Biden in Pakistan: Where’s the baseline?

January 9, 2009

U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden held talks in Pakistan as part of a regional tour expected to focus on terrorism and tensions between Pakistan and India following the Mumbai attacks.

Before he left the United States, Biden, travelling in his capacity as outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that “What I hope to accomplish is to get sort of a baseline. This will be my God knows how many trips, I guess my 10th or 11th trip into Iraq and I don’t know how many times in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Politico quoted him as saying.

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper said on its website that President Asif Ali Zardari “apprised Biden of Pakistan’s commitment and the measures being taken by the government in the war against militancy, extremism and terrorism”.  Biden in turn described Pakistan as “an incredibly valued U.S. ally”, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.

But what about those attacks by U.S. Predator drones on targets on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan which have fuelled anti-American anger and been condemned by Islamabad as a violation of its sovereignty? President-elect Barack Obama has been a strong advocate of unilateral U.S. attacks, saying during his election campaign that “If we have actionable intelligence about high-level al Qaeda targets in Pakistan’s border region, we must act if Pakistan will not or cannot.”

Not only did the controversy over drone missile strikes seem to be given little attention – at least in the Pakistani media – but shortly before Biden arrived in Pakistan, a U.S. counterterrorism official announced that al Qaeda’s operations chief in Pakistan and a top aide were believed to have been killed in South Waziristan. The official declined to discuss how or when the men died, but a suspected U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan killed three foreign fighters on New Year’s Day, intelligence agents in Pakistan said at the time. U.S. forces in Afghanistan carried out about 30 missile strikes in Pakistan in 2008, according to a Reuters tally, mostly since the beginning of September.

Operations chief Usama al-Kini was thought responsible for the bombing of a Marriott hotel in Islamabad that killed 55 people in September. Kini and his dead lieutenant, Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, were on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorism suspects and had been indicted for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
 
The Washington Post quoted Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert and Georgetown University professor, as saying that the CIA’s tactics appeared to be cutting dramatically into al Qaeda’s top ranks on the Pakistan border. ”It is a stunning testament of the accuracy of intelligence that the United States is obtaining,” Hoffman said. “Either we have built up an impressive network of sources that facilitates such precision targeting, or the Pakistani authorities are cooperating big-time.”
 
So where is the baseline Biden said he was looking for in Pakistan? A tacit understanding that the drone attacks can continue while being publicly condemned? Or was there a deliberate choice to avoid controversy before the Obama administration has even taken office and at a time when Pakistan faces pressure from both the United States and India to crack down on Islamist militants?
(Photos: Vice President-elect Joe Biden arrives for talks in Islamabad; tribesmen in Pakistan’s border areas)        

 

Comments

The evidence is on the streets of Pakistan everyday, everytime you pass by the madrassas, just listen to the hate being manufactured there. Do I need to come over there and show you that too?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

dear pakistanis

pak has conferred highest pakistan award to a vice president elect of a country which is attaking the pak with its drones. highly shame. for what the award. is it for money or is it for the support they render to fulfull your wishes of dismantaling india or for that matter all big south asian economies. this means you can do any thing for money

Posted by venkat | Report as abusive
 

JUST TO OPEN YOUR EYES:Former British Foreign Secretary: Al Qaeda is Not a Real Group, Just a U.S. Propaganda Campaign.
Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook says:The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US. Cook has previously written:Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Cook is merely confirming what others have said. Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”.

Posted by Peace | Report as abusive
 

JUST TO OPEN YOUR EYES:Former British Foreign Secretary: Al Qaeda is Not a Real Group, Just a U.S. Propaganda Campaign.
Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook says:The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US. Cook has previously written:Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Cook is merely confirming what others have said. Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”.

@Peace,

You sound just like the notorious Hamid Gul. Hamid Gul came on TV and claimed that all the Terrorism in Pakistan and around the world is all staged by the CIA, and that there is a conspiracy against muslim countries. It is funny how one sided this man is, then he claims that 911 and MUMBAI were “inside” jobs by MOSSAD, or the CIA or Indian Intelligence. This mans appetite for blaming others for this problems and blaming others for terrorist attacks on them astounds me. It is shocking how he, like you Peace is using plausible denial to explain away everything. He even goes to say that any terrorist attacks anywhere are staged by Western countries to create a reason to attack Islam, even after the perpetrators and all the evidence is given.

Al Qaeda, you can call it whatever you want, to be funny, you can even call this group “Mickey Mouse”, whatever you want, I don’t care. The fact is, you are ignoring the thousands killed in Terrorist attacks around the world, let me be quite frank here, the terrorist attacks were not caused by Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Bahai, Shinto (japan), Aboriginals (Aussie), First Nations(North America), Eskimos, Russians, Eastern Orthodox. If you guessed right, it was the “Mickey Mouse” group.

Let me start with, just to name a few antics of the “Mickey Mouse” Group: (most below with bodycounts over 100)

-1988-Lockerbie Scotland
-1993-World Trade Center – Ramzi Yousef and Friends
-8 Aug 1998: truck bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Saalam, Tanzania
-Sept 11, 2001 – 911
-2002 Bali Night Club Bombings (200 dead-tourists)
1-3 Sep 2004: hostage taking at school in Beslan, Russia (includes 30 terrorists killed) (366)
-11 Jul 2006: multiple bombings on commuter trains in Mumbai, India (200)
-11 Mar 2004: bombings of four trains in Madrid, Spain
-2007 just under 500 Pakistanis killed in suicide bombings
-2008 just under 2000 Pakistanis killed in suicide attacks
-2008 Mumbai 188 killed in Mumbai by Pakistani Gunmen

I think I should stop now. These were committed by the Mickey Mouse club. These men suffer from a collective mental illness, which has been imposed on them by brainwashing. They feel people not practicing the same ideals as the Mickey Mouse club are not worthy to live.

The question is, do you suffer from that same mental illness?

Did the rest of the world just imagine all this, did each of those countries just decide to self-inflict these wounds on themselves?

You get your information from on or two sources and deem it to be true. You ignore the mountain of evidence confiscated from all of the terrorism crime scences, there are telephone records, faxes, emails, laptops, recordings, written notes, wiretaps, books, peoples, names places connecting all the dots….yet you ignore all this and casually dismiss it.

Don’t insult those killed and their families by saying Al Qaeda does not exist.

You wear the hat of shame well.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

To get more information about developments in Pakistan and in the region, please visit

http://www.real-politique.blogspot.com

 

Highly disgraceful,how a US VP who sends drones to kill our people gets an award. I hang my head in shame as a Pakistani…

Posted by Yousuf | Report as abusive
 

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