America’s expanding war in Pakistan

November 23, 2008

U.S. military operations crossed another threshold in Pakistan this week when a Predator ‘drone’ aircraft fired missiles into Bannu area in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), away from the seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas where it has conducted raids with impunity.

Attacking the self-governing and semi-autonomous FATA on the Afghan border, considered a haven for al Qaeda and Taliban,  is one thing. Targeting the North West Frontier Province, or settled areas as Pakistanis call it, is quite another.

This is a  province governed by the national assembly – unlike the tribal areas which are not subject to the national assembly – and therefore  represents an expansion of U.S. operating area into Pakistan proper.

Pakistanis are worrying that if the United States can attack deep inside the North West Frontier Province, then what stops them from raining down missiles on Pakistani cities in pursuit of al Qaeda, according to a report in The Hindu. They are wondering just how far will the United States go in its battle against the militants.

At the moment, though, the raid in Bannu in which the five people including an al Qaeda operative were killed, is a signal that there are no limits to targets in Pakistan for the United States.

At this rate and if they are not stopped,  the U.S. military may end up attacking Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province, the Daily Times said, quoting unnamed government and military officials.

Pakistanis had led themselves to believe that the Predators would remain confined to the unsettled tribal areas and the leave the rest of the country alone, wrote columnist Ayaz Amir in The News. “Our American friends have surprised us once again…,” he wrote.

Amir argued that President Asif Ali Zardari was doing exactly what his predecessor Pervez Musharraf promised to the Americans but didn’t deliver. While Musharraf put the army -the only thing he had – at the disposal of the Americans, Zardari, on the other hand, had placed the country, its democratic institutions at the service of the United States.

It was a far cry from the hopes that voters came with at the polling stations in the February election that gave Zardari’s party the highest number of seats in parliament.  “The people of Pakistan, chumps as ever, thought they were knocking at the gates of a new redemption. Little could they have realised that they were merely tinkering with the old and giving it a new facelift.”

“The people of Pakistan haven’t been betrayed. That would be to put too apocalyptic a meaning on current events. They have merely been used to lend the semblance of popular backing to an unpopular cause. Pakistan’s democracy is now hitched to America’s war chariot which is not quite what the people of Pakistan were expecting when they marched to the polling booths on Feb 18,” Amir wrote.

Zardari told CBS earlier this month that the United States should at least inform Pakistan  that it was launching missile strikes. Many people in the gathering gloom of Pakistan took this statement as acquiescence to missile strikes

Where does Pakistan go from here? U.S. cross-border strikes have increased sharply in the past few months and indeed as Rahimullah Yusufzai, the respected resident editor of The News said, the more Pakistan protests, the more are the raids. The Pakistani government really must come clean on the war and reveal the terms of engagement with the United States, he said.
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35 comments

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Even though a geo-political line has been crossed by attacking Bannu, US has been successful in eliminating the top rung leaders of Al-Qaeda.

US has made its intention clears when Mr. Obama said that he will act if Pakistan deosnt have the will or means to take out Al-Qaeda & Bin Laden. It seems there is a lack of will on Pak side to act. Everytime after a missile strike, details are revealed that some senior members and foreign nationals being eliminated. Though Pak has suffered collateral damage in these strikes the best way out for Pakistan from this jihadi mess is to support the war on terror. It shall be a difficult task for Mr. Zardari to convince his citizens to support this war, but the future of pakistan lies in who wins this war.

Post Kargil, India contemplated of eliminating training camps in PoK by cross-border raids. US is now doing the same. What you cannot do as an ememy can be done by being a friend.

Posted by Srinivasan | Report as abusive

America needs to win the trust of pakistanis in the north while trying to figure out a solution to the kashmir issue mr obama is heading in the right direction by stating azad kashmir issue and indian occupied kashmir issues must be sorted out aswell later on as for indias claim for training camps in azad kashmir going into indian military occupied prison kashmir aka jammu and kashmir its pathetic the world has seen that coward indian soldiers rather use bullets to sort out problems than talking they demand freedom from indian clutches india needs to wake up and stop killing babys in kashmir as the children of kashmir will exact revenge on the indians no matter how harsh it may be india must learn its lesson

Posted by Bilal Kashmiri | Report as abusive

The true problem here is the old U.S. regime and the old Paki regime, which spent so much money training and building the mujahadeen against the Sovients. The U.S. is now cleaning up its problem and so it is time that the Paks take care of their problem too, namely dismantling the ISI and all those who sympathize with the Jihadist cause. Pakistanis keep ranting about their sovereignty being compromised. It is too late to talk about Pak sovereignty, given that foreign fighters and terrorist training camps and madrassas and the two faced ISI has been creating World Terrorism for the last 20 years. The sovereignty of Pak is a complete myth. The people of Pak must decide if the they want to live in the Dark Ages or join the rest of the world in the Modern Age. Each and every individual has to take universal morality and universal responsibility for their actions.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

The pakistanis are in the modern era india however which can barely feed its 700 million starving people is 500 years behind pakistan with 40% of its children starving on the streets india spends money on big naval vessels to comfort itself from its harsh and horrible reality

Posted by Bilal | Report as abusive

Bilal,

You are absolutely right, You are in the modern era congratulations your clock turned from 6th century AD to 7th century AD. Just wondering Why were you putting Acids on sisters or creating controversies on dress code ?.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

The response of a Bilal Kashmiri reflects on the helpless Pakistani’s as they need the American alms for their two square meals, so a few missiles on Peshawar, Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore etc.. is okay for them as long as it’s their ‘Dollar friend’ raining it on them…

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

For the question posed in the article – where does pakistan goes from here ?
Pakistan has already gone to china and middle east.Now that they understand all the billions that came from US was not a charity but Musharaff had sold his motherland to americans. Americans will now act at their will and poor pakistanis who are now ditched by their corrupt leaders are taking up arms for money in tribal areas as govt is promoting militias to fight Taliban.As incapable paksitani leadership committs another suicide attempt by asking aid money from middle east and china and on the other hand is raising local militias, its just a matter of time that these home grown terrorist create trouble with china and middleeast countries to do the same as america is doing in pakistan now.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

OM
‘Musharaff had sold his motherland to americans.’
–’motherland’ & Pakistan? is an insult to motherhood..
Haraam ka maal kabhi pachta nahin.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Guys cool down. Pakistan Army had recently conducted exercises in Muzaffargarh, Punjab to shoot down drones using SAM(Surface to Air) short-range missiles and other weapons. Pakistan Air Force chief of staff have given a statement thet PAF has the capability to blow the drones out of sky. The Air Force needs orders from the governemnt and the real action will begin. With round the clock radar monitoring of air space and the Combat air patrol missions, as soon as next time US drones enters Pakistan air space, Pakistani fighters jets will F*uck them straight to hell. Playing with Pakistan Air Force is like playing with firepower. And one who plays with fire will surely burn his fingers. The US better stop this drone drama before Pakistan Air Force has to step in.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair
‘The US better stop this drone drama before Pakistan Air Force has to step in.’
—-LOOK UP ! There’s a drone….whooossshhh a missile on your rooftop…lol, you sound ‘typical’ Paki..bund mein nahin jor tatti karne chala Lahore…

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

In Pakistan we say “SLEEP TIGHT, PAKISTAN AIR FORCE IS AWAKE”.
F*uck you Indian.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

This country is nothing but trouble, can we just flush it down the toilet or something similar?

Posted by The Crusader | Report as abusive

bund may nahi jor – aur tati karnay chla lahore….

thats what ur leaders with totis on wanted to do in 1965 remeber the magic number…and ur army guys were crying kirpa kar bagwan kirpa kar lol

u know what tehre is billion of ya n u still cant beat us weather in war, r sport u fools

Posted by MAAJID | Report as abusive

The drone attacks must continue in order to take out the militants in Pakistan. The U.S. made a major mistake in Viet Nam by not going after the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia. This allowed the enemy to resupply their forces in South Viet Nam. The Paksitani air force will not shoot down our drones because this would lead to serious consequences for them from us. I am familiar with the mentality of these militants having been part of one of these mujahideen groups in the 1980′s fighting the Soviets. They only understand force. Any lack of force is understood as weakness and will be taken advantage of.

Posted by William Scott | Report as abusive

Scott we are not afraid of any consequences.The drone attacks must be stopped at every cost. And if the Drones do again then gunned them down. The Viet Nam have screwed US like a bee under the feet.

The war on terror is basically US own mess which he is cleaning now. First they have made mujahadeen by supporting them at every level to fight soviet. The war on terror which is started after 9/11 which was the big drama that US have played to coup the Iraq oil. For the reference do see Farenheit 9/11 which is made by Michael Moore and lot of things will be revealed.

Posted by Muhammad Khurram | Report as abusive

The bottom line is that Pakistan is a failed myth. India is Global Grade in terms of its economic power, technology it provides the world, and especially its military power. Pakistan would not stand a real chance against the full might of Indias’s vastly superior military power. India held back in taking Pakistan, during the Kargil crisis.

In short, Pakistan has provided mankind with nothing, only terrorism, failed leaders, extremism. A country built on hate cannot survive. Pakistan exists only due to Saudi and U.S. free handouts into their food bowl for the last 50 years.

Pakistanis often forget that Islam is a religion that is foreign to the indian subcontinent and was brought there by genocide and force. The Indian spirit rose above islamic and english oppression, by being peaceful, remember Gandhi. India should not ever suffer humiliation ever again.

Pakistan should disintegrate. And recent news, another Islamic Terrorist attack on the Secular and Inclusive India. India has been much too nice for its own good.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Billal,

India will come very hard on this sort of behaviour.Be completely assured your cowardice will not win.We will squat you like flies.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

Vijay,

Motherindia is calling you to bed she has a busy night tonight in heera mundi with pakistani politicians please wait till tommorow

Lol India cowardice is the definition for it 1 billion fighting against 100 million you have a 10 to 1 advantage and still your dirty coward tactics hasnt managed to squat me let alone pakistan.

Pakistan Zindabad
Mother India woooooh woooooh

Posted by Bilal | Report as abusive

If you think that the U.S. will continue to allow terrorists to stream over the border, killing U.S. soldiers and Afhghans, you are sadly mistaken. The U.S. has given Pakistan every opportunity to cooperate and given it billions of dollars and other support. In return, it has received treachery from the ISi and elements of the Pak. military.

Posted by g miller | Report as abusive

Bilal,

If you think you will take hostage & then seek negotiation, it will not happen. Islamic terrorism will nto get at Hindu nation. We will see dharam yudh with Jihad.When 100 Billion hindus turn against you no body can save you, you will forget allah.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

Billal,

So you are committed to destroy all hindus,christians & jews.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

The only way to deal with Islamic Terrorism is by bone-crushing sledgehammer resolve. The West has been too soft on the Islamic Virus. It must be erradicated. India is such a bad country or the U.S., or any other western country, why the f**uck do you muslims go there? Get the heck our of our countries and go back to where your ancestors came from.

As you beheaded and genocided other civilizations, so you shall suffer from those you have oppressed. You are reaping the fruits of your ancestors.

Live with it and come to terms with your self and the evil within.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Mr Rick
easy with swearing, you are to illiterate to understand the core issues, I think you lack basic education
how many terrorists created by invasion of iraq and how justified was it?
who created the state of israel and how many terrorists created?
why the f**k you people go there and start killing civilians on mass scale and pretend you are civilised
i guess the WMD were found by the civilised ones like you isnt it?
i know you are too ashamed to answer those or have a look at urself
comon take a walk

Posted by nas | Report as abusive

I am disgusted that Reuters allows such inflammatory comments to be posted on their website. The “islamic virus?”

It is ironic to say that when it is Islamic scholars that first discovered what a virus is and invented hospital.

What is happening today must be placed in the context of sheer numbers. Many many Kashmiris have been killed. People there are angry.

If we condemn violence of one form we should be ready to condemn violence of every form.

Posted by shotta | Report as abusive

I say its about time the United States entered Pakistan. They should go into the province of Waziristan. A lot of terrorist groups are there and black market is there too.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Bilal,

I hope you know that Pakistanis cannot even control their own country right now. How is Pakistan modernizing? You’re government is very unstable as well. India has been to soft on Pakistan for so many years. I think it’s about time we enter Pakistan and eliminate all these jihadis.

I agree with Rick and Vijay/.

This is coming from a 17 year old teenager.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

This attack will get a indian response in time, at our choosing & in a way we will show how we will punish cowardice. I am disgusted with Islamic terror.

Posted by vijay | Report as abusive

*Bombay terrorist attacks

I hope some of you will change you childish minds or at least explain how were these attacks possible in city like Bombay when Indian government was so much in control of India.

Perhaps US should also take control of Bombay haan Nikhil

Does the US realize that it’s in a shooting war with a nuclear armed power? Attacking Pakistan is worse than hubris, it’s madness. If there was ever a country which we needed to be friends with, it’s Pakistan – it’s a moderate, democratic country struggling against a violent fundamentalist movement – Meanwhile the US promotes democracy and stability in this nuclear armed state by raiding across their borders, funding their dictators, and generally promoting war and havoc. This exactly the kind of violent arrogance that lost us the war in Vietnam. So we raid the NWFP. We kill a few Taliban and Al-Qaeda “suspects” and also a lot of civilians and those last shreds of goodwill Pakistanis and the rest of the Muslim world have towards the US. We strike the targets but we will lose Pakistan and we will lose the war.
What the US doesn’t understand is that you can’t fight ideas with guns – our best weapon is our democracy and our values, and we have thrown those in the gutter.

-An American, who’s been to Pakistan and Afghanistan and is very scared

Posted by ht | Report as abusive

We Indians don’t want any ties with Pakistan. But what we want from them is to LIVE AND LET LIVE. We as the nation of India can support ourselves when it comes to economics and military defense. Its only terrorism which we cant combat because of ISI. We have nothing against Pakistani people we just want them to leave us alone and live and let live.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

Its regretful that muslims are unhappy in India. Indians are even lower than the level of rats in Pakistan and have no legal rights under Islamic Law, just to make the facts straight for all those wondering.

Perhaps during the partition, much more should have gone to Pakistan.

The West ,especially “latte” liberal Americans, especially TIME magazine does not know how brutal and Genocidal the Indians were treated for the last 1000 or so years by the Muslims as they beheaded millions of hindus, took away their land, their dignity, raped their women, stole their wealth, destroyed their culture and many historically significant temples and millions other were forced to convert or die.

Hindus never forced their religion, by force or any other means on others, never.

Compared to the way Hindus were treated, the muslims are being treated much better than a lot of hindus are even, to fulfill the requirements of the constitution.

They just choose the path of hate, just like their ancestors and don’t want to work hard, be modern, have 50 children per family, don’t want to embrace modern education, because its probably Haram or evil or a threat to their religion to embrace the modern world.

Any people who do not embrace democracy, secularity, univeral morality, modernism, education, univeral logic and rationality, regardless of who they are, will always live a lower standard of life, where ever they live.

Why does no one, especially some muslims, realize that this is why they are suffering all over the world? They are their worst own enemy.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Babar,

Your ignorance amuses me. I visited India many times and I stayed at the Trident Oberoi last year and The Taj Mahal hotel a few years ago. I have to admit this was very well planned attack. These attacks were executed when the security is off guard. These terroists are cowards and they are just around my age which is a scary thought. What are you implying that India cannot take care of itself? The United States offered help but we refused. We can take care of ourselves. Btw It’s Mumbai not Bombay. Take your arrogance and shove it.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

I want to reply to “The Indian’s Post”….can I please ask you which part of India you do come from and what personal experiences you had to have such observations against muslims position in India….I grew up with lot of muslim friends and that’s certainly not how they think it is…in fact what do you say about the reservations/quota system in the education, jobs and other sectors???

our cricket team was lead by a muslim, not too long ago half of our cricket team were muslims..in fact the bowling spearhead is a muslim….

what about the bollywood..? the most highly watched and followed stars/icons in bollywood were and are muslims…what about the iconic and the most popular lyricists, writers, singers????

what about our ex president who also happened to be our nuclear scientist????

what about the number muslims in the army????

I am sorry to say but folks like you no matter where they are will feel out of place….you not only need to take a good hard look at yourself…I also strongly advise you to make a trip to Mumbai and perhaps visit and spend some time with those who lost their friends and families…..

Posted by mav3r1ck | Report as abusive

As an Indian what troubles me is that Pakistan is our neighbour. Remember, when you share a wall with the house that has termites, it is also going to cause problems in your house. (Termites being the extremists in Pakistan – just to be obvious)

I do think there are many progressives in Pakistan who do not believe in terrorism or being involved in these acts. But there are definitely many who have vowed to dedicate their lives to kill people in India or the west. The problem they probably outnumber the moderates. Such extremists also exist in India, namely MNS, whose aim is to makes lives for others miserable, but they are a very small number.

I as an India do not want to see Pakistan crumble. If it does we will see a huge influx of these extremist in India.

Posted by dk slc | Report as abusive

This morning I came to know from indian media that per capita income of residnts of Mumbai being Rs. 48000 and this is three times greater than the other parts of India. Vow how with this doomsday stats you (Indians) can calim of being an emerging power dreaming of reigning the whole world. For all of you self seekers, pakistan has per capita income of more than one thousand US Dollar inspite of all the financial and political problems we are surrounded with these days. But we are capable nation and are well equipped to get out of this mess sooner or later.
Shayan

Posted by Shayan | Report as abusive