Pakistan’s general and the warring politicians

March 13, 2009

Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani is much talked about these days as the one national figure who could lean on Pakistan’s warring politicians to back down from a confrontation threatening the stability of the country. The question is over how he would intervene while maintaining a commitment to keep the army out of politics.

Most analysts have ruled out a coup for now and in an interview with PBS Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he believed Kayani was committed to a civilian government.

But between a military coup and non-intervention lies a huge grey area in terms of how far Kayani will, or can, go to put pressure on political rivals President Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to back down.

In an editorial in The News, defence analyst Ikram Sehgal says that while negotiators shuttle back and forth between the two parties to try to find a compromise, “the ultimate answer for this political confrontation will probably emanate from Rawalpindi”, the headquarters of the Pakistan Army. “While the Army has no business running the government, will it be responsible and/or patriotic to stand by and see the government and the opposition run the country out of existence?” he asks.

Indeed a meeting between Kayani and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday raised speculation that the army chief may have already begun to put pressure on the government to find a compromise.

In an editorial in the Daily Times, Ejaz Haider writes that Kayani could try to get Gilani to convince Zardari that his current confrontation with Sharif has to stop.

“The army chief is a worried man, as he should be. His troops are spread thin. He is fighting against an elusive enemy; and he is fighting a war for which there is not much public acceptance,” he writes. “The irreducible minimum he needs is political stability because with stability comes the possibility of a popular buy-in for counter-insurgency.”

While ruling out a coup, he writes that “what Kayani can do is to try and get the prime minister to signal to Zardari that the current confrontation is not sustainable; that some compromise formula needs to be arrived at to defuse the situation. Of course, the ‘or else’ qualifier for greater effect would be welcome.”

The biggest problem will come if the politicians fail to reach a compromise or if violence on the streets triggered by the Long March - the nationwide protest by lawyers and opposition politicians to demand an independent judiciary – reaches such a level that the army has to be called out to maintain order. As discussed in a previous post, that is exactly the kind of situation that has led to military takeovers in the past.

Defence analyst Brian Cloughley says the police and paramilitary forces could end up being overwhelmed by sheer numbers if the march gets out of hand, and demonstrations become violent. “The last resort is the army, which could not stand by and let the country fall deeper into chaos.  Indeed, the Constitution requires this — but of course the army must remain under government control. The problem will be if the government collapses, which is possible,” he wrote an in email. “This may lead to the army simply having to exert some sort of force in order to keep the country stable — or as stable as can be managed.  Kayani would of course prefer to do this through and on the orders of the civil power — but there might not be a civil power to exercise authority.

“In the event of a complete breakdown, Kayani would have to act, which he would do with great reluctance.  He is a constitutional patriot, make no mistake about that, and he would seek advice — probably, and ironically, from senior judges.”

We’re not there yet. But there is a terrible irony in the fact that just over a year after an election meant to restore civilian democracy following then General Pervez Musharraf’s military coup in 1999, Pakistanis are already looking to the Pakistan Army to restore stability. For now it seems to be limited to an expectation that Kayani will throw his weight around enough behind the scenes (or has already done so) to force the country’s politicians to make peace.  But if this assessment is correct, it suggests that the one person who can prevent a coup and help shore up the country’s fragile democracy is the head of the army. From a constitutional point of view, that does not sit right. But is there an alternative?

(Reuters 2008 file photo of Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani with then president Pervez Musharraf; 2008 file photo of political rivals former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari)

Comments

If the civilian government collapses, with the Army being so thin, this is a great time for the U.S. to massively step up its Aerial Drone Attack program on Pakistan and use it to smash the Terrorist training camps. I also advocate that the U.S. ask India for a drone base. The U.S. drones can smash the Azad Kashmir training camps with little distance to travel from the Eastern Border of Pak.

The U.S. drones do not have to stop there, they should be over every Pak city, surgically smashing the terrorist infrastructure in Pak.

The world should realize that this is an excellent opportunity to capitalize on doing things in Pakistan, that Pakistani citizens, its army and government have not had the will, or desire to do, that is destroy the terrorist training camps.

Opportunities like this, do not come everyday. The U.S. and India need to discuss a much wider, all encompassing military alliance.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

I am sure India is not tht stupid to start a nuclear
confrontation with Pakistan. The drones are in Pakistan
with the consent of the Pakistanis.

Posted by jawaid chaudhri | Report as abusive
 

General Kiyani could dwell the situation not by means of another military coup but by exerting pressure to force the government for a compromise or ask for resignations, similar to the situation back in 92 when the Ex-General Waheed forced Nawaz Sharif to resign. The army can’t afford to be dragged into this political mess. They should remain focused in securing those open borders; stop infiltrating of terrorist from eastern and western borders; and work on strategic defense matters only.

Posted by Malik Khan | Report as abusive
 

Hey Chaudhri,

Why is it that I never hear one Pak ever admitting that they have terrorist training camps and terrorist infrastructure, which also has to be dismantled? Simple question, but Musharaff was asked this in Delhi recently and he waffled around, did not answer the question and rediverted the issue and befuddled it. WHY?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

I have been keeping an eye on the developments of the affairs in the politics since last Feb. elections, unfortunately Benazir was killed and the one party went in to the hands of undeserved person he did big damage in the political scene , on the whole majority of the politicians are getting mature.
I hate the Musharraf regime due to his selection of dishonest team but one thing I must admire.
As for as the Pak army is there, it can defend the country whether it is external threat or external.
No one can dismantle this country; the history will tell that this will be a big moderate nation on the map of the world.
Indians are taught, even in slums, that Pakistan is an inferior, failed country than India in all ways.
Please see the making of the history in our country.

Posted by Tufail Malik | Report as abusive
 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Global Watcher was na Indian.

Maybe if India wasnt such a threat to Pakistan then they would be able to do a proper job in this war rather than using the paramilitary. It is an Indian who said “Was it not for Pakistans nuclear arsenal we would have invaded them twice” it is things like this that dont help.

In my opinion Sharif should just be removed from the country (again) because he is only power mad. The PPP won the election (be it because of Bhuttos death or just by chance) they formed a coalition and that failed. Obviously Sharifs party will say that the PPP didnt hold its promise but did they have too.

Honestly I do believe that maybe the country would be better under a coup.

A country like Pakistan needs dictatorship to put it back in the right path and Kayani seems like a clever person.

Posted by Ali bin Karim | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher,

Finally I see someone making sense. Yes, considering the situation, India should work with the global allies on terrorism by providing drone bases and logistical bases from inside India. Pakistan won’t dare lift its fingers on its nuclear weapons. The US will make sure that its nukes are de-activated or captured if Pakistanis try any tricks to push the button. The US needs a stable country from which it has to run its operations successfully. Pakistan is spinning out of control fast. Afghanistan is fragile already. India has been the worst affected victim of terrorism. It is time for a joint effort. India or the US alone cannot win this war.

 

Firstly, under the doctrine of pre emption that is accepted by people like those posting here, Pakistan too has a right to strike in any way they see fit at states that pose a direct security threat to their territorial integrity. From the comments posted, i would say that India and her sycophant supporters pose just that threat. Second, speaking for every Pakistani on this planet, we have confronted imperialism and domination for over 60 years. And we are still here. Try your worst, do what you think is going to destroy us….if we don’t survive it we will ensure that you go down with us.

Posted by Khan | Report as abusive
 

Hey guys give it a rest. India doesn’t need to play second fiddle to anyone, the US included. The fact is that the world opinion has veered around to accepting India’s claim of Pakistan having all the characteristics of a juvenile delinquent – in short a rogue state. So in a way, you could say the US has been co-opted in the Indian war on terror rather than the other way around. Why do we need to provide bases for drones to the US? The Global Hawks have the range to target the Pak occupied Kashmir terror camps. The fact is Pakistani forces can engage these drones even presently (hell! some of them are actually flying from Pakistani bases) but the guys are too scared to do so. They have been bought over lock, stock and every AK-47 barrel by way of inducements and the threat of a heavy hand. Some Pakistani guy in another post did mention the Paki army motto being ‘Death before Dishonor” but either nobody has explained to them the meaning of the phrase or they have a very loose definition for it. More likely it’s “Debt before dishonor” the way they go around begging for aid from all and sundry.
So our best course would be to wait and watch-keeping our powder dry. Knowing the Pakistani proclivity for shooting oneself in the foot, they will probably self-destruct with no effort from us.

P.S- Have a look at the photo on this link and you’d know all about the master and the menial relationship.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/st evecoll/2008/09/

Jwahol Herr Kapitan!

Posted by Munna Bhai | Report as abusive
 

I agree with Munna Bhai..
The intentions of US is not clear and Open..We know US has been trying to gain a base in south Asia for a long time before 9/11..if gaining bases for spreading their influence is the reason behind war against terror, india as a peacfull country should never provide support to such deeds. India can control pakistan and its terrorists single handedly.
More over frinedship with US should just be restricted strictly to bussiness and nothing beyond that for US has never been a country with good morals. A close US ally today is its biggest enemy tomorrow. Example afghan islamic fighters, pakistan etc.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

Despite the chaos, the Pakistani army will not take over in Pakistan. I may be a minority here who thinks this way. This is because the US administration wants a civilian government there. It matters less what Pakistanis want.

Mr.Zardari will have to make amends or loose power. I suspect another round of elections happening soon in Pakistan.

To jawaid chaudhri,

Your nukes are not protecting Pakistan. Instead, they are protecting the “military-jihadi” complex in Pakistan. There lies the difference.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

@Chaudri, Munna, Mauryan,

You guys, Pakistan is terrorist central. It is the global epi-centre and Saudi Wahhabi proxy of the source of much terrorism in the world.

Wahhabi and Deobands don’t respect someone who talks all the time, the only thing they respect is a tactical American cruise missile bearing down on them at 600 m.p.h.

Once there is actionable intelligence of terror training camps or terrorists in Pakistan, there will be no compromises with terrorists, there will be no flexibility, there will be no negotiation, there will be no warning, you can run but you can’t hide. Organized Terrorists and their trainers and supporters in Pakistan should be smashed and punished with a vengeance, no exceptions and no apologies or explanations will be needed.

I for one feel there should be a no-holds barred, limitless smorgasbord, open season campaign to purge Pakistan completely of radicalized elements and the structure.

It would be most effective, if precision targeting with heavy ordinances be performed in any city needed, without permission.

Pakistan is inept and useless at keeping the garbage from piling up in its backyard, it is time something, someone comes along and does it.

Terrorists, their supports and trainers should not be shown mercy or leniency.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Global Watcher maybe if you believe that India could purge Pakistan off of the map then you are a stupid uneducated person. Yes India would probably win but about 80% of the Pakistani populaton would become radicalized and they will hide in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and then they will come for India. Plus China and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t like an Indian Pakistan.

India has already proven lack of intelligence (just look at Mumbai) and these attacks will be of a larger scale and the US wont strike Pakistan because they wont want another Iraq situation.

You say Saudi is the source of much terrorism but I would say India is the major source of Tamil Tigers so India isnt so great itself. Why dont you think about your own country before making claims about other countries.

All the terrorist do is go in other countries and will wait for the Americans to move out. In this case terrorists are hiding in Pakistan and once America moves out of Iraq they will go to Iraq. Then they will keep moving around.

You attack Pakistan they will go to Iran. You attack Iran they will go to Yemen. You attack Yemen they will go back around and if all else fails there is always Africa.

You just complain because of Mumbai and because of the history of hate between Pakistan and India.

Posted by Ali bin Karim | Report as abusive
 

It is amazing to see how little you guys know about how the real world works.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher wrote:
“The world should realize that this is an excellent opportunity to capitalize on doing things in Pakistan, that Pakistani citizens, its army and government have not had the will, or desire to do, that is destroy the terrorist training camps.

Opportunities like this, do not come everyday. The U.S. and India need to discuss a much wider, all encompassing military alliance.”

I must say, while there must be political infighting going on, Pkaistan’s armed forces are vigilant to thwart any oppurtunistic elements dreaming to attack Pakistan. Pakistan has the ability to repulse any attack “within minutes” and mount a counter attack of its own on any enemy forces.

Posted by Umair Malik | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher wrote:
“It would be most effective, if precision targeting with heavy ordinances be performed in any city needed, without permission.”

Precision targeting? Global watcher, precision targeting can only be done through an aerial campaign. Pakistan Air Force is a potent force capable of challenging any agressor. Heavy ordnance can be used by a ship off the Pakistani coast. In 1998 US launched Tomahawk cruise missiles onto Afghanistan and Sudan after its embassies in Africa were bombed. With Pakistan possessing ballistic missile capability with short to medium/long range nuclear missiles, with ANZA Surface to Air Missiles stinger type technology reverse-engineered in collaboration with the Chinese and other sophisticated air defence weapons systems, any sort of missile/air attack on Pakistan will spark massive retaliation. Pakistan will never be an easy game, the sun of 1971 has disappeared below the horizon for ever long ago. The new Pakistan is capable of unleashing catastrophic forces of destruction on any agressor.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Yes currently there is political instability and severe economic crises which is due to the Pakistan’s war against terrorism. In such a situation INDIA always like to pressurize Pakistan. But for the same reason we have build up world’ seventh largest army and neuclear arms, so India should not dare to do any thing with Pakistan.

Posted by Pakistani | Report as abusive
 

Easy game? not Pakistan, make no mistake.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

The problems of Pakistan lies in its geography.
Indian troops in Afghanistan are responsible for financing and smuggling terrorists from Afghanistan.
On the other hand govt. of Pakistan seemed least interested in safeguarding her own interests.

IMO, peace will begging to trickle once Indian troops are removed from Afghanistan and UN troops move in.

Posted by Cecil | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

First of all, I am not advocating attacking the state of Pakistan itself. I wasn’t suggesting that India do this. I suggest India mind its own business and stay out. I was suggesting someone other than India do this.

Again, please feel free to quit protecting your terrorists, madrassas and jihadi’s, although you Pakistani’s see them as “strategic asset, the world is getting sick of them.

Don’t think for a moment that the Americans will take their foot off your head to let you take more than a few breaths at a time. If they feel, their money, effort and time has been wasted and you won’t fully co-operate in dismantling the terrorist infrasture and training camps, the U.S. will escalate its options upon Pakistan.

At Pakistan mounting a serious retaliation of some kind against the states, well Saddam tried it and Iraq had no army left, after only five days.

Any war between Pakistan and any other country will be started by Pakistan, protecting its Jihadi terrorist training camp proxy war assets. Again, let me reiterate, India will stay out of it through and through. But you guys are in bed with America now.

Umair, the meaningless details on your archaic outdated weapon systems bore me.

Don’t even think you can unleash any catastrophe on the U.S., cause if you do, you will be labeled “rogue” or “failed” by your yank friends and they will decapitate your military if it chooses to fall on the wrong side.

History always repeats itself…..

…Just remember Iraq, Saddam was a military man and head of his army too….Saddam was eventually hung by his own people…

This is not the worst part, the worst part is, is that Iraq did not even have any WMD’s or any real terrorists. The worst part comes when there is a full out civil war, like in Iraq, protracted over years.

Again, my friend, let’s leave India out of the discussion, as India also had nothing to do with Iraq.

Pakistani’s should quit kidding themselves and admit that they have to smash their terrorism creating assets once and for all ….OWN UP!

The mistake is Pakistan’s to choose and make. Obama is not going to take apathy or double speaking crap.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Again, let me please reiterate, the Pakistan must destroy its Jihadi, Terrorist training camp extremists as proxy war assets, and it must comply in an open, transparent manner. The U.S. will not tolerate any more games. Be warned.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

jawaid chaudhri

—India is not deterred by your nuke threats – you guys actually live in a fool’s paradise – remain deluded good for us.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

@Umair and Malik,

Suleman Maniya from Pakistan now or Never Blog: has it reached the edge of the precipice? Comments (69)

The motto os SSG( Pakistan’s is ‘who dares wins’. It seems the Pak Army has twisted it to ‘who dares governs’.

THE PAK ARMY IS ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS and most of the serving generals hold dual nationality. It is no coincidence where their allegiances lie because at the thought of some instability they are out of the country and they have made this huge Behemoth!! An army purge and a civilian government purge should improve things to a great deal. I think De-weaponization is the key. These tribals should be forced to give up their weapons otherwise they should be bombed to stone age. They don’t understand negotiations. Is the army prepared to do that? No frankly its got things so easy that the desire to fight is not there. It’s a bunch of cowards we are speaking about!
- Posted by Suleman Maniya

Just another opinion by one of your countrymen, regarding the Pak Military.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Myra

—Sharief wants an election, since by now the Benazir assassination sympathy wave has died down, but before that he wants to dethrone Zardari who always knew that another election within couple of years was always on the cards. Zardari would be forced to step down & Gilani would head an interim government until next elections. Kyani will not interfere- only if the army perceives that the political fallout can lead to a regional crisis, then the iron-fist would once again come heavily on the politicians.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher
It is 1:51 am In Islamabad right now and the news is Federal Infor mation Minister has resigned after disagreement with President Zardari in a high level meeting convened late Friday. The crisis is deepening, no doubt there is a leadership vaccum. Many of Peoples party leaders who were close to late Ms. Benazir Bhutto want to distance themselves from Zardari. These are volatile times fro Pakistan, things can go out of hand. But still despite of all this I have full faith that Pakistan and its people are capable of overcoming these challenges.

I just want to address the following you wrote:
“Don’t think for a moment that the Americans will take their foot off your head to let you take more than a few breaths at a time. If they feel, their money, effort and time has been wasted and you won’t fully co-operate in dismantling the terrorist infrasture and training camps, the U.S. will escalate its options upon Pakistan.”

The Americans are a dumb people, only a bunch of ISI operatives took them for a ride for last 8 years, siphonned off $10 billion from them. I can tell you Pakistan does not need to bomb and start a war with the US, what Pakistan is capable is evasion and clever diplomacy. I can tell you at this time Americans are damn scared, they fear next attack on US soil could come from the mountains b/w Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Unlike Iraq, Pakistan is a declared nuclear power and has detonated its nuclear bombs way back in 1998. Pakistan has ballistic missile capability. While I fully agree with you that Islam is against terrorism, if there are any terrorists operating out of Pakistan and harming other countries. Those terrorists need to be brought to justice, all I am asserting is you put to rest any doubts that US will simply consume Pakistan at will. We are not that weak, we will cooperate in bringign terrorists to justice, however if an enemy attacks us, we will make sure our enemy doesnt remain alive to see another day. The US at this moment is an ally, their intentions does not seem to be malicious, but if the case is otherwise. Ask the Americans themselves, they are very well aware what Pakistan is truly capable of.

Secondly, please stop this Pakistan-is-epicenter-of-terrorism rant. Majority of Pakistanis are peaceloving and Pakistan does not have ill intentions against anyone. For you, pleae read the following article by RAKESH SAXENA titled PAKISTAN & THE MYTH OF ISLAMIC TERRORISM. You will know the reality of Swat and whats happening, certainly Pakistan is supporting no terrorist infrastructure.
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?ar ticleId=281474977220041

and please let me know your thoughts after you read this article. Thanks

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Munnabhai
…US been co-opted….-Yes and no
I will go for some hairsplitting here. They did not come at the behest of india to south asia.
US would not have bothered to enter Afpak in a hundred yrs, other than sending some senators/secretaries or intel officials which always produced the desired goal and fat checks doing the most of the talk as we all know. Bin Laden whipped awake this sleeping lion to the new global medium of negotiations, terrorism. This horrific attack, to the delight of india, made US the worst victim of terror in all history and pulled US into middle of it all. Till then US mainland was the safest destination/land for immigrants and citizens alike. Now that they are quite different from indians, they identified the problem alright but they also decided to act on it. This draws the clear distinction between the two best democracies of the planet. As the jungle story goes by the elephant never forgets a thing nor do the Americans. Much worse, they don’t give up either- for, their dead are waiting for justice. Americans simply cant sleep on it.
UMAIR-
Two news items bring smiles on all indians alike. Last week, a delhi based cleric snubbed the (in)famous visitor from pak to mind about his own country and keep off Indian muslims, and MJAkbar had asked indian muslims to thank god for their ancestors not crossing border in 1947. That’s the testimony that muslims or not all are content LIVING in India. This is better than attacking pak, why then waste indian lives on pak.

 

To All Indians please read the following:

Pakistan, & the Myth of Islamic Terrorism
January 04, 2008
By: Rakesh Saxena
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?ar ticleId=281474977220041

An eye opener for you guys, you will know Pakistan does not support or perpetrate terrorism terrorism.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

azaddp
MJAkbar had asked indian muslims to thank god for their ancestors not crossing border in 1947.
I bet you man, the Gujarat muslims who suffered during the 2002 riots, those who were burnt alive the violence that followed after the destruction of Babri mosque. Pakistan is not marred by the poverty, the taboos of hindu castes and the communal violence that has come to characterize India. Pakistan is an Islamic republic. I am proud to be Pakistani, I have an identity, a country. We won our freedom and we will defend it to the last. I was born in a free country and I would like to die in a free country.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Myra
The discussion is getting a little off-track but I want to try to address a question that you have raised at the end of your post that is their an alternative.

If you remember, in Lebanon, after 2005 PM Rafiq Hariri assassination followed by July 2006 second Lebanon war a political deadlock situation occured. In Lebanon also, there are multiple power brokers, the country is ethincally diverse, but the Army is not very strong. But ultimately, in Qatar in 2008 a summit took place, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as Arab nations played their role. The situation was stabilized in Lebanon.

Pakistan is going through same problems, Benazir Bhutto assassinated in 2007, a bloody war with millitants in FATA, political instability. Internally, the best way is to restore judges and for politicans to come together. Regionally, frienly countries can put their pressure on power brokers in Pakistan to team up and let the system of democracy grow. This will need a long-term committment. Thankfully, Pkaistan Army is strong with a nationalistic ideology and its a pillar of stability only if it doesnt interfere with politicians. Political forces on the other hand can provide the leadership Paksitan needs to represent itself internationally and conduct foreign policy and run the economy.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

To All Indians please read the following:

Pakistan, & the Myth of Islamic Terrorism
January 04, 2008
By: Rakesh Saxena
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?ar ticleId=281474977220041

An eye opener for you guys, you will know Pakistan does not support or perpetrate terrorism terrorism.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 
 

Umair writes: “I was born in a free country and I would like to die in a free country.”

Free country eh? Do you think 50% of the country’s life under military rule, terms you as someone in a free country? Also hacking one’s hand for petty crimes, lashing someone for minor crimes, punishing a rape victim for adultery etc must be true qualities of a free society. Congratulations!

I do not acknowledge the riots in Gujerat or anywhere else. But I’d never call a country as a free nation when I have to turn to a religious scholar for every decision.

 

Umair
“For you, pleae read the following article by RAKESH SAXENA titled PAKISTAN & THE MYTH OF ISLAMIC TERRORISM. You will know the reality of Swat and whats happening, certainly Pakistan is supporting no terrorist infrastructure.”

—“ “virtually every single armed follower of Mullah Radio [Mullah Fazlullah] comes from the most marginalized section of society; and they have been in some form of bondage—to warlords, landowners or smugglers—for decades. They are the ones being killed in the face of a brutal onslaught by the ‘Pakistani army’.”
“the vicious nexus of deeply-entrenched commercial interests representing the ‘Pakistani army’, large landowners, market traders, village mullahs and drug kingpins. “
“the complete failure of governments in this part of the world to resolve basic issues”
“the so-called Islamic militants are, in fact, unwilling mercenaries, 95% of them are paid, directly or indirectly, to protect or further vested commercial interests.”
“Jihad is basically running mercenary operations and protection rackets with money from the Gulf and from Saudi Arabia, with arms provided by the CIA and MI6, and with the protection of Pakistan’s notorious ‘Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency.’”
“85% of the 1.7 million residents of Swat’s seven sub-districts live below the poverty line.”
“The ‘Army’ is not going to dismantle the power structures here, a few hundred armed men and civilians will die, and then the local, low-intensity conflicts will continue, like nothing ever happened.”

—Umair with ref. to the above cited excerpts from the article referred by you it’s most obvious that—
Pakistan is the terrorist infrastructure.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

@If the civilian government collapses, with the Army being so thin, this is a great time for the U.S. to massively step up its Aerial Drone Attack program on Pakistan and use it to smash the Terrorist training camps. I also advocate that the U.S. ask India for a drone base. The U.S. drones can smash the Azad Kashmir training camps with little distance to travel from the Eastern Border of Pak.
- Posted by Global Watcher

- First of all, I doubt US’s sincerity in compeletely destroying any terrorist training camps be it East or West of Pakistan–this is what is your, mine and India’s goal. How many camps on Af/Pak have been destroyed br drones etc? US will not even think about Azad Kashmir and India should not think about drone base for US. This will solve less create more problems. What have they achieved by firing drones on Af/Pak border–negligible. Does India want to get into major trouble for this kind of return?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Anup also from the same article
-’India offers a unique insight into that threat: without a genuine and powerful indigenous movement to resolve poverty and marginalization in the rural context, nothing can stop right-wing Hindu groups, backed by huge sections of the urban middle class and led by people like Narendra Modi, from sharply increasing their influence over Indian society within the next 1-2 years.’

India is not immune to the phenomenon. read the below news from Financial Times UK:

HINDU ZEALOTS VENT ANGER ON WOMEN

By Amy Kazmin in Mangalore, India

Published: March 6 2009 18:05 | Last updated: March 6 2009 18:05
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f0a05fc0-0a73- 11de-95ed-0000779fd2ac.html

You guys must stop maligning Pkaistan, just see what a mess your own country is.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan:
@It is time for a joint effort. India or the US alone cannot win this war.
-Mauryan, please chill. So, would you tell me the goal of this war by US? Defeating al-qaida? Can it be anymore stupid? What’s their readout that A-Q is defeated. Would they come raising their hands for ceasefire? War on terrorism is great thing but not this one, unless I am sure of US’s sincerity and I am not. There is nothing better than better sense pervails and Pakistanis doing it themselves–if it is impossible, then the war against terrorism is impossible-Sadly. India-US alliance against terrorism in the absence of Pak is not feasible. One can try but it terrorism will return with vengeance.

@The US will make sure that its nukes are de-activated or captured if Pakistanis try any tricks to push the button.
–How will US ensure that? Only hope is that Nukes are not in Pakistan’s total control. But some Nukes will still be.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@Rajeev(with due respect):
“How will US ensure that? Only hope is that Nukes are not in Pakistan’s total control. But some Nukes will still be.”

With the SPD (Strategic Plans Division) headed by Lt. Gen Khalid Ahmed Kidwai and Pakistan nuclear arsenal under the tight multi-layered command and control system, there is no chance of unauthorized access. The US could appear to have all the control in the world on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The actual stakes will only be clear in a real time scenario.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev writes: “India-US alliance against terrorism in the absence of Pak is not feasible. One can try but it terrorism will return with vengeance.”

I agree that there is tremendous risk involved by allying with the US. However, think tanks must look at all possible options. India can turn the tables completely by engaging the US entirely against all terrorism inside Pakistan and not Al-Qaeda specific. If they cleared Al Qaeda and went home after that, the real terrorism inside Pakistan will remain dormant and will rise back to much larger size. At that time they will be careful not to mess with the US and no one will care for India’s cry of pain. Remember that the War on terrorism started by Bush has now become a truce with the Taliban and targets Al Qaeda only. The American public are getting tired of this war that seems to be going nowhere. This is the time to switch the loyalties.

Consider the SL conflict. It arose mainly due to India’s triggering to counter Sri Lanka’s move towards setting up a US base at Triconamalee during the cold war era. Countries do this to each other to offset the balance. The Tamil conflict began in 1983 and mushroomed out of control so much that SL had to cave in and spend all its resources fighting it. They learned a lesson.

Then the regime changed in India. Rajeev Gandhi came to power. Now the wily politician Jeyawardane manipulated him into sending in the IPKF. Being inexperienced, Rajeev fell for this and the table was turned against India. The IPKF was mauled by the LTTE, with Sri Lanka covertly tipping them off. There is a conspiracy theory that Rajeev was not murdered by the LTTE. Instead, it seems there was a major plan involving Jeyawardane, Premadasa, Narasimha Rao, Subramaniam Swamy, VP Singh and Chandrashekhar. It seems the CIA was involved in this as well. They timed it so well that the whole event was made to look like an LTTE staged murder. Anyway, this is a different topic. The end result was that the LTTE was alienated from Indians and Tamils in particular. Then a rift was created between the LTTE leaders that began to break its back. Finally, with all doors closed, the LTTE is almost wiped out now.

Sometimes long term strategies should be tried. If India can turn the table and pull the US entirely on its side, it will not only help keep India away from direct offensive, but also eliminate all terrorism sources within Pakistan. Mind you, it is not Pakistanis that I am against. I am against the monster that they created to get at India mainly and it grew out of control and has become a menace to the whole world. This is very similar to Sant Bindranwale who was set up by Zail Singh and Sanjay Gandhi and turned into a monster against the whole establishment. Finally he had to be eliminated by massive force.

If Germany, Australia etc can be US allies in war as well as in business, India can do the same. The world has become quite unsafe. India has to consider the China factor as well.

My idea will never come through, because we have a huge communist bloc that will protest any US presence in India. But it is a thought worth looking into and see how we can come out unaffected.

 

Continuing on..

If India becomes a strong and trust worthy ally of the US, it can pressure it to denuclearize Pakistan as well. Without the push from the US, nothing happens in today’s world. May be in the long run, once all gains have been achieved, India can move towards a neutral position. Right now India has to worry about terrorism specifically targeted against it and the nukes that are giving them the courage to pursue these acts. If the US relies on India, it might help get into the security council faster and will support India’s cause on many global issues as well. We are not a big super power. Therefore it becomes important not to play the non-aligned policy. The stakes are heavily against us. The world only respects for what we have accomplished. But if we fall apart, there are not that many sympathizers either. Counter insurgency and wars cost a lot of money and the country needs to move forward economically. China is engaging Pakistan against us in order to progress faster and stay ahead of others. We need to counter that factor as well. Hence with changing times, it becomes important to look at different strategies. US will not treat economically progressive countries, the way it treats dictatorships for its purpose. Indo-US co-operation in all fronts will help India gain tremendously. And there is no best opportunity than this.

 

Mauryan
The US/India/Israel have secret plans to surgically destroy Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure. Pakistan is not blind to this fact and long-term plans have been made to address these threats and eliminate them. De-nuclearization of Pakistan? forget it. Pakistan has made termendous progress in nuclear technology and this cannot be reversed.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “The US/India/Israel have secret plans to surgically destroy Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure. Pakistan is not blind to this fact and long-term plans have been made to address these threats and eliminate them. De-nuclearization of Pakistan? forget it. Pakistan has made termendous progress in nuclear technology and this cannot be reversed.”

Umair, Pakistan has every right to possess nuclear weapons. I know that those who live in glass houses cannot throw stones at their neighbors. But the only difference between Pakistan and other nuclear states is its irresponsible act of selling the technology to rogue states. You know well I am not lying about it. This is where your scientists and establishment failed. The world cannot sit and watch nuclear weapons technology proliferate. This was a major worry when the Soviet Union collapsed. This is the reason why all of us talking about denuclearizing Pakistan. It is accepted in international circles that Pakistan has become a hot bed of terrorism. That is why the US is parked in your neighborhood. They left after the Afghan war, once the Soviets were defeated. Now they are back and you know why. There is problem and it is being hidden inside Pakistan. No matter how much proud Pakistanis like you might deny it, everyone knows that the terror mechanism is supported by elements in the military and your intelligence agency. The two (terrorism and nukes) make a deadly combination. If Pakistan had a responsible government and was a responsible nation, then no one would worry about its nukes. In fact it would have served as a great deterrent against attacks on Pakistan. But when implosion is imminent, many would worry about the safety of the nukes in your country. I am not recommending the denuclearization of Pakistan because I am anti-Pakistan. It is just that things have become too dangerous to leave your country with that power. Power has to be exercised with responsibility. Your country’s condition does not indicate that. I am not the only one saying this. Please read non Indian newspapers like the Economist, The Guardian, The New Yorker etc. I definitely understand your pride and appreciate that. But you and other people in your country are being dumped by crazy people and they have access to the nukes. Hence the concern.

 

Mauryan wrote:
“But you and other people in your country are being dumped by crazy people and they have access to the nukes. ”

-The crazy guy in Pakistan who have access to Pakistan nukes is Lt. Gen Khalid Ahmed Kidwai of Pakistan Army the Director General DG of Strategic Plans Division(SPD). Gen. Kidwai and his team makes sure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are safe and ready to be used when needed.

Hell with NY Times, Herald Tribune or whatever, Pakistan is cool and calm nothing seems to be falling apart any time soon. You also take it easy, Soviet Union got what it deserved. While Pakistan faces enormous challenges, Pkaistanis are equally capable of facing and overcoming those challenges. Dont worry Mauryan, if we can make nuclear bombs, we are more than capable to keep them safe tucked away somewhere and take them out when needed.

Permissive Action Links or PALs is an advanced technology used to safeguard Pakistani nuclear warheads. Even if a warhead is stolen, though the probability is very less, still no one can set off the device with out the authorization codes.

“It is accepted in international circles that Pakistan has become a hot bed of terrorism. ”

-That is precisely why Pakistan is an MNNA(Major Non-NATO Ally) of the US. Member of UN, OIC, WTO, SAARC, ECO, who cares if Pakistan is hotbed of terrorism. Getting IMF assistance. Sending UN peacekeeping troops across the world. There is more to it than terrorism bro.

-by the way, you put to rest any hopes that India will ever join the UN security council as a permanent member. India is not that powerful, also as long as a powerful Pakistan borders India, the equilibrium of power will be balanced evenly in South Asia.

“terror mechanism is supported by elements in the military and your intelligence agency.”

-Yeah sure, thats why precisely $10 billion dollars were showered on Pakistan military, C-130 Hercules, F-16 Falcons, German submarines are just some of the military hardware we got in return. Now complain the Americans why are they rewarding Pakistan. and suck it up.

“But when implosion is imminent, many would worry about the safety of the nukes in your country.”

-I thank you for increasing my knowledge, now i have news that Pakistan’s implosion is imminent. I was actually so relaxed i never gave it a thought. Tell you what it still doesnt bother me. Try next time in some more stronger words.

“It is just that things have become too dangerous to leave your country with that power.”

-No matter how dangerous things get, if anyone tries to mess with Pakistani nukes will get f*cked straight to hell. For Pakistan it is use them or loose them. No one else can decide how much power Pakistan must keep and how much to give up. The level of power Pakistan maintains will keep increasing becuase the enemies keep plotting and planing to harm Pakistan. The greater the enemy, the stronger power is needed to destroy the enemy.

Mauryan, hands off Pakistan! 1971 is history. we will not defend Pakistan, we will be on the offensive, meaning we will attack and destroy the enemy/agressor.
You can do your search, Pakistan back in 2003 made a secret agreement with Saudi Arabia wherby allegedly some nuclear warheads have been deployed in the desert Kingdom for the defence of Saudi Arabia in case of a nuclear attack by Israel.

Ever wonder why Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure was never successfully attacked by Israel/India or US? because Pakistan Air Force has always been awake. It still is.

Lastly, chill out, relax, cool down, come out of the euphoria, Pakistan is alive and well, Pakistan is not going anywhere. I know why Pakistan haunts you Indians, the situation in Kashmir, the waging of Pakistan flag in Assam last year. Look at the dozen insurgencies India is fighting, you have no time to worry Pkaistan’s implosion. We will take care of us we are grown up, just concentrate on your country, you guys wanna rise after China.
You advocate a strong Indo-US alliance, by all means from our side go ahead. We dont feel threatened, we will formulate our strategy accordingly.

Lastly Mauryan, please forgive if I have stated anything rude, I personally dont have anything against you.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

I think what the world requires now is to bring out the true human values which are latent in each human being. If people say that Quran didn’t describe to kill people then let us make efforts to illustrate the same to people who are in illusion. Each nation should make efforts to transform their individuals than to ill-treat them either socially or otherwise.

Posted by aravind | Report as abusive
 

And Mauryan
Quit watching too much Bollywood movies, those get you out of touch with real world.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “Gen. Kidwai and his team makes sure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are safe and ready to be used when needed. ”

I see you and your countrymen mention the nukes in every alternate sentence. This simply shows the general attitude. In a dangerous neighborhood, even a cop is not safe. So your Kidwai might be a decorated general, but he might be taken over by your other non-state actors. Or, like your proud military men, he might surrender and switch sides. In contrast, you will see that not one Indian on this forum or elsewhere has chest thumped about the nukes and tried to show off. If you as an ordinary citizen can bank on your nukes for every little thing, imagine the crazy mullah in your country and his state of mind. You will talk about your nukes. He will try to get it for his use. That explains the concern.

You never mentioned anything about selling nuclear weapon technology to rogue states by your proud scientist. I was pointing at that and you carefully avoided mentioning about it. That is the reason why the world is looking at your country with interest. Even India has nukes, but no one is planning a strategy against it. In fact, despite the nuclear explosions in 1998, India and the US signed a major deal on peaceful nuclear cooperation.

FYI, I seldom watch Bollywood movies. So my fancy ideas come by reading extensively in many different forums, magazines and newspapers.

 

Umair:

http://www.metimes.com/International/200 9/02/27/us_retains_hidden_grip_on_pakist ans_nukes/9552/

“U.S. personnel have been stationed in Pakistan whose sole function is to guarantee and secure the safety of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal and keep it out of the hands of terrorists, according to several serving and former U.S. officials.”

“Some of the American technicians have had direct access to the nuclear weapons themselves, these sources said.”

“The concern over Pakistan’s arsenal extends back in time, before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. As early as 2000, the Clinton administration created a joint commission, a ‘liaison’ group, consisting of top American and Pakistani scientists. The purpose of this group was to help the Pakistanis create command and control codes for its nuclear weapons that would be unbreakable. One former senior U.S. intelligence source told me that in the course of such work, America gained “a pretty full knowledge” of Pakistan’s command and control system.”

“The United States then used Special Forces ‘snatch teams’ to kidnap Pakistani scientists who were peddling Pakistan’s nuclear technology or knowledge of it to undesirables. For example, a group of such scientists abruptly disappeared while traveling in Burma, these sources said.”

“The fact was that even before 9/11, U.S. intelligence had thoroughly infiltrated the nuclear smuggling ring of Pakistan’s lead nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan, without disclosing this to the government of Pakistan. The penetration proved a chief factor in Libya’s abandoning its own nuclear program.”

“”The point is that when they push the button, the stuff won’t work,” the former senior official said.”

“He and others said that the operation “is fairly long-standing” and successful.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

its really sad to see that there is so much trouble in pakistan…and instead of standing united ..politicians are fighting each other rather than using their head to fight against terrorists….this shows how imature the democracy in pakistan is..though indian politicians are also really pathetic but they stand united agaisnt outside threat..i remember the kargil war…when bjp was in power….bjp and congress leaders sat together when there was a threat and this shows how much of a differance this makes.. ..hope they could stand together and fight agaisnt the commen enemy who is telling them to hate in the name of religion and is targetting the very fabric of pakistan society…targetting sufi shrines and cricket is not at all acceptable…after all i thinks these are the few things which bring people together.. hope indian govt support democracy in pakistan as there is a need to strengthen it,it was good to see them suppoting at IMF.. US is again shamelessly rallying behind pak army to check zardari..instead of talking to democratic parties directly.. lets hope pak could come out of this rut. god bless pakistan

Posted by Raging bull | Report as abusive
 

the problem with america is that they see their own interest and that is not a long term solution…they supported taliban because they had to fight agaisnt russia..in afghanistan… and now they are talking to army…instead of helping pakistan resolving the issues through their political class.Ageed that there is problem with the political class in pakistan but i think india’s lond term goal is to help pakistan in nurturing that democracy.though i think its not USA which is entirely responsible for the situation in pak ..its pakistan themselves who are responsible. and yes an intervention by pak army seems the right choice now but it wont help pakistan in the long run. i m sure that if there is an attack in america…they will not hesitate to attack pakistan either… though i think they can not treat india the same way as its a big regional power and a democracy and yes they have to check china too..

Posted by Raging bull | Report as abusive
 

Just to comment about Nuclear Weapons, I do not understand why Pakistan cannot sell this technology to “rogue nations” only because a few elite countries say that you cannot.

Any country should have the right to go nuclear and why not get help from countries who have this technology.

Amer doesnt like Iran or North Korea yet if they can work on Nuclear development with the information they have then good on them.

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

Taking what Raging Bull has said further. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this issue is the American role, once again. History keeps repeating with no one any the wiser. The US tells Kayani during his visit to the US to set things in order. The British and US ambassadors hold meetings with the Pak PM and tell him to talk to Shariff. The US applies pressure on Pak to deal firmly with the long march etc etc. Haven’t they learnt evn now that other countries are as independent as their own? Things may be spinning out of control, but with the past record of the US in stepping into troubled waters, solely for their own convenience, without even understanding the basic underlying problem remains.

The way they are going about trying to control and take charge in Pakistan, they are probably creating further instability in that country as well as in the whole region. If they wish to help, the best course would be to stop dictating action and let Pakistan handle problems their way and just be around to give support or a friendly piece of advice. I agree though, that it is not that easy. The Pakistanis have been singularly rash and inept. The country has slid downhill very rapidly within the last year. No doubt due in no small measure to the greed, foolishness and shameless politics. Yet bulldozing by the US is going to be counterproductive.

I wonder what Americans would think if other governments spoke directly to their Generalsand bypassing the US President telling them what to do ?.

 

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