Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

On the Afghanistan-Pakistan border : cutting off the nose to spite the face

July 13, 2011

Pakistan’s defence minister has threatened to move forces away from the Afghan border, where they are deployed to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban, if the United States cuts off aid to the cash-strapped country. Ahmed Mukhtar’s logic is that Pakistan is essentially fighting America’s war on the Afghan border, and if it is going to put the squeeze on its frontline partner, then it will respond by not doing America’s bidding.

But  apart from the issue of whether Pakistan can really stand up to the United States  is the question of whether Islamabad can afford to pull back from the Afghan border for its own sake. This is no longer the porous border where movement of insurgents is confined to members of the Afghan Taliban travelling across to launch attacks on foreign forces in their country. Over the past few weeks, the traffic has moved in the reverse direction, with militants crossing over from Afghanistan to attack Pakistani security posts, Pakistani officials say.  These are not armed men sneaking across in twos and threes , but large groups of up to 600 men armed with rocket launchers and  grenades flagrantly crossing the mountainous border to attack security forces and civilians in Pakistan. (It also stands Pakistan’s strategy of seeking strategic depth versus India on its head; now the rear itself has become a threat.)

It is not very clear who these raiders are  – which adds to the anxiety - but one obvious  guess is that they could be members of the Pakistan Taliban who have come under pressure in their mountain redoubts in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from the military and may have found sanctuary just over the border in eastern Afghanistan.  The umbrella organisation is sworn to fighting the Pakistani state and is mainly behind the wave of suicide bombings in the country over the past three years, stepping up the momentum even more after Osama bin Laden’s killing, with an audacious attack on a naval base in the southern city of Karachi.

Indeed, the Pakistani military’s offensives have been focused on crushing the Tehrik-e-Taliban, and  it is inconceivable that they would thin out on the Afghan border which is where the threat is coming from, at the moment.

There is another, equally worrying challenge. What if the U.S.-led NATO forces were to cross  the border in “hot pursuit” of insurgents? It’s not entirely impossible : in May NATO helicopters , pursuing insurgents, were reported to have crossed into North Waziristan which followed another raid back in October in which two Pakistani soldiers were accidentally shot. Two years earlier, in September 2008, American commandos carried out a raid in Pakistan’s tribal areas and killed several people suspected of being insurgents. The attack led to outrage among Pakistan’s leaders — and warnings not to do it again.

With ties testing new lows each week, and America’s impatience with the militants growing, the chances of greater aggression on the border have only increased. For Pakistan to pull out from the troubled frontier at this point seems like a self-defeating goal, more than anything else.

Comments

Ahmed Mukhtar’s logic is that Pakistan is essentially fighting America’s war on the Afghan border, and if it is going to put the squeeze on its frontline partner, then it will respond by not doing America’s bidding.”

Mukhtar is right in his thinking. Pakistan went into this war for two reasons. One, the fear of US reprisal attacks on Pakistan (being bombed back to the stone age by Mush’s own admission) and secondly because of the lure of the windfall which was sure to come its way – as happened during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan earlier). It is simply not Pakistan’s war but one into which it has willy-nilly (more nilly) been dragged into..

Even so, to make these threats, even at its own peril, is in keeping with Pakistan’s record. As someone sonce remarked,r Pakistan has mastered the art of negotiating with others holding a gun to its own head. One day it may put itself into such a corner that it may have no option but to pull the trigger. The world better be prepared for the consequences.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

I hope Pakistani army does not take an emotional decision to launch one last, all out suicide war with India, now that hopes are being lost. The only thing that would put all the various militant groups in Pakistan (those who are against and those who are assets) is a war with India. This can achieve many goals – unite all the divided factions, put the US on the defensive and for the first time fight a nuclear war. There is not much options left. Pakistan knows it is going down. Might as well cause enough damage to the favorite enemy while going down. There have been blasts in Mumbai. It has begun.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

$800 million have been held back, Lt.Gen Shuja DG ISI is in Washington, Gen. Mattis CENTCOM chief is in Rawalpindi to work their way out of this, much of the money was on account of CSF-Coalition Support Funds to reimburse for the cost of deploying 120000 troops across Pak-Afghan border. Allies do not work like this, Pakistan Army’s message coming out of the 140th corps commander conference is clear;

http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o= t-week_view&id=1792#wv_link1792

“The Forum reiterated the resolve to fight the menace of terrorism in our own national interest using our own resources.”

in other words, we don’t need the money and will go it alone. What next?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 
 

More attacks in Mumbai today. And the beat goes on…

Umairpk, stay safe, inshallah.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive
 

“Going it alone” Posted by Umairpk

As the article points out, that would be easier said than done. Also, I believe, cutting off military aid is just the first step towards economic & diplomatic isolation of Pakistan. If Pakistan does not change course, the next action would be cutting off all economic aid to Pakistan, followed by trade sanctions and cutting off IMF loans. Let’s see how Pakistan is able to withstand all that.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Allies do not work like this-Umairpk

On the other hand, allies do not need to bribed, cajoled and constantly badgered into doing things are in their own interests (such as guarding their own borders, prosecuting terrorists, catching arch-terrorists living near defence establishments, etc.).

Behave like an insolent child and you deserve to get treated like one.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan is very good at talking. It may yet learn the truth of talking with a big stick!

Posted by ruhr | Report as abusive
 

Aatish Taseer (son of Salman Taseer) has this analysis of Pakistan’s problems:

http://on.wsj.com/qwGb33

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh:
First who the heck is Aatish Taseer to analyze Pakistan? just because his father was a Pakistani does not make him half Pakistani. Aatish Taseer is an Indian because he adopted his mother’s homeland. secondly, his analysis is wrong, there is a huge difference between muslims living in Pakistan and those who were left in India. It is a fact that Indian muslims are treated as second class citizens, not given their rights, on numerous occasions in modern times they were subject to massacres like Gujarat.
Aatis Taseer goes on to foolishly blame Pakistan’s misfortune after the 1990′s on the Pakistan Army. DEAD WRONG, any Pakistan observer knows it is the strength and cohesion of Pakistan’s armed forces that is the difference between order and chaos in Pakistan.
The most laughable was ‘bollywood culture’ in Pakistani homes, utter non-sense.
Unless Aatish Taseer matures enough, I would not be willing to take this cartoon character seriously. Heck I would rather give more credibility to someone like Fatima Bhutto, the young niece of Benazir bhutto.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

and BTW, Shehrbano Taseer, Salman Taseer’s daughter is a young, intelligent emerging journalist with Newsweek Pakistan, and a vocal liberal voice inside Pakistan. The Taseer family have been patriotic Pakistanis, why Aatish Taseer can’t get over this is easy to understand, he is an Indian, thus anguished why his father hated India. These emerging young generation is talented and Pakistan’s future depends how this new generation unleash its potential.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“Aatish Taseer (son of Salman Taseer) has this analysis of Pakistan’s problems”

Aatish Taseers’ analysis is spot on. His father’s attitude towards India is reflected by many Pakistanis (including the ones on this blog). They love to mock India for it’s failures & highlight it’s negatives while refusing to acknowledge it’s many achievements & positives. It’s a real shame because Salman Taseer would have actually found more support from Indians than Pakistanis.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express wrote a touching obituary to Salman Taseer on his death. The two were good friends and Taseer made frequent trips to India and according to Gupta, he was someone who worked very hard for better relations between the two countries. According to Gupta, he never minced words or felt shy of giving his opinion. A fact that tragically cost him his life in Pakistan.

The article is not as controversial or sensational as the title makes it out to be. He is simply giving his opinion within reason. I wish Umair could refute him point by point instead of just shooting the messenger. A difference of opinion, but no cogent argument on why he differs. That would make for an interesting discussion.

And finally, with a Pakistani father, he is quite right in saying he is half Pakistani, doesn’t matter where he lives. For all you know, he may have regularly visited his father in Pakistan. Its nothing to go ballistic about.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

whether atish taseer refected his fathers priate views on india we do not know; however its a fairly accurate description of the mindset of some of the pakistani elite and in particular of the pak army/isi is a vis india as its merely a manifestation of ‘pakistan idealogy’.

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

Terrorism is a global problem, and not the problem of a single nation whether it is USA or Pakistan. Hopefully sensibilities will prevail and hopefully the terrorism will be in control. Out of control terrorism spreads fast and is dangerous to all except the terrorists themselves.

Posted by kritik1 | Report as abusive
 

The article has a serious flaw. This is not America’s War on Terror. This is a global war on terror. So neither Pakistan or USA should be adamant about it, or in denial of the dangers from terrorism.
Sensible solution and resumption of “talks” is the first positive step. Secondly, you should make every attempt to invite USA to the table for talks.
Being arrogant is not an excuse. It is definitely foolish pride and a foolish statement.

Posted by kritik1 | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk said:

> who the heck is Aatish Taseer to analyze Pakistan?

There is a saying: “What should they know of England who only England know?”

Sometimes, it takes an outsider to articulate a profound insight about a country. Millions of people living in the country would not even be aware of it.

So who the heck is Aatish Taseer? A journalist with a fresh pair of eyes, that’s who.

Instead of being defensive about his analysis, try it on for size and see if it fits. It is obvious from the comments on this very blog that Pakistanis deny their Indian/Hindu past and claim an Arab lineage. Perhaps the India-hatred lies in the heritage they wish to disown…? There’s no shame in Pakistanis admitting to a Hindu past, just as there’s no shame in Hindus admitting to a period of Islamic rule. History is history. We can look at it with pride, shame or a matter-of-fact attitude. It’s our choice.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Sure :-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

http://www.sajadhaider.com/flight-of-the -falcon/
FLIGHT OF THE FALCON

Demolishing myths of Indo-Pak wars 1965 & 1971 – Story of a Fighter Pilot (Revised Third Edition)

The Author:

Air commodore Sajad Haider is a decorated fighter pilot (recipient of the Gallantry Award of Sitara-e-Jurat, equivalent of the Distinguished Flying Cross) and a veteran of the 1965 and 1971 air wars with India.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“Indian/hindu past? where did the pashtuns come from in India? where did the Afghan invaders like Shahab ud Din Ghauri, Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi come from? Where did Muhammad Bin Qasim come from? ”

Where did Jinnah come from? ZA Bhutto’s mother was a Hindu. Who are Mohajirs in Pakistan? Who are Biharis? Who are Bangladeshis? They were not fathered by Arabs, were they? Do they count as Muslims? Even your beloved Alamgir, Aurangzeb has a pedigree of Hindu origin. His great grand father Akbar had a Rajput wife. Jehangir, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb come through that lineage. Try as hard as you can, unfortunately you can never erase your “shameful” Hindu origin. It definitely is a mix of various ethnic groups, but unfortunately for you, the “Hindu” stain remains. It is very clear that Pakistanis like this are heading the same way as Nazis did in Germany, looking for pure blood. Have you heard of last names in Pakistan that end with “Rana, Rajput, Chaudhury, Rao, Chauhan” etc? They are all of Hindu origin. What you have is an inferiority complex. You belong to the conquered people who switched sides to hide their shame. Such people would readily discard their heritage and origin. India had Anglo Indians who just did not want to call themselves as Indians. Unfortunately you will have to eat your shame.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

That Aatish Taseer article was spot on.

And the tweet says it all. It’s only out of an obsession of hate that one can celebrate another’s failures. If Salman Taseer didn’t care at all about India and if his Pakistani compatriots weren’t obsessed with seeing India brought down, then nobody would delight in a Tweet about an Indian rocket launch failure. That Pakistanis find delight in such statements about India (rather than bewilderment) says a lot.

And wherever I read Pakistani comments on the same piece, you just get back the same crap. Don’t like the message? Shoot the messenger…or rather impugn his character.

I haven’t yet read one intelligent retort from a Pakistani on this viewpoint. And Aatish Taseer is not the first one to put such a viewpoint forward. Usually all you get is, “We’re not obssessed with India.” Yeah, right. I’m not Indian and I don’t buy that.

Indeed, just read forums like Pakistan Defence. The comments on this article are unbelievable. They accuse the author of being a bastard. They suggest that Dari be imposed as a third national language to further separate Pakistani culture from Indian culture….all going to prove Aatish’s point.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

It’s interesting that you bring up Sajad Haider’s autobiography. I find it interesting that Pakistanis increasingly praise fighter pilots. Could it be because the PAF and the PN are two services that don’t play politics? These are the services where you find the truly patriotic servants of Pakistan today.

Personally, I would have liked to have read the journals of Zia Ul-Haq. The man who truly messed up Pakistan. Ironically, you say the Army has held the nation together (despite the Army giving Pakistan this man), while you like so many other Pakistani commentators impugned Aatish Taseer for having daddy issues (I don’t see what his parental lineage has to do with his article) because you(and others who use the same attack) have no intelligent retort to his article.

Answer me a few questions:

1) Would Salman Taseer’s tweet have made you smile if you had subscribed to his Twitter feed?
2) How does India’s economic growth make you feel? Are you happy for the Indians or do you view their success with intrepidation?
3) Are you proud of your culture as is or do you wish there were more Arabic and Islamic elements in it, and less in common with Indian culture?

You don’t have to share your answers with us. But know that how you feel about these questions, will show correct Aatish Taseer is.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

It’s hilarious that Pakistanis would consider not defending the Afghan border. That would only bring more aid cuts and virtually guarantee more American SOF raids across the border. And the Americans would have world opinion on their side. If the Pakistanis aren’t going to crush the terrorists, who are a global headache, the world will be happy to see the US do it. Nobody has the time or patience for feeble and half-hearted talk about Pakistani sovereignty.

If Pakistanis had any self-respect and actually valued their sovereignty they would have crush every terrorist and jihadist outfit (including the likes of the Haqqanis) a long time ago.

In reality, their moral equivocating on terrorism belies their actual respect for their own sovereignty. They have no problem being doormats for groups that kill Indians and Westerners. And they wonder why that has brought the world’s superpower to their doorstep.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

“If you were to recommend someone who can analyze Pakistan, bring someone who is authentic and credible” Posted by Umairpk

You mean, “bring someone who you can agree with” & none of those darn acclaimed & well reputed “coconut liberals” like Ahmed Rashid, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Nadeem Pracha etc. :)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Umair: I would like to add one more to Keith’s list of self introspecting questions for you:

4) When you heard about last week’s Mumbai terror strikes, did you say (verbally or in your mind) “FINALLY”!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“If you were to recommend someone who can analyze Pakistan, bring someone who is authentic and credible.”

You mean someone who says, “ISLAAAAM is best and f***k the rest. India/Israel/USA are Kaafir. Kill the kaafir get the jannat. Whole world should bow to Islam. Islamic nation Pakistan is greatest….etc etc etc”. Yes???

When one sees one’s own ugly face in mirror then those who deny the truth NEVER stand a chance to improve themselves. Denial of truth does not change truth, for truth is not subject to opinions. But then what can we expect from someone who puts religion before his country. Today Pakistan is full of such fools who put religion before nation. And in India that number is going down by the day (although very very slowly according to me), hence increased cohesion and growth.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

The reason pakistani middle classes detest anything Hindu or Indian is because being part of establishment’s petty bourgeoisie they follow the state ideology very keenly. Poor pakistanis don’t give a damn about their lineage. Sadly the same classes among Hindus in India display this kind of tribe mentality trying to convince others that Hindus have best culture and what not.

Since the ideology of the pakistani state rests on the two nation theory, Which practically means Hindus and Muslims are two different nations. Being muslims themselves, they had to create a sense of superiority over Hindus (false superiority or artificial in every nature of the word) who are in large numbers.

The establishment tried to assosiate themselves with Turkey and Iran in early 50 and 60′s and owing to oil discoveries started to assosiate themselves with Arabs or the force propogation of the idea of caliphate.

Most of the muslims in India,pakistan and Bangladesh are of south-Asian origin and DNA similarities is a proof of this. Under the hard skull every pakistani knows they had south-Asian Hindu lineage and fear that their “land of the pure” ideology is discredited by their south-Asian lineage, hence this borrowed Arab lineage. Somehow in their blind belief these Pakistanis believe Arabs are purer race (laughable when Islam does not recognize difference between humans). What these guys don’t know is that the arabs themselves had a pagan lineage, when their forefathers worshipped multiple gods which represented each natural entity (Sun,Moon, Wind, Fire, Water,Land etc) and a metaphysical one (happiness, anger,power).

Not surprisingly the people from either Arab (Egypt) or Persian states(Iran and Turkey) do not disown their history (pharaohs or parsis of Iran) due to tolerant attitudes towards cultual evolution. The renaissance in the christian world had made them more rational and linient to ideas and even they too believe most of the world was pagan (remember greek gods) and every abraham religion has pagan roots and their books still reflect them. Rather than seeing this as historical-cultural evolution, Pakistani’s voilent birth regards everything into Good-and-Evil war.
I wish there will be moments in pakistani future when they get inspired and want to become an Indonesian or Turkish rather than sticking themselves to false Arab roots (If they want to get inspired for better future, religion itself should not come into picture in the first place). Indians get truly inspired by Japan who owes no historial roots to India (except for cultural lineage aka Buddhism).

Oh, And the pushtoons that you have talked about, they are people of Gandhara or kandahar(specially mentioned in Hindu Texts like Mahabharata who are known to be Adamant,cunning,perseverant do what is needed. The charecter Sakuni eventually due to his hatred of Bharata vansha (pandavas and kauravas) eventually succeeds in psychologically poisons one Group against the other which leads to evetually war. Pushtoons have pre-islamic roots. Muslim races did not come out of the blue from the skies they have very much our own Earth origins!!

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

If Umair can understand, He could as well read a simple wiki link to understand that we have same Genetic markers and same DNA, maybe thats the reason he is attractedt to us and obsessed with us trying to be “not us”!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_an d_archaeogenetics_of_South_Asia#Pakistan

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Umair might feel hurt if he comes to know that Balochistan is more related to the Dravidian culture remaining in Southern India. The Brahui language in Balochistan is closely related to the native South Indian languages. Ganesh, correct me if I am wrong. I have read about this.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/18/resilienc e-to-what-end.html
A remarkable article.

Kp, Even I have read this about Brahui language,will come back soon on this with more info.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

KeithZ: “You don’t have to share your answers with us. But know that how you feel about these questions, will show correct Aatish Taseer is.”

It is called arrogance. It is due to this arrogance that Pakistan refused to take India’s financial help during the floods last year. They told India to go to the UN and channel it through there. It was too shameful for these guys to accept anything from India. It is this attitude that has brought their downfall.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

““If you were to recommend someone who can analyze Pakistan, bring someone who is authentic and credible”

Going by past experience I will be hugely surprised if my question is answered. Even so here goes:

Umair, your statement just maligns young Taseer but would you care to substantiate your implication as to why you call him neither authentic nor credible? What is there in what he has said that you found unauthentic, false or incredible?

That would make more sense to me and help in understanding your opinion. Otherwise you are, as usual, just going off maligning someone just because what he says is unpalatable or embarrassing to you.

For example, going by your reply to Ganesh’s innocuious statement, about the Hindu past of the Indian sub-continent as also the considerable Islamic domination, you are merely proving Taseer right when he says “….rejection of India, its culture and past, that lies at the heart of the idea of Pakistan.” It is like some Indian here lashing out at Ganesh for talking of the period of Islamic rule. Both are undeniable facts, even though you may want wish it weren’t all true. Which is exactly what taseer says.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

I hate this, but a lunatic mouthpiece is getting more attention than he deserves and if that is what Aatish Taseer wanted, seems he is succeeding. However, here is an article appeared in Express Tribune in response to Aatish Taseer:

Aatish’s personal fire
http://tribune.com.pk/story/212319/aatis hs-personal-fire/
(note aatish in urdu means fire)
while many have named Aatish differently, I would say his underdeveloped mind is still causing sibling rivalry and since his sister Shehrbano Taseer appears to be an emerging journalist within Pakistan, the neglected sibling is vying for attention. Who is obssessed with whom? evident from the number of Indians on a reuters blog re: Pakistan. I don’t think it is important to discuss Aatish Taseer any further, a person who based his judgement on a tweet has devoid of any moral or intellectual integrity.

Keith:
shame on India whose power drunk elite send failed rockets into space and majority of their people live in slums and below poverty line. Kudos to Salman Taseer for calling a spade a spade. You want to read an intelligent retort from a Pakistani? read the ET article above. re: Aatish Taseer’s point of obssession with India? you tell me how many Indian Army divisions are facing Pakistan? and still if Pakistan Army stands upto it that is labelled obssession?

“It’s interesting that you bring up Sajad Haider’s autobiography. I find it interesting that Pakistanis increasingly praise fighter pilots. Could it be because the PAF and the PN are two services that don’t play politics? These are the services where you find the truly patriotic servants of Pakistan today.”

-I brought up Air Commodore Sajad Haider’s biography not least because my own father and uncles proudly served in the PAF. Back then a numerically smaller but qualitatively superior Pakistan Air Force took on a numerically larger adversary. In my interaction with this veteran and hero, he has exposed how courageous and gutsy the rank and file of armed forces are. The target audience of his autobiography are the future military leaders of Pakistan and general public alike. The day when this nation gets rid of corrupt leaders is when Pakistan will truly become the Pakistan it should be. And I commend Sajad Haider for his contribution in setting the records straigth. Now to ur questions:

1) Would Salman Taseer’s tweet have made you smile if you had subscribed to his Twitter feed?
-I subscribe to his daughter Shehrbano’s twitter feed and appreciate her work in journalism, Salman Taseer is more so your question is irrelevant. Still I think there was no need to smile on his tweet, I would have taken it normally.

2) How does India’s economic growth make you feel? Are you happy for the Indians or do you view their success with intrepidation?
-We do not feel threatened by India’s economic growth, good luck to them and they still have a long way to go before they can overcome massive corruption and pull their masses out of poverty. Anything they can do, we can do better, we will surely one day imitate their economic success. Successive Pakistani civilians govts. (Nawaz and now Zardari) wish good ties/business with India and now even the Army here approves it.

3) Are you proud of your culture as is or do you wish there were more Arabic and Islamic elements in it, and less in common with Indian culture?
-Proud of our culture/family values as is, it is enough Islamic. And there is no question of being either less or more common with India, that it was entirely different from Indian culture is evident from 1947 partition when Pakistan was carved out.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Keith:
“In reality, their moral equivocating on terrorism belies their actual respect for their own sovereignty. They have no problem being doormats for groups that kill Indians and Westerners. And they wonder why that has brought the world’s superpower to their doorstep.”

-Shame on you, with 5000 officers and men martyred and 30000 civilian casualties in this war, no wonder Pakistan will fight the war with its own resources and own pace. And confront anyone who would like to repeatedly violate its soverignty, time and again it has been explained by the Pakistan Army that the country will not commit suicide by going after Haqqanis based in North Waziristan until the forces are stretched thin. After there is more capacity, and following and step by step approach by dealing with current TTP, Haqqanis will be finally confronted. The question is will Pakistan’s allies leave it betrayed os stand beside it?

“If Pakistanis had any self-respect and actually valued their sovereignty they would have crush every terrorist and jihadist outfit (including the likes of the Haqqanis) a long time ago. ”

-If YOU had any self respect, you would have acknowledged “Operation Cyclone”, Natl. Security advisor Brezinski telling the Pashtuns that God is on their side and to take back their villages from communitsts standing right in the center of Khyber pass, the pushtun heartland and preaching Jehad, You would have acknowledged the history, William Casey, Charlie Wilson, stinger missiles and that yesterday’s freedom fighters are todays terrorists. I acknowledge where there are faults and corrective actions required, why don’t you recognize that common history. Pakistan alone is not responsible, and does not have the magic wand to undo everything alone.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Dara:
“Going by past experience I will be hugely surprised if my question is answered. Even so here goes:

Umair, your statement just maligns young Taseer but would you care to substantiate your implication as to why you call him neither authentic nor credible? What is there in what he has said that you found unauthentic, false or incredible?

That would make more sense to me and help in understanding your opinion. Otherwise you are, as usual, just going off maligning someone just because what he says is unpalatable or embarrassing to you.”

-Dara, I sure will answer your question, see the problem is you are an Indian and you admire young Aatish Taseer, I am a Pakistani and I admire young Shehrbano Taseer you know why? because Aatish Taseer is an Indian and Shehrbano Taseer is a Pakistan. Both siblings belong to a prominent political family and same father but fate had seperated them across the border. Tell me one thing where Aatish Taseer sounds credible or authentic in his article? his entire article is based on a twitter feed. He hates his estranged father and loves his motherland. That is why he his highlighting his father’s hatred towards India, infact what you term Salman Taseer’s hatred for India is actually his love for Pakistan. It should not be taken negatively. Aatish Taseer does not highlight single positive point of Pakistan, does not acknowledge the termendous sacrifices of Pakistan Army in war on terror? Nothing he stated embarrased me, rather it is an embarrasaament for himself he could have written a tribute to his father but instead could come up with a negative article, goes to show where his true loyalty stands. If he tours Pakistan as a journalist, comes to Lahore, works with his siblings Shehrbano/Shehryar and carry forward his father’s legacy for a liberal Pakistan, acknowledges the sacrifices Pakistan made in war on terror, probabaly I would have lot more respect for him.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Thank you for your response, which I may add, I really did not expect. What makes you think I admire Aatish Taheer at all? Just because he is half Indian and stays in India? For your information, it may be ignorance on my part, but I had never even heard of him till I read this piece by him. I agree with quite a bit about what he says and have doubts on some points that he has made. Agreement is not admiration. It may also surprise you to know that I had heard of his sister earlier and before I knew of his existence. She wrote about her father and it was carried by one of our newspapers. I distinctly remember I admired her courage for what she wrote. So in that respect I am unlike you, who imply that you dislike the brother because he is Indian and has nothing good to say about your army and that you admire the sister merely because she is Pakistani. My judgement is based solely on what they write not on who writes it.

I can name you at least two dozen authors who not only live in India and are fully Indian by birth whom I have no time for. But that is neither here nor there. I am going by whether I agree with what he writes, admiration has nothing to do with it. My point still remains, you have not refuted, with reasons, anything he has said. You have merely attacked him – what is generally called ‘shooting the messenger’.

I also do not agree that his article is based on a tweeter feed. He has merely mentioned the tweeter feed as a reference and starting point, but thats all it is.

If you note my earlier comment I have quoted another author Shekhar Gupta, of the Indian Express, a friend of the late Taheer, who said that the late Governor was a supporter of better ties with India but was never shy of being frank. I take his tweet on the Indian space technology as just that. Many Indians in fact also ask the same question. Just as many Pakistanis probably question thehuge expenditure on further buclear technology and missiles on the same grounds. Pakistan too has major problems of poverty, slums etc etc. Therefore it is a wrong assumption on your part when you say “…infact what you term Salman Taseer’s hatred for India is actually his love for Pakistan” I have never made any such mention! In fact I have implied that he did not hate India as stated by his son.

Where does he sound credible? I would say a lot of places. I have already mentioned one exmple in my previous post. Other than that I completely agree with this:

“….(in) the political turmoil of the decades after partition. The state failed to perform a single legal transfer of power; coups were commonplace. And yet, in 1980, my father would still have felt that the partition had not been a mistake, for one critical reason: India, for all its democracy and pluralism, was an economic disaster.

Pakistan had better roads, better cars; Pakistani businesses were thriving; its citizens could take foreign currency abroad. Compared with starving, socialist India, they were on much surer ground. So what if India had democracy? It had brought nothing but drought and famine.”

What do you think is false and anti Pakistan here? It is fact.

Just because he has nothing favourable to say about the Pak army does not mean that he has no right to say what he feels about its faults. “In order to realize these objectives, the Pakistani army has led the U.S. in a dance, in which it had to be seen to be fighting the war on terror, but never so much as to actually win it, for its extension meant the continuing flow of American money. All this time the army kept alive a double game, in which some terror was fought and some—such as Laskhar-e-Tayyba’s 2008 attack on Mumbai—actively supported.”

How many others do you want me to quote who have made similar charges?

Sometime back I remember you yourself mentioned that, unlike after the Soviet experience, this time Pakistan has been playing its cards right and looked after its own interests and outcrafted the US at its own game. Isn’t what he has written the same thing except that he is more blunt? The whole world today is talking of Pakistan’s double game isn’t it? You may not agree but the rest are also entitled to their opinion just as you are free to disagree with them.

As I said you have asked me to show you where he has been credible and authentic well I have tried to. But somehow you have still not answered my first question to you…..why do you doubt his credibility and authenticity in what he has written? Please tell me specifically what you find wrong in his article. What you have told me is that you find his nationality and place of residence wrong but you make no effort to rebut what he actually said. Instead you have been comparing siblings, that is not the point of this debate.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Well, Aatish Taseer seems to have touched a raw nerve, not only here but on other Pakistani sites. The vehemence of the reaction leads one to suspect that his analysis hit uncomfortably close to home. Accusations of denial lead to more denial :-).

In the meantime, another contradiction is rising to the surface: http://bbc.in/rkmw4d

How much more trouble would it take in Xinjiang for the Muslim world, especially Pakistan, to call China an enemy of Islam? Or for China to harden its attitude towards Pakistan, where the training camps lie?

Lots of chickens coming home to roost in lots of places…

These are interesting times indeed, and Indians need do nothing except wait and watch, and hope the old dear (Manmohan Singh) doesn’t give away the store in India’s hour of triumph.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Aatish Taseer’s case is a microcosm of what is going on between India and Pakistan itself – born of the same parent, but divided by an artificial fence, fighting one another. How many like this are there? I am sure there are plenty. I am told of distant Sikh relatives of mine in Swat valley. I have never come across any of them in my life. I wonder which side they are on.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

US aid is about to be cut.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew s/al-qaeda/8647531/Pakistan-aid-would-be -cut-off-unless-US-gets-access-to-Osama- bin-Ladens-wives.html

Why is Pakistan refusing to hand over Bin Laden’s wives to the US? Are they worried that the truth will come out exposing their military? Because they know who helped them stay in Abbotabad for five or more years in cozy comfort. Or may be the ISI is still coaching them on what to answer.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Sooner than later Pakistan is going to comprehend what Mao said long before the Afghan conflict. USA is a paper tiger and can be defeated inspite of its nuclear armada!

Are Zardari and Kyani the right kind of leaders at the right time. There are many in the world who would like to see USA being booted out of the muslim lands. Enough is enough of the USA strategists creating instability in the region where they first show their made up faces and then their boots!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Well, Aatish Taseer seems to have touched a raw nerve,
Posted by prasadgc
==

The responses are personal attacks on Aatish rather than credible arguments (what a surprise)…

The guy (elder Tasser) was roiling in obsessive anti-India hate until the moment he was shot down like a dog…

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Here is more interesting development. ISI has been funding its Kashmir campaign to influence US law makers for a while:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ar ticle2277294.ece?homepage=true

And many left-liberals in India might also have been under ISI’s influence. I am curious to know who all were in ISI’s payroll to write anti-national articles and raise slogans against India. These guys are on a perpetual and all out war with us. It seems to be fought through every possible way.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world  /us/Laffaire-Fai-US-lawmakers-Indian-li berals-come-under-scrutiny/articleshow/9 301005.cms

So American and British tax payers’ money goes to Pakistan, gets through to the ISI, gets channeled back to those countries to run Pakistan’s shadow campaign and it has been going on for years. It is not that the Americans and British did not know about this. It is just that they have decided to score as many points at Pakistan today as possible to increase the intensity of their campaign. These are a prelude to a war – a big one. Pakistan is going to be the enemy this time.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

“shame on India whose power drunk elite send failed rockets into space and majority of their people live in slums and below poverty line” Posted by Umairpk

Do you ever tire from exaggerating facts? As per World bank, app. 29% of Indians live below the poverty line (2010 figures) & not a majority, as you claim. Also, the number is expected to go down to 19% by 2016. Now compare this with Pakistan, where currently, 40% live below the poverty line & the figure is expected to reach 60% by 2018.

Also, if India is supposed to be ashamed for spending money on science & technology, how ashamed should your rogue military establishment be, for spending money on this (article referenced) when your people are eating their children to stave off starvation?

http://nyti.ms/pH2KQ0

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

KPSingh:
“And many left-liberals in India might also have been under ISI’s influence. I am curious to know who all were in ISI’s payroll to write anti-national articles and raise slogans against India.”

-so much fuss for $23500 from Kashmir American Council, while trillions of $$ of black money from corrupt Indian politicians lies in Swiss Banks. Also the American Israeli Public Affairs committee APAIC and the huge Indian lobby in Washington go about their business as usual. Though I agree the KAC should have registered itself, but since even the US ambassador in Islamabad keeps links with all political parties in Pakistan. What is all the fuss about? What is understandable though is that since already even when a mouse farts in India and is blamed on ISI. It is clear how liberal journalists like Kuldi Nayar, Arundathi Roy are being labeled as ISI agents and traitors just because they exercise their right of freedom of expression.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“It is clear how liberal journalists like Kuldi Nayar, Arundathi Roy are being labeled as ISI agents and traitors just because they exercise their right of freedom of expression.”

Umair, Freedom of RExpression is a convenient tool.

I didn’t see you giving that right to young Taseer when you attacked him personally, not his writings! ;)

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: “so much fuss for $23500 from Kashmir American Council,”

That is just tip of the ice-berg. FBI can only go by what is available in the form of credible evidence. You know how things operate with no written documentation. The bottom line is this – ISI has gone out of control.

“while trillions of $$ of black money from corrupt Indian politicians lies in Swiss Banks.”

That might be the case. But they are not using that money to stage coups, assassinations, stealing of sensitive material, buy out politicians and law makers, run negative campaign through media etc.. These are the activities a crime boss would do. And your ISI has become a criminal organization running under the guise of a legal establishment. Those corrupt politicians want all that money for themselves and can go to jail if caught. Who bells the ISI?

“Also the American Israeli Public Affairs committee APAIC and the huge Indian lobby in Washington go about their business as usual.”

There is a difference between lobbying and manipulating the turn of events using subtle and subversive methods. ISI is being accused of the latter. No one has any objections to lobbying.

“Though I agree the KAC should have registered itself, but since even the US ambassador in Islamabad keeps links with all political parties in Pakistan. What is all the fuss about?”

It is the exposure of the ISI’s ugly face that is creeping up everywhere. It is a terrorist organization and nations have the right to curtail its activities and supporters.

“What is understandable though is that since already even when a mouse farts in India and is blamed on ISI.”

And you guys blame RAW for every mouse fart in Pakistan as well. Tell me one thing that RAW has organized and staged that has led to mass level murders inside Pakistan (your favorite claims of Indian consulates in Afghanistan need credible proof). ISI’s involvement in Mumbai attacks is well known. Its sabotage activities are not just affecting Indians alone.

“It is clear how liberal journalists like Kuldi Nayar, Arundathi Roy are being labeled as ISI agents and traitors just because they exercise their right of freedom of expression.”

One never knows. How do you think suicide bombers are recruited? They have some deep seated emotion that is exploited by manipulators. There are activists and journalists who can be manipulated by slowly getting close to them, agreeing with their views, provide them with more stuff that fits their vision of the world and take them over psychologically. I have a strong hunch that A Roy works for the Chinese and Pakistan is benefiting from it. We are not dealing with Pakistan alone here. We have a bigger threat in the form of China. There are people in the world who can sell their mothers for their own selfish goals. They do not become liberals because everything they say is anti-national. Liberals also appreciate good things. A Roy especially has not said one good thing about her nation. If you know her life history – she had a very stressful childhood. She just vents out all her hidden frustration by taking the anti-establishment stance. In your country, people take to suicide bombing. The end results might be different. But the core emotions are the same.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

ISI aptly fits Matt Tabibi’s description about Goldman Sachs:

“A great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything”

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Mortal:
As for the ISI, being an intelligence organization they, inluding the CIA and others are always upto something. Back in 2003 the American Turkish Council (ATC) was also involved in a nuclear spy ring probe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster-Je nnings_%26_Associates
“Nuclear investigation

According to The Sunday Times and its main source Sibel Edmonds, Brewster Jennings & Associates was used by the CIA to investigate an alleged foreign intelligence ring, including Pakistan’s ISI, which was attempting to recruit moles to obtain U.S. nuclear secrets. A parallel investigation was being run by the FBI. The American Turkish Council put Brewster and Jennings in contact with a number of Turkish agents involved in the ring, but who claimed to be conducting research in alternative energy sources. The Turkish agents were on the verge of hiring Brewster Jennings as consultants when a senior US State Department official tipped them off, leading them to break off the relationship and warn the ISI and others of the front company. The State Department official denies this.”

Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo rld/us_and_americas/article3257725.ece

Intelligence agencies always act as they have been doing, there are no surprises here, no one is innocent and does not matter if it is Mossad, RAW, CIA or ISI. What needs to be investigated is the role of these lobbying firms which ofcourse include Indians and Israelis trying to shape the policies of US Congress.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

…just to add, if ISI can attempt to recruit moles to obtain US nuclear secrets, no wonder they might possibly had attempted to influence a few congressmen or few journalists of Indian origin.
And that is what intelligence business is about, back in 2010 Mossad killed a Palestinian Hamas leader in Dubai using fake passports fradulently obtain by 33 operatives and illegally entering UAE. CIA is no innocent either.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Dara
Can you really compare veteran journalists of the level of Kuldip Nayar and Arundathi Roy to a minnow like Aatish Taseer who has no established credentials? and besides if Mr. Aatish would have the freedom of expression, i am also all free to criticize him where I disagree.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

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