Compromise in Swat: is the Pakistan army up to fighting insurgency?

February 17, 2009

Pakistan’s military has ordered troops to hold fire in the Swat valley following the deal between the provincial government and Taliban militants to enforce Islamic law.

The truce comes after nearly two years of fighting in which the Taliban have extended their control of the alpine region barely 130 km (80 km) northwest of Islamabad, destroyed the police force, established a shadow government and implemented an austere form of Islamic law. 

So the question being asked in the aftermath of the deal is: has the Pakistan army backed off from a debilitating war? Second, and more important from the standpoint of the bigger battles ahead especially in the tribal areas, does it really have the stomach for counter-insurgency operations ?

Jauhar Ismail in a post on All Things Pakistan says in an ideal world he would have hoped that the Pakistan army gained the upper hand in Swat to allow the authorities to negotiate from a position of strength. But that didn’t turn out to be the case, partly because of bad strategy and also because of the nature of guerrilla warfare.

Ultimately, the author argues the Pakistan army was never trained to fight a counter-insurgency. All its training, indeed most of its weapons, are focussed on the threat from India, existential or otherwise. Using helicopter gunships and artillery barrages to pummel your own people into submission is almost a sure-fire way to lose the war.

The Indian army, by contrast, has had greater experience in guerrilla warfare, beginning with the dozens of insurgencies in the northeast, to the Sikh revolt in the Punjab in the 1980s and the Kashmir revolt in 1989. And if the Indian army finds itself still engaged in both Kashmir and the northeast (Punjab was a success, though) after decades of operations, you can imagine what the Pakistanis are up against in such a short time period.

On the Pakistan Defence Forum, a blog focused on the armed forces, there has been considerable debate on the issue of why the Pakistan army has been unable to regain control of Swat. One reader said the whole logic of declaring war on the area was flawed.

His comments are worth reproducing briefly :

“Why couldnt Russia control Afghanistan or America control Viet Nam? There is no military solution to this problem. The solution is political, social and economic. We cannot control that valley because we have lost the confidence of the people. when the people are against you then no army can control a territory.”

“Pakistan has invaded itself, it has made an enemy of the people of those regions and all in the name of a few dollars from the USA and a fear of getting attacked by the American Empire. It is not the fault of the army but those bastards who sent the army into a Pakistani region.”

Strong words those, and as Bill Roggio notes in The Long War Journal, with 142 soldiers and paramilitary soldiers dying since August 2008, the Swat insurgency by that count is more dangerous than the conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq.

So where does the Pakistan army go from here? Masood Sharif Khan Khattak, a former director general of the Pakistani Intelligence Bureau, says it must be preserved and not forced to fight an endless war on its own territory.

[Photos of Islamist leaders from Swat and Pakistani troops in the area]

Comments

The operation in Swat has been stopped by the Pakistani govt, not by the army. The current govt had previously stopped the military operation in Swat in April 2008, to sign a peace deal. After the failure of that deal. they re-started the military operation but have now stopped it again, for yet another peace deal.

Before Indians start gloating, they should take note of the successes of the Pakistani army in Bajaur, Hangu and Darra adamkhel,Baluchistan and Khyber, where it has comprehensively crushed militants.

 

The Khyber, Bajaur and Baluchistan are certainly not successes. They remain very much active and very much still in flux. Handing over Swat is ridiculous. Next they WILL demand the Khyber or Peshawar.

Then what

Posted by john | Report as abusive
 

Towards a peaceful resolution of Kashmir problem
It is right time for the leadership of India and Pakistan to think outside the box in regard to Kashmir and its people. As the Kashmir-Line of Control (LoC) is the Line of Conflict (LoC), slowly, surely, and peacefully make it irrelevant for exploiters and bad elements on either side.
Peaceful resolution of Kashmir is crucial and critical for the present and future generations of the region. If Kashmir people’s issue is not addressed, the safety and security of over one billion will remain uncertain. The people in the Indo-Pak region and the rest of the world should always be of our top concern and interest.
Everybody, every leader, and every institution should take it upon themselves to exercise extreme care and caution. We all should avoid any provocative, inflammatory, and rancorous language, acts, and activities in and around the sensitive region.
At the same time, we and the world cannot afford to ignore the plight and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. These people have been divided by the Line of Control and\or the ceasefire line. Like the Berlin wall, it needs to be slowly, surely, and peacefully removed, erased, and dismantled by firm and resolute involvement of all. A courageous and bold action is needed by true, caring and visionary leadership of the region.

The people of occupied and divided Kashmir have sacrificed a lot in last seven decades. The multiple promises, pledges, and commitments that have been made to the people of Kashmir over the last six decades need to honoured.
As a Kashmir-born naturalised American citizen and having spent equal parts of my life in each of the two countries of mine, it is my inherent duty and obligation to comment on this matter.
The question of nuclear weapons should be only discussed for denuclearisation. The aim and focus should be to address the plight and aspirations of the people of Kashmir with the ultimate goal of erasing the Line of Conflict.
COL. A. M. KHAJAWALL (Retd.),

Posted by COL. A.M.Khajawall [Ret] | Report as abusive
 

My opinion may be contravercial coming from a Pakistani Muslim. The whole geographic area of Afghanistan lacked meaningful interest for the neighboring civilization of all times. Consequently a culture of poverty and ignorance has prevailed. Thus offering opportunities to the local as well as foreign ambicious war lords to manipulate the religious as well as cultural belief system of the illitrate and poor who have nothing to loose in this world and hence are willing to die for a quick bargain of the riches of heavens.History is full of such examples of Thugs who made huge gains by organizing such movements and thus invading neighboring lands all around afghanistan using free or cheap religious fighters but leaving the Afghans in eternal darkness for the next Thugs to do the same again and again. Afghans in general though extremely different from each other in many a ways within the country by accepting this deep rooted injustice at grass root level. Even the elite and the so called educated class also practices the same model, even the President Karzai clan or his cirle. So called Violent religious uprisings/movements and conquests are generally the result of ambituios Thugs who manipulate such ignorant people who practice injustice and voilence in their way of life. So a voilent God who rewards voilence becomes a religious war, name it Judo Christian, Islamic or Ashoka conquest in India. Peacful and respactful people accept God only as all loving regardless of whose God it very well may be.

Posted by Nader Junaid | Report as abusive
 

Islamic law in SWAT? Ha! Get ready for more strikes by remote drones and Hellfire missiles. Much more effective than an incompetent Pakistani army.

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan ARMY, ISI are the problem. If Sri Lankan army could do it, Pakistan army can do it too. But Pakistan army is not interested in fighting with Muslims. It is more interested in double-crossing and extorting US. When they fight with Taliban, they do so half-heartedly and under immense US pressure. In return army expects US$$$ and weapons. They kill the civilians or foot soldiers and save the Taliban Management. They always saved, hidden or supported all Kashmir and Afghani Terrorist org management. India’s top 20 terrorists are living under Govt protection, passports and bullet-proof cars provided by ISI. ISI has a deep, long and trusted relation with these guys.

It is a snake and snake-charmer relationship. Does anyone think the snake-charmer will ever hurt the snake? How would the snake-charmer live? Only by making a mess in Kashmir and Afghanistan and keeping it alive, Army, ISI can justify their bigger budget and US aid. It is like a well oiled machine. ISI creates the mullahs and protects them. Mullahs motivate people and politicians about jihad. And jihad motivates people to support army and ISI. If you take Kashmir and Afghanistan from the loop, loop breaks. Army, ISI won’t be able to justify the BIG size or budget. Whenever civilian leaders like Sharif or Zardari talk peace with India, ISI double-crosses and scuttles the peace process. When Pakistan is begging allover the world for food and aid, Pakistan army continues to live lavishly. They suck 30%-40% of state budget. But common people starve or go on suicide missions to support family. The Pakistani, who was caught in Mumbai was a petty-thief and his family was paid US$20K after the mission. ISI hid his parents after the mission. Operations like Mumbai will earn a lot for ISI and Mullahas.

Book: The Million Dollar General by Ayesha Siddique

Washington sent Special Forces into Pakistan last summer after intercepting a call by the Pakistani army chief referring to a notorious Taleban leader as a “strategic asset,” a new book has claimed.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo rld/asia/article5747696.ece

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 
 

The Devil has come home for Dinner. Its apalling to see the denial coming from Pakistani leadership. Enjoy the dinner.

Posted by Kiran | Report as abusive
 

See my Blog…http:/commerce-house.blogspot.com

 

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.” Winston Churchill.

What Pakistan has done is wrong for its whole country. How is it going to attract any interest (monetary or otherwise) when it has given in. This is no peace deal, its a pay-off.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

@ Why couldnt Russia control Afghanistan or America control Viet Nam?

– Because both US and Russia were fighting in foreign lands not like pakistan fighting insurgency in pakistan. This a huge difference, fighting somewhere else away from homeland makes life difficult from intelligence gathering to supply to army..

@ The Indian army, by contrast, has had greater experience in guerrilla warfare, beginning with the dozens of insurgencies in the northeast, to the Sikh revolt in the Punjab in the 1980s and the Kashmir revolt in 1989. And if the Indian army finds itself still engaged in both Kashmir and the northeast (Punjab was a success, though) after decades of operations, you can imagine what the Pakistanis are up against in such a short time period.

– India was succesfull during sikh revolt becuase it had huge public support. All indians were united against breaking the country..Please note this sucess was not a political solution but military in contrast to what you stated as in the other blog spot.

- in the northeast there is no fighting because of a religious cause nor is it to break the country, I would say the rebels are not successfull because they donot have a public support.And its not army who is fighting in north east its the local police.

- in kashmir the fight is still on becuase pakistan sponsers it. India has only been sucessfully fighting the front end militants but has not taken a firm stance to eleminate the roots in pakistan.

Indian army is not specially trained to fight counter in-surgency ( army in in talks with other countries to exchange tactics to fight terrorist in only recent times )..it is the will to fight with in the armed forces for the sake of country rather than for a religious cause or to appease foreign country to get more militatry aid.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive
 

Its strange that Pakistan Swat fight was between Pakistani’s and Pakistani’s, and yet the maximum shouting and condemnation is coming from NON-Pakistanis. Great, if this brings peace, let their be peace.

Once the new Sharia law gets implemented, lets see the good/ or bad if there is any? The foreign governments have interfered enough, time for the people of Pakistan to take control. If they want to have Islamic laws so what is wrong with it?

 

@Islamic law in SWAT? Ha! Get ready for more strikes by remote drones and Hellfire missiles. Much more effective than an incompetent Pakistani army.
- Posted by Jack

Jack: SWAT on paper and real life are not the same. Drones and Hellifre for SWAT?–it is ridiculous, strategy-wise and efficacy-wise! Yes good for High value targets, but not for uprooting Taliban.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan PPP/PML-N & MQM leadership is corrupt and managed by their foreign handlers in India, UK & USA. Let’s face it most PPP leadership when out of power was in Britian, USA and Dubai. PML-N people sit in UK, MQM- Altaf has never returned to Pakistan in last 10+ years. Internet is full of stories of who is behind each ‘so-called’ party. The judges are corrupt and there is no justice. That is why society has collapsed. Forget about what you read, you have to see what 99% public of Pakistan is grinding under.

People now are ready to experiment the ‘Sharia’ law, as there is no other law for the middle class and power-less public. Let there be a ‘revolution’ where the residents of Pakistan have a say instead of what US wants, or what UN wants, UK wants, Saudia wants, Iran wants, Iltaf wants and worst is India wants!. Let Pakistani’s have what they want! By the way there are more rights for women in Sharia, there is education, there is social justice, Sharia is not the rule of jungle as western and India media has reflected. Sharia is more like law practiced in Iran & Saudia Arabia. So what’s wrong with that?

 

@ The Indian army, by contrast, has had greater experience in guerrilla warfare, beginning with the dozens of insurgencies in the northeast, to the Sikh revolt in the Punjab in the 1980s and the Kashmir revolt in 1989. And if the Indian army finds itself still engaged in both Kashmir and the northeast (Punjab was a success, though) after decades of operations, you can imagine what the Pakistanis are up against in such a short time period.
- India was succesfull during sikh revolt becuase it had huge public support. All indians were united against breaking the country..Please note this sucess was not a political solution but military in contrast to what you stated as in the other blog spot.
-posted by Anitha

Anitha: I fully agree with the 1. military strategy 2. huge public support in succes against Sikh militants. That’s what KPS Gill, former DG Punjab Police, responsible for the success in Punjab says too. But he emphasizes the importance of ‘Political resolve” in eradicating sikh militancy since he says that militancy returned briefly under Akali govt (?) but Congress (creator of the monster) resolved to get rid of it and the total success could be achieved. this is somewhere mentioned in his articles on http://www.satp.org

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@Its strange that Pakistan Swat fight was between Pakistani’s and Pakistani’s, and yet the maximum shouting and condemnation is coming from NON-Pakistanis. Great, if this brings peace, let their be peace.
- Posted by tariq j qureshi

-Yeah, it really is strange that there was hardly any Pakistani commenting on SWAT. Condemning Taliban in SWAT is good? Isn’t it?
—Nicer if you would have said “Pakistani versus terrorists”. That;s how SWAT is a mess now.

@If they want to have Islamic laws so what is wrong with it?
–I am speechless and worried over this.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@The operation in Swat has been stopped by the Pakistani govt, not by the army. The current govt had previously stopped the military operation in Swat in April 2008, to sign a peace deal.
- Posted by Aamir Ali

–I thought Army decides everything (most of the things), especially sich as these. Or does it use Govt for facing embarassment. seriously.

@Before Indians start gloating, they should take note of the successes of the Pakistani army in Bajaur, Hangu and Darra adamkhel,Baluchistan and Khyber, where it has comprehensively crushed militants.
–We are concerned.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@john
Why are Bajaur, Khyber and Baluchistan operations not a success? Not only have the militants either been killed or fled, and their hideouts busted, but their activity has gone down tremendously in these areas.

There will still be violence like occasional bomb blast and kidnapping, as well see in Iraq but nothing of the scale seen before.

Of course if you take the Western view, which is non-acknowledgement of Pakistani contributions and successes then indeed all operations and all activity by Pakistan is meaningles. You should stop bothering Pakistanis then as well.

 

Pakistan’s politicians, ARMY and ISI are failed organizations. They never provide any solution. Only mess-up, cover-up and threaten others. Pakistan is a beggar country today because they have failed repeatedly. They should be disbanded. A new civilian leadership and army should be created bottom up, just like in Afghanistan or Iraq. Pakistan

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

NATO should enter Pakistan and bring it under control. Taliban should have no place to sleep or rest. Seems like Taliban is planning for breakfast in SWAT, Lunch in Afghanistan and dinner in SWAT

If Pakistan army DOESN’T co-operate in all this, then
1. Iraq-2 should be repeated in Pakistan (Keeping Pakistan in one piece)
2. Or Pakistan should be divided along ethnic lines and divided along neighbors. This has been done before Bangladesh liberated. Dividing Pakistan is not a bad idea because history tells us that all these different ethnic muslims can hardly live together. They will always be a problem to themselves and neighbors. Look, what Pakistan army was doing in East Pakistan. At least, this threat will make Pakistan army listen and act.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

- Current Pakistani politicians don’t belong to Pakistan. They are all imported and they are never committed to Pakistan. They have one foot in Pakistan and another foot abroad. Take orders from foreign governments like Saudi, UAE and China. When is the last time Saudi, UAE and China created a country! New generation of civilian leaders should be propped-up who will be 100% Pakistani.

- Pakistan army and ISI should be cut-down in size (something which is commensurate with the size and requirements of Pakistan and which Pakistan can support without going bankrupt). How long can the current Pakistan army survive on US aid or looting state budget. Pakistan is bankrupt today.

- Like all civilized countries, Pakistan army and ISI should be brought under civilian control. NATO shouldn’t leave Pakistan until this happens.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Superpowers should interfere in pakistan and bring peace and stability in pakistan, pakistan is now officially a failed state.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

What good is an army that resorts to compromise with terrorists in order to maintain peace? I believe Pakistani army wanted Islamic law to be implemented in those regions and peace is a pretext of doing so.

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan has surrendered a territory 100 miles from its capital. What will be next? The Pakistani army has neither the leadership, the skills, nor the will to make a stand. There are about 4000 Taliban in Swat, and roughly 12,000 army troops.

From a US perspective, the collapse of a nuclear Pakistan and the crumbling of Afganistan will make our economic problems look like a picnic, and Viet Nam, childs play. Obama had better wake up and get his eye on the ball. Two words – Nato, now!

Posted by Midway | Report as abusive
 

This is all a game by Pakistan to extort more money and support from US and other international countries. They were able to put up their Army on Indian border post 26/11 Mumbai tensions but there are not able to control Taliban?

Posted by Experx | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan Army commanders have their own strategy in mind, SWAT is a “tactical withdrawal”. Its as simple, on the question of superiority, Pakistan Army, Navy and Air force are highly professional organizations possessing deadly and sophisticated weapons systems. No force, guirella or conventional can stand against them. Pakistan Army has an excellent command structure and is fully capable of dealing with internal and external aggression. No one should view the situation in Swat as a surrender, a tactical withdrawal has opened up possibility of strategic success.

Men at their best! Pakistan Army

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair Wrote:
Pakistan Army commanders have their own strategy in mind, SWAT is a “tactical withdrawal”.

Pakistani are still in state of denial. Last time when a very high rank Pak army officer was in India, a journalist asked if pak has lost half of its country to fundamentalists, and the answer was, see its some cultural differences which pakistan is facing and nothing serious about it.

We have the result now, World is seeing it as a surrender and pakis see it a “tactical withdrawl”

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

Anitha writes: “@ Why couldnt Russia control Afghanistan or America control Viet Nam?”

Russia would have eaten up Afghanistan like it did on the Central Asian islamic republics (Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan etc). In the long run, it might have been better for the region. But unfortunately, it was cold war time. So the goal was to avenge the Vietnam defeat. The US and its allies went to work ignoring the long term effects of this effort. If the US and its allies had not done that, Pakistan and Afghanistan would have been very different today.

The US could not win at Vietnam because the Chinese and the Soviets neutralized the Americans. And there was long resistance within the US that their Soviet/Chinese counter parts did not have.

Neither power could control anything because of geo-politics.

The only way powers in the past managed to control anything remotely located from their places is by turning brother against brother and let them fight forever. Britain took over the whole world this way. India and Pakistan are testimony to that. So both countries are going to the Western powers for a settlement even now. The US, if it was smart wouldn’t have entered Iraq. It busted itself in Iraq and now faces Iran. The British empire would have kept the Iran and Iraq at loggerheads. It would have kept Afghanistan burning internally. It would have kept India and Pakistan locked in permanently and would have ruled comfortably. The US is pretty naive and does not know how to handle global politics. As a result, it is making one blunder after another. Had George Bush continued, Pakistan would have found it more comfortable. Obama is direct and means what he says. So it is going to be interesting.

 

A pro-active solution to ensure that the future is safe the following need to be done immediately by the international community. Pakistanis may not admit that the Taliban is a spell of death on their nation.

1. Get in there and remove all nukes, missiles. Dismantle the nuclear facilities. Take out all the nuclear scientists and keep them under international watch for a few decades. This is for the good of the world.

2. Split up the nation into three or more countries. Otherwise, Taliban will spread and the resulting civil war will cause more chaos in the region and the world.

Pakistanis, I am sorry for my words. But it is not your fault. It is your establishment that has destroyed your country. Now it has become an aberration.

 

Do the people calling it a ‘surrender’ want Pak army to fight endlessly like US and NATO in Afghanistan? Remember US has also started thinking over negotiations with Afghanis JUST after less than 10 years.

Posted by Aatif | Report as abusive
 

Umair Wrote:
Pakistan Army commanders have their own strategy in mind, SWAT is a “tactical withdrawal”.
-posted by Umair

Umair: Could you please tell the bloggers what that strategy is? One could be to give a short-term breathing room to Swatis (how short?) before Pak Army start the offensive. 2. underhand deal with Taliban not to spread beoyond swat. Does not solve anything here. Do you think this Taliban has mostly Pakistani or Afghanistan fighters?

how easy it is to spread beyond swat–terrain etc.
Your insight Will help.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

In response to David:
Stop dreaming~ NATO forces can’t operate freely even in kabul and you are dreaming Nato’s control over Pakistan. Instead of proposing Pakistan’s division focus on the supply routes, if they get closed and i mean if they really get closed, Your Nato forces will starve to death.

So a practical solution would be for u’r Nato to take their belongings and get out of Afghanistan!

Posted by Imran | Report as abusive
 

“Pakistan Army commanders have their own strategy in mind, SWAT is a “tactical withdrawal”.”
@ Umair

Umair saab,
I agree. Could be a tactic, an army of this size could definitely defeat them. One suggestion though, take another tactical decision of quitting use of Terrorism as a state policy. Trust me that would be the best ‘tactical’ decision ever!!

Posted by Aaruni Upadhyay | Report as abusive
 

It’s a pity!!!
In all these blogs none has been able defend Pakistan’s deeds. And still people sitting in the government of Pakistan have not understood what is good for them and for whole mankind. I think it’s a historically big mistake done by the government.
This is like a cancer. This was created by the people who are now facing the consequences.

Posted by Pravin | Report as abusive
 

@ So where does the Pakistan army go from here?

- Pakistan army now would form a open collabration with taliban, as it has been sucessfull to put up a sad face to convince everybody its incompitency to fight terrorists and naming it a endless war..
I wonder how can srilankan army after getting special training from pakistan army could fight LTTE – which is more advanced than Taliban with air force and naval capabalities so efficiently but pakistan army itself cannot curb on taliban which is comparitively weak ??

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive
 

“Never fight a war you cannot win, nor a battle you have not already won.”–Sun Tzu :-)

Is Pakistani Army following the first half of the Quote by Sun Tzu, the author of “Art of War”?

With respect to India, they should also focus on the second half of the quote, adn quit proxy wars.

See a related one from Dawn.
http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/archive/ 080518/dmag3.htm

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@David

NATO won’t send additional troops to Afghanistan and you are talking about NATO in Pakistan ? What fantasy world do you live in ?

Another question is how come the 1 million man Indian army took 20 years to put down an insurgency by few thousand mujahideen in Occupied Kashmir ?

 

@Aaruni Upadhyay

Your Indian invented the use of terrorism as state policy in our region, starting with Mukti Bahini, then Tamil Tigers, then Baluch separatists in Pakistan.

Yet you complain when Pakistan pays you back with the same coin ?

 

come on pakistanis . if sharia is what the people wanted and the goernment was happy to provide . what was the fighting all about for the past 2 years . you should stop consoling yourself. come out of denial . wake up to the fact that taliban has CAPTURED an area of your country and you need to deal with it .
Call me pessimistic but i dont see any concrete action being taken against these people for sometime.
Pakistan will never destroy its main weapon for a proxy war against india.

Posted by Gill | Report as abusive
 

Aamir writes: “Your Indian invented the use of terrorism as state policy in our region, starting with Mukti Bahini, then Tamil Tigers, then Baluch separatists in Pakistan.

Yet you complain when Pakistan pays you back with the same coin ?”

India has learnt from its mistakes. It did support the LTTE and trained its cadres. Not only the LTTE, but also there were many other Tamil militant groups that the LTTE ate up. After Indian Peace Keeping Force was decimated by the LTTE and the Sri Lankans, India learnt its lesson. And after Rajeev Gandhi’s assassination, India left them to the dogs. Looks like peace is finally returning to Sri Lanka.

In the case of East Pakistan, India did not start the Mukti Bahini. This militant unit started its fight against the Pakistani military that engaged in genocide inside East Pakistan. The Mukti Bahini is a home grown outfit like the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. India had to deal with a flood of refugees from East Pakistan and no other country would show sympathy. It was the peak of the cold war period. Nixon wanted to nuke India. He hated Indira Gandhi from the bottom of his heart. India decided to perform a quick surgical action by using the Bengali resistance inside East Pakistan and detach it for good. For this it began to train the Mukti Bahini and this did not liberate Bangladesh. Yahya Khan decided to attack India and India went to war and liberated Bangladesh. Had Yahya showed some patience, India would have eventually attacked Pakistan and it would have brought in China and the US for their support. Since Pakistan attacked India first, they could not get involved.

You are right. India did train militant outfits inside Sri Lanka and East Pakistan.

But the terrorism that is mushrooming inside Pakistan is much more sinister. It is being fueled by religious zeal, which can turn ordinary people into monsters. The whole world has realized this. So what Pakistan is doing now is not confined to India alone. It has spread everywhere and that is why the Western powers are at your gate.

China is fueling insurgency inside India’s North Eastern region for decades. Big powers play this game. But Pakistan should know its limits and not try to play a big power. It is not. India has stopped investing its energy into these kinds of activities for almost two decades now.

Unfortunately, Pakistan is unable to give up its rage and has spent its entire resources on getting even with India. Six decades have gone by and this wasted effort is showing. And in the bargain, Pakistan itself is being swallowed up by what it created.

To run insurgencies, your economy and depth have to be large. Though India can afford that, it is not engaging in it anymore. Its focus has shifted. China is an economic and military power. Pakistan is a small country and its energy and resources have to be spent on survival. But it has chosen to play a global player. Without oil resources, no one cares for Pakistan’s stature in the international arena. The only attention it is getting is for bad reasons. You guys should think about it.

 

Anitha writes: “I wonder how can srilankan army after getting special training from pakistan army could fight LTTE – which is more advanced than Taliban with air force and naval capabalities so efficiently but pakistan army itself cannot curb on taliban which is comparitively weak ??”

Pakistani army is not involved in training Sri Lankan military against the LTTE. If Sri Lanka is engaged in a war with India, then Pakistan would eagerly work with Sri Lanka. It is understandable. The Sri Lankan military has much better equipment compared to before. The LTTE split with a splinter group joining the Sri Lankan camp. That exposed most of their secrets and it was easy for the Lankan military to move in. India’s support is completely dried up from a military stand point. It has been so for almost 18 years. Huge sums of money is needed for these operations and being an ostracized militant unit, it was becoming difficult to get money and weapons for the LTTE. Plus the civil war has gone on for almost 25 years. The morale had begun to wane. The end result of all this is the loss of strongholds for the LTTE. I am glad it is all over.

 

Mauryan, pak did train srilankan air force to fight LTTE..
Here take a look.
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/id INIndia-37728120090129

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive
 

Anitha: The reuters article says “Pakistan also supplied the army small arms, multi-barrel rocket launchers and trained Sri Lankan air force in precision guided attacks against the rebels, strategic analysts said.”

This appears a long distance operation that is useful but with Taliban guerilla warfare tactics are needed which is a limitation of the Pakistani army. US is training them though (see link below). India is much better at it for fighting in North East and Kashmir. US soldiers are also training in India-Mizoram.

US soldiers to learn guerrilla warfare in Mizoram forest
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/worl d-news/us-soldiers-to-learn-guerrilla-wa rfare-in-mizoram-forest_10076013.html

“US soldiers amazed by Indian anti-terror training”
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/unca tegorized/us-soldiers-amazed-by-indian-a nti-terror-training_10082639.html

“US starts training Pak security forces to fight Taliban, al Qaeda”
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/indi a-news/us-starts-training-pak-security-f orces-to-fight-taliban-al-qaeda_10011174 9.html

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Anitha, please read my words carefully. I said the Pakistani “Army” did not help the Sri Lankan army.I know that the Sri Lankan air force took training with Pakistani air force. Army operations are very different from air force operations. It is more involved and the jungle terrain inside Northern Sri Lanka makes it very hard for an army to penetrate and round up the enemy. India’s IPKF had a tough time by running battles on the ground. Had Sri Lanka allowed the Indian air force to go in or taken help, the IPKF would have nailed the LTTE. But there were many factors on the equation and therefore IPKF went literally blind folded there. Definitely between 1990 and now the weaponry has improved a lot with precision guided missiles and navigation systems. And Pakistani air force is of a high standard.

 

To all bloggers,

There is a one perfect phrase for the Swat situation:

Raptus regaliter (translation: Royally Screwed)

from the LET US BUILD PAKISTAN website.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

@mauryan

It is good you admit India trained terrorists in neighboring countries and used them for Indian political objectives. That means you have no right to accuse Pakistan of doing the same to you.

 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •