India Insight

Holbrooke, an unseasonal visitor?

April 8, 2009

Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, is visiting India for a second time in seven weeks. But what has surprised many is the timing of the trip, coming as it does at a time when India is preparing for a general election and most government business is virtually on hold.Though India is not part of Holbrooke’s remit, New Delhi’s engagement is imperative for any effort to stabilise the so-called Af-Pak region.But that hardly explains the visit now, considering that he could expect to do little business with a “lame duck government” in New Delhi.So why is he coming now?Many Indian analysts believe that keeping India and Kashmir out of Holbrooke’s brief was a way of Washington massaging New Delhi’s ego.In reality, though, they say India is very much part of Holbrooke’s mandate because Pakistan wants a solution to disputed Kashmir as an element of any regional peace efforts — a demand Washington can hardly ignore if it expects Pakistan’s cooperation.An Indian analyst here says Holbrooke is using the interregnum to show his turf includes India.So if it is impossible to disentangle Kashmir from any effort to win Pakistani cooperation to stabilise Afghanistan, where does that leave India-U.S relations?

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If Pakistan wants to save itself. This is the time, Pakistani sovereigntly is not under the greatest threat, with India being the least of its worries and the US and Taliban being the next worst.I would not put it past the U.S., that if they do not find a willing partner in Pakistan, the U.S., once finished in Iraq, will forcibly establish a base in Pakistan and will do its best to leverage Pakistan to divert all military resources to fight Talibanization. If the Pak army and ISI do not comply at this time, Barack Obama will have no choice but to listen to his advisors and the droves of lobbyists in Washington calling for Disintegration and nuclearization of Pakistan.If Pak. fails to give up its affair with the Taliban and its love of Jihadi Proxy Army Strategic assets as instruments of foreign policy, then the U.S. will elevate things to the U.N. security council for Balkanization of a part of Pakistan, so as to remove partial Pakistani sovereignty to allow a huge multinational force there.Make no mistake, Barack Obama is not some sort of drunk like George Bush, he appears like a cool, polished man, but he is a very methodical, cunning lawyer with very big teeth. He has already shown the ability to accomplish impossible things.As a good lawyer, he will methodically build the eventual case for denuclearization and disintegration of Pakistan and do it in such a way that he will be able to build a high level of consensus among the UN member nations to exert the force of the security council.The case will be built that all things have been tried to reform Pakistan, they did not reform and therefore Pakistan, a nuclear state, is now a danger to the World and therefore must be dealt with militarily and separated.

Posted by global watcher | Report as abusive
 

Global watcherDont make a mockery of yourself here on this blog, what are you trying to establish? You must know that Pakistan is not a banana republic, while fully capable of thwarting any agression, Pakistan is capable not only to defend itself but deliver crushing blows to any attacking enemy. Keep up your childish rants, I will keep reminding you Pakistan is a muslim nation of 170 million people armed with deadly and lethal weapons of mass destruction and capable of unleashing catastrophic forces of destruction upon its enemies. Let the time come, lets see who attacks who and who sends who to hell.Long Live Pakistan!

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher:”If Pakistan wants to save itself. This is the time, Pakistani sovereigntly is not under the greatest threat, with India being the least of its worries and the US and Taliban being the next worst.”Whatever threats may be to Pakistan’s soverignity, every single one of them is being identified, addressed, course of actions formulated and are in the process of being eliminated. Pakistan is like a cornered tiger, we will make a resounding come back. We won our freedom in 1947, we defended it with our blood all along. We will lay down our lives for Pakistan, 170 million of us are a force. When united no one can dare challenge our soverignity. Pakistan is being taken easy until now, the game has just begun.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Americans knew all along about ISI’s deep involvement in Jihadi activities. They knew everything about their clandestine nuclear program. They knew what Pakistan was doing in India. They knew everything. But they chose to ignore all that since it did not fit into their geo-political strategic plans.But things have changed. If Al Qaeda had not hit American and European targets, they would not have had to face their public for doing something to end terrorism. Bush had no plans to go after Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Even after ousting Taliban from Afghanistan, the US gave up its chase of Bin Laden and turned towards it plans in Iraq and elsewhere. When Pakistan restarted its activities in India, once again it did not go intensely to put an end to it. But now, Iraq is done. There is a new sharif in town. And he is a straight talker. Now the US is coming forward to admit the truth and is committed to clearing the ISI of its Jihadi elements, tied its economic aid package with conditions that will prevent Pakistan from engaging in insurgency in India and may even go further if resistance is observed.I am wondering why Obama suddenly brought the topic of removing nuclear weapons in the G20 summit. He must be having a starting point somewhere. To me it looks as though he is eyeing the nukes in Pakistan with its probability of falling into the wrong hands. It is interesting to see Balochistan beginning to boil. Though the ISI blames the RAW for all that is going on, ISI is more powerful in the region and it would certainly be able to curtail any RAW activities and do more.If Pakistanis do not cleanse and detox their system themselves, looks like the Americans will do it for them. I don’t think they will engage in dividing up the country. It does not offer anything productive for the Americans – instead of dealing with one country, they will have to deal with four. If Pakistan falls apart, it will happen from within – mostly as a civil war between military factions loyal to the Jihadi machinery and those who really want to get away from it all. It will turn ugly as every faction will try to wrest control of the nukes. This is where the US might act. India should simply leave everything to the US and Pakistanis and protect its borders. The Americans created this whole mess. Let them clean it up. We have nothing to gain from what is going on. We will be hit by the fall out. But we must minimize the damage and hold still somehow.

 

Umair,Your bold claims might hold India or other nearby countries at bay. But not the United States. I hope most Pakistanis do not share that attitude. Richard Armitage told Musharraf that if Pakistan did not switch sides, your country would be bombed back to stone age. This was in 2001. And Musharraf reversed the gear without any hesitation. Chest thumping works to assuage one’s own fears. That is all. Do not mess with the Americans. They can create problems and can also end them. You do not want their Tomahawk missiles pointed at your country. Your military will simply surrender to the Americans if an attack comes. I sincerely hope sense prevails. I understand your feelings. But do not get emotional. Practicality is very important for survival.

 

Mauryan wrote:” Chest thumping works to assuage one’s own fears. That is all. Do not mess with the Americans. They can create problems and can also end them. You do not want their Tomahawk missiles pointed at your country. Your military will simply surrender to the Americans if an attack comes. “We are messing with Americans since the 1950s, Pakistan knows America’s weakness and America knows Pakistan’s weakness. ISI was nothing before 1979, the legend of ISI was born after 1979, CIA and ISI are like mother to daughter. Diamond cuts diamond,what would send frightening chills down the spine of every American ? A hot head Pakistan Army Lt. General appointed to the post of Director General ISI. Thats the deal. America can turn its Tomahawk cruise missile against Pakistan, Pakistan will retaliate with BABUR CRUISE MISSILES. Pakistan Navy is equipped with C-802 anti- ship missile which will destroy any American war ship.www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/Army _border_ops_092608w/ – 38k -Read the above article, Pakistan was attacked by US ground forces in Sept 2008. Pakistan Army was immediately ordered to open fire on US ground troops, and helicopters. Just google PAKISTAN ARMY OPEN FIRE ON US TROOPS:Pakistan troops ordered to open fire on US raiderswww.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/16  /pakistan-orders-troops-to_n_126733.htm l – 164k -Pakistan shut down NATO supplies after the Sept 2008 attack in Waziristan(Angoor Adda) by US special forces, Than google PAKISTAN ARMY OPENS FIRE ON NATO HELICOPTERSPakistan warns US troops after exchange of fire | The Jakarta Postwww.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/09/ 26/pakistan-warns-us-troops-after-exchan ge-fire.html -Pakistani forces fired warning flares at NATO choppers: Zardariwww.thaindian.com/newsportal/unca tegorized/pakistani-forces-fired-warning -flares-at-nato-choppers-zardari_1001000 88.html – 49k -NATO Helicopters, Pakistan Troops Exchange Fire at Afghan Borderwww.voanews.com/english/2008-09-25 -voa15.cfm – 37k -Pakistani and American Troops Exchange Fire – NYTimes.comwww.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/wo rld/asia/26military.html -Americans are fully aware of Pakistan’s fighting capability, whatever Richard Armitage told Musharraf told Musharraf is history. Lets see if Richard Holbrooke is able to state the same to Ashfaq Kayani after Pakistan Army and US Army already fought against each other on Afghan border.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “America can turn its Tomahawk cruise missile against Pakistan, Pakistan will retaliate with BABUR CRUISE MISSILES”Ok. It is going to happen, if your generals share your attitude. Bin Laden got foolish and haughty and whacked on a honeycomb. Now he is shifting from cave to cave at nights in order to survive. Taliban is hiding in the rough hills of NWFP and FATA. Are they ruling Afghanistan? No. Now you are getting foolish and so will your generals. Your Babur cruise missiles will have nowhere to fly as the US can launch its offensive from afar. And they have satellites that can monitor your moves. Their B52s are beyond reach of your anti aircraft missiles. Their stealth fighters can fly non stop from Arizona and precisely knock out key defense installations inside your country. They have details of everything inside your country. Let us hope this does not happen. But your military could not even handle a rag tag bunch of militants in Swat.Do not assume that your jihadists and militry (they both seem to appear as one from outside) can take on a super power. The Soviets got defeated, not because of your military, but because of the US working through you. This time pray that China steps in to help against the US. Otherwise, in a matter of one week, your military, ISI everything will be cleaned out. And the marines would have taken out all your nukes and missiles.

 

MauryanAmerica has 52000 troops in Afghanistan across the Pakistan border, 17000 more coming. 38 NATO countries have their soldiers in Afghanistan, these forces are in the range of Pakistan’s conventional and nuclear missiles. Untill and unless the last single soldier withdraws, all these western nations will never compromise their safety by provoking an attack on Pakistan.Once these forces withdraw, US has a strategic partner east of Pakistan: India. India is a big market, with emerging middle class, US is dreaming to sell you weapons, do trade with you, prop India against China. Will the US ever attack Pakistan, knowing Pakistan in return could carry out nuclear strike on India?hmmm.. let me think! probably you call this NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL. no. no. no. not good. Good countries dont do this, Pakistan is good country and will never do this. But than US will have to make sure no B-52s flying out of Arizona enter Pakistan airspace and if they do, than…….Pakistan cannot be held responsible for anything after the B-52s enter Pakistan airspace, what will follow next will be worst than Chernobyl and Hiroshima.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

MauryanUmair is right when he says – “America is in deep recession, they are knee deep in quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq.” – & will surely use Pakistan as the ‘dumping’ ground for it’s weapons as Sr. Bush had done with Iraq during the Kuwait invasion.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

Now, the UK has uncovered a potential terrorist strike that was directly linked to Pakistan. They’ve arrested 11 suspects from Pakistan who were on student visas. It’s all over the British news today. The people in the UK are furious, and demanding 1) Pakistan to act against the Taliban, 2) No more empty promises but action 3) Revisit the student visa regulationsIn response, the Pakistani ambassador in the UK shamelessly blamed the failure of British intelligence system for allowing in the suspected terrorists on student visas.Outrageous!

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

US is not going to fight the war with blogger strategy. US vs Pak—I am laughing and the americans are pissed off at the comparison. That they are afraid to fight, I agree with that part. But they have found this successful bro vs bro strategy.US is in recession but still gives aids $$$$ to Pakistan and fighting wars—-money is not going to be a limiting factor for them–they won’t have to cut down on the steaks to fight the war (forget about starting to eat the grass to save $$$ for fighting).Pakistan Navy honestly is not up to the task with Indian Navy. Check the hard facts the #s of arsenal, and the quality of the arsenal, location the coastline blah….speaks for itself.The fact is US will not fight with Pak and Indian will not fight with Pak the way some bloggers think–for better alternatives.Pakistanis: the enemy is within. There is no other way except to take the bull by the horns. For your next generations.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “Good countries dont do this, Pakistan is good country and will never do this. But than US will have to make sure no B-52s flying out of Arizona enter Pakistan airspace and if they do, than……”This is the very reason why your nukes will be taken out by the Marines soon. Black mail is done by criminals. Are you indicating that your country is made of criminals in charge? I know good countries don’t attack another nation in order to save themselves from a big bully. Your statement says that yours is not a good nation. I guess most Pakistanis have been blinded like you have been. You will only shoot randomly all around since you cannot see anymore.Good luck Umair. Just pray every day that Uncle Sam does not turn against your country. Your nukes are not under the control of your military or the ISI. So no nukes will explode. Don’t worry. Laugh as much as you can. Hopefully this will not be the last time.

 

Suleman Maniya,Goteborg,Sweden—This may be of some interest to you…http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/20 08/08/30/guest-contribution-pakistani-an d-proud/can check in the archives for the month of August ’08 – Guest contribution: Pakistani and Proud? – By Amil Khan

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

@Bulletfish,Unless there is a common hatred of India to fuel Pakistani unity, frozen in fear and not knowing what to do, the citizens of Pakistan have no bxlls, guts, heart or strength to fight for their country. Rest in pieces.This is a threat to Pakistan, that the founding forefathers of Pakistan never contemplated. Unless Pakistan seeks to redefine who they are in the context of the modern world, namely a very prosperous India and a Talibanized Pakistan, they will be swallowed up by the Taliban cancer tearing through as we speak.You reap what you sow. Extremism has come back haunt those who fueled it.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

The root cause of today’s situation is Jinnah and his selfish power mongers who did not care about the consequences of their greed for power. Jinnah just wanted to carve out a nation for himself and the British gave him what he wanted to make a long lasting drag on India. They hated leaving India and did not like being forced out when things were falling apart for them. So they created Pakistan. They had no agenda after getting what they wanted. A united India has managed to deflect off similar issues. Over 60 years people have begun to realize the importance of being in one union. There sure are many Jinnahs inside India. But they will never make a global impact on the whole nation. India’s massive diversity acts as a barrier. Somewhere I read that linguistic division has actually helped the unity stay alive. People got at least something to relate to and stay within that. Coalition governments will make sure that no single party can hold sway over the whole nation and one family does not get to decide the nation’s fate.Pakistan spent 35 of its 62 year life under military rule. They had a huge opportunity to become a very modern state in all aspects. Karachi could have rivaled Dubai. But their leaders spent all their time on hatred of India and the end result is that hatred has come back to haunt them. It is a sad story of a nation that should not have been. Religion is for personal spiritual progress. It should never get into running governments. The end result is states like Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. It is really sad.

 

A country built on religious hatred cannot survive. What will it do when hate is not enough?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Mauryan”The root cause of today’s situation is Jinnah and his selfish power mongers …”I will respectfully disagree with you, rather will correct you that the root cause of today’s situation is:BRITISH & NEHRUFirst, if British were following the set principles and doing justice in division of assets and land, there may not have been so much blood shed at the time of partition.Second, if Nehru was following up to his promised made in 1948 to the UN, Pakistan and India could have saved a lot of money from wasting on Military and could have used it for the betterment of people. And am sure both countries could have raised in much more harmony, peace and love.

Posted by Abid | Report as abusive
 

Mr Holbrooke got off on the wrong foot, by ignoring Kashmir as well as Pakistani interests in Afghanistan and simply demanding that Pakistan do whatever the US wants. Now he is encountering resistance from govt/army and ISI.Holbrooke keeps this up and will end up after 4 years in the same situation as Bush was after 8 years, where Pakistan takes their money and does nothing.

 

Ali”Holbrooke keeps this up and will end up after 4 years in the same situation as Bush was after 8 years, where Pakistan takes their money and does nothing.”That is why my dear US is putting conditions to her aid.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

@ChirkutDear if US stops aid it loses all leverage in Pakistan, so they can put as many conditions as they wish. No aid and a hostile US govt will not help them achieve their objectives.US can’t bomb its way to victory.

 

Ali,If US stops its aid Pakistan will become history.Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

@ChirkutThere was no aid as well as heavy US sanctions in the 1990′s , and Pakistan is still here. If US cuts off aid, it will mean no F-16′s for Pakistan, and no leverage for USA.

 

@There was no aid as well as heavy US sanctions in the 1990’s , and Pakistan is still here. If US cuts off aid, it will mean no F-16’s for Pakistan, and no leverage for USA.- Posted by Aamir Ali–And you see the shape Pakistan is in. Recent IMF help was the key to your survival. US, IMF, FOP, China so many are helping Pakistan Zardari post-FOP meeting says FOP meeting was success (bec he got billions of $$$$). Rather than putting his head down in shame, he labels this as success. He need to start hiding the grin, be sober and say thank you on such accassions. And you Aamir, looking for leverage, see the list of helpers and China starting to shoo you away. Think on behalf of Pak and ask yourself “we are asking for help for running the country and proudly talk about the leverge, what sort of country are we?”.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

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