Holbrooke in Pakistan: a sea change?

February 12, 2009

With Richard Holbrooke very much keeping his own counsel about his maiden visit to Pakistan, it’s been hard to assess quite how much change is to be expected from President Barack Obama’s new special envoy.

But a couple of early op-eds suggest that the change might be quite substantial. 

In the Indian Express, Indian analyst C. Raja Mohan writes that Islamabad’s  acknowledgement that at least part of the planning for last year’s Mumbai attacks could have taken place in Pakistan could be Holbrooke’s first success. “It will be difficult not to see the connection between Pakistan’s significant announcements on Mumbai and the U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke’s trip to the region this week and President Barack Obama’s call to (President Asif Ali) Zardari on Wednesday night,”  he says.

The crucial issue will be the extent to which Holbrooke can achieve the United States’ avowed aim of strengthening the civilian government in Pakistan, which many in India suspected of ceding much decision-making to the Pakistan Army after the Mumbai attacks. In admitting to a link to the Mumbai attacks, Raja Mohan says, Zardari appears to have taken a significant political risk.   

Picking up a similar theme, the New York Times quotes Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid as saying the high-profile visit by a civilian envoy could change the tone of the U.S. conversation with Pakistan (the traditional dominance of military-to-military contacts in the U.S. relationship with Pakistan has been criticised for enhancing the role of the Pakistan Army and undermining civilian governments.)

“This is a complete sea change in what Pakistan is used to,” the newspaper quotes him as saying. “There is a suspicion in the American establishment that the Pakistani Army has found it easier to pull the wool over the eyes of the American military. It will be harder to do that with the civilians.”

Given the multiple challenges facing Pakistan (this Indian website has a good round-up of the many cross-currents threatening to engulf the country), it’s perhaps a bit too tempting to hope for miracles from Holbrooke. But are we beginning to see signs of a real change in U.S. policy towards Pakistan? And if so, will it work, or turn out to be too little, too late?


Buletfish — you worry about the west men that come into your country and bling your sisters whilst you watch n say “sir towel chaiy, condom chaiy, bari behan chaiy lol?” Dont worry we look after all the rest around the world by the way they like a ciscumcised one not one with cheese ends lol.

I bet you are one of the untouchables arnt you excluded from socity but managed to crawl out of slumps and have a job a united utiltes lol. Stop posting re-marks here and meet your call centre target before you get shown the door there plenty of your ugly brothers waiting to replace u lol.

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Indian Army men SORRY MOUSE marrying locals afghans then leaving them to ROT!!!!lol

Gen Kapoor says the army has done its own investigation and has found a certain “dichotomy” between army records and what Ms Ahmadzai claims in her complaint to the police.

“The dichotomy stems from the fact that her so-called marriage took place in December. As per our records and according to the details of the officer on the mission to Afghanistan, he was there from January to November. So there is a basic dichotomy in what the FIR (First Information Report) has said and what the officer has done when he was detailed there,” Gen Kapoor said.

Meanwhile, for Sabra Ahmadzai this is a battle that must be fought – even if it takes many years.

“I have learnt that you should not marry outside your community,” she says, “and if you do then you should inquire and be careful.”

As she walks out of the shrine into the winding lanes of Nizamuddin, she talks of returning to Afghanistan and opening an NGO that will help other Afghan women from being exploited in these difficult times her country is facing.

“This fight is not just for me,” she says while nibbling on prayer sweets and rose petals, “but for people who are facing similar situations and they must fight it out.”

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An Indian man detained without trial for 38 years, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, has been freed on bail by the country’s supreme court.
Jagjivan Ram Yadav, was arrested for allegedly killing a neighbour’s wife in 1968. He was produced at a court in Faizabad district, but not charged.

His trial was never held as police admitted losing the case records.

A defence lawyer said Mr Yadav, 70, appeared mentally unstable and he was sent to an asylum in Varanasi city.

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Indian Tollerance!!

Last month’s attack in Mangalore, which was filmed and then broadcast on national television, shocked many Indians.

Television pictures showed men chasing and beating up the panicking women. Some of the women, who tripped and fell, were kicked by the men.

Around 30 people, including Mr Mutalik, were later arrested.

Women’s groups strongly condemned the attack, which was described by the country’s Women’s Minister Renuka Chaudhury as an attempt to impose Taleban-style values.

The Hindu nationalist BJP government in Karnataka state distanced itself from the attack. It said it had nothing to do with Sri Ram Sena.

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Inian OCCUPATION of Kashmir!

In the run-up to polling day, Srinagar feels like an armed camp.

Outside active war zones (and Srinagar doesn’t fit that description any longer) the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir is one of the most heavily militarised places I’ve ever seen. Hardly a great advert for Indian democracy.

Every 50 metres or so, on every main street, stand several men (or very occasionally women) armed with assault rifles and – more often than not – big sticks. These, it seems, are the only conditions under which elections are possible.

There are undeclared curfews and a blanket of security across the city. Half a million army and police personnel keep watch over Kashmir, and Srinagar has more than its fair share.

Other parts of Jammu and Kashmir have seen higher voting figures than expected in this election season. But Srinagar is stubborn, and resentment against Indian rule runs deep.

On the election trail on the edge of town, Omar Abdullah, son of a famous Kashmiri family, addresses a small crowd as icy rain drifts down from the misty mountains. There’s razor wire in the haystacks.

Sitting on a makeshift stage on the back of a lorry, he tells me he’s hoping turnout in Srinagar will reach double figures. But he doesn’t look like he’d bet on it.

“We’d rather not campaign under such tight security,” he says, surrounded by yet more armed men. “The gun has changed nothing for us politically, but it has destroyed us economically, and it has had a huge impact on us socially.”

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Indian cowrds actions in kashmir!!!

Across the town, in Dalgate’s Hajjan area, Ghulam Qadir, 62, who ran a barber shop in the area was shot by the security forces his neighbours say, right outside the family home last Sunday.

Some say Mr Qadir and his son, Yaqub, were walking down the street when they were “targeted”. Others say Mr Qadir was at home and ran out when he heard that Yaqub, who was bringing milk, was being roughed up by troops outside.

They say when he protested, the troops fired at both father and son. Mr Qadir died on the spot, with a bullet in his heart; and Yaqub is fighting for his life in hospital.

The CRPF’s Mr Tripathi says the forces fired in Hajjan after an irate local mob “ransacked” a troops sentry post, and tried to snatch their arms.

“The troops fired three bullets in self-defence”, he says.

Mr Qadir, neighbours say, was “pretty friendly” with many troops who are stationed at an 18-year-old camp in the area.

The only thing which appears to be the undisputed truth on the narrow streets of Hajjan are the dry speckles of blood on the brick wall of a house close to Mr Qadir’s.

“See, the blood of the martyr is still prominent,” a neighbour says.

Kashmir’s newly buried men and women are maybe a mere addition to cold statistic of the dead in the Kashmir valley, but for the majority of its 6.7 million people, they are the new ‘martyrs’.

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–Tipu Sultan was an Indian & we don’t need garbage history lessons from foreigners like you pakistani imposters…

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“A defence lawyer said Mr Yadav, 70, appeared mentally unstable and he was sent to an asylum in Varanasi city.”

—India Exposed IS Mr. Yadav.

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“American jobs for american people”
— “American bombs for pakistani people”

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

Are we getting touchy IDIOTS? lol

Thats just the start I dont have time to bother with you idiots. But since Anup your bund has lot of fire in it lol why dont you join your coward securty servuces they are short of men to take the bullets maybe they need idiots like you and perfect recruit as well.

Tipu was indian you stupid arse wipe thats because it was all india so even my grand parents would have been refred to as indian obviously as the Bangladesh/Pakistan and even new india is 60years development because of hindu greed where they wanted to rule muslims but eneded up losing most of india lol.

Maybe they should have bothered to assure Mr Jinnah that muslims were under protection. I wonder why he left the ghandi n the boys as he was congress man because you decitful indians NEVER gave him a possitive answer to his concerns. What hapened after that we all know ha ha I think india still has stomah for Khalistan, Tamilstan, Orisatan lol. Long live the sepratist movements carry on the good work if ever needed ISI help its would be pleasure.

Posted by ali | Report as abusive

Kashmir’s newly buried men and women are maybe a mere addition to cold statistic of the dead in the Kashmir valley, but for the majority of its 6.7 million people, they are the new ‘martyrs’.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

Indian Occupation of kashmir!!

Amnesty International has appealed to Indian authorities to urgently investigate nearly a thousand unmarked graves in Kashmir discovered by a local human rights group over the past year.

The graves were found in cemeteries in 18 villages close to the Line of Control, the military control line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, according to the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), an independent group in Kashmir.

“Amnesty International urges the Government of India to launch urgent investigations into hundreds of unidentified graves discovered since 2006 in Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement from Amnesty International said.

The APDP estimates around 10,000 people went missing — presumed kidnapped and murdered by security forces — during the nearly two-decade-old separatist revolt in Kashmir, and says many of the missing could have ended up in these unmarked graves.

“The grave sites are believed to contain the remains of victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other abuses which occurred in the context of armed conflict persisting in the state since 1989,” Amnesty’s statement added.

Anup thats NOT pakistan lol who carried out this report!

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The true indian democracy!!!

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Indian authorities deployed thousands of troops across Kashmir on Monday to prevent demonstrations planned to mark the 61st anniversary of New Delhi’s rule over the region.

In Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital, troops patrolled deserted streets, erected barricades and blocked roads leading to the offices of U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

UNMOGIP, one of the oldest U.N. missions, monitors a 1949 cease-fire line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the separatist All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference alliance, was placed under house arrest to prevent him from leading a march to the U.N. office.

“October 27 is the blackest day in the history of Kashmir,” Farooq said referring to the day in 1947 when Indian troops arrived to take control of the region, just over two months after India and Pakistan won independence from Britain.

On October 26, 1947, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir said his Muslim-majority kingdom would accede to India and not join newly created Islamic Pakistan.

Kashmir has since been claimed by both India and Pakistan, and roiled with violence, involving Indian troops and Muslim militants.

So far 43,000 people have been killed, officials say, but human rights groups put the toll at 60,000.

Reuters reporting there hardley a great advert for indian democracy lol….

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Ali, you like your Madrassa Imams, have too much time on your hands. Go and join a rally against terrorism and do something good for the world.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Whosoever exposing, please read this and close all your exposing…. CENSORED lol
The First citizen of the country admits….
Read on
Taliban is in “huge” amounts of Pakistan:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk  /N13547575.htm

If ears faint watch on:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/1 3/60minutes/main4800926.shtml

– How pathetic it would be to a president to admit the truth after they sung a false tune….
– Trusting a lying person is impossible so trusting a lying nation….. any words?

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– Talking about Indian Army in Kashmir… lol
didn’t knew you guys are so jealous of our own Army in our own Land :P isn’t that a joke?

“Hamarae ghar mein hum nahin rehenge tho kya mehman rehenge…”

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Thanks to the person who said:

“Can I please please ask,after all this horrid slanging match, what has been achieved? All I can see are insults being traded and have yet to see just one person say they have actually DONE something to help Kashmir and stabilise relations between Pakistan and India. Until that happens, I suggest that people actually do something useful with their time and stop this childishness.

- Posted by MajorMaqbool”

The discussion has gone way off topic, which was originally about whether Holbrooke would manage to bring peace to the region. Since it seems to have deteriorated into a slanging match I’m going to close comments on this particular post. And thanks to those who posted useful comments. I’ll start a new thread in the hope of getting a better discussion next time.


Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive