cia was th chief of the white house? Mr Obama with lmost same clintonians has definitely committed a crime against an unarmed person claiming that he was the dangerous Osama, who was wanted by George W.
Mr Arizona next door neighbours call the Americans Gringos and in Europe tzhey are no longer well seen in talk shows. In fact for the first time we the Europeans are realizing that today’s America do no longer share the western values? The dignity of a human is not violable and even imbedded in German constitution. In the USA the third largest numer of employees are seen looing after the criminals and maintaining the Prison system. The IMF chief was recently arrested in ny at the complaint of a hotel maid for attempted rape and where people in europe are considered innocents, until found guilty in a trial, in the USA prosecution handles the suspect from day one as a criminal, and makes no attempt to find the truth. For the french it was equivalent to sept. 11 attack on the dignity of a person who in all probability was heading towads becoming the next president of France.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Americans should stop providing cover to pakistan army’s terrorist activities.

One hopes the Chicago trial would fully expose PA/ISI involvement in terrorism all the way to Kayani and Pasha. 1/05/20/lashkar_e_taiba_mumbai_and_the_i si

Lashkar-e-Taiba, Mumbai, and the ISI
By Stephen Tankel, May 20, 2011

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Rex Minor

We believe only what we are capable of accepting. Your limitations are obvious to anyone.

“The yanks are expert in spins second only tothe Brits”

I’m guessing you’re an Iranian, probably at least middle-aged. I could be wrong of course but such reverence/paranoia for the British is an artifact of a time in history which ended 70 years ago, and which survives mainly in Iranians of a certain age.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

This will be my last post. I’ve wasted too much time already talking to people who lack the ability to concede any point. No one is right all the time, I have admitted many wrongs, but somehow Pakistan is pure and uncomplicated and a shining example of democracy in action. Yeah, right.

I just want to let you know that I do not hate Muslims; I do not hate Pakistanis; I do not hate Middle Easterners. In fact, although I’m neither Muslim nor Middle Eastern many people in my life are and I love them.

That is the only reason I have taken to the internet to express my feelings and thoughts. I wish for peace for us all.


Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


Sen Turk?

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

I’ve wasted too much time already talking to people who lack the ability to concede any point.
Posted by BajaArizona

You are giving up way too soon!! I enjoyed reading your posts, hang around and keep posting.

Especially you shouldn’t get frustrated by jihadi cowards, living on western dole somewhere! I am not referring to Umairpk.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@Mr Arizona
I have not noticd any substance in your post, similar to many Sikh Indians,who are propagandists and on a daily basis squirt out venom against pakistan with references from the trash they read in daily papers. We are interested in the Pakistan blg to learn about the views of Pakistani citizens and not of Indians or americans. The American empire is crumbling like all empires do after a period and mostly due to their own doing. Pakistani citizens are also suffering not because of others fault but fault of their own Govt. which by any standard is not a democratic one. Americans are not homogenius people and are made up from varius people of the world. You cannot be against muslims, since the father of your President was a muslim.
whether you are an Indian or from africa or United Kingdom, you are definitely not from central europe who do no longer favour American values for humans any longer. Tony Blair and George W were the spin masters of the century, and not seventy years ago. I have nothing against Iranians whose Govt straightforwardly do not want to have diplomatic relations with the USA. What have you against Iranians? Three afro american came up the ladder in recent times, all of them have proven to be zeroes and let the afro american community down who waited so long for parity with the whites. Collin powel who lied before the world body, Condi Rice who proved to be a disaster in diplomacy and ofcourse the incumbent President who is not more than an imposter and is trying t prove that what george w did, he could do it more professionaly.

Now what was it which was botering you about Pakistan?

rex minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Thanks for the encouragement netizen, but after pounding away furiously at my keyboard for a few years after 9/11, I realized that all I was doing was ruining my marriage and any sense of peace of mind. The internet brings out the worst in us sometimes, making it easy to deny each other’s humanity. Based on their views, I bet I would have no problem getting along with either rex or umairpk in person. I think we share the same values of peace and human dignity, but look how little progress we are able to make in finding any common ground.

I believe(!) that we humans believe what we believe based mainly on emotional reasoning, not deductive logic. We are bombarded with far too much information to process, so our brains give us neat little narratives sewn together from all the random pieces. Brain science has proven this over and over. Refer to the actions of the lower limbic during dreaming and in the processing of visual images for examples of this. Also refer to a study done during 2004 US presidential elections on the brains of committed partisans both Left and Right. When each person was given factual proof of their candidate contradicting themselves, they experienced a tumult of activity in their emotional reasoning centers only…the logical reasoning areas remained inactive. Then, when they were able to formulate a rationale for the contradiction, researches witnessed the emotional activity cease and a spike of activity in the pleasure center. So, when we are able to reject facts that fly in the face of our beliefs, we are actually rewarded with a “bump” of pleasure. I pretty much abandoned arguing against people’s beliefs at that point. Events have recently sucked me back in, but I need to stop now. I’m not likely to convince anyone and all I’m doing is riling up people I would probably like if I met them anyway.

Ok, this is really truly finally goodbye…Peace be with us all!

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


Let us not loose hope, everyone in the world have basic human rights, be it American or Pakistani everyone deserves peace, dignity and freedom. I am sure the human spirit is strong enough to overcome these issues, America was attacked on 9-11 and came back much stronger. Pakistan too is under attack and we are in the middle of war, but we will come out of it.

I agree your statement is true, military ops in Tribal region means Pakistan’s military have made enemies. What is the solution? can you please suggest yopur views? Can we do a peace deal and hope that those who do not hesitate to blow up other people will mend their ways and come clean? What are Pakistan’s options? either we hit them hard or we make peace with them? Let me also tell you here the military helicopters dropped leaflets (message on papers) to tribal people letting them know they are patriotic Pakistanis and have no enmity with Army. Only the criminal elements holed up there were the target in military ops. The fallout? attacks on Pakistani cities? What is the way out?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Thank you Umairpk. You have given me hope despite my gloomy outlook. Inshallah you and your family will be safe and see the end of this war someday. I’m deeply sorry for your suffering and the suffering of your country.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

The solutions are very simple, but difficult to implement. This is due to what we call here “Denk fehler”. The error in thinking, or perhaps misconception. you mentioned that there are criminals holed up there and I would say that there are no criminals among the tribes! The tribal system does not support criminal elements.The tribes live in the autonomous domain and Pakistan military has no jurisdiction over them. Their securiy system is a unique one, not allowing foreign elements in their territory without permission. When I say foreign, I mean any one who does not speak their language and the dialect. In other words a certain waziri subtribe would not permit any one from another waziri subtribe into their territory. Did you follow it? Ofcourse not, I do’nt either. Mr karzai cannot walk into its neighbouring tribe without permission. These no go areas are their stregnth and makes them invincible. Pakistan military tried to penetrate with force but they are no match for them. What the first military chief started in sixties was sez back by the last Indian born indian born Musharaf.

After Pakistan military intrusion in Swat I have postedon other blogs that Pakistan military has now taken on an opponent who would create havoc in cities and towns of pakistan. You could read the British experience in Warburton’s book, or in Arthur swinson book, North West Frontier 1839-1947. Like the Italian Mafia, they take revenge for every single casualty by the enemy.

You are talking about the group of tribes which are estimated around fourty to fifty million people, the largest in the world, and live in a territory of over 250,000 sq miles starting from Dir in the north, the triangular territory runs along the indus to dera Ismail khan o Queta, Pishin, chaman and Qandhar and then extends to Herat.

The tribesm are a source of stregnth for the integrity of Pakistan and pakistan military has bungled up. Has it never occured to you the reason of Indian bloggers encouragement for Pakistan military. In 1948 the tribal force at the request of Pakistan Govt ran over the entire Kashmir territory in less than seventy two hours, whereas, Pakistan military was not even prepared to move in and administer the territory after maharaja escaped.

Until the reality is realised by the Pakistan establishment, it took Russians to take years and the american Govt a decade, that the tribesmen are straightforward simple folk who love their freedom and independence as other folks of the world, the unrest and security lapse within Pakistan is not going to relax. War is the terror, was the poster being sisplayed after the attack.

Rex Minor

PS Like we say here, it is what it is, there is nothing we can do about it.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

ISI is seriously tasting it’s own bitter medicine. There is another attack on police station, Taliban has stress targeting security forces specifically.Paks heavily financed and instructed terrorists to heavily target Indian military cantonments. Police in Kashhmir and Punjab.

Ilyas Kashmiri is replaying ISI instruction manual to Pasha. If they follow the trajectory tried by ISI in Kashmir, next step will be targeting of families, wives and children of Pak military.

ISI loved killing of young children and wives of Indian soldiers at their family quarters.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive


Your propaganda and spewing venom against ISI is useless and serves no purpose. So please give it a rest and stop the lies, ISI is a thoroughly disciplined organization reporting to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, it is Pakistan’s first line of defence tasked to identify and eliminate threats to national security. It is a secret service like any other, CIA, RAW, Mossad, MI6 or KGB. Nothing special about ISI.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“ISI is a thoroughly disciplined organization reporting to Pakistan’s Prime Minister”

–Posted by Umairpk

I bow to your sense of humor

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive


“Nothing special about ISI.”

But I thought they were the best in the world and were besting the CIA, etc.

So are they best or are they nothing special? Which is it?

Seems to me like your assessment of their capabilities is quite situational.

Netizen is not wrong in saying that the ISI is now reaping what it’s sowing. It’s quite well known that the ISI trained these jihadists. And their record on targetting civilians (not just in India by the way) is also well known. The ISI, perhaps, hoped to demoralize Indian security forces by targetting their families. Now the jihadists have decided to run that play on their Pakistani handlers.

Don’t get defensive. Some things are simply fact.

As for the ISI reporting to Pakistan’s Prime Minister…..Hahahaha. The rest of us are wondering if they even report to Kayani!

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

Your propaganda and spewing venom
Posted by Umairpk

You mean like the “propaganda” you were angrily denying until 3 weeks ago that OBL is not in Pakistan ? ;-)

If the terrorists trained by ISI follow the instruction manual of ISI next step would be some thing like this: ational/asia/15INDI.html?pagewanted=all

In the attack today, which took place at Kaluchak, on the outskirts of Jammu, Kashmir’s capital, the gunmen first opened fire on a busload of people, killing seven. They then dashed into the family quarters of an army camp, killing 23 more people, including 10 children, most of them 7 to 10, the police said. The assailants were killed by soldiers in an hourslong siege.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Pakistan can have its state of the art fighter planes, reconnaissance crafts, bunkers, missiles, nukes and what not. But none of them will matter to the militants who are Pakistanis themselves and have no accountability. And rogue elements inside the so called “professional” ISI and the military are providing the necessary information for these militant groups to go after specific targets and wreak havoc. They are attacking the Pak military because they were betrayed by it by siding with the US in this famous war on terror. They too seem to be victims of duplicity by Pakistan’s military. Unlike the US, they are doing it in their own violent way. While Pakistan is being burnt from within, some of these morons are talking about India’s imagined offensive and tactical strategies on countering it.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive


“It’s quite well known that the ISI trained these jihadists”

-Don’t forget that it was the honourable highness CIA that “ARMED and FUNDED” the “jihadis” a.k.a Mujahideen. This deadly game was played in collusion with the CIA. Director William Casey flew directly from Langley Virginia to Chaklala Airbase with a US mid-air refueler tanker suppying fuel over Europe. The secret war was planned behind closed door meetings between William Casey and Gen. Akhtar then DG ISI.

“As for the ISI reporting to Pakistan’s Prime Minister…..Hahahaha. The rest of us are wondering if they even report to Kayani!”

-You are correct, no one really knows the S-Wing (Secret wing) and R-Wing (Operations wing) of the ISI, these are some of the deep cover units.
It is you who conveniently overlook the facts, what about Natl. security advisor Zibignew Brezinski addressing Mujahideen over Khyber pass telling them God is on their side. WOWWW!!!! American preaching JIHAD???? and Charlie Wilson’s war, the congressman got stingers for the Mujahideen. And Jalaludin Haqqani invited to Reagen whitehouse, does it get anymore ironic? No wonder ISI is what it is, and CIA is what it is suppose to be and both will continue to be so.

“Some things are simply fact.”

-Yes, I gues not some but quite a few things are simplay FACTS, biggest of them is CIA ran a clandestine war “Operation Cyclone” to fund, arm, train insurgents against Soviet Union in Afghanistan back in 1980s. All the rest are secondary problems. ISI became a state within a state only after it was used by CIA, no why complain?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive


Wikileaks cables back in 2008 show Ambassador Patterson in Islamabad qouting a US Army colonel attending Natl. Defence University course in Islamabad. The word is a new generation of Pakistani military officers have now become hostile to America. Pakistan was subjected to sanctions, F-16s withheld, no officer training in US, in 1990′s mistrust started, After Soviet occupation ended in Afghanistan US left the region.

Come on take the challenge, what will be the policy now? Pakistan= doubole game? You take a side, either isolate Pakistan or continue to engage???? which side you are on?

Pakistan, in the meantime has already turned to China, offering a Naval base too and just got a bunch of 50 JF-17s as well.

China’s masterclass in schmoozing Pakistan 8701-11e0-92df-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1NQ I4oXxR

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive


Let me rather suggest something better:

The world’s most dangerous border

To reduce the risk of terror, the West must help defuse tension between India and Pakistan tory_id=18712525&CFID=171102330&CFTOKEN= 47596558

A rivalry that threatens the world

Pakistan’s dangerous fondness for jihadis, the Taliban and nuclear weapons is rooted in its fears of India

Ok, so now the west does not have leverage on India. It can offer India civil nuclear sophisticated technology, it can pressure and arm-twist Pakistan. But India is growing power and have become untouchable?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umair: “The world’s most dangerous border

To reduce the risk of terror, the West must help defuse tension between India and Pakistan”

The border is dangerous because Pakistan has waged four wars. It has dug underground tunnels to reach into India. It has been belligerent and hostile. India’s military is there to protect its borders from any outside aggression. India has never attacked Pakistan. It has always been Pakistan initiated. Do the math. If you want tension to diffuse, change your stance and attitude. When Pakistan was formed, a fear psychosis was developed about India gobbling up Pakistan as it did not accept the two nation theory. It has been 6 decades. No one wants Pakistan. You are nuclear armed and have said many times that you will use the nukes in times of any war. India has not retaliated after your country went nuclear. Why would India be a threat anymore? Isn’t your lie obvious? You have said yourself that Indians do not have the balls to attack Pakistan. Then why worry about Indians at the border? Your country has more nukes than Britain now. So who is threatening whom? Who staged a Mumbai attack? Did India stage one? If you want tension to diffuse, stop throwing stones at your neighbor’s window first. Blaming them for defending themselves does not make sense.

“A rivalry that threatens the world”

Why should Pakistan, which is six times smaller than India, many times poorer, has to consider itself as an equal and a rival at that? Does Pakistan equate itself with China? India is considered as a rival to China? Where does Pakistan come from? Will you feel insulted if you are called a rival of Afghanistan?

“Pakistan’s dangerous fondness for jihadis, the Taliban and nuclear weapons is rooted in its fears of India”

It should be the other way around. Pakistan has gone insane and has armed itself with nukes, Jihadis and the Taliban. It has staged several terrorist strikes inside India, Mumbai attacks being the latest one. Shouldn’t India be the one worried and arm itself to the teeth? India is not doing any of that. It is building its economy instead. Pakistan dropped economic objective and stands naked with a gun on its hand.

This fear of India BS is getting stale. If this does not work, you guys bring the Kashmir issue or Gujerat or Indus water treaty. If nothing pans out, the India’s engagement in East Pakistan. When are you going to stop blaming others for your own mental sickness? Everything Pakistan does because of others. The problem is this – no one is buying this nonsense other than Pakistanis.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Arre Umairbhai,

How can the west defuse tension? India and Pakistan are trying and maybe not doing too well. To go into the reasons would take a whole book. Unless attitudes change, the west, chinese and russians put together will make no impression.

In fact, not wanting to labour the point but don’t you think both sides should want to clap? Besides all the problems of terrorsim do not hinge on the India and Pakistan relationship. That is a nice handle to hang on but thats all it is. I know he isnt very popular with you these days, but did you hear Obama’s comments on Pakistan’s obsession recently and how pointless it is.

Neither Afghanistan or the problem of terrorism will get sorted if and when India Pak relations become normal. That is a no brainer. Its just a convenient excuse and a never ending point of discussion to be held for the benefit of others.

I think we need to, at least now, be able to call a spade a spade and not shadow box around the centrality of terrorism and its nuisance to every country in the world. Those who nurture it are the biggest sufferers. So lets stop these endless and repetitious mind games. They no longer fool anybody.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive


I’m not going to get into a deep discussion here. Quite frankly, you are not equipped for it.

I’ve made my points above about the institutional flaws in the Pakistani armed forces. Those views are actually shared by many Pakistani military personnel.

You can spew on randomness about aircraft systems and fighters and nukes. That’s brainless trash. Not defence policy and certainly not military doctrine.

Wars are fought by professionals who follow rules. Believe it or not, even Indian and Pakistani military officers on courses abroad get along quite well. They are professionals and can readily find common ground (which their less intelligent countrymen often cannot).

The points I have made above have nothing to do with specific systems being fielded. The arms race will always go on. What I am talking about are fundamental institutional flaws that severely impact the defence of Pakistan.

What do you think the impact is, of not promoting officers who fight in the FATA, or sending out Jawans and Frontier Corpsmen without flak vests and only sandals and WWII era rifles, while diverting US military aid to buy F-16s for the Indian border (yet, ironically, still spending too little on the PAF). Don’t believe me? Ask any PA officer, what is more rewarding career-wise: combat experience in the FATA or sun-bathing in Punjab along the Indian border.

You obviously don’t get the concept of opportunity cost. I’m not saying the Pakistani armed forces should ignore the Indian threat. I’m saying their policies are so screwed up they could not defend against India if they want to….let alone manage other threats. Choosing an Army-centric defence policy, means there isn’t enough money to field a modern air force or a potent Navy. It means Pakistan is actively choosing not to defend its SLOCs in any major conflict with India. Nobody is saying you have to field a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. And nobody is saying you have to field stealth bombers. But to not have a networked airspace management system and to not field a light aircraft carrier (like the Thai one), with 10-20 aircraft is a major flaw. If the Indians were smart, they would simply send the IAF out over the Arabian sea and then swing in, right past the border defences. After all, we now know that the PAF doesn’t really bother watching the Afghan border areas anyway. See what I mean?

And let’s not minimize those other threats. If Pakistan keeps ignoring those other threats, they’ll become another North Korea after the US leaves Afghanistan and the aid money dries up. You may have no problem with it. But I sincerely doubt that most Pakistani have North Korea as their ambition. Certainly, no Pakistani I’ve ever met thinks that the way to go.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

As for the anti-western/anti-US turn of the military….

Personally, it’s something I’ve long been worried about. And certainly, analysts around the world are worried about it.

In the past, most Pakistani military officers got at least a course or two in the UK or the US, and more rarely in Canada and Australia. These courses provided exposure to the West, our politics, our value systems, our culture (the real kind…not the media showcase), etc. They helped to diffuse the ridiculous conspiracy theories that abound, they helped Pakmil officers understand the real interests that the West had in Pakistan and helped developed life long contacts. Heck, quite often, these courses also provided exposure to Indian officers too, providing some hope that this could be a foundation on which to build in a generation.

With the ’90s sanctions, training was reduced (or basically cut-off) and young Pakistani officers were left to stew in Pakistan. That’s what brings us to today.

I don’t think the anti-Western turn has to do with any thing concrete, in as much as it has to do with far less exposure to the West than young Pakistani officers used to receive.

But to blame the situation entirely on the West is unreasonable. You seem to forget why those sanctions were put in place to begin with. And you seem to forget why the Americans are still reluctant to do business today (Hint: might have something to do with Pakistan’s proliferation record).

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

History is refreshing but present is the reality. What we are witnessing is the second stage of Resistance. The so called talibans are going to move across the Indian border thereby encouraging Indian militry confrontation with Pakistan military. It was suspected that drones would compel tne Resistance to extend their area of operation in Pakistan cities first and later across the Indian border. Pakistan military would than be in the soup!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

About, the world reducing tensions with India….

With all due respect, I’m sick of hearing this. I’ve heard this screed from numerous Pakistani officials. When I was less experienced, I used to feel sympathetic. Now I see that line for what it really means, “Please convince the Indians to give us everything we want without any compromises on our part.”

I wouldn’t accept that kind of pressure on my country. Why would I believe that the Indians would accept that kind of pressure from us?

It’s as ridiculous as “Solve Kashmir,” which usually means, “Please ignore all aspects of the UNSCR and violations thereof, that pertain to Pakistan, tell the Indians to hand over Kashmir and leave. If you don’t do this, we’ll keep nurturing terrorists.”

Quite frankly, every Westerner knows what these lines mean nowadays. We just smile and nod because it’s the polite thing to do.

We are not responsible for Pakistan’s tension with India. Neither side is willing to follow the UNSCR completely (unless Pakistan has changed its position on completely withdrawing all its troops?). And quite frankly, it seems to me that there’s more intransigence from Pakistan than India (though it’s not politically correct to say that). The Indians are stubborn to be sure. But they have the UNSCR on their side. They aren’t obligated to do squat until every last Pakistani soldier and tribesmen has withdrawn from all of the former state Kashmir. So if Pakistan isn’t willing to do that, how do Pakistanis propose that the world pressure the Indians? What grounds do we have to do so? So at this point, there is nothing for the world to do. You guys figure it out.

What the world will not be held hostage to, however, is Pakistan’s coddling of Jihadists. Nobody in the West buys this whole, “We need Jihadists to fight India.” line. Lots of states have border conflicts. None of them have Jihad factories like Pakistan. There’s no excuse for Pakistan coddling terrorists. Even less so, when these apparently anti-India terrorists seek out every opportunity to attack Westerners, Jews, etc. both inside India and around the world. And if these terrorists are freedom fighters who are all about India, then what the hades are LeT operatives doing fighting NATO in Afghanistan? And what are they doing targetting a pregnant Jewish woman at Chabad house in Mumbai?

It’s quite clear to me that much of the Pakistan security policy making machine is now on auto-pilot. They aren’t willing to give up the Jihadists, because they are so used to having them around. They are simply comfortable wielding Jihad as an instrument of state policy. They certainly understand the threat the Jihadis pose to Pakistan. But the thought of giving them up is just unsettling to them now. So they continue on, in the hopes that the world will ignore them once the West leaves Afghanistan. What they don’t understand is that the West won’t stop hounding Pakistan as long as these groups are intent on attacking Westerners at home or elsewhere (often in India).

And the implicit threat that these Jihadists won’t go away until tensions with India are reduced, just comes across as crass blackmail to the rest of the world.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive


You’re obfuscating, is quite cowardly.

Are you seriously suggesting that the CIA is responsible for the ISI becoming a state within a state. So the PA routinely meddling in Pakistan’s democracy, regularly staging coup-d’etats, etc. had nothing to do with it?

And what about Pakistan’s gains from all that they CIA did? Perhaps Pakistanis would have been happier with a Soviet run Afghanistan, with half a million hostile Soviet troops next door. You Pakistanis have some short memories. If you think the Americans are hostile, you definitely don’t remember the actual threat the Soviets posed.

The Americans helped protect Pakistan from the Soviet Bear, and this is the gratitude they get? I certainly hope they’ve learned their lesson this time around. I mean really. Why bother? You can pump in billions in aid (which will be diverted), provide tons of technical assistance, and in the end Pakistanis will screw up their own institutions and blame you for it.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that even in the USA, the CIA follows the orders of the President their other legislative bodies. So what’s the excuse for the ISI?

And going back to defensive obfuscation, why don’t you man up and answer my question: whic is it? Is the ISI really powerful (in which case they were certainly hiding something vis-a-vis OBL) or they just incompetents who blow smoke to cover their six? Do try and show some testicular fortitude and offer up a direct answer…if you have it in you.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

KeithZ: “We are not responsible for Pakistan’s tension with India.”

Sorry for nit picking. Though Canada is not responsible for the issues in the rest of the world, Canada is part of the “Western world” dominated by US and UK which have burnt parts of the world in order to counter their opponents.

I have mentioned before about the creation of Pakistan itself as a part of the “Great Game”. The reason why Pakistan was not allowed to evolve into a normal, democratic nation is because public consensus always works against international diktats. People can vote a government out for allying with some international coalition for an unjust cause that is against the national interests. Dealing with autocrats and oligarchs is a lot easier. Public are sidelined and a single individual or a dominant system becomes a fulcrum for all leverage that is needed.

In this regard, the CIA has done a lot of damage to Pakistan by propping up its military and its generals. The entire sub-continent is a victim of the Great Game that was of prime importance to the British imperial government that was nearing its sunset. It did not know at that time that it did not have to worry about the Russian expansion. It became a worry for the next super power that replaced it. Pakistan was created to facilitate countering of Russian expansion into South Asia. An independent India, dominated by a socialistic, anti-Western Congress Party would have resulted in losing all that advantage. So the British found an opportunistic politician in Jinnah, who suddenly became a champion for Muslims in South Asia. If were alive today, he would have been publicly hanged by the Mullahs in Pakistan for eating pork, not praying and not being a Sunni Muslim. His death saved him.

Pakistanis (ordinary people) are victims of cold war geo-politics. The US began to court a willing Pakistani military for a foot hold in South Asia. India decided to try non-alignment and it was perceived as an anti-Western move by the Western countries.

From what I have read, the Soviet Union backed Communist government in Afghanistan was trying to provide education and jobs to women. The CIA triggered the tribal leaders into revolting against this change. Today the US is fighting the Taliban which believes in denying women rights and education. Cold war allowed for immoral and unethical moves that resulted in genocides, human rights violations and dictatorships in many parts of the world.

It was the US that figured out that radical Islam can be a potent weapon. Zia’s illegal government was looking for an opportunity to be accepted by the international community, come out of the pariah status, Islamize the nation and build the nukes. Both the US and Pakistan walked into each others’ well laid traps. The text books for children praising the virtues of radical Islam were edited and printed by the University of Nebraska. Money poured into Pakistan. The ISI was trained by the CIA in sabotage, insurgency, proxy wars, assassinations and what not. At that time, no one cared if people fell victims to these acts.

The Western powers turned a blind eye to India’s woes that resulted from the pampering of Pakistan’s military regime. Pakistan was allowed to smuggle nuclear secrets, materials and everything just so that Western objectives could be achieved. India faced the brunt of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. Thousands of people died in the cross fire between insurgents and Indian military.

From 1989 to 2001, India bore the brunt of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. No one cared. As soon as 9/11 happened, suddenly precious Western lives, their freedom, their rights etc became ultimate objectives. Human rights violations did not matter. Guantanamo bay interrogations were all right. But India was wrong at handling insurgents in Kashmir and elsewhere. We have been seeing this farce by Western nations and their citizens.

The US did not care if terrorists walked into Mumbai and massacred 160 odd people or not. It only mattered when 6 Americans and a few Jewish people were victimized in the bargain. This attitude towards children of a lesser God needs to change.

India-Pakistan problem is, to a large extent, created, supported and sustained by the Western nations for their own geo-strategic interests. India is being courted now because China has become huge, threatening Western dominance. Pakistan is being looked at critically because Westerners are affected. Terrorists are separated into those who affect Westerners, their rights etc and those who affect others.

Pakistan might be made up of lunatics, but it was the West that lit the fire on its head and threw kerosine on top of that. We are sitting next to this burning house and we are the ones ducking from the embers.

“Neither side is willing to follow the UNSCR completely (unless Pakistan has changed its position on completely withdrawing all its troops?).”

Kindly stop playing the judge here. Firstly Canada is far removed from all this. Pakistan has been turned into a maniacal nation by the Western powers. They have an obligation to clean up the mess that they have created in the region. It has begun to burn their own rear ends. We would like to be left alone and mind our own business.

“And quite frankly, it seems to me that there’s more intransigence from Pakistan than India (though it’s not politically correct to say that). The Indians are stubborn to be sure.”

So is everyone else. Imaging a conflict between Canada and the US on some resource issue. Understand how it would feel if we sit and tell you guys what to do.

I am not supporting Umair here. But the West has its ugly side that has affected any normal conditions from growing in this part of the world.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

From 1989 to 2001, India bore the brunt of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. No one cared.
Posted by KPSingh01
This has been repeatedly discussed here. All you will get is a hypocritical response that India was in the Soviet camp.

The role of West in creating the Terroristan monster as it is today is HUMONGOUS. Not to discount Canada’s role as a safe haven for sundry global terrorists.

It will be fun if Algerians start planting bombs in Montreal demanding separate Muslimistan out of Canada. Britain is already reaping what it sowed.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Sorry for the harsh comments. In the real world, India has to forget the past and work with US, Canada and UK to work together. Despite the buzz, lot of our people are still extremely poor and upliftment of them should be the primary goal. Not settling old scores, wars, etc.


Posted by netizen | Report as abusive


You have raised some important points, and let me just sum up. I agree with you that PAF and Pak Navy need to get more defence spending. Pak Army on the other hand has greatly increased its capacity to conduct COIN operations, recent assessments now say internal millitant threat has now surpassed that posed by India. There is greater resolve as evident by 2009/10 COIN ops in Swat and South Waziristan by Pak Army to conduct aggressive COIN ops. This should be a welcome sign, on the other hand a structured dialogue to resolve bilateral disputes with India will ensure less tension on eastern border and more focus on COIN ops by the Army. I agree the FC, Rangers, paramilitary should be properly equipped and border posts across Afghan border manned effectively and COIN ops should be upto the mark. And rest assured Pakmil is moving in that direction. But only this does not seem good:

Pakistan shuts down U.S. ‘intelligence fusion’ cells world/la-fg-us-pakistan-20110527,0,52786 34.story

While today Admiral Mike Mullen US CJS is in Islamabad, Pakistan and Secretary Clinton will be here too, a focus should be to provide greater opportunity for Pak Military officers to train in US on courses. Joint training for special forces, Air Force pilots, Naval officers. And certainly your idea of Navy and Air Force remaining onboard in defence strategy looks smart. I am aware already of Kargil issue, and an PAF Air Commodore wrote an article in which it raised the issue that PAF was only brought into action when the IAF was already flying sorties. PAF had to limit its role to patrolling the skies otherwise it could escalate the conflict in case there is a provocation with IAF. So I agree there exist some institutional flaws, here is where I think our allies can help us overcome them.
Having said that, I would state even Canada should boost defence cooperation with Pakistan military, including Australia, France, Germany, etc. True some of sanctions on Pakistan in past, the nuke proliferation are serious concerns and Pakistan should acceopt blame and work to eliminate fears in west.
With Pakistan all is not lost, Pakistan has been a staunch western ally, as far back as 1960s Gary Powers flew in from Badaber airbase near Peshawar airbase, the famous U2 incident over Soviet Union. Even today, unlike Iran, Pakistan is not lost, the window to fix our differences with west is there. People of Pakistan do not hate west. With social upliftment things will improve.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“Pakistan has been a staunch western ally”

I wonder what pakistan means when it talks of a ‘staunch ally’.Maybe it would be worthwhile reading about others views on waht being a staunch ally means:

“What is the definition of an American ally? On an ideological level, an ally is a country that shares America’s values, reflects its founding spirit, and resonates with its people’s beliefs. Tactically, an ally stands with the United States through multiple conflicts and promotes its global vision. From its location at one strategic crossroads, an ally enhances American intelligence and defense capabilities, and provides ports and training for U.S. forces. Its army is formidable and unequivocally loyal to its democratic government. An ally helps secure America’s borders and assists in saving American lives on and off the battlefield. And an ally stimulates the U.S. economy through trade, technological innovation, and job creation.” Michael Oren

So how staunch is staunch? 11/04/25/the_ultimate_ally?page=0

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “You have raised some important points, and let me just sum up. I agree with you that PAF and Pak Navy need to get more defence spending. Pak Army on the other hand has greatly increased its capacity to conduct COIN operations, recent assessments now say internal millitant threat has now surpassed that posed by India. and BLAH..BLAH..”

What a window washing! Not one point raised by Keith and others has been addressed. Instead the response is filled with jargon and military mumbo jumbo. Go back and look at the questions you raised with Keith and read his counter questions. If you are fair, you will address them one by one. We are curious to see what kind of honest responses can come from your side. But knowing the way you guys deal with issues when put on a bind, I am not surprised.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive


Look. I can get that some Indians are prickly about the past. But that’s no excuse really. On occassion, I’ve had a good laugh with an Indian counterpart or two. We compare the old guys in our respective offices. I’ve got my fair share of Cold Warriors who can’t get past India being in the Soviet camp. Ditto for my counterparts in the US, UK, etc. And he’s got his share of Nehruvian anti-Imperialists in his office who can’t see anything good coming from co-operation with the West. And you quite frankly, remind me a fair bit, of the caricature of the old guys that my Indian contact puts forward.

In both cases, these old farts tut-tut the younger generation of civil servants, intelligence personnel, diplomats and military officers for “sleeping with the enemy” so to speak. But those of us under 35 can see beyond the animosity of the past and would like our nations to have positive relations in the future. We cheer every retirement of the old guard.

Did the West (particularly the US) make mistakes with India? Sure they did. Most American analysts today will be the first to admit it. Should those mistakes hold relations with India hostage? Of course not. The mistakes of the past are just that: mistakes. You learn from them and move on.

One of the biggest complaints the Americans have, when it comes to India, is that India sees relations with the US through a Pakistan lens. This is a sign of immaturity from the US perspective. From the US perspective, great powers can have the odd competing interest and still remain friends. The idea that just because the US does not completely adhere to the India playbook on Pakistan (even though there are many areas of agreement) makes them unreliable, is frankly ludicrous, not just to the US, but the rest of the West too. The US agrees with India on a lot of issues (not just on Pakistan). They might not agree on how these issues are to be solved, with what timeline, etc. but they do agree that these are areas of concern. However, so many Indians act as though the US must simply adopt the Indian policy and stance (forget its own interests), or else its not reliable at all. Imagine if the Americans told India that there would no deal on anything unless India takes up an adversarial relationship with Iran. You wouldn’t like that very much, would you? That’s how it feels for the Yanks (and the rest of us in tow), every time the issue of Pakistan comes up, with India.

What would Indians have the Americans do? Cut off billions in aid and start bombing Pakistan, the day after 26/11? Ideas like these are as ludicrous from Indians as the Pakistanis telling the West to pressure India on Kashmir. It’s actually quite humourous that both, Indians and Pakistanis, seem to think that the US has some kind of mythical hold on the other country. They don’t. Despite what many Indians believe, the US just does not have enough leverage in Pakistan to change things that much (not without turning the place into an expanded version of Somalia) and it is using what little sway it has to wrap up that thing in Afghanistan. And when it comes to India, the US has even less leverage than most Pakistanis seem to imagine.

As for the argument that the Americans care because it’s only their citizens…what do you expect? Does India declare sanctions and alter its foreign policy everytime any new terrorist threat pops up (even if it has nothing to do with India)? What’s India’s take on the IRA or the Shining Path? Was India concerned about the Black Panthers in the last century? Did India create new foreign policies because of the rise of drug lords like Pablo Escobar? The US government is mandated by law to take care of its own citizens, at home and abroad. They are doing just that.

And coincidentally (as I have said before), the deaths of Americans (and other Western nationals) in India is making anti-India jihadism an American (and Western) issue. As long as groups like LeT and JeM, etc. keep killing Westerners in India, Pakistan will be under the spotlight. It may be cold comfort to some. But this is how the world works. And dead westerners are actually working to India’s benefit.

“So is everyone else. Imagine a conflict between Canada and the US on some resource issue. Understand how it would feel if we sit and tell you guys what to do.”

We have resource conflicts with the US. We even have a maritime border dispute that would be larger than many an Indian state. Not to mention the fact that the Americans seem to believe they have the right to drive ships through the Northwest Passage any time they feel like it. Yet, Canada has never seen the need to involve outside parties to be involved. Nor have we clamped down on our border between the two countries. We’d rather deal with the Americans one-on-one.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

From 1989 to 2001, India bore the brunt of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. No one cared.
Posted by KPSingh01
This has been repeatedly discussed here. All you will get is a hypocritical response that India was in the Soviet camp. – netizen

The Cold War was the Cold War. It made for strange bedfellows. I’ve always found it odd that India was in the Soviet camp, but hey, that’s how history played out. No use holding the future hostage on this regard.

The role of West in creating the Terroristan monster as it is today is HUMONGOUS. – netizen

Both sides during the Cold War, played some dirty games. The Soviets and the Chinese funded the Viet Cong and various insurgent groups in Africa, and the Middle East. Nobody set out to make a “Terroristan monster” in Pakistan. That’s just how it happened.

If we are to hold up such standards, then imagine nobody funding rebels fighting apartheid in South Africa.

Not to discount Canada’s role as a safe haven for sundry global terrorists. – netizen

I’m curious where you get this impression that Canada is a safehaven for global terrorists. We’ve had our failures to be sure (Sikh extremists fell through the cracks largely because of an incompetent police force in the 80s). But by and large, Canada does not have a reputation for coddling terrorists. I daresay, you have less extremism here than you do in the UK, for example.

It will be fun if Algerians start planting bombs in Montreal demanding separate Muslimistan out of Canada. Britain is already reaping what it sowed. – netizen

It is sad that you would wish death and violence on other countries. But given the track record of our intelligence services and police forces, I’m not too worried. They’ve been quite successful at nailing extremists. And the muslim communities in our large urban centres have a far more cooperative relationship with our authorities than their counterparts in the UK or the USA.

And I don’t know where you get this idea that Montreal is overrun with Algerians? There’s many. But there are more immigrants of Lebanese origin and many more from former french colonies in Africa and the Carribean (particularly Haiti). You ever been to Montreal? Or are you just assuming that because Montreal is French dominated and Algerians are French-speaking Muslims that you can be hopeful that we have a large french-speaking Algerian community that will launch terrorist attacks there?

Sorry for the harsh comments. In the real world, India has to forget the past and work with US, Canada and UK to work together. Despite the buzz, lot of our people are still extremely poor and upliftment of them should be the primary goal. Not settling old scores, wars, etc.


Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

One of the biggest complaints the Americans have, when it comes to India, is that India sees relations with the US through a Pakistan lens
Posted by kEiThZ

You have undermined your ALL OTHER reconciliatory (?) statements towards Indians with that one statement above.
Unfortunately the above statement makes the rest of the discussion plain silly.

Suppose you have a petty criminal living next door to you. His only purpose for existence seems to be bombing your house, poisoning your water, setting your house on fire. (good news is the criminal got himself burnt badly).

Suppose the Village Chief supplies money, feeds the criminal to make him fat, supplies bombs, petrol, knives which he uses against you. Every time you point this out the village chief acts like a village idiot and dismisses your concerns until he himself got hit.

What kind of lens you will have?

What makes you think KP Singh’s or my comments are not shared by many if not most in the Indian strategic community?

America lawys wanted only puppets, Pakistan was the natural choice. India did vote with Soviet Union, but it was not Soviet Puppet. Independence has been much more importatnt to Indians than Paks.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

KeithZ: “I’ve got my fair share of Cold Warriors who can’t get past India being in the Soviet camp. Ditto for my counterparts in the US, UK, etc. And he’s got his share of Nehruvian anti-Imperialists in his office who can’t see anything good coming from co-operation with the West. And you quite frankly, remind me a fair bit, of the caricature of the old guys that my Indian contact puts forward”

Do not judge based on one’s writings. I am not a cold war bureaucrat. I am less than 40. I try understand matters based on an overall perspective rather than through any lens.

Your comparison of scenarios relating to Iran and other parts of the world is not a fair comparison. Understand this first.

If India ran a global campaign that needed a foot hold inside Mexico, and if that resulted in Mexico strengthen its military so that it could stand up to the US, that would be a fair comparison. The difference between what you have mentioned and what I have presented is this – Your countries have meddled in our neighborhood that has made our situation precarious. India can take sides with Iran and the US can do nothing about it. This does not mean India facilitates their nuclear bomb and missile technology development so that it counters Pakistan while it affects American interests. India has been a friend with the Arab nations, while opening up to Israel. We are not burning Israel by funding Hezbollah while setting up business with Israel at the same time.

Every country has its own issues in its backyard and it can pretty much handle it by itself. What has happened in our case is that the constant meddling in Pakistan and nearby nations have turned detrimental to our existence and survival. And we are being told to look the other way on it. Therein lies the fundamental difference between your analogy and mine.

Just like no one can trust Pakistan, but have to deal with them, as an Indian, I do not want my countrymen to trust the West, but we will deal with them where we can. The West only cares about itself and we are fortunate enough to see their selfish attitude. It is just the choice of choosing the better of the evils around. That’s what it has come to. You will be surprised to know that there are people I know in India who felt glad when planes flew into the twin towers. They are not Muslims. The feeling was that let Americans feel the pain we have been feeling and let them understand what we have been facing. And now Americans have been forced to accept the truth that their allies are the real villains all along.

India could have dealt with Pakistan in the past and prevented it from become the monster it has become. Guess who prevented it from that effort? Your dear Western powers. Certain things have to be kept where they have to be. Islamic ideology, nukes, terrorism etc make a deadly poison. Your West used it and helped breed it. And now it is being stung by it. We could have prevented that right at the start. But the West blocked all the efforts by India in the past and now sitting with India wondering what to do about it. Our viewpoint towards Pakistan does not arise from any hatred. After all there are genetically the same people as we are. Our view comes from the potential that has been created for utter destruction of South Asia by imperial powers of the past and the current powers.

Even now our view is that your countries look at terrorism only from your limited view point and are being very selective. Your missions are hurting us more. Now it has reached a point of no return. We all have become stuck together in this mess. We have no choice but to face the monster together. But when we do finish it off, I’d like my countrymen to remember what led to the whole thing in the first place and be cautious about the West.

Once again, let me tell you I am no cold war bureaucrat. I do read a lot on history though.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KeithZ: “The mistakes of the past are just that: mistakes. You learn from them and move on.”

Mistakes do not happen often and happen by error or oversight. And mistakes do not carry an intent. This is like saying colonizing the planet is a mistake. A lot of calamities happened due to colonization. But it was no mistake.

Cold war geo-politics led to a number of actions that have caused severe damage to many parts of the world. Americans and their allies are still in that mode as we see it. The old farts there have not disappeared. All we are seeing is a continuation of that mindset from one generation of old farts to the new ones. They are committing more blunders as a result. The only person I can give some credit for his vision and approach is Obama. But he is dealing with a system that has evolved through cold war years.

Hope the world changes towards a direction where mutual respect reigns. Let the UN be more democratic and this farce called permanent membership be abolished.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

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