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.)

******************************

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

“Pakistan has been an ally to the war on terror only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but on Tuesday and Thursday there has been some work with the Taliban.”

The crux of the problem he asserts is that Pakistan lacks unified command and control over its own territory

http://www.voanews.com/english/NewsAnaly sis/2009-03-26-voa13.cfm

Posted by Globla Citizen | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “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.”

Missed out on this one. Let me ask you this. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, there was one more country bordering Afghanistan. Refugees poured into Iran as well. Somehow, during the entire American led war against the Soviets, Iran remained out of it, despite being an Islamic neighbor. Just out of curiosity, how did Pakistan go for help from a kafir nation like the USA and not form an alliance with countries like Iran? I’d tell you the answer.

Drugs, AK-47s have been in Pakistan for a while. Soviet invasion did not bring that. Zia Ul Haq seized power at around the same time. He eyed the F16s, Stinger Missiles and state of the art training in sabotage, assassinations and running covert wars from the CIA, that the Americans were dangling in front of him. Imagine that. If he could allow the Americans to run their war for renting space in Pakistan, all the goodies that will be given could go for a worthy cause – bleed India to death. This was the grand plan that has led to today’s situation. You Pakistanis need to understand that India is not a weak nation. Your military commanders are living in a dream world. Even with nukes, it will be hard to take out India completely. But the vengeance against India that drew Pakistan into the act. The Americans got what they wanted and the Pakistanis got what they wanted. What both did not realize is that Afghanistan is like a bee hive. It got whacked with a club, first by the Soviets and then by the Americans. The bees got out and are stinging everyone ever since. Enjoy the honey.

“Pakistan was acting as a buffer between India and Afghanistan. You Indians enjoyed progress and we were fighting the west’s wars.”

Yeah right. As though India has a threat from Afghanistan. Soviets were never a threat to India. In fact, Soviets in Afghanistan would have done two things good for the region. It would have emasculated the Islamic mutant ninja turtles and modernized the nation in terms of women’s education, good roads and less dependency on opium. The Soviets had excellent athletic and sports culture and Afghanistan could have benefitted from that as well, like Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan. Secondly, the Soviets on the Western side and Indians on the Eastern side would have forced Pakistan to go the path of peace. You guys could have been contained easily and probably cricket would have survived at least.

But the Americans screwed up. Their policies are short sighted and very businesslike. They look at progress quarter by quarter and never in the long run. So they are paying the price now. And you are paying the price too for having jumped into the grave. The Americans will get out. But you will not.

Iran lucked out I’d say. They had already turned the Americans into their worst enemy. If the Shah Reza was in power, the US would never have cared about Pakistan. Your leaders looked at short term gains and lost out in the long run. Now you must reap what they sowed.

Buffer state my a*se!

 

“N. Korea defends right to ‘explore space’”

Good idea, when you run out of rice and food aid in your country, look at sky. May be there is some rice in ISS or moon.

When is Pakistan going to follow N Korea into space, looking for food? After all they are nuke Walmart buddies!

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapc f/03/26/north.korea.missile/?iref=mpstor yview

Posted by Outsider | Report as abusive
 

Myra writes: “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? ”

Every nation feels threatened by some other nation. India feels threatened by China. Pakistan feels threatened by India. Afghanistan feels threatened by Pakistan. Iran feels threatened by the US. Israel feels threatened by Iran. Arab nations feel threatened by Israel. The chain continues on. But this is no excuse to drag a nation into a conflict in which a country had no part from the beginning.

But I do agree with you that Pakistanis have the perception that India is about eat them alive. Their leaders have used this fear to unite their country and build up their military disproportionately. India explodes nuclear devices to counter Chinese threat. Pakistan does the same to achieve parity with India.

World powers like China, UK etc would like to keep India as backward as possible. So Pakistani fears help them achieve that end. China is using Pakistan’s paranoia to its advantage. Britain never liked freeing India and hated leaving the nation from under its grip. So they supported the formation of Pakistan, knowing well that the nation will be formed with this paranoia. What Pakistanis must realize is that India is a big country and has not been so threatening to its other small neighbors like Bangladesh, Nepal etc.. Nepal is a declared Hindu nation. Yet India never showed territorial expansionist ambitions on that land locked country. After liberating Bangladesh, India has not gone to war with that country or destabilize it with sabotage. In the case of Sri Lanka, the ethnic Tamil conflict never caused a direct war with that country. So Pakistan is the only small neighboring country that has been using the paranoia as an excuse to build itself up and trying to feed its superiority complex over the Hindus who make up most of India.

I’d say it is not fear of India as such, but the fear of a Hindu India becoming more successful and respected in the world for its power and progress that is bothering the Pakistanis. Hence their repeated attempts to derail India’s progress. Those who fear a bigger neighbor won’t boldly stage strikes into their territory. India would never dare venture into China and start supporting dissidents. The fear is real. India could have used Tibet as an excuse. In the case of Pakistan, the fear is an excuse. They are projecting it to keep their ego alive.

 

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

I say
Myra, try your best to equate both India and Pak but you will fail miserably in this game :-)

Posted by Venkat | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

In response to my earlier comment you said, “On your comment that the United States would take care of its own interests, and ignore those of India,..”

Where have I said that? What I have said is “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.”

In other words the US top priority is its own security while for India it will be India first. And that is only right from their own perspectives. It is, however, a far cry from saying that one ignores the interests of the other. I’m afraid that inference is off the mark.

Thank you for the Trellis report, which I am familiar with. To add to the Trellis testimony about the LeT being a global threat, Hafeez Saeed himself has also said (in an interview I read somewhere) that its not just about Kashmir. Kashmir and India are just the gateway to a larger pan Islamic world order. I would be interested to see how much of what Tellis said gets reflected in the Af-Pak policy review.

Myra, whenever the 26/11 events have been discussed, I notice you generally say that “whom India blames…” whether it be with reference to Pakistan itself or the LeT. Would really appreciate to hear what you think about these allegations? Do you agree with the Indian contention or accept that it is likely or do you disagree with them? In case you have already discussed this issue elsewhere would you please point me towards it? Thanks.

Dara

 

Venkat, you wrote:

“Myra, try your best to equate both India and Pak but you will fail miserably in this game.”

Did I say I was trying to equate India and Pakistan? The U.S. administration believes that reducing tensions between India and Pakistan is fundamental to its Af/Pak strategy. Please see the following in an article in Politico on Holbrooke:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/030 9/20531.html

“He is convinced that one of the answers to getting Pakistan to devote more attention to the militant threat it faces is to reduce tensions between Pakistan and India, officials say. If that could happen, Pakistan could move more of its troops into the tribal areas and border regions where much of the militant threat exists.

“But Holbrooke has also not figured out yet whether he can be successful in reducing India-Pakistan tensions, the officials say. India has long resisted involving outside mediators and Holbrooke has no intention of getting involved in trying to force resolution of long-running disputes, like the Kashmir issue.
“The joke around the department is that ‘Holbrooke doesn’t do India until he does India,’” said one official.”

(I’m not quite sure what the final line means about the joke going around the department.)

If you think the U.S. administration’s view is wrong, please say why. But don’t attack the messenger for reporting it.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

US is paying for it’s deeds done to oust USSR from Afghanistan with support of Pakistan. The realty is it can’t dump it’s old ally Pakistan and has to deal with babies like Taliban, fostered by US and Pakistan to oust USSR and promote parent’s interests, who have grown up. The “Baby” now wants power to govern and “Parents” of “Baby” are worried as “Baby” wields power which can harm parents. Pakistan and US are trapped in a vicious circle of Terror created by themselves and are looking at other means of escape like Kashmir. Kashmir is not a issue similar to Israel but issue raked upon to divert attention from realty. US and Pakistan should read one old adage that God Helps Those Who Help Themselves. Instead of trying to help India solve her problems they should take care of their “Grown up Baby”. What if quality education was not provided at tender age, there is still time to learn… Go for adult education :-)

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan mosque attack kills 48 (BBC news)

This was a suicide bombing that has just recently happened near the Khyber pass. The mosque has been completely destroyed. The death toll is higher than 48.

-So, are the Taliban or any of the other groups from the Alphabet soup worth talking to?

Before this attack there was another suicide bombing inside a restaurant near Peshawar. That place was destroyed. Another Pakistani business ruined.

-Maybe the food was bad and the bomber was a customer making his complaint very loud and clear.

-Maybe these are practice runs for when 17,000 US troops arrive in Afghanistan, you know? Get as many people angry and use their grievances against the American in Afghanistan so all their anger is channeled towards killing US troops. There will always be a radical iman jumping at this opportunitiy and yelling at the top of his voice that this was attack is Amreeka’s fault and the Devil Dogs should be shot to Hell!

I just hop that Zardari does not expoit this attack to get more military aid from the Friends Of Pakistan meeting. He and the Pak govt have not done anything worthy since the first FoP meeting to deserve more aid. They have not used what they were given to root out terrorists.

The protests and Long March cost Pakistan 10 BILLION Pak rupees. Now, the Pak govt want $10 billion!

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Myra

Thanks for your clarification. I am not used to shooting the messenger but I always aim at the ideology that the messengers clandestinely perpetuate.

US Admin desperately tries to bring back India-Pak hypenation. Holbrooke tried and he miserably failed to try to bring Kashmir into his table. Who the heck called him for resolution of dispute? Only if BOTH the parties invite external moderators, they should come in. Obtrusive self-proclaimed pseudo-democrats should meddle in affairs of weak or failed nations but not non-aligned, powerful countries.

Reuters and other media houses try to generate public opinion by furthering the views of their masters [or those who pay them] and so I am not surprised if there is some hidden objective in your [I mean Reuters'] articles and opinions.

Af-Pak is America’s headache and there is NOTHING in it for India, except for humanitarian nation-building efforts in Afghanistan. Let US deal with the monster CIA created for fighting Russia. It is Pakistan which PERCEIVES India as a threat and not vice-versa and hence it’s Pakistan that needs steroids [or poison]. India is NEVER in the picture of Af-Pak instability which is US’ creation.

Thanks

Posted by Venkat | Report as abusive
 

A self-destrutive community will collapse on its own legs:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_a sia/7967594.stm

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive
 

Jerry,
It is a sad event. So many precious lives lost without any fault of their. These people died because they didn’t support Taliban.

Why hate or penalizeize the whole community for the acts of a few?

It is good opportunity for Pakistan government to reach these people and support their movement against Taliban. It is just the beginning.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher wrote:
“There are forces in India who are just itching at the opportunity to settle the score with Pakistan in an extremely disproportionate way.”

Disproportionate? My friend Pakistan armed forces are fully capable of responding to any Indian attack “with-in minutes”. Israel uses disproportionate force against Palestinians because they are unfortunately weak. Pakistan on the other hand is a 170 million strong muslim nation, armed with nuclear weapons ballistic & cruise missiles and the worlds 7th largest and professional military armed with sophisticated weapons systems. Just remember any amount of force used by India will be responded by equally proportionate amount of force by Pakistan.
Your chest thumping is laughable, if forces in India are itching to cross the LOC in Kashmir, Pakistan Army is also waiting to roast them with fingers on their triggers and eyes vigilant.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

India trying to find space for ‘conventional war’: Pak
BUSINESS RECORDER MARCH 27, 2009

ISLAMABAD (updated on: March 27, 2009, 18:09 PST): Pakistan says that the armed forces differential between it and India had widened which had resulted in New Delhi trying to ‘find space for a conventional war’.

In unusual comments at the National Defence University, the Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said “when seen with the widening force differential between ours and Indian Armed Forces, it explains to us the emboldened posture and her urge, to find sp ace for a conventional war.”

Gilani also highlighted the complex security scenario in the country saying “all of you know that we have been preparing for an external threat all these years. Our internal threat has been evolving beyond our comprehension and has weakened us conside rably.”

“History tells us that a weak inner front always tends to invite external aggression,” he said in his address to participants yesterday.

Gilani also said Pakistan had “no aggressive designs against any country” but would counter any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty “with full force”.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Gilani and his remarks are a symptom of a mass delusion of the India-threat that Pakis suffer. Please etch in your mind that Pakistan offers an unparalleled nuisance value and India has no interest in attacking Pakistan. It’s like kicking a beehive.

Gilani is playing to the tune of the piper; the Pak army. We know that the Paki army is not trained to fight insurgency but the thought to retaliate India boosts the ego of a bruised force. What else can he say when the Pak army is getting roasted at the hands of the terrorists, the ISI is under attack for being a notorious state within a state, the US snubs the Paki army with drone attacks and bribes the govt to keep silent and the world looks at Pak as an international migrane.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Nikhil wrote:
” the US snubs the Paki army with drone attacks and bribes the govt to keep silent and the world looks at Pak as an international migrane.”

During 2001-02 border stand-off PAF F-16s shot down an Israeli made Indian drone on the eastern border with India. PAF chief is on record stating Pakistan is capable of shooting down intruding drones. Do you think these drone srtikes happen without consent of Services chiefs or the government?
For the world, ISI is a rougue state within a state, for Pakistan it is a formidable spy service and a first line of defenc eon the face of external threats to national security. India would love to attack Pakistan showing its bad behavior, its pakistan’s viligant posture that humbles India. Remember after Indian nuclear tests George Fernandes and L.K Advani stating to teach a lesson to Pakistan, what happened on 28 May 1998 the world saw it and you know it, I dont need to repeat.
India remains a considerable external threat to Pakistan and Pakistan needs to maintain minimum credible detterence against India.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Myra
“If you think the U.S. administration’s view is wrong, please say why. But don’t attack the messenger for reporting it.”

Myra

—Let’s hypothetically assume that the ‘U.S. administration’s view is right’ & Holbrooke ‘does’ India, i.e. snatches Kashmir from India & gifts it on a platter to dear friend Pakistan, then according to you what would be the logical conclusion?

—Is this the message by the ‘enlightened one’s’ from white hall & foggy bottom?

- Osama, Gulbuddin Hemaktyar, Baitullah Mehsud, Omar, Haqquani et al are all praise of the US & offer to surrender themselves to America. Since Kashmir which was their central issue & having been ‘resolved’, The Taliban & Al-Queda shall show their gratitude by laying down their arms & the NATO forces return home triumphant having won the ‘war on terror’, by making friends of their foes.
OR
- Pakistan hunts down Osama & presents him to Holbrooke as a return gift, launches a massive attack on the Taliban & sanitizes the SWAT valley, pushing them into Afghanistan where the NATO forces will conveniently defeat them, bringing them down on their knees. The insurgency is crushed & all’s well in AF-PAK.
( Wonder what’s stopping them from doing that even now? -Does someone has any stastics regarding the size of the Pakistani Army / the number of Al-Queda, Taliban & other jehadi’s active in the SWAT area / the approx. size of the area in sq.km’s, where the jihadi’s are concentrated?)

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

Anup, you wrote:

“Let’s hypothetically assume that the ‘U.S. administration’s view is right’ & Holbrooke ‘does’ India, i.e. snatches Kashmir from India & gifts it on a platter to dear friend Pakistan, then according to you what would be the logical conclusion?”

Are you not jumping a lot of steps? There has to be a big grey area between improving relations between India and Pakistan and what you call gifting Kashmir on a platter, no?

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,

It is none of your business if India’s defence is beyond parity with.

Secondly, you need not worry India crossing the LOC, it won’t happen unless your proxy armies are crossing it or unless Pakistan crosses the line of control. Therefore the fate of Pakistan lies in Pakistan’s own hands. India will not start the fight. If Pakistan starts it, India will finish it. India has nukes and ballistic missiles and twice the army and much better more high tech equipment and most of all a very angry population, ready to support its army, if India is wronged first.

There is no chest thumping that is the reality here my friend. We can help Pakistani’s by ridding them of their parasitic army. Just remember, as long as you guys do no terrorism, or cross the loc, you are ok. Sleep tight, enjoy the Lahori fish kebabs and chappli kebabs, those proxy armies, if unleashed on india one more time, will bring something much worse than 1971.

Posted by Global watcher | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

The stories of Paki army valor and capability is for domestic consumption only. We’ve seen the valor of your army in Swat, FATA and NWFP. No one cares what the Paki army chief said because it does not carry weightage outside Rawalpindi. The ISI’s notoriety is printed by Paki scholars themselves. The ISI is like a pit-bull; it may protect you but it does not hesitate to eat your child when hungry.

As you claim, if India remains an external threat to India how can Pakistan ever have peace with its neighbors? Everything else follows from there.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

You’ve been blogging about the Indo-Pak region for some time now. I’ve a question for you; According to you, what is the resolution to the problem in Kashmir?

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Myra

“There has to be a big grey area between improving relations between India and Pakistan…”

— Then wouldn’t it be futile to indulge in swimming in this grey area & loosing focus on the job at hand? What if it turns out to be a Himalayan blunder that would jeopardize the whole AF_PAK NATO operation?
My point is what relevance does Indo-Pak relations got to do with the operations in Afghanistan, isn’t the mission supposedly meant to eliminate Al-Queda which threatens to cause harm to the western countries, isn’t the new found strategy to mollify the Taliban got to do with neutralizing the punishment meted out to them by dislodging their rule in Afghanistan & securing a promise from them not to retaliate for the same in future.
The Pakistani Army has more than a hundred thousand efficient troops in the inflicted area, twice more than what’s needed to crush the militants, they are a highly professional & competent force, the ISI intelligence network in the region is excellent & influential also, neither are the Jehadi groups in the AF-PAK related to the Kashmir issue nor do they have their presence on the western side of the Pak borders, the one’s like the LET are irrelevant to the Afghan insurgency,as it is, the west turns a blind eye towards them.
Raising the Kashmir issue is turning out to be a fad with the western intelligentsia, as if it’s the panacea that would resolve all the ills on earth.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

Nikhil, you know it’s not my role to have an opinion about how to resolve Kashmir. So I’ll try to answer your question by limiting myself to the facts, and no doubt you, or others, will tell me if you think it strays into the realm of opinion.

1) As discussed on this post, anyone who wants to comment on the UN Resolutions on Kashmir should read what these resolutions actually say:

http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2008/1 2/10/pakistan-india-and-the-united-natio ns/

2) The Kashmir question is complicated, since it involves not just the Kashmir valley but all the other parts of the former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir; there are also historical issues which pre-date partition

3) The problems between India and Pakistan go beyond Kashmir. For example, the Siachen war, when it started in 1984, had nothing to do with Kashmir. On this I claim authority, having written a book about Siachen which you can see reviewed here:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/ StoryPage.aspx?id=525103c3-8084-40ec-871 9-7fe2edb686ab

4) Thousands of ordinary people have died in Kashmir as a result of the dispute.

Again, please feel free to take this apart point by point.

Anup,

Does this answer your point? I hope you are not accusing me of being part of the western intelligentsia which sees Kashmir as a fad?

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Anup wrote:
“The Pakistani Army has more than a hundred thousand efficient troops in the inflicted area, twice more than what’s needed to crush the militants, they are a highly professional & competent force, the ISI intelligence network in the region is excellent & influential also,”

Anup just today President Obama said that US is loosing the war in Afghanistan and 2008 has been the deadliest year for American troops. 8 long years, the worlds most sophisticated and equipped US Army, billions of dollars worth equipment, all the resources and still the US is loosing in Afghanistan.

So what do you expect Pakistan Army to do? there are termendous restraints, shortage of resources, the highest number of casualties 8500. Do you still think Pakistan’s resolve is weak?

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

There can not be any lasting normalization of relations with Pakistan until Pakistan ends terrorism emanating from its territory. Kashmir or no Kashmir, Terrorism is no way to resolve issues.

After 26/11 Indian populace is in no mood to forgive and forget. Already many political heads have rolled. If, god forbid, LeT attacks one more city, Indian govt will either have to put their head on the block or roll heads in Pakistan.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Your “Highly professional and competent” army brought down an remotely operated unmanned drone using two F-16. No wonder your pack is abjectly surrendering to Taliban under the guise of peace treaty.

Here are two reads on Pak’s N program
http://cns.miis.edu/research/india/china  /npakpos.htm
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news  /2158235/posts

If Pakistan is an international migraine than china is a parasite causing that migraine.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

Let me ask you this question, since you are a Westerner? Is the US trying to link India to the situation just to appease the Pakistanis so that some gains can be made? Anything anti-India pleases the Pakistanis. I wonder why India-Pakistan friction, which has been there ever since the two countries were formed, suddenly becomes and important issue to settle Afghanistan problem. I just do not see any connection. We know India and Pakistan have issues. We know Afghanistan problem is serious. But how does solving India-Pakistan problem will help in resolving Afghanistan issue? There is a lot more between Indians and Pakistanis than just Kashmir. It is very deep seated and it cannot be eliminated. It is like the Serbs and Bosnians. Mutual hatred spans over centuries of past history. It cannot be resolved by anyone. Even if there are sensible people on both sides, they will never be allowed to. That is why Pakistan is desperately trying to bring India down. Pakistan wants tiny little neighbors around itself. For this it needs to cut India down into small nations. Indians in general have learned to live with Pakistan’s separation. But their actions now are forcing Indians to believe that may be Pakistan as a nation is a major threat to peace and progress in India. So there is enough desire to cut up Pakistan into small nations. In this situation, how does the US believe that it can resolve the feelings between these two people? It has not even resolved any issue in Iraq or Afghanistan over the past 8 years.

 

Myra,

First, let me congratulate you on visiting Siachen and publishing an interesting book about it. It’s going to be one of my books to read in near future.

Now, regarding Kashmir. Kashmir is traditionally viewed from the prism of nationalism, ideology and self-determination. Consequently, each one has proved to be an impediment to the resolution. In the peace process, the stand taken by India is positive & encouraging; it’ll accept any arrangement that does not include secession and re-drawing the present map while keeping the borders soft and porous. The LoC should become international border and with time, the borders may become irrelevant. I’d not be too worried about the history of Kashmir that pre-dates 1947. In India, every place has a long history and it’s difficult to reconcile the contradictions of historical facts based the time period one chooses to look.

The notion of creating a sovereign state and forging a pan-Kashmiri identity is also a pipe dream. There is no political leadership with a uniform vision in Srinagar, Muzzafarabad or any other corner of the state. The local politics in the old kingdom of J&K is messy & fragmented. For instance, the separatists in the valley are a minority and they are check-mated by the people living in Jammu, Ladakh and Leh. The politicians in Pak Occupied Kashmir do not see eye to eye to the politicians in Northern areas. Not to mention a land-locked state cannot stay neutral from the unsavory influences of India, China and Pakistan.

The ground realities make the Kashmir peace process slow. Also, the ugly head of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan delays the peace process. Given the facts & contemporary realities, no US administration can force or speed a resolution in Kashmir; in fact it’ll make things worse.

In conclusion, Kashmir can be solved through talks by India, Pakistan and Kashmiris. The terrorist agenda with the tacit support of Pak army slows the peace process down. The Kashmir issue is irrelevant to the war on terror on the Afghan-Pak border.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Anup,

The courtesy of the new fad of raising the Kashmir issue with the western intelligentsia goes to Mr. Ahmed Rashid, the Pakistani author of the book, “Descent in to Chaos”. Mr. Rashid, who lives in the US, had teamed up with the Obama campaign as a South Asian scholar helping to redefine the war on terror in Afghanistan. Following Mr. Rashid’s advice, the Obama administration has chosen to adopt a regional approach to the quagmire on the Afghan-Pak border and include Kashmir in to the discussion.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan wrote:
“Let me ask you this question, since you are a Westerner? Is the US trying to link India to the situation just to appease the Pakistanis so that some gains can be made?”

Hey Mauryan dont ask stupid questions, though you have asked Myra but I want to answer you. Look son, US has relations with other countries on its merit, the US-India relationship doesnt affect Pakistan and the US-Pakistan relationship doesnt affect India. In international relations policies are formulated and countries forge alliances to further their interests and secure strategic gains.
Get into some reading habits, do your research and study. Watch, read and learn. So far I have seen your ability in Pakistan bashing, now would you please start learning and analyzing before you open your mouth and start asking stupid questions? nutcase!

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Nikhil wrote:
” The Kashmir issue is irrelevant to the war on terror on the Afghan-Pak border”

Nikhil, it maybe, but the Kashmir issue is pretty relevant to the Indo-Pak war on the Indo-Pak border. I mean arent the two countries in a defacto state of war?1948, 1965, 1971, 1988 brasstacks & Zarb-e-Momin, Siachin, Runn Kutch, Kargil, 2001-02, Mumbai 08 and still counting..

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Please read my comments before you respond to it. Do you read what people write? Or, you just keep on ranting from one blog to other, picking one line from here and there.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Umair… Pakistan is a failed state in all respects… Keep counting wars with India including the latest one and dwell in castles in air as Pakistan runs towards self destruction fostering illegitimate babies.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Myra, I hope that the title is a bit misleading as you are not reporting what Lashkar said. By starting from the threat issued by Lashkar, you are coming around to US and it’s problems. Correct me anywhere if I am wrong… US became a world leader by chance in the period what is termed as 2nd World War. Till date US and it’s citizens have not been able to determine whether they want to seriously play the role of world leader or not. US has pursued myopic policies of success and always landed in trouble be it Vietnam or Cuba or Iraq or Afghanistan (To Summarize 100% Failure). The problem with US is not its intent… It wants to spread democracy which is good… The problem is myopic view. US forgets that Rome was not built in a day… Obama has set a deadline for himself to solve Afghanistan/ Iraq problem… Too optimistic a deadline… If he had set a deadline to achieve one of the milestones towards solution to the problem, it would have been justified. Let’s wait and watch as Obama further takes Iraq, Afghanistan into abyss.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Umair

“So what do you expect Pakistan Army to do?”
—Ask any high ranking personnel in the Pak Army to give a sincere reply to your query & I bet his response would be max. 90-120 days to successfully plan & execute an operation to exorcise terrorists & dismantle their network.within a year the whole SWAT valley would be completely sanitized.

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

Umair,
All the wars and years you listed has been to Pakistan’s disadvantage and it has always come out with a hell of a lot more losses than gains.

If you want to rant them watch Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto-Security Council Speech (15th Dec 1971) on You Tube. A loser in more ways than one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYHUJBRRn c4

Any further attacks on India stemming from Pakistan will have grave consequences, but that is what you want, isn’t it? To use your NON-STATE ACTORS to attack India and a split second later run off to the USA to tell tham that India is being too aggressive and you will attack and claim it was in self-defence of your sovereignty.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Myra
“Again, please feel free to take this apart point by point.”

—Rather you can keep on adding to the list eternally – Junagadh / Hyderabad etc. etc., the Kashmir predicament is merely symbolic, the moot point is how bonafide is the Islamic State of Pakistan itself.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

both india and pakistan need to get out of kashmir and leave it alone. India wants to claim kashmir, yet there is a majority muslim population there. India is having its own trouble with muslim hating extremist parties like the BJP, so why should more muslims be added to the population for the BJP to attack and kill? pakistan should stay out of kashmir because it is become a mini-saudi state full of wahabbis who are using islam to create havoc and chaos. pakistan chooses to ignore the killings of its minority shias, suffis, ahmedis so it does not deserve to add muslim population that normally rejects its wahabbi extremist, pro-taliban attitude. kashmir is better of being free of the dirty filthy hands of india and pakistan.

Posted by hassan | Report as abusive
 

Umair vomits again: “Mauryan dont ask stupid questions”

Umair,

Make it a habit not to get tangled when people are discussing seriously. Your contributions only provide the comedy element in these blogs and no one takes you seriously. You have been grinding the same flour no matter what the topic is – we are 176 million people, with nuclear weapons etc.. Ask your Jihadist machinery to teach you some other line to repeat. Then come back here. Time for Madrasa training for 2009. Go back and ask your mullah master to teach you a new line. Comics need to come up with new jokes. Otherwise no one will laugh. Ok? Good. Now go on.

 

Nikhil
“Descent in to Chaos”. Mr. Rashid,

—Pakistani’s, over the years have mastered the art of ‘western adulation’, & successfully manipulated Washington, to summarize the POA, first step, extolling them as the supreme champion’s of humanity, then very cunningly censure them in a manner whereby exercising caution not to offend their sensibility but at the same time making them feel guilty for their own sorry state of affairs by craftily appealing to their quirky brand of western morality, in which they perceive themselves, America in particular, as the sole authority for meting out justice on earth.
All this they do out of their compulsion of ‘Indian Paranoia’, Mr. Rashid ought to be no different; this formula has always given them handsome desired results.
With China they go down on all fours.
The US of A is playing a 3-D video game in this region & to sustain the game & up the ante for higher stakes, India is a target & Kashmir the bait, we must tread carefully & act prudently, vigilant enough so as not to be snared in their vicious game & also become prey to their trigger happy – oops- nowadays button happy fingers.

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

UMAIR said:

“Nikhil, it maybe, but the Kashmir issue is pretty relevant to the Indo-Pak war on the Indo-Pak border. I mean arent the two countries in a defacto state of war?1948, 1965, 1971, 1988 brasstacks & Zarb-e-Momin, Siachin, Runn Kutch, Kargil, 2001-02, Mumbai 08 and still counting..”

Response:

Umair, the next time Pakistan crosses the line of control, India’s government, which ever it may be at the time, the left, center or right, it does not matter, there will be huge amounts of pressure for India to reciprocate to reinforce its integrity because the people want a sense of security, after MUMBAI.

The next proxy army incursion, or Pak Army incursion, will lead to disaster for Pakistan. Pakistani’s around the world will see their country once again surrender. This time, the Pak Generals will be signing the surrender on their own soil. Yes I know it will not be that simple, just remember there is 1.2 billion people. You don’t have enough bullets, cruise missiles, or nukes to finish us.

Even after all the weapons are used up, you can expect a human wave of 500 million Indians with a desire for final justice. Your Lakvhi’s, Daewoods, Haqqani’s will become irrelevant as they will be torn apart by bare hands limb from limb.

This is one factor of the equation which nobody has considered. If Pakistan decides to wipe all 1.2 billion humans off India, those intentions will be clear and will be there for history to see and in that moment Pakistan will also seal its own death as well. That will be a dark day for Islam itself.

Please behave, do not bring terrorism upon us. End the sick lust to reaffirm Islam over all of India, end the propaganda and hate against India. Pakistan will only survive by giving up its hate and antagonism for India.

The population of India will not stand for another Mumbai as it will radicalize India. In a call for security in India, a radicalized India, wanting justice will decapitate Pakistan due to the immense pressure of the votership of its ciitzens.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Hassan writes: “both india and pakistan need to get out of kashmir and leave it alone.”

Now is not the time. The world is facing a very grave situation right now. Every country is looking at its own self interest. May be when peace returns eventually, this topic can be brought to the lime light. Wait until Pakistan turns into five small nations. Then at least you don’t have to worry about Pakistani threat and nightmares of their Taliban patrolling the streets. Wait. It is only a matter of time. You have waited for 60 odd years. The time will come. Without the decimation of Pakistan into smaller countries, Kashmir issue cannot be brought up. All Pashtun and Pakistani militants have to be cleared out of Kashmir first and peace has to prevail for at least a decade for people to see what is best for them. By then who knows, every small nation would want to be a part of a grand Indian economic union much like that in Europe.

 

“grand economic union”, lol. what a joke, that must be the funniest thing i’ve ever heard. just because you have a bunch of call centers opening up in every corner of india, and you have the world’s biggest micro maching in the nano, you also still have the largest population in the world, where majority of the people are amongst the world’s poorest. aids is still and on going problem, and you won’t be able to provide enough energy, food, or medical care to help solve the poverty issue. pakistan may vey well break into little pieces, which may end up being the best thing for the innocent people caught up in the mess of the worthless pakistani goverment, the whinny indian government,the wacko taliban, and the useless american goverment.

Posted by hassan | Report as abusive
 

“Umair, the next time Pakistan crosses the line of control, India’s government, which ever it may be at the time, the left, center or right, it does not matter, there will be huge amounts of pressure for India to reciprocate to reinforce its integrity because the people want a sense of security, after MUMBAI.”
- Global Watcher

I really hope this pressure translates into instant action the next time. If any terrorist activity occurs during the course of elections, it would be too difficult for Congress to play restraint(unfortunately we Indians use this term too often) this time.

Posted by Aaruni Upadhyay | Report as abusive
 

hassan
“worthless pakistani goverment, the whinny indian government,the wacko taliban, and the useless american goverment.”

—-& the impotent Hurriyat…

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

Hassan writes: ““grand economic union”, lol. what a joke, that must be the funniest thing i’ve ever heard. just because you have a bunch of call centers opening up in every corner of india, and you have the world’s biggest micro maching in the nano, you also still have the largest population in the world, where majority of the people are amongst the world’s poorest. aids is still and on going problem, and you won’t be able to provide enough energy, food, or medical care to help solve the poverty issue.”

Interesting. Every Pakistani writes the same thing about India – You are poor, there is AIDS, there is poverty etc when they run out of ideas.

We already are aware of our problems. A nation of 1 billion people cannot leap frog to a level of prosperity over night. We are slowly working towards that direction. It might take us another 50 to 100 years to get there. And we are not ashamed of it. When the British left India, they left us with nothing. From there, we have slowly progressed and the odds have been against us. And we are proud of our call centers, the Nano, the educational institutions, centers of research, green revolution and so on. We are not competing with any country in this regard. We know we should get to a better level in life and it takes years of persistent effort. So laugh as much as you can while your country starts sinking below the ground level. Your opinions about our country will not affect us in anyway. What affects us is your country’s unceasing disruptive activities against our progress, Mumbai attacks being the latest. Your country should realize that you can never wrest Kashmir by force from our nation, whether by insurgency or otherwise. I have my own opinion on Kashmir as a free citizen of India and have argued with my fellow countrymen on that. But considering today’s situation, I will not bring that up for now and allow things to settle down. Like you said, the innocent people of your country are better off with your nation split into smaller nations. Good luck.

 

All,

The arguments on this post are getting rather loud. Do look at this survey on All Things Pakistan about who its readers consider the greatest threat. It’s a small sample and as ATP says, a self-selecting group, but worth looking at. Only three percent of those polled say they consider India the biggest threat. The biggest threat is seen as coming from religious extremism and violence.

http://pakistaniat.com/2009/03/28/poll-p akistan-threats/

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Hassan,

You said, “kashmir is better of being free of the dirty filthy hands of india and pakistan.”

- Yeah right, that would help turn J&K in to a NEFP -North Eastern Frontier Province.
Fyi, no local community or local political party in the old kingdom of J&K sees eye to eye regarding the future of the state. Everyone there either jockeys for power or is fearful of the other. An independent J&K is a pipe dream.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Myra said:

“All,

The arguments on this post are getting rather loud. Do look at this survey on All Things Pakistan about who its readers consider the greatest threat. It’s a small sample and as ATP says, a self-selecting group, but worth looking at. Only three percent of those polled say they consider India the biggest threat. The biggest threat is seen as coming from religious extremism and violence.

http://pakistaniat.com/2009/03/28/poll-p akistan-threats/

Myra”

Myra, it seems that the top three problems are the worst, the Extremists, the Politicians and Incompetant Goverment. While it maybe true that Pakitani’s don’t view India as a threat as much one thinks, it is true, that they Pakistani’s favour using any means against India to retain parity at all levels. The progress within India is not building fear in the average Paks, but jealousy, and that jealousy is going to fuel more Mumbai’s against India’s progress.

It is those same average Pakistani citizen so called moderates that do little or nothing to courageously confront Islamic Extremism head-on. They seem much more interested in cricket. The war on extremist Islam will not be fought with weapons, but within the hearts and minds of moderates themselves. Right now, they are complicit, static and doing absolutely nothing to fight it. It seems the rest of the world has to do all the fighting on behalf of the moderates in Islam, because they lack the courage to fight backwardsness, or they quietly sympathize or a combination of both. The mob goes silent, no one is willing to be like a Gandhi and standup against backwardness, beheadings. We need a mass awakening in Pakistan of average Pakistani’s. This is their fight.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

The survey in the blog is non-scientific and it polls a self-selecting group. You are not suggesting us to believe that this signals changes on the ground, are you?

We know results from such surveys are too fickle. Taliban killings and communal riots presently make big headlines in Pakistan. So, they figure highly. If you would’ve taken similar survey immediately after Mumbai or Lahore attacks the results would’ve been different.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

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