Lashkar-e-Taiba threatens more violence in Kashmir

March 25, 2009

The Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant group blamed by India for last November’s assault on Mumbai, has threatened more violence in Kashmir after a five-day gunbattle that killed 25 people, including eight Indian troops.

A spokesman for the group, speaking from an undisclosed location, said: “India should understand the freedom struggle in Kashmir was not over, it is active with full force.”

The threat by the Lashkar-e-Taiba, if followed through, would be a new headache for the United States, which would like to see an improvement in relations between India and Pakistan as it overhauls its approach to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Washington has been careful to avoid any suggestion that it would intervene overtly in the Kashmir dispute, in what has been seen as an acknowledgement of Indian sensitivities about outside interference.  But Indian newspapers have reported that the United States has nonetheless been quietly leaning on India to reduce tensions on Pakistan’s eastern border so that its army can concentrate on fighting militants on its western border with Afghanistan.

And former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, leading a review of strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan expected to be released this week, has suggested in the past that a resolution of the Kashmir dispute would help ease tensions across the region.

In an interview with Germany’s Spiegel magazine last December, he said that for those involved in global jihad, the Kashmir cause is in many ways “like a second Palestine”.  Solving the conflict and bringing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, he said, would help dry up support for al Qaeda. “We are not going to get al Qaeda to change its mind. These are fanatics. What we want to do, though, is to separate the fanatics from the rest of the Islamic world.”

So the last thing Washington needs is any new flare-up in violence in Kashmir that would push back any chance of resolving the dispute and raise tensions along the India-Pakistan border. (Before a ceasefire was agreed at the end of 2003, the Indian and Pakistani armies fought near daily artillery duels across the Line of Control dividing Kashmir, which India said were meant to prevent infiltration of militants into Kashmir from the Pakistani side.)

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On the subject of the review of strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, special envoy Richard Holbrooke made a couple of intriguing comments in an interview with the BBC this week. 

First he said openly that the Afghan Taliban were based in Quetta in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.  “Quetta appears to be the headquarters for the leaders of the Taliban and some of the worst people in the world,” he said.  Many analysts have assumed for some time that the Afghan Taliban are operating out of Quetta — so much so that the New York Times suggested earlier this month that the United States might extend its attacks on militant targets on the Pakistan border into Baluchistan. But it’s quite new for U.S. policymakers to talk publicly about the Taliban’s presence in Quetta.

Foreign Policy picked up on a similar statement last week by Lieutenant General Michael Maples, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  “Now that the U.S. government has gone on record that the Quetta shura … is operating openly in Pakistan, it won’t be long before policymakers are asked some pretty tough and uncomfortable questions,” it said. “Like, what are you doing about the fact that our own government now admits that the Taliban’s nerve center is functioning not in Pakistan’s tribal areas, but in the capital of a major Pakistani province…”

Secondly, the BBC quoted Holbrooke as saying that conflicting reports that Taliban leader Mullah Omar himself may support dialogue was a “mysterious issue” that U.S. officials were ”trying to learn more about”.  I’ve discussed the question of talks with the Taliban in an earlier post but I thought that response from Holbrooke was curious.

For an interesting take on the possibility of talks with the Taliban, Jean MacKenzie, program director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Afghanistan has published an interview in the Global Post with two former high-ranking Taliban officials who both said dialogue was feasible.

She also has a separate story on an interview with the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan.  There’s a lot in there worth reading, though I was struck by his comment that “you cannot talk to the Taliban from a position of strength. We are Afghans. If we are in a lower position, and the enemy acts tough, we will act 10 times tougher.”  That is perhaps one answer to those who say the United States should improve its military position against the Taliban first before it considers dialogue.

(Reuters photos: Women mourn at the funeral of a Kashmiri Muslim soldier/Fayaz Kabli; and U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke)

Comments

Now that LeT has openly admitted about its insurgency inside Kashmir, the Indian government should issue stern warning to Pakistan and Washington that India will have to take out this non-state machinery operating from inside Pakistan. Many insurgents are Pakistani military personnel. Most are not Kashmiris. They do not want Kashmir to settle down. As soon as the snow started melting, they are back. Assembly elections are going to start soon and no one wants militancy poking its ugly face again. I am surprised that the Indian government has not called the Pakistani government about it yet.

 

Although I know very well all my Indian friends will step up their rhtoric and fill up comments accusing Pakistan of “sponsoring terrorism”. Here is my opinion;

Lashkar-e-Toiba is a banned organization in Pakistan, its leadership either in hiding or under detention. LeT might be on its last legs, thats why it might be indulging in desperate attempts (attacks). Pakistan has nothing to do with the violence in Kashmir, Indians must think themselves. 60 years of occupation and they still cannot subdue the Kashmiris. Tha Kashmir dispute need a resolution according to the wishes of Kashmiri muslims. Whether India likes it or not, US has been indirectly mediating over Kashmir and other issues. British Foreign Sec. David Milliban noted in a visit to India that resolution of Kashmir dispute is necessary to normaliza India-Pakistan relations. I think here, the ball lies in India’s court. There is not much one can do about LeT, why is it that LeT has always to blame for, why shouldnt India fulfill its obligations and implement UN security council resolutions on Kashmir, which were passed when even LeT was not existing. Just now, India waits for another 10 years and no wonder many other terrorist organizations will come up to fight in Kashmir. Settle the Kashmir dispute and ensure peace and stability.

As with the Taliban, it is quite possible due to a sustained campaign by Pakistan Army in FATA and NWFP the millitants were pushed into Baluchistan. Important thing is to keep them under pressure, even if they are in Baluchsitan, they are merely surviving. No time to plan attacks. The sooner the process to begin negotiate with them and bring them into mainstream, it is better.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

India will crush the Let, I don’t care what soil they are on. Let them try once more.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Afghan Strikes by Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say

WASHINGTON — The Taliban’s widening military campaign in southern Afghanistan is made possible in part by direct support from operatives in Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, despite Pakistani government promises to sever ties to militant groups fighting in Afghanistan, according to American government officials.

The support consists of money, military supplies and strategic planning guidance to Taliban commanders who are gearing up to confront the international force in Afghanistan that will soon include some 17,000 American reinforcements.

Support for the Taliban, as well as other militant groups, is coordinated by operatives inside the shadowy S Wing of the Pakistan’s spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, the officials said.

Details of the ISI’s continuing ties to militant groups were described by a half-dozen American, Pakistani and other security officials during recent interviews in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Top American officials speak frankly about how the situation has changed little since last summer, when evidence showed that ISI operatives helped plan the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, an attack that killed 54 people

But American officials said that when fighters needed fuel or ammunition to sustain their attacks against American troops across the border in eastern Afghanistan, they would turn to the ISI.

The ISI support for militants extends beyond those operating in the tribal areas. American officials said the spy agency had also shared intelligence with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant group suspected of conducting the Mumbai attacks, and provided protection for it.

when the Haqqani fighters need to stay a step ahead of American forces stalking them on the ground and in the air, they rely on moles within the spy agency to tip them off to allied missions planned against them, American military officials said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/world/ asia/26tribal.html?ref=world

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

the occupation in kashmir is india copying the tactics of their former british colonists (think the israelis recreating the holocaust in palestine)

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive
 

“India is stealing water of life, says Pakistan.
Thousands of Punjab farmers suffer as river Chenab runs dry…Pakistan blames India, saying it is withholding millions of cubic feet of water upstream on the Chenab in Indian-administered Kashmir and storing it in the massive Baglihar dam in order to produce hydro-electricity.”
:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world  /asia/india-is-stealing-water-of-life-s ays-pakistan-1654291.html

this is the height of injustice! once a regional bully, always a.. even the couldn’t care less Zardari is condemning this one!!

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Ketchup,
If you have a neighbor who fires rockets to your house every day, kidnaps your children, you, your wife and old parents hide in the basement in fear of rockets, how would you deal with such a neighbor?

If Palestinans are not checked, it will become a Pakistan very fast. Do you need more migraines? India did that mistake 30 years back and paying a price now.

In picture above, Kashmir women are crying for a dead Indian soldier. In last vote, 67% people elected to vote their own government. Indian army still tolerate and protects Kashmir separatist leaders, who live on ISI payroll. Does it look like occupation to you? Compare India’s actions with Chinese actions in Tibet or Pakistan’s actions in Balochistan?

Posted by Ravi | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Ketchup,
World Bank is the guarantor in the 1960′s Indus Water Treaty. Pakistan invited World Bank numerous times and every time World Bank judges didn’t find anything wrong with India.

Pakistan is bankrupt and asking India for compensation money. Whenever Pakistan needs money, all this artificial injustices show up.

India didn’t even cancel the treaty and stood up to the agreement during last 3 wars with Pakistan. I think, India should cancel the Indus Water Treaty. Ask Pakistan for a terrorist compliance certificate before releasing any water. No water for terrorists!

Posted by Ravi | Report as abusive
 

David,

Thanks for the link to the NYT story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/world/ asia/26tribal.html?_r=1&ref=world

Does it not reinforce the argument that if you can get India and Pakistan right, then Afghanistan will take care of itself?

Umair,

You said the Taliban should be brought into the mainstream, which presumably means accommodating them in some kind of political settlement in Kabul.

But how would you ensure that they did not in future give sanctuary to al Qaeda? Or sympathise with anti-India militants, as was the case in the 1999/2000 Kathmandu to Kandahar hijacking? I’ve often heard the argument that the Taliban is essentially an Afghan movement, which unlike al Qaeda does not have global ambitions, or represent a global threat. What I haven’t heard yet are coherent explanations of how the Taliban would stop Afghanistan from being used as a base for Islamist militancy outside the country.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Ketchup,
Are you with them or are you with us?

Posted by Ravi | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “Pakistan has nothing to do with the violence in Kashmir, Indians must think themselves. 60 years of occupation and they still cannot subdue the Kashmiris.”

Which planet are you living on? Musharraf says in one of his televised speeches, “Kashmir will always be in the blood of every Pakistani.” Kargill attacks were masterminded, planned and launched by Musharraf before he took over power. LeT has mentioned it over and over again that they fight the Indian military and did not want to stop with that. They wanted to take out the entire Indian nation. Even now they have claimed responsibility for the conflict inside Kashmir.

LeT is a Pakistani organization, very much like Shiv Sena is an Indian organization. LeT cannot get money from the air to plan, train and launch its offensives inside an enemy territory. It needs political and military backing. Just officially declaring that they are banned in Pakistan doesn’t amount much. All those guys fighting the Indian military are not Kashmiris entirely either. 90% of them are war hardened criminals from inside Pakistan who kill for money and false ideology. Half of them are army regulars from Pakistan. Ordinary Kashmiris lack that kind of military training and logistics to launch offensive against an established military. If they do, it means they are getting trained in Pakistan, which exposes the lie from the Pakistani side.

Our system is big. A bunch of small time criminals cannot dismantle an organized national military. So keep sending those idiots to die. At some point your organizations will run out of money. One needs a lot of money to organize these things. We will take a hit here or there. But our resistance to your attempts will not decrease. In the end, you will lose. Violent means will not work with us. Recently there is a photograph of Kashmiris crying for the death of a native who was an Indian soldier that died fighting the criminals from Pakistan.

This is not going to stop here. LeT is not going to have a free hand like before. The Indian establishment is already talking with others fighting terrorism in the region and just watch how things are going to turn out in the future. We have been doing a one handed kid glove game with your trained idiots for over 20 years and nothing has shaken us. Your country is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. So at the end your country is the loser. Keep coming. We’ll take them all and we will still be around after your country has splintered into fragments.

 

Myra writes: “Does it not reinforce the argument that if you can get India and Pakistan right, then Afghanistan will take care of itself?”

What is there to right India about? Is it a terrorist nation? Why is India being pulled into the picture. This is the mistake westerners are making – equating India with Pakistan. Only when the realization comes that they are not, will there be any solution. Pakistan is not a nation by any definition. It has areas where the law of the land does not hold. Its military runs the country. Its intelligence controls the military. It has nothing but terrorism to offer to the world. It is a rogue nation. And why is India being equated with it? India can definitely be involved in the plans related to the regional stability issues.

If you are talking about Kashmir, this is not the right time to bring that issue to the table. Though my fellow Indians disagree with me, Kashmir resolution can only be handled when peace returns to the region 100%. Free will of the people can only be heard when there is no violent threats and terrorism in the area. Settling Kashmir in this environment will not do anything to improve the situation. The world has to work on Pakistan first, before the Chinese get their neck in. Only then Afghanistan can be settled. India will definitely do what it can to help. But there is nothing to settle between India and Pakistan now, other than complete annihilation of Pakistan’s terrorist infrastructure.

 

Myra,

“Does it not reinforce the argument that if you can get India and Pakistan right, then Afghanistan will take care of itself?”

How will you get India right? What has India done wrong? What are you thinking? Where you got this idea from?

Since when we discipline the bleeding victims to appease the shooting terrorists? There is only one country that needs to be fixed and that will take care of everybody’s migraines.

Anyway, please hold on to this idea for 6 months and we’ll discuss after that. Some smart people are saying P won’t live 6 months. When India gets a new PM in May, lets see if P is still there. All of P’s problems are self-inflected and there is very little India can do to make P feel better.

P will explode very soon when another 30000 US/NATO soldiers land in the border.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

This P problem started with USA and will end when USA decides. Very much like a patient (on life support) and doctor relation.

Right now, USA is trying every new brand and doses of medicine to see what works.

Very soon, USA will come to the conclusion that EUTHANASIA is the only medicine left.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Gzeee .. I thought Pakistan didn’t like the Drones ..:)

U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials are drawing up a fresh list of terrorist targets for Predator drone strikes along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, part of a U.S. review of the drone program, according to officials involved.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani have quietly supported the attacks even though the strikes have stirred domestic unrest

Meanwhile, U.S. officials say they are continuing to find evidence Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency continues to support militant groups in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, and groups run by Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

U.S. officials say that telecommunications intercepts showed ISI officials were in contact with Mr. Haqqani’s operatives when they bombed the Indian embassy in Kabul last July.

The review is examining ways to reduce the time it takes between identifying a target and when the Predators fire — now less than 45 minutes — said a former CIA official.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12380341 4843244161.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

It only goes downhill from here .. New Obama policies are coming as early as this Friday.

Pakistani intelligence officials say four people have been killed after a suspected US drone aircraft fired two missiles into a house in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.

The incident occurred early on Thursday outside the town of Mir Ali, they said.

The strike was the second in the area in two days. A missile believed to have been launched by an unmanned US drone killed at least seven fighters in South Waziristan on Wednesday

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2 009/03/200932633023483524.html

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Obama’s Policy:

According to one defense official close to the debate, the key to success in Afghanistan remains eliminating terrorist safe havens and training camps, which are no longer in Afghanistan but in Pakistan

The key to any strategy remains Pakistan and its border regions, which remain terror safe havens

The Holbrooke-Petraeus-Clinton faction, according to the sources, prevailed. The result is expected to be a major, long-term military and civilian program to reinvent Afghanistan from one of the most backward, least developed nations to a relatively prosperous democratic state.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009  /mar/26/inside-the-ring-23718486/?page= 2

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

David and Mauryan,

I am glad you asked Myra about her quote that ‘get india and pakistan right and afghanistan will take care of itself’. these kind of arguments doesn’t make me take the reuters bloggers seriously.

first of all afghanistan unrest was brough up by taleban which was nourished by pakistan. india has nothing to do with it . infact taleban is an enemy of india. india doesn’t like a taleban in aghanistan.

it is quite baffling to read what you said Myra. It only makes me wonder the level of understand or knowledge in these matters.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive
 

If what LeT say is true then all hell will break lose in Kashmir. Pakistan can tell the world as much as it likes that LeT is a banned organisation, but it will soon revert to calling them freedom fighters again. Pakistan has already ceded Swat region to the Taliban making it a country with 2 legal systems. The Taliban say that they want to be left alone and the West should stop sending tanks, fighter planes etc to fight them. That the West should see the positive side of this and not the negative. However, are the Taliban going to leave anyone alone? Would the people of J&K like to have Taliban’s Sharia?

If LeT attack across the LoC then…India WILL respond in kind.
Zardari will going running to Obama with his tail between his legs to pressure India to stop.
Pak Army will line themselves along the eastern border.
Taliban will vow to fight side-by-side with the Pak Army.
NATO and the other allies do not want this.
Pakistan will be pressured to stop LeT.
Pakistan will make a few arrests and GeoTV will quote that a few NON-STATE ACTORS responsible have been caught.
Attacks acorss LoC cease.
Obama et al give Pakistan a commendation.
NATO gives Pakistan a few slaps on the back of praise.
Pak Army moves back from eastern border.
Pakistan and Zardari in Obama’s good books and receive more aid.
Pakistan releases NON-STATE ACTORS due to lack of evidence.

Back to square one.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Myra in response to question put forward:

“But how would you ensure that they did not in future give sanctuary to al Qaeda? Or sympathise with anti-India militants, as was the case in the 1999/2000 Kathmandu to Kandahar hijacking? I’ve often heard the argument that the Taliban is essentially an Afghan movement, which unlike al Qaeda does not have global ambitions, or represent a global threat. What I haven’t heard yet are coherent explanations of how the Taliban would stop Afghanistan from being used as a base for Islamist militancy outside the country.”

Myra, in the mid and late 90s the Taliban assumed power in Afghanistan largely supported by Pakistan. The US, Pakistan and Mujahideen fought together and defeated the Soviets back in 1989. The US showed little interest to engage Mujahideen factions later rebuild the war torn country, left unchecked Afghanistan gradually became a safe heaven of Al-Qaeda. Pakistan cannot be blamed for this. Taliban siezed control of 90% of the country, Pakistan recognized them because they were a reality on ground.

The Taliban at that time were only recognized by and had diplomatic relations with Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Taliban were myopic, their leadership seldom came out of their stronghold of Kandahar. Pakistan did the right thing to engage with them despite their shortsightedness.
Yes, you are right acts like aiding the hijackers of Indian airliner IC-814 at Kandahar airport in 1999 and destroying the Bhudda in Bamian were destructive. The Taliban I am sure have learnt a lot in these last 8 years and matured.
Besides, Pakistan in 2001, made every effort, Gen. Musharraf personally wanted to go to Kandahar to convince Mullah Omar to handover Al-Qaeda leadership to USA and save his country and people. But ISI D.G Gen. Mahmood Ahmed stopped Gen. Musharraf due to security reasons and went himself but failed to sucure surrender of OBL and Al-Qaeda leaders. I think Taliban were lacking in diplomacy and power of negotiating.

Now is the time for continuous engagement, give legitimate role to Taliban in Afghanistan. I am sure they will not let Afghanistan become a safe heaven for Al- Qaeda again, the responsibility of international community including Pakistan is to ensure externally that Al-Qaeda is uprooted, that its unable to establish its stronghold in Afghanistan again, That it cant make inroads in Afghanistan again. Wider diplomatic recognition of Taliban will be the key, the Taliban will be mindful of their responsibility this way. The Taliban should be seen as part of solution rather than part of the problem.

As with, how to ensure Taliban dont sympathise with anti-India millitants, Pakistan is the key here. Pakistan will guarantee that neither Pakistan, nor Taliban support anti-Indian millitants. Pakistan is a responsible member of international community and will ensure its soil is not used to plan/launch on third countries. Pakistan will and should make clear to Taliban openly not to support anti-Indian millitants. But in return India should normalize its relations with Pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

All my Indian friends are upset and questioning Myra while she stated:

“Does it not reinforce the argument that if you can get India and Pakistan right, then Afghanistan will take care of itself?”

I think everyone got it wrong, what I understood of above statement is that both India and Pakistan have strained relations and are competing for influence in Afghanistan. If Indo-Pak relations are normalized, Afghanistan will get on its own feet and become stable automatically. Indian-Pakistani-Afghan stability is interlinked and mutual cooperation and peaceful relations between any two countries is important for the stability and security of third.

So I would agree here that if Indian and Pakistan relations can get on the right track, Afghanistan will become stable. Pakistan is concerned India will use Afghanistan as a base to destabilize Baluchistan. That is where the problem lies, just as India comes out with completely clear intention not to do so, Pakistan will reciprocate and normal Indo-Pak relationship will ensure a more stable Afghanistan.

Now this is pretty simple, no one needs to be a scientist to understand this.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

The US is right to look at the whole India-Pakistan-Kashmir issue through the narrow prism of its own security. Similarly India is equally right to look at the situation from its own security pov.

I still haven’t understood this logic about sorting out Kashmir will ease things in AAfghanistan. The Kashmir issue pre-dates anything in Afghanistan by a few decades. It may suit some to look at it otherwise, but the fact is they are not connected. What the US wants is for India to say peace and goodwill towards all on earth and let the Pakistanis move troops to the west so that US security interests are looked after. Sorry won’t happen.

Similarly this issue of the LeT threatening to continue action in Kashmir. The fact is India does not expect that either the Let or the ISI or any govt.in Pakistan will shift focus away from Kashmir, specially when there are internal upheavals in Pakistan. This has been their old stage managed act since the beginning. Things bad in Pak, ratchet up tension against India and rally forces. When will they learn that after 60 years of failure, it is simply not going to work. OK India will take a few hits, but there’s no way that these tactics will wear down India or improve things. They can continue tying it for the next 600 years and they will still be fighting their heads off and dreaming of virgins in never, never land.

I can already hear my Pak friends here reminding us once again that Pak is a nuclear state and as someone also said has won the world cup in cicket and has never lost a war to India. They can continue reading their history books written by Zia and then continued by his successors. They forget that India too has done all this and before Pakistan, which has simply reacted. Only difference is India has moved on, Pakistan is unable to take its people forward. So they can keep chaerging up their own morale with false bravado, but the fact is that they are only bluffing themselve. Oh yes and the US too.

 

Yes, you are right acts like aiding the hijackers of Indian airliner IC-814 at Kandahar airport in 1999 and destroying the Bhudda in Bamian were destructive. The Taliban I am sure have learnt a lot in these last 8 years and matured.

NO THEY HAVE NOT. OTHERWISE WHY HAVE THEY TAKEN OVER SWAT?

To save the hostages, India released a man who went on to behead the journalist Daniel Pearl.

give legitimate role to Taliban in Afghanistan. I am sure they will not let Afghanistan become a safe heaven for Al- Qaeda again.

NO, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE AL QAEDA A SAFE HAVEN. IF YOU ARE SO SURE WHAT GUARANTEES CAN YOU GIVE? WOULD YOU STAKE YOUR OWN HEAD ON IT?

Pakistan will guarantee that neither Pakistan, nor Taliban support anti-Indian millitants. Pakistan is a responsible member of international community and will ensure its soil is not used to plan/launch on third countries. Pakistan will and should make clear to Taliban openly not to support anti-Indian millitants.

MORE PAKISTANI RHETORIC. PAKISTAN WILL BAN GROUPS TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES, BUT STILL RETAIN LINKS FOR FUTURE USE. THESE GROUPS ALWAYS REEMERGE UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES IN THE ALPHABET OF TERRORISTS.

But in return India should normalize its relations with Pakistan.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY NORMALIZE ITS RELATIONS? ALL THIS TERRORISM, TALIBAN, MILITANTS IS COMING FROM YOUR END. EVEN THE SRI LANKAN TEAM WERE ATTACKED BY THOSE STATIONED IN PAKISTAN.

There was a time when the PMs of both respective countries were holding Peace Talks over Kashmir, then Mushy and his boys decide to start another war in Kargil? Sharif ran off to Bill Clinton to pressure India not to attack Pakistan. Next thing you know, Sharif has been thrown out by Mushy.

I am sorry Umair, but you are REALLY getting desperate here and reading your statement its as if you are the Mother Teresa spokesperson of the Taliban and are trying you hardest to paint them as rosy, friendly negotible people.

So, Pakistan groups (former, persent, banned…etc) attack India. Pakistan then tells India that if it does this or that; these groups will melt away. This is called blackmail! In other words, Pakistan is saying cede Jammu and Kashmir to us and we will not attack you any more. J&K is not yours to take and please do not bother to quote Zulfikur Bhutto on this matter.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

In response to comments about India and Pakistan, I was referring specifically to this paragraph in the NYT story about Pakistanis maintaining links with Islamist groups:

“They (Pakistani officials) said the contacts were less threatening than the American officials depicted and were part of a strategy to maintain influence in Afghanistan for the day when American forces would withdraw and leave what they fear could be a power vacuum to be filled by India, Pakistan’s archenemy.”

I addressed the rivalry between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan, and explained the background to it, in this analysis.
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/i dUSTRE52M19C20090323?sp=true

My point is that Pakistan’s policy is driven by its perception that it is threatened by India. I know some of you will argue that Pakistan is wrong to believe it is threatened by India, but do you at least accept that the perception is there? From that you conclude, as have many analysts quoted on earlier posts on this blog, that the relationship between India and Pakistan is the primary driver in terms of Afghanistan. I’m happy to discuss this point-by-point.

Dara,

On your comment that the United States would take care of its own interests, and ignore those of India, do read this piece by Ashley Tellis at the Carnegie Institute, in which he argues that LeT is a threat globally and not just to India.
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publica tions/index.cfm?fa=view&id=22676

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “both India and Pakistan have strained relations and are competing for influence in Afghanistan. If Indo-Pak relations are normalized, Afghanistan will get on its own feet and become stable automatically.”

No matter how much you try to squeeze a meaning out of what Myra said, the truth remains the same – India has nothing to do with Afghan problem.

Afghanistan problem started in 1978 when Soviet troops marched into that country. Had they been left under the Soviets, probably the world will not be seeing what we see today. Many central asian republics under the Soviets have been thoroughly emasculated and these were the countries where the dreaded Tamarlane, and Mongol leaders emerged.

Coming to the topic, the US found a golden opportunity to avenge its defeat in Vietnam. Only they did not understand the culture of the region. They remained ignorant of the repercussions of their actions and fueled fundamental Islamic sentiments. They helped funnel money into the Madrasas that are infested in the entire area. With Stinger missiles, hostile territory, Pakistani military help and non stop irritation led to the bleeding of the Soviet Union. They left in 1989 unable to handle this region. And they broke down within two years.

The Americans left the region having settled their scores. And the various factions began to fight each other. Pakistan, under Benazir Bhutto, recognized the Taliban movement started by Mullah Omar. This organization was trained by Pakistan’s ISI and military. And they conquered most of Afghanistan. The US didn’t care even then. A Taliban delegation paid a visit to Houston to get 45 million dollar award for destroying Opium.

Chechnya, Dagestan, Kashmir erupted in unprecedented terrorist strikes. All was well with the US until the embassy bombings occurred. Yugoslavia was in flames and the US was busy there. Until Sept 11, 2001, the US did not care. Now we know the story.

Tell me where India was involved here. India, Pakistan relations have been strained since August 1947. This is not new. So why are the ignorant fishing in unnecessary waters? Why can’t they ask India for help instead?

 

Myra,
Thanks for getting back. Pakistan’s only problem are “inferiority complex”, “lack of judgment” and “lack of vision”. There is hardly any known medicine for these diseases. Sometimes the thief is scared by it’s own shadow. Ego will run only so far on empty stomach.

Who are India and Pakistan to make deals on future of Afghanistan? Afghanistan is a sovereign country and it is not for people of India and Pakistan to decide their fate. Only people of Afghanistan will decide their destiny, when given a secure environment and outsiders stop sending terrorists to Afghanistan. Only Afghans will pick their paertners.

India is building roads, hospitals, schools, police force, Ariana (Afghan Airlines) and donated USD1.5 billions for development. Pakistan didn’t allow biscuits for Afghan school children to pass through Pakistani territory and India had to construct a new highway through Iran to deliver biscuits to children. Afghan Government asked for World (and India’s) help in reconstruction and India is doing that. Sure, India will stop it’s activities when asked to do so by Afghan people or Afghan Government. Do you want India to stop these activities because Pakistan would like to see Afghanis live in caves or in stone age?

What has Pakistan built in Afghanistan? How much USD has Pakistan donated to development of Afghanistan? When asked to work for development of Afghanistan, Pakistan is sending killers and bombers to Afghanistan everyday. Pakistan government (ISI) is directly related to attacks on UN building, Indian Embassy, Afghan education, justice departments, Attacks of Afghan police officers, ministers and presidents. How can India collaborate with Pakistan and contribute to these activities? Where do you see a common ground? Pakistan is the unwelcomed, unwanted intruder in Afghanistan.

Sure, India will withdraw from Afghanistan when Pakistan donates USD 1.5 billion to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, Pakistan starts building schools, hospitals, roads, Parliaments and Pakistan stops killing Afghans everyday, When Afghans want India to exit!

‘Pak spy agency funnels cash to Afghan militants’ http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art icle/ALeqM5gGRC69LGBx8MhSqSnT6PWcEWuG_Q

Afghan intel chief: Pakistan spies support Taliban
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/arti cle/ALeqM5hvWEqwq3CrRvaQCmt21MfoYhjZJQD9 75PNR02

Afghan envoy: Pakistan spy agency may have Taliban ties
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art icle/ALeqM5g0eUy_Im8EIsQdCLQYjQD5oua1YA

Tomorrow Pakistan will ask US/NATO to be out of Afghanistan for a peaceful Afghanistan!

Do you now see the fallacy in your logic?

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan wrote:
“No matter how much you try to squeeze a meaning out of what Myra said, the truth remains the same – India has nothing to do with Afghan problem.”

My friend, so is Pakistan responsible for the state in which Afghanistan is today? Did Pakistan ask the USSR Red Army to invade Afghanistan in 1979? did Pakistan ask the US and CIA to start Operation Cyclone? one of CIAs longest and most expensive covert operation to arm Mujahideen factions? did Pakistan ask those millions of Afghan refugees who fleed to Pakistan after the Soviet invasion? Is Pakistan responsible for rise and fall of Taliban or Northern alliance for that matter? Now certainly the US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania were got nothing to do with Pakistan.

My friend let me tell you, Pakistan suffered lot due the what happened in Afghanistan from 1979-1989, drugs, and AK-47s flooded Pakistan as a spill over effect.
Pakistan was acting as a buffer between India and Afghanistan. You Indians enjoyed progress and we were fighting the west’s wars. Now in the globalized world, that buffer exists no more, what happens in Afghanistan will have its consequences as far as India and beyond. We are not anyone’s sand digger, when ISI is accused of helping Taliban, it is only Pakistan playing its cards. We are only liable to take care of our own interests. Thats how it works, Us will take care of US interets, India will take care of its own interests.
So when CIA aided Mujahideen, whats wrong with ISI aiding Taliban? I mean I am just assuming for sake of argument, I am not implying that ISI is aiding Taliban.

India must get ready to face the consequences,
IPL is already moved out of India and guess what this is just the begining. You will see what happens in future, India cannot evade its responsibility in the region. This is globalized world and today what happens in one place has spill over effect on other.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Myra,
“My point is that Pakistan’s policy is driven by its perception that it is threatened by India”

So your logic: Pakistan feels threatened by shadows so everybody please hide.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

A branded arms smuggler and drug dealer needs more space and everybody please vacate the town.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

The argument that a settlement of the Kashmir dispute would solve the Afghanistan problem is fundamentally flawed as it completely ignores the Pakistan-Afghanistan dispute over the Durand Line. Afghanistan has not officially recognized the current border and was the only country that opposed Pakistan’s admission to the U.N.

Therefore, it is imperative for Pakistani agencies to have a pliant regime in Kabul which would not raise this dispute (even if the need for ‘strategic depth’ against India disappear) again.

It is futile for the same reason to expect Pakistani security establishment to cooperate (as suggested by certain quarters)in the attempts to prop up Pakhtoon Nationalism as a counterfoil to the rigid Islamic identity of the Talibans.

Posted by bongatticus | Report as abusive
 

Myra,
It is insulting and humiliating to be compared to a Pakistan or stand next to a Paki in any subconscious way or format.

In future, if you need to find a country to compare to Pakistan or need any solution for Pakistan, please spare India. Please find Somalia or Zimbabawae or Aztecs for comparison to Pakistan. Sadly, we had a common past, and that is why we are in 6-7 pieces today. But we no longer share the present or the future. Looking at India won’t give you any solution.

India has terrorist and security problems. And only India can address and fix those problems (with help from US and UK). People in India only blame their Government for the security failures and no one else.

India’s bilateral relations with any country are strictly bilateral and there is no place in between for any third country or person.

There is nothing India can do for Pakistan other than wishing them “Good Luck and Have a Safe Trip”.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “My friend, so is Pakistan responsible for the state in which Afghanistan is today?”

Yes. Pakistan has the world’s mightiest military right? When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, they should have told the US to mind its own business (like they are trying to tell them now) and gone after the Soviets themselves. And you have the inseparable Chinese right? You two could have joined hands and taken enough precautions so that the Soviets did not invade Pakistan next. But your countrymen were licking their lips at that time. You did not like India intervening in East Pakistan’s genocide. But you went hand in hand with the Americans when Afghan refugees flooded your borders. So one rule for you and another for the other.

Tell me. Did India start the problem in Afghanistan? At what stage was India involved? India was never involved in the whole thing. So why is India being pulled into the problem your country and the US created? Go back and clean up your own mess. The fire was set by the Soviets and it was turned into a conflagration by the US and your country. Your participation in the whole thing was for future gains. Your only goal was to get at India and your leaders worked towards stockpiling arms and training provided by the CIA to use against India. So India comes into the picture only after the Soviets left Afghanistan. And India comes in because your country began to attack our country using insurgency. We will address only that aspect and we will do it in our own way.

“India must get ready to face the consequences”

Of what? What did we do and what consequences? What does it have to do with Afghanistan/Taliban issue? Aren’t guys screaming that Taliban is Pakistan’s internal matter? So where does India figure and what consequences are you talking about?

“IPL is already moved out of India and guess what this is just the begining. You will see what happens in future, India cannot evade its responsibility in the region. This is globalized world and today what happens in one place has spill over effect on other.”

So you are issuing a warning. This means that you, an ordinary citizen is fully supportive of terrorist activities inside India for no purpose. India has only the responsibility of rooting out terror bases inside your country. We are ready for that. Is your country ready for our help? We will take out the LeT, the LeJ, the ISI, the Taliban and let us know if there is anyone else. Then you can rest in peace.

This is a globalized world indeed. So if Pakistan does not shut down its terror machinery, there will be a global solution to it. Be rest assured. Very soon there will be a coalition including India and Afghanistan that will work with the Western powers to wipe out your terrorist infrastructure. In the bargain if you lose your nukes, scientists and even the country, do not regret it. It is your own attitude that has led to this state.

We are fully willing to mind our own business. But if you keep messing with us and calling it a global issue, we will make it a global issue in the true sense and you will pay for the repercussions.

 

Ummair Says:
“My friend, so is Pakistan responsible for the state in which Afghanistan is today?”

Resp: No, I think Argentina is responsible.

“Did Pakistan ask the US and CIA to start Operation Cyclone?”

Resp: No, US and CIA started operating in the Non-state areas of Pakistan without the knowledge of Pakistanis. Argentinians collaborated with CIA.

“Is Pakistan responsible for rise and fall of Taliban or Northern alliance for that matter?”

Resp: No, Argentina was training and arming the Talibans in the madrassas and was having friendly diplomatic relations with Talibans. All the Talibans are hiding in Argentina now. ISI exists in Argentina.

Posted by Outsider | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

1) Myra asked, “I know some of you will argue that Pakistan is wrong to believe it is threatened by India, but do you at least accept that the perception is there?”

- The perception in Pakistan is wrong but real. I’d argue that the perception is manufactured by the Pakistan army as an excuse to strengthen its grip on the levers of power in its country.

2) Myra says, “From that you conclude, as have many analysts quoted on earlier posts on this blog, that the relationship between India and Pakistan is the primary driver in terms of Afghanistan”

- Yes and No.

I say “Yes” because Indo-Pak relations are maligned owing to a manufactured threat by Pakistan army & its cohorts. There is less India can do to convince an entity which pretends to be asleep.

I also say “No” because mistrust between US-Russia and US-Iran too have a large bearing on the situation in Afghanistan.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Please stop clutching to the straws with your argument. The foundations of using terrorists under the name of religion to push political agenda were laid by the founding fathers of Pakistan. That strategy is being followed by subsequent rulers of Pakistan in Kashmir and Afghanistan at a great human cost. This has been confirmed by many scholars and historians of the region.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Nikhil
Kashmir is a disputed territory between Pakistan and India, Kashmir is the reason of enmity between the two nations. Forget about the use of terrorists in the name of religion, Pakistan Army is deployed in Kashmir, Indian Army is deployed in Kashmir. Kashmir is a war zone without international border onlt the LOC or (ceasefire line) seperates the two parts of Kashmirs.
Nikhil, Kashmir is a dispute and there is always going to be fighting over Kashmir, you need to get it straight in your head. I dont know why its so difficult for you Indians to understand this. Probably you dont know that your claim over Kashmir is not recognized by pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

David wrote:
“It is insulting and humiliating to be compared to a Pakistan or stand next to a Paki in any subconscious way or format.

In future, if you need to find a country to compare to Pakistan or need any solution for Pakistan, please spare India. Please find Somalia or Zimbabawae or Aztecs for comparison to Pakistan.”

Your remark is racist and deplorable, you are an insult to India itself. How can you be so stupid David?
And there is a Somalia and Zimbabwe in every slum in India. The TB and AIDS, the povert and corruption, the misery of 25% of Indian population consisting of Dalit low caste hindus, India can surely be compared to Rwanda and Congo and Angola or Sub Saharan Africa. You must be ashamed of yourself David, Pakistanis still live a much better life standard.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

The problem in Kashmir is a political one; not military. India understands it; Pakistan does not. Armed insurgents and violence in Kashmir have no role to play in reaching any solution. In fact, such dastardly act, with tacit support from the Pakistan army, delays the resolution to Kashmir.

Your accusation that India is not willing to solve Kashmir runs hollow. You may know India and Pak were close in resolving Kashmir few years ago through secret talks. But Musharraf did not know how to sell the solution to his people and wanted more time. He subsequently got engulfed in political crisis and lost office.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

It’s a joke that the LeT continues to thrive four year after being banned by Musharraf. That shows the poor resolve to fight LeT or the complicity of Pakistani state. Not to mention that the LeT cadre largely consists of Pakistani Punjabis – not Kashmiris – fighting against the infidels.

I wonder if the US has enough appetite to take on the Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, JuD among others. If next month they miraculously find Osama Bin Laden, the US will wind up its Afghan operations; only to leave some CIA operatives behind to collect intelligence and safeguard American homeland.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Your accusation that India is not willing to solve Kashmir runs hollow. You may know India and Pak were close in resolving Kashmir few years ago through secret talks. But Musharraf did not know how to sell the solution to his people and wanted more time. He subsequently got engulfed in political crisis and lost office.

The problem in Kashmir is a political one; not military. India understands it; Pakistan does not. Armed insurgents and violence in Kashmir have no role to play in reaching any solution. In fact, such dastardly act, with tacit support from the Pakistan army, delays the resolution to Kashmir.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Nikhil
It was not Musharraf, Musharraf stated to a Journalist in his recent visit to US that India was lacking the courage to take a pro-active and strong stance on the back channel talks. It was lack of courage on part of India, not Musharraf loosing power to his political opponents that caused the failure, many times India was slow to respond to Pakistani initiatives.
India surely knows the Kashmir problem is political one. The Hindu Maharaja forcibely ceded the Muslim majority state to India. The people of Kashmir do not accept Indian rule. The sooner Kashmir is resolved the better it is because the next Indo-Pak war will be nuclear. 1965 and 1971 would seem like picnic as to what is going to happen. Kashmir is the nuclear flash point.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Musharraf, when out of office, may say whatever he may like in front of journos in return for some limelight and moolah. The duplicity of Paki generals and politicians is well known. My suggestion, please read Steve Coll in NY magazine about the Indo-Pak talks and the reasons why they got stuck.

Similar to the disagreements of Baloch rebels in Pakistan, the Kashmiri separatists have grouse with their state. Sounds familiar? They are few in number and the majority of the population in the valley, ladakh, leh and jammu does not want Pakistan. They want peace and development without changing nationalities.

If you want to read the history of accession of Kashmir to India please read a non-Pakistani version. Don’t bark about nuclear war and nukes lightly like a kid who just got hands on a pistol. There is not going to be a nuke war over Kashmir. That is an old tactic Pakis use to induce fear in return for more money from the west.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “The people of Kashmir do not accept Indian rule.”

How do you know that? Kashmir had an overwhelming turn out at the polls and Farooq Abdullah became the chief minister there. Since you are not familiar with democratic means, you will not recognize it. But we do not need your recognition any way. It hardly matters what Pakistan’s opinions on Indian matters are.

Kashmiris, left to themselves might want to be on their own. In fact, every ethnic, religious, linguistic community across the whole world would love to have a country on its own. The only people who keep harping about Kashmir are Pakistanis. That is the only thing that your establishment is using as a steroid injection in order to keep your country invigorated.

The problem is, your militant methods will not help. India has been holding on for more than two decades against your jihadist elements. It has enough money and resources to handle it for another hundred years. Your country and your jihadist parties cannot sustain that long a conflict. You are already on the brink of bankruptcy. Your country is living on alms thrown by the US, Saudi Arabia etc. So give up the obsession with Kashmir and move on. Just like you claim that Pakistan is a reality and asked me to move on, Kashmir’s current situation is a reality and learn to move on.

If and when peace returns, we can discuss about what Kashmiris are entitled to. Whatever chances they had was botched in 1947. A lot of things could have been done then. But it is too late. I always have my own opinions on Kashmir. But I would not compromise on my nation’s priorities. Today India needs complete solidarity of all its people and we will stand by it. The situation is grave. So my first response is to keep my opinions aside and stand behind my nation. Then during peaceful days, we can sit and argue on who was right and who was wrong.

Tell your Islamic brothers to wind up and go do something constructive. The more you try to burn us, the more you will burn. It is already showing.

 

Umair,

Bottom line, you should lobby your government to stop letting the LeT operate in Pak Kashmir. If Pakistan fails to deliver there will be terrible consequences if these Pak Army and ISI trained terrorists start to cross the LOC. There are forces in India who are just itching at the opportunity to settle the score with Pakistan in an extremely disproportionate way. Don’t let them get even, do the right thing and take a stand against terrorism in all its forms, state or non-state a like, do not differentiate between different types of terrorists.

The next time Pakistan allows or fuels the next Mumbai, the world will just think Pakistan is crying wolf and no-one will come to Pakistan’s rescue.

India will have every right to cross the LOC in retaliation only, turf those 50 camps, and return back to India. You can keep your country intact. What you are not willing to do, India may do itself.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

By the way, your Pak Army and ISI have to give up their dreams of grand conquest over India. This mental illness is driving Pakistan to the edge of the cliff and destroying its public image. Pakistan’s image, globally is at an all time low, most westerners do not respect or like anything about Pakistan. They all think the next 911 on American soil will come from Pakistan.

If that happens one more time, the U.S. WILL do a regime change on Rawalpindi and Islamabad, by force, just remember Iraq, if the U.S. is attacked by non-state actors, the U.S. will invade and they will not be negotiated with or begged, like Saddam and his sons did.
All three of them, look what happened.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

An action movie is about to begin. Lets us grab pop corns, sodas and enjoy the movie.

“The administration now plans to send about 4,000 military trainers to Afghanistan — in addition to the recently announced 17,000 additional troops”

“The Pentagon also is considering a new U.S. military command in southern Afghanistan that would assume responsibility for the Americans troops deploying there. The area is currently commanded by European NATO generals, and a new U.S. command would signal increasing American control over the war effort”

“The new strategy is notable for the emphasis it places on Pakistan, which senior officials now see as critical to determining whether Afghanistan stabilizes or continues its downward spiral”

“The economic aid will be accompanied by additional American strikes on militant targets inside Pakistan. U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials are currently drawing up a fresh list of terrorist targets for Predator drone strikes”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12381006 3254951371.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive
 

Pakistani and Afghan Taliban Unify in Face of U.S. Influx

“The new Taliban alliance has raised concern in Afghanistan, where NATO generals warn that the conflict will worsen this year. It has also generated anxiety in Pakistan, where officials fear that a united Taliban will be more dangerous, even if focused on Afghanistan, and draw more attacks inside Pakistan from United States drone aircraft”

“This may bring some respite for us from militants’ attacks, but what it may entail in terms of national security could be far more serious,” said one senior Pakistani official

Mr. Haqqani, and his father Jalaluddin Haqqani, the most powerful figures in Waziristan, are closely linked to Al Qaeda and to Pakistani intelligence, American officials say. From their base in North Waziristan, they have directed groups of fighters into eastern Afghanistan and increasingly in complex attacks on the Afghan capital, Kabul.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/world/ asia/27taliban.html?_r=1

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive
 

“The era of the blank check is over”

“President Obama plans to further bolster American forces in Afghanistan and for the first time set benchmarks for progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban there and in Pakistan”

“American officials have .. insisted that Pakistan do more to cut ties between parts of its government and the Taliban”

“Mr. Blair estimated that as much as three quarters of the Taliban’s rank and file in Afghanistan could be peeled away from the Taliban’s leadership, most of whom are hiding in sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/washin gton/27prexy.html?hp

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive
 

Kashmiri Shia mourn India patriot

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/79 65451.stm

Posted by GLobal Citizen | Report as abusive
 

His strategy will try to draw together Afghanistan policy and Pakistan policy into a coherent whole

Officers at the Pentagon tell me they expect the total number of US and Nato troops deployed to hit 90,000 by the end of the summer

Mr Obama’s vision for Afghanistan implies an increase in commitment to be sustained indefinitely, an important distinction.

Formulating the Pakistan element of the strategy has been the hardest part, I am told. The Taleban and other insurgent groups, and al-Qaeda, continue to use Pakistani territory for their bases.

Until these sanctuaries are eliminated, and the recruiting of radicals curtailed, there would seem to be little hope for long-term stability in Afghanistan.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7967 002.stm

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