Pakistan: is the threat exaggerated?

April 27, 2009

As Pakistani forces fight militants in an area close to Swat, there are two contrasting images of a state in upheaval.

One is a nuclear-armed country in great peril, in danger of being overrun by militants, and in turn a mortal threat to the rest of the world, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton painted it last week.

The other is a nation of more than 160 million people with a burgeoning middle class that all but rejected Islamist parties in the last election, and hit the streets last month forcing the government to respect the independence and integrity of the judiciary. A nation with a professional army that for all the coups it engineered at home has credited itself well in all three wars it fought with much larger neighbour India, a bureaucracy as professional and cast in the same steel frame of the British empire as its counterpart in India, and a free and aggressive press.

In short as Juan Cole writes on his blog Informed Coment, Pakistan, for all its problems, is hardly the Somalia that some people think it to be. “All the talk about the Pakistani government falling within 6 months, or of a Taliban takeover, flies in the face of everything we know about the character of Pakistani politics and institutions during the past two years,” he writes.

Pakistan’s two big provinces of Punjab and Sind account for some  85% of the  population, and while these provinces have some Muslim extremists, they are a small fringe there, he writes. The Pakistani Taliban are largely a phenomenon of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas west of the North-West Frontier Province, and of a few districts within the NWFP itself. These are largely Pashtun ethnically.

The  “breathless observation” that there are Taliban a hundred miles from Islamabad doesn’t actually tell you very much, since Islamabad is geographically close to the Pashtun regions and it doesn’t necessarily mean the Pashtuns can dominate the capital, Cole argues.
 
So is the world being unnecessarily alarmist? Can the Taliban made up of few thousand fighters really take on the world’s sixth largest army, well-trained and for the task at hand well-armed ?

Or is the threat - some say of an Iranian-style revolution – very real and the Pakistani state, perhaps even many of its people in denial?. Mohammed Hanif, author of the acclaimed book The Case of the Exploding Mangoes, wrote in the Washington Post that in much of Pakistan there is “little sense of an impending crisis, just the blithe belief that the Taliban are not as bad as they seem.”

In any case, many Pakistanis believe the fractious government and security services are no match for the men with beards and guns, he writes. “I hear vague comparisons with the days before the Iranian revolution; the only problem is that we don’t seem to have a Khomeini, at least not yet. And we do have nuclear bombs. ”

So if this is not the looming apocalypse that Washington has made it out to be over the past week, is it a steady drift  towards an Islamic fundamentalist state?  Pakistanis seems to be exhausted, and there is not the will to fight the Taliban, Hanif writes.

Every now and then when the alarm bells ring from Washington to London - and the arms of those in power in Islamabad are twisted - there is a bit of movement.  Another offensive is launched, as has happened now in Lower Dir. But many complain it does not really change anything.

The Pakistani establishment has shown no determination to stop that drift towards a fundamentalist state, only to slow it slightly, apparently so that the electorate can get used to the idea, argues Newswatch, an intelligence analysis website.

[Residents fleeing the fighting in northwest

60 comments

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Big fires are caused by small ones first. A lot depends on the conditions as well. No rains for a long time, parched ground, dry trees, hot winds etc. Anything that triggers a small fire in that kind of environment is bound to burn big time. Sometimes fire fighters deliberately burn some trees to move the fire in a different direction and control it. Sometimes, it just goes out of control.

Now let us look at Pakistan here. Its small fire is its inherent hatred for India. This has been burning in their hearts for over 60 years. Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan was like the hot wind that arrived in an already dry land. It fueled Islamic radicalism which is like dead trees lying around. When the Soviet Union fell, no rains arrived to quench all this. Everything was abandoned by the parties involved. And at some point, all it takes is a little spark that can spread fast through the dry terrain, igniting one dry tree after another. Fire fighters are back now and they do not know how to approach this conflagration. There is a bomb storage right in the heart of this Islamic forest. And if the fire spreads there, it will blow the whole place up. People living in the areas not yet affected by the fire are hoping that the rains will arrive. I hope their wish comes true. This forest has bad hunters who indulge in poaching, smuggling and burning to hide their traces.

All these years, no one looked at Pakistan with a magnifying glass like they are doing now. There must be a reason why this is so. The forest called Pakistan has a red level fire hazard right now. And people are not silly if they can detect the symptoms.

Sanjeev
With all the scaremongering going on around the world, Pakistan is a big and diverse country. Pakistan is capable of dealing with any challenge, the Army has a solid chain of command which never saw a break down. The nuclear stock pile rests under firm command and control mechanism.
For now all self proclaimed fortune tellers have been proved wrong as far as Pakistan is concerned.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair writes: “For now all self proclaimed fortune tellers have been proved wrong as far as Pakistan is concerned”

Umair, please be patient. Pakistanis army and ISI link to the Taliban is known to everyone outside of Pakistan. You guys know it too, but you cannot tell that secret to others. So we understand that your lips have to be tight on this. It is a closely guarded secret and so others are still “guessing” on the details.

Paki army is “fighting” the Taliban just to satisfy the pressure from Hillary Clinton. Then they will withdraw saying they have brought the rule of the law to Taliban strongholds. The US will pat you on the back and give you money. Your military will ask for equipment, hoping the Americans can be fooled again. Then it will be sent to the ISI/Let wing for Kashmir operations.

The problem is that Taliban is very un-Pakistani in nature. They do not like duplicity and double dealing. They will take this fake Military operation as a stab on their backs and so will avenge the betrayal. And they will not fight the military. They will use the same technique Paki military uses against the Indian military – stage attacks all over so that chaos is created. Create terror and panic so that the generals surrender. By fighting the Taliban, Pakistani military has whacked a honey comb. Now it will have to take the stings.

Though it is appropriate for the military to take on the militants, unless they go all out and destroy them, they will be avenged big time. Paki military leaders should not take any half hearted approaches. Do the job right. Or this monster will bite back hard.

We know it is Pakistan’s internal matter. But we will watch this to see how brave your military is, since you keep claiming it in every posting of yours.

So is the world being unnecessarily alarmist? Can the Taliban made up of few thousand fighters really take on the world’s sixth largest army, well-trained and for the task at hand well-armed ?

Sanjeev:
Situation in the region is ideal for all speculations and many with good reasons. Factors in isolation appear simple but thrown together the situation becomes murky. Asking “Can the Taliban made up of few thousand fighters really take on the world’s sixth largest army”—gives the impression that Taliban and Pakistan will decide a day and come out in the open and fight with each other—sure Taliban will be defeated that way. Of course, there is not going to be a hand-to-hand fight.

Remember, Taliban is created by Pakistan/US. Also Taliban is a declared strategic asset of Pak against India. Also there are good reasons to believe that Pak Army-Taliban network at some level is still aiding Tal. Taliban cause is greatly aided by radicalists. Mulana Aziz of Red Mosque, house arrested after 2yr siege of red Mosque, had the nerve to say to his followers after coming out: “God willing, our sacrifices will not go in vain and the religion of Islam will be implemented not only in Pakistan but all over the world,” He should have been packed and sent back in. In SWAT, around the same time Taliban spokesperson Muslim Khan said: “Our struggle is for a cause and that’s to enforce Allah’s rule on Allah’s land. We will send mujahedin to Afghanistan if they demand them,” and “When we achieve our goal at one place, there are other areas where we need to struggle for it,” Now this is not a mere coincidence since the mosque had for years been a militant hub with links to Pakistani Taliban strongholds in the northwest including Swat. Also Mulla Nazeer Ahmad, Emir of the Taliban Muhajideen Ahmad: “We do not ask for Shariah in Malakand or Waziristan only; rather we want it in all of Pakistan. The demands of laying down weapons are only meant to deceive the mujahideen. We shall never put down our weapons until this mischief ends and the rule of Shariah is accepted in Pakistan.”

So do you hear a common note in all this from different places in pakistan—a common voice of radicalists asking for Islamic rule according to the wishes of these militants/radicalists. These guys as they have declared, even if US/NATO leaves, will not stop and rather be emboldened to reach their goal. I agree that it is ridiculous to forecast that Pakistan will collapse so soon but I am not the one put my neck on the block that it will not happen in next 5yrs with the current Pak policies. Who know about a year ago that Taliban will be patrolling Buner and ruling SWAT. Would Juan cole have predicted this who is so sure that Taliban is no-match for Pak Army?

Also we know that Taliban is anti-India and Mulla Nazeer Ahmad says this about Mumbai attack:
“We do not know the mujahideen who sacrificed their lives in India but we lament our loss that why we could not go forth ourselves to give away our lives there. The sacrifice they offered was a very brave one. It lifted the spirits of the Mujahideen. We pray for them and consider them to be sincere with Allah. As for India, it should know that a great numbers of the Mujahideen lie await here in the tribal areas an inside Pakistan. If it proceeds to attack, then let it, be aware that Allah willing, we are fully able to answer back and too ready to give away our lives. Our reply shall be much more deadly than what we made them taste in Bombay.” So Taliban throws these carrots to Pakistan all the time and it works all the time ensuring Taliban survival and expansion.

So people might be over alarmist but this general feature of Pakistan courting with militants—be it Taliban or any other—will never ever let these speculations die and Pakistan will not come out of this loop.

There is a radical movement simmering. Gun-toting Taliban is giving these radicalists the chance to grow due to their overlapping goals. Taliban and these guys will not get into a huge conflict with Pak Army that will let these guys grow at whatever pace depending upon the area. Taliban is taking advantage of this religious fundamentalist movement and their value as asset against Kafir India (not addressed by your article or in the links) makes the Pak army never ever finishing these Talibans good at guirilla-war fare as ling as they are kept in control and better yet, they be used for some wicked purpose.

In any case, the first and fore-most for Pakistan for Pakistan is to identify that aiding ANY KIND OF MILITANTS will add to their own worries. Pakistan must quit that to beign with–even any ‘moral’ support.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev
Rattled nerves indeed, since what world has been going through, I guess the new swine flu, the Somali piracy scrouge, the world financial crisis, the world itself appears to be in a big mess. While if a bunch of gun totting Taliban just make some trouble, the world goes crazy.
Do the drug lords in Mexico or Columbia or the Somali Pirates are also a ‘mortal’ threat to the world. Poor secretary Clinton, I heard during her campaign for President she once stated that she flew in to Bosnia, while Serb artrillery war firing at their plane, or somethink like this kind of a makeup story. Later her campaign manager had to come up with explanation about it. I dont take Clinton seriously, she should have been doing some Hollywood romantc movie roles, romantic lady like her can simply not face our dangerous world. Man, if she comes to Pakistan, she will start crying in front of camera no matter how safe she would be in Islamabad knowing Taliban are a good 100 miles away. Selling lies to American public, calling Pakistan a mortal threat. You got to be kidding.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Hillary
Smile, say cheese. Pakistan is safe.
LOL

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

I am seriously thinking the Obama team, clinton, Biden and other folks are getting panick attacks because of Pakistan.
If anyone reading this blog, please dont panick, Everything is cool and calm. Chill and relax, Taliban are where they always have been, Pakistan Army is doing what they do, Nukes are where they have been safely stored since 1998. Hmm I could go on and on, bottom line is, put yourself at ease and Pakistan will take care of itself. One of the mistakes the west makes is trying to fix each and every single problem of the world, in the process they interfere and mess up everything.
Now with the west itself in financial tatters, best thing is to mind their own business. Dont worry about Taliban or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Madagaskar or Timbuktou. the rest of the world be better off if no one pokes its nose in every now and than.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair – “Mexico or Columbia or the Somali Pirates are also a ‘mortal’ threat to the world”

Firstly, Mexico, Columbia or Somalia don’t have nuclear weapons & secondly, those countries are not safe havens & breeding grounds for terrorists, where such terrorists can recruit, plan & prepare for terror strikes on the civilized countries of the world.

Umair – “I dont take Clinton seriously, she should have been doing some Hollywood romantc movie roles, romantic lady like her can simply not face our dangerous world. Man, if she comes to Pakistan, she will start crying in front of camera”

You have no idea, what Hillary Clinton is all about. Yeah, she made a silly story about her Bosnia visit during the campaign but that’s what happens during election campaigns. People tend to exaggerate things. Now, it’s a different ball-game, she’s not running for any election but is the US Secy of State. What she says & does has a lot of weightage on what the US Govt. does. And yeah, if you Pakistanis think that Hillary is weak, I would love to see the look on your faces when she squeezes the nuts of your Pakistani Generals with her fists. I’ve had a chance to personally meet her a couple of times & believe me, she’s one ‘Tough Cookie’.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

This morning, just few hours back, an Air Force One (US Presidential plane) backup along with 2 F-16 fighter jets flew an d circled low over Manhattan, and Jersey in New York un announced. The excercise was meant for Air Force photographers to take some photo shots. Everyone panicked, pregnant women fell off, people in offices ran to evacuate buildings, it was chaos and all panick. This is the kind of fear mongering going around about Pakistan.
Back home, In Islamabad the nearest airbase is the Chaklala Air base in Rawalpindi with only C-130 transport squadrons. Sometimes fighter jets come roaring, in other cities, PAF planes in daylight break sound barriers and I have witnessed that it can sometimes shatter your windows. No one in Pakistan gets scared, we dont think America has attacked with B52s or India has attacked or it is a hijacking. I mean it is completely ridiculous, such a scared American public and you want to s*it scare them more, Hillary must be sued.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

“This morning, just few hours back, an Air Force One (US Presidential plane) backup along with 2 F-16 fighter jets flew an d circled low over Manhattan……”
- Posted by Umair

Yeah, I could see the plane from my window. There were no evacuations, that I know of & I’m right here in the heart of NYC. Stop exaggerating things. And anyways, what the heck does this have anything to do with Pakistan? People got scared, obviously because of 9/11. Yes, we know that you Pakistanis are used to this kinda stuff but people living in civilized country, are not.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Mortal
Boo hoo! Hillary ,must be sued.
Hillary should not trample on Pakistani general’s nuts because they got some pretty fully loaded Bazooka’s on top of their nuts.

“You have no idea, what Hillary Clinton is all about.”
-She is about all hugs, smiles and charm I suppose. and Romance.

“Yeah, she made a silly story about her Bosnia visit during the campaign ”
-Never mind she has started making silly stories about Pakistan now. So you are telling me she has a habit of making silly stories?

“US Secy of State. What she says & does has a lot of weightage on what the US Govt. does. And yeah, if you Pakistanis think that Hillary is weak, I would love to see the look on your faces when she squeezes the nuts of your Pakistani Generals with her fists. I’ve had a chance to personally meet her a couple of times & believe me, she’s one ‘Tough Cookie’.”

_Hillary and her daughter have been to Pakistan when she was first lady. But she is playing innocent. I wouldnt mind if she squeezes the nuts of Pakistani generals with her fists. Her own huddy’s nuts were pretty badly squeezed by Monica Lewinsky. And yeah she is a tough cookie, she is trying to play the high school blonde. Pakistani generals are the seroious types and dont like such stereo types.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0 4/27/air-force-one-backup-rattles-new-yo rk-nerve/

Here is what the NY TIMES says, and just read what people stated in comments. One guys poor secretary was so scared, she literally got a panick attack. Anoher pregnant woman just fell of from stairs, other screamed, ran and there was chaos all around.
I mean if this is the level, than you will just get so scared of Pakistan. I mean Pakistan Army will be playing hide and seek with the Taliban, little bit of tactical withdrawal here, little bit of bloody noses there. The nukes will be fine, Pakistan will get along as usual. Mortal I am laughing at you guys.
When Mumbai attack happened in India, Indian fighter jets strayed in Pakistani airspace for short while and PAF jets chased them out. After that, Pakistan Air Force conducted patrolling missions over the airspace of Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore, the Civil aviation instructed to hold commercial flight while PAF jets were on alert. People came out on roof tops to cheer the pilots, I mean this is the spirit we have here. We dont get scared when a mosue runs on the floor, with every single sound etc. Just enjoy little things in life and stop listening to silly politicians.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

“Yeah, I could see the plane from my window. There were no evacuations, that I know of & I’m right here in the heart of NYC. Stop exaggerating things. And anyways, what the heck does this have anything to do with Pakistan? People got scared, obviously because of 9/11. Yes, we know that you Pakistanis are used to this kinda stuff ”

I see the Marriot hotel from my window every day as well, sitting in the heart of Islamabad the view is beautiful I can see spring flowers all over. Hillary is exaggerating things about Pakistan, Taliban seems no where near Islamabad but Clinton and Robert Gates are making so much noise.
The point I am trying to make is dont be so scared as if Pakistan is a mortal threat to the world, that ‘tough cookie’ is lying to you. And I want you to let other office people also know this.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Hanif is spot on. The threat is not exaggerated. As long as the Pakistan Army shows no inclination to challenge the growing insurgency, the threat will remain very real. Today they are worried about killing their own Pashtuns. What happens tommorrow when parts of Punjab are radicalized? What will the PA do then? If they can’t tackle a few thousand armed Pashtuns, what will they do when the Taliban recruits a few thousand Punjabis?

That’s when the Khomenei moment will arrive….when we get a Punjabi Taliban leader. He will become an attractive figure to Pakistanis who are sick of the low-intensity conflict that has already been going for years now. They will willingly submit to this figure. The military which is 80% Punjabi could well side with public sentiment et voila Islamic Revolution in Pakistan.

What would that mean for global peace and security? There are various outcomes. I don’t think a radicalized regime in Pakistan would nuke India because of the threat of retaliation, but I could see such a regime (in the very long run) sharing nuclear secrets with global jihadists, ending co-operation with NATO and taking up hostilities (overtly or covertly) against western forces in Afghanistan, providing even greater shelter for jihadists then what’s being provided in the FATA today.

If these seem far-fetched, anybody who has doubts should really talk to Iranians who went through the revolution. To most of them, it’s not the outcome they intended, but it happened so fast, that their heads were left spinning. Before they knew it, the beards had take over every accept of their lives. They traded one terror for another. I hope Pakistanis see what’s happening here and don’t aceede to the same bargain.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

The comparison with Somalia is not apt. Nobody is worried that Pakistan will become Somalia. YET. There’s a risk that Pakistan could become Lebanon though, where non-state actors become powerful enough to challenge the government in various parts of the country. There’s a strong parallel here between the Lebanese Army which ceeded South Lebanon to Hezbollah and the PA basically handing over FATA and most of the NWFP over to the various Taliban groups.

Whatever analogy anybody want’s to use I think most can agree that it’s never good for any country to hand over chunks of territory to groups over which it has limited control. Can Pakistanis for example ever imagine the Indians signing peace deals with Naxalites that hands them over several states?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

@While if a bunch of gun totting Taliban just make some trouble, the world goes crazy. Do the drug lords in Mexico or Columbia or the Somali Pirates are also a ‘mortal’ threat to the world.
-posted by Umair

–I must accept, Taliban is highly dynamic (although they are a bunch of terrorists to me), they are highly dynamic and on their resume is highlighted by ruling Afghhanistan and promoting OBLs training camps. Let us not be naive in getting into the #s. 1st the # is not few hundred in any case–yes in Buner it was nearly 500 before they retreated and think of rest of the country. Do the drug lords have the goal of ruling the world?–No Taliban does (you and refer my post to Sanjeev and to add to the worries, Taliban is drug lord too (poppy :-) ). If you want to play the angle that Taliban are strategic asset to Pakistan, this is about time to move on to some fresh approach, since this one is hurting your fellow citizens. Umair, do you think Taliban does not pose any threat to Pakistan, I guess you do not consider SWAT as part of Pakistan then and are underestimating the radicalist movement. Take care of few thousands of Talibans before things are so overwhelming for Pakistan that you need to deal with higher #s.

@I dont take Clinton seriously, she should have been doing some Hollywood romantc movie roles, romantic lady like her can simply not face our dangerous world.
–Well, seems like Pakistan is taking her seriously, as you know. Obama/Karzai/Zaradari meeting is coming up in May 1st week in DC. Zardari is already working on Clinton’s comments and Obama’s concerns. But you take militants seriously for your own sake.
Hmm…Hillary Clinton as “romantic lady”? and are you picturing some other woman in her place. Then Late Ms Benazir Bhutto was also quite pretty, but I would not have given her disadvantage for pretty looks. These ladies got additional weapon in the arsenal–Ask Mr. President Zardari about Sarah Palin. He got Fatwa issued for that!!! So you be careful!

-Umair: As you know Pakistan was about to be declared by Clinton Adm as a terrorist-sponsoring state before 9/11. Nearly ten yrs later, your country is facing the same question but asking the world for patience. Is ten yrs not enough of a patience?

Selling lies to American public, calling Pakistan a mortal threat. You got to be kidding.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Umair:
The last sentence is leftover from your message. please ignore that.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@This morning, just few hours back, an Air Force One (US Presidential plane) backup along with 2 F-16 fighter jets flew an d circled low over Manhattan, and Jersey in New York un announced. The excercise was meant for Air Force photographers to take some photo shots. Everyone panicked, pregnant women fell off, people in offices ran to evacuate buildings, it was chaos and all panick. This is the kind of fear mongering going around about Pakistan.
Back home, In Islamabad the nearest airbase is the Chaklala Air base in Rawalpindi with only C-130 transport squadrons. Sometimes fighter jets come roaring, in other cities, PAF planes in daylight break sound barriers and I have witnessed that it can sometimes shatter your windows. No one in Pakistan gets scared, we dont think America has attacked with B52s or India has attacked or it is a hijacking. I mean it is completely ridiculous, such a scared American public and you want to s*it scare them more, Hillary must be sued.
- Posted by Umair

-Lucky you, not living in SWAT!

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev
You are referring to 1993 when we had Lt. Gen Javed Nasir a full bearded military officer as the DG ISI. That time US was upset about Pakistan’s nuclear program and wanted to buy back stinger missile, while Gen. Nasir was tough with the white house. That is why Ms. Albright was threatning Pakistan to be declared as terrorist state.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Back home, In Islamabad the nearest airbase is the Chaklala Air base in Rawalpindi with only C-130 transport squadrons. Sometimes fighter jets come roaring, in other cities, PAF planes in daylight break sound barriers and I have witnessed that it can sometimes shatter your windows. No one in Pakistan gets scared, we dont think America has attacked with B52s or India has attacked or it is a hijacking. I mean it is completely ridiculous, such a scared American public and you want to s*it scare them more, Hillary must be sued.
- Posted by Umair

1) This is not relevant to the topic at hand.
2) Can we stop this my stick is bigger than yours business?
3) If 3000 people were killed by airplanes plowing into office towers a few blocks from where you work, I can assure you that people in your office would respond similarly.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

@Rajeev
You are referring to 1993 when we had Lt. Gen Javed Nasir a full bearded military officer as the DG ISI. That time US was upset about Pakistan’s nuclear program and wanted to buy back stinger missile, while Gen. Nasir was tough with the white house. That is why Ms. Albright was threatning Pakistan to be declared as terrorist state.
- Posted by Umair

-I am referring to Jan 2000. see the article below. Same questions Pakistan, terrorism, collpase were asked that time. Well you may think that strengthens your hypothesis that Pakistan is stable and forcasting is wrong. But does it not tell you pattern?

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/28/world/ us-warns-pakistan-it-may-be-branded-a-sp onsor-of-terrorism.html

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev
You are referring to 1993 when we had Lt. Gen Javed Nasir a full bearded military officer as the DG ISI. That time US was upset about Pakistan’s nuclear program and wanted to buy back stinger missile, while Gen. Nasir was tough with the white house. That is why Ms. Albright was threatning Pakistan to be declared as terrorist state.
- Posted by Umair

Do you have any good links on this? I’d like to read this.

I am fairly certain that Albright’s threat was based on Pakistan’s support for LeT, JEM, Khalistan movements, Kashmiri movements, etc.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

From the newswatch link in the article:

‘Pakistan continues to drift towards an Islamic fundamentalist state. No behavior has shown determination to stop that drift, only to slow it slightly, apparently so that the electorate can get used to the idea.’

I don’t think its too off-base to suggest that Pakistan is getting radicalized slowly. There are things going on south Punjab today that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Likewise for all that’s taken place in NWFP and FATA.

I fear that Pakistanis keep accepting a new normal. Yesterday it was an ungovernable FATA. Today it is Swat and the rest of the Malakand division in the hands of the Taliban (a non-state actor). What’s the new normal going to be tomorrow?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Would everyone please read the articles in the links. There’s some good contrast between Cole’s optimism and Hanif’s pessimism.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Keith/Umair:

Pakistan’s near escape in 2000 to be declared as a country that sponsors terrorism was precipitated by Indian plane hijacking. US recognized that hijacking is Pakistan backed and was done by Pak-supported Kashmiri terrorists.

Hijackers, identified as Pakistani nationals with links to ISI (see photographs in the link below), demanded release of Maulana Masood Azhar, a key member of a Kashmiri terrorist outfit Harkat ul-Mujahedeen. A passenger was killed and Maulana Masood Azhar was released at Kandhar airport and Taliban (at that time supported by Pakistan) received this SOB Azhar. He later founded the Jaish-e-Mohammad and his right hand, Omar Sheikh, man killed Daniel Pearl. Interested may click below for the details.

http://www.indianembassy.org/archive/IC_ 814.htm#Identity%20of%20hijackers

Pakistan backed hijacking and the prospects of Pak as terrorist state:

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/25/world/ us-asserts-pakistan-backed-hijacking-of- air-india-jetliner.html?sec=&spon=&pagew anted=all

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Keith/Umair:

Pakistan’s near escape in 2000 to be declared as a country that sponsors terrorism was precipitated by Indian plane hijacking. US recognized that hijacking is Pakistan backed and was done by Pak-supported Kashmiri terrorists.

Hijackers, identified as Pakistani nationals with links to ISI (see photographs in the link below), demanded release of Maulana Masood Azhar, a key member of a Kashmiri terrorist outfit Harkat ul-Mujahedeen. A passenger was killed and Maulana Masood Azhar was released at Kandhar airport and Taliban (at that time supported by Pakistan) received this SOB Azhar. He later founded the Jaish-e-Mohammad and his right hand, Omar Sheikh, man killed Daniel Pearl. Interested may click below for the details.

http://www.indianembassy.org/archive/IC_ 814.htm#Identity%20of%20hijackers

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Keith/Umair:
Last one did not accept 2 links.

Pakistan backed hijacking and the prospects of Pak as terrorist state:

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/25/world/ us-asserts-pakistan-backed-hijacking-of- air-india-jetliner.html?sec=&spon=&pagew anted=all

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Keith:

Juan cole and Hanif have opposite views of the situation. Hanif is Pakistani Punjabi and a graduate of Pakistan Air Force Academy. He knows the region, religion and culture and I guess the Pakistani Army as a PAF academy graduate. Acc. He says “There were hopes that Pakistan’s security services would fight the Taliban, but the army and the intelligence agencies seem so obsessed with the supposed menace from India that they are ignoring the menace at home. If they are not colluding with the Taliban, as many observers believe they are, they are staying neutral. In fact, they are so neutral that they rent their bases to the United States for launching missile-laden unmanned aircraft while simultaneously supporting the very people those missiles are aimed at.” It means Pakistan is confused since Pakistan is pulled in each direction.

To me Juan cole is very optimistic:
“The Pakistani Taliban are largely a phenomenon of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas west of the North-West Frontier Province, and of a few districts within the NWFP itself. These are largely Pushtun ethnically. The NYT’s breathless observation that there are Taliban a hundred miles from Islamabad doesn’t actually tell us very much, since Islamabad is geographically close to the Pushtun regions without that implying that Pushtuns dominate or could dominate it.”
”The Pakistani Taliban amount to a few thousand fighters who lack tanks, armored vehicles, and an air force.”
”The Pakistani military is the world’s sixth largest, with 550,000 active duty troops and is well equipped and well-trained. It in the past has acquitted itself well against India, a country ten times Pakistan’s size population-wise. It is the backbone of the country, and has excellent command and control, never having suffered an internal mutiny of any significance.”

…I think Juan Cole and Umair have similar views—Juan is more optimistic than Pakistan Army about the situation. There is not going to be a open fight between Taliban and Pak Army. Radical movement is not being considered here.

I go for Hanif’s views for his background and knowledge of the situation.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

A reader from New York stated the following on NY TIMES EDITORIAL:
———————————————————
Most of these comments are not only offensive to a traumatized Pakistan but are also historically incorrect. Pakistan has faced a real and not imagined threat from India. It has fought three wars with India within thirty years of its existence, loss of half its state to an Indian-backed insurgency in 1971 and continued Indian intervention in Baluchistan. To say that a rag-tag country formed in 1947 with a fraction of the population and resources of India chose a hostile relationship with India from its inception is a joke. This relationship was imposed on Pakistan.

The Taliban problem is a result of the joint CIA-ISI cooperation in Afghanistan – this is well known. If the Pakistan Army had been supporting these invaders, then why did it risk and lose tens of thousands of its soldiers in fighting them. Pakistan has been trying to forge a peace with these people and to try for a diplomatic solution – that is why its parliament has sanctioned a treaty – to keep the peace and stability. The United States has historically been a fair-weather friend to Pakistan and has never understood the intricacies of the situation there. These editorials just prove that that is true today as well.

The US gave Pakistan aid? Yes it did, but to fight its war on terror today and its war against the Soviets yesterday. It’s time to sweep up the mess in Pakistan in cooperation with its people and not by rubbing Pakistan traumatic past of conflict with India in its face.
— A.Y, New York, NY
———————————————————

So it is very important for Pakistani disapora in the USA, anyone reading here, put you act together. Step up the media war, there are people in America who understand the reality. Lets create an anti-war consensus in the US through media and lobbies. While we in Pakistan will take care of things on ground, we need support from overseas Pakistanis specially the hundereds of thousands in Canada, US, UK etc. I am sure Ambassador Haqqani in Washington must be working towards this goal, make sure people who oppose flawed American policies towards Pakistan are heard out loud and clear in the press, blogs and the think tanks. etc
I state this because I am very satisfied how Pkistan is doing on ground, we only need to step up the media war globally.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair,

This is not about a media war. The majority of comments on those articles are neither Indian or Pakistani. Yet they read the news everyday and are deeply concerned about the situation in Pakistan. Yes, there’s much more to story. But however you cut it there’s nothing positive you can say about the Taliban advancing to within 70 miles of the national capital. Cole’s argument that’s its not relevant is off-base. If there was an insurgency in the US, I highly doubt the US Army would allow the insurgency to reach within 70 miles of the national capital even if the capital was close to areas that were insurgent dominated.

Aside from that point AY from NYC missed some big points. The US has given 12 billion in the post 9/11 era so that Pakistan could tackle the Taliban. As for the Pak Army losing thousands. The way they treat soldiers in the ranks is evidence enough. How much body armour do they hand out to the Frontier Corps? I have yet to even see a pic of a Frontier Corpsmen with a tac vest (with ballistic plates). Yet, these are the guys that Pakistan relies on to fight the Taliban; men with ‘sandals and bolt actiona rifles’ whose equipment and doctrine have not evolved much since the 1800s. That explains why the casualty count is so high. F-16 and main battle tanks will not protect your troops from a 20 cent bullet that’s been well aimed. A good proportion of those casualties have a lot to do with how the Pak Army equips its troops, trains them and employs them.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Umair writes: “As impotent as the Indians are, always hoping and depending on American B52s and Tomahawks, it shows how much strength Indian impotent men have. Thats why your women are always left unsatisfied. When did your wife last time had an Orgas*? send her to Pakistan.”

I love tickling Pakistani fanatics. We cut down your b*lls in 1971. After that yours is a country of eunuchs. Our women will not find your she males satisfactory. They are using bazookas for you know what.

As far waiting for the Americans to finish the job – It comes free. That’s why we want to see their B52s and stealth fighters clean Pakistan of Mullahs.

Keith
We dont want to fight America or Canada’s war, first convince me that this is a Pakistani war than I will put my men and material into it. And for so much hue and cry about the Pakistani capital falling into Taliban hands lets shift it from Islamabad to Karachi down south. We can keep playing hide and seek with Taliban and shuffle back and forth between Buner and Islamabad.

We fought the Soviet war for America in Afghanistan, that is enough. This time its our way or no way.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Mauryan
” That’s why we want to see their B52s and stealth fighters clean Pakistan of Mullahs.”

Let me just clarify something to you, there is something Pakistan and US have clear understanding of: here is what it is,
As soon as an American B52 enters Pakistan and drops a bomb, as soon as an Tomahawk cruise missile flies into Pakistani air space or a stealth fighter releases its payload of bombs into Pakisatni soil, the moment it hits ground, it will take 180 seconds(3 minutes) to destroy Mumbai and New Delhi in a single devastating nuclear strike. It is a clear and simple policy, we have made it clear to them to stay away well far from Pakistani soil and airspace, otherwise the India they are proping up against China will not be there anymore and they understand this. Infact you must be lucky US is always there between India and Pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair screams: “As soon as an American B52 enters Pakistan and drops a bomb, as soon as an Tomahawk cruise missile flies into Pakistani air space or a stealth fighter releases its payload of bombs into Pakisatni soil, the moment it hits ground, it will take 180 seconds(3 minutes) to destroy Mumbai and New Delhi in a single devastating nuclear strike. It is a clear and simple policy, we have made it clear to them to stay away well far from Pakistani soil and airspace, otherwise the India they are proping up against China will not be there anymore and they understand this. Infact you must be lucky US is always there between India and Pakistan.”

So I get Pakistani logic. US hits Pakistan. And Pakistan hits India. So your guns are always trained on India no matter who the enemy is. Your India obsession is made you so blind that you are still thinking of getting at India at the moment of death.

Don’t worry. Before they take out Pakistan, they would have cleared the nukes to safety. They are not that dumb. And they might use India and Israeli help to accomplish it and we will gladly do it. We all know how dangerous it is leave a nuke at the hands of a mad mullah. We’ll take it out of his hand before setting his beard on fire.

You guys keep aiming at India while we whip your rear ends red.

Mauryan
“Don’t worry. Before they take out Pakistan, they would have cleared the nukes to safety. They are not that dumb. And they might use India and Israeli help to accomplish it and we will gladly do it.”

No they wont, they know Pakistan could in return gift a few nukes to the Ayatollahs of Tehran. So they know it, they are not stupid to drag Israel into this mess, Israel is still bogged down with rag tag Hezbollah, just google 2006 LEBANON WAR to see how Israel was humiliated by Hezbollah 3 years back and last thing they want to see nukes inthe hands of Hezbollah and Iran. Remember international politics is like chess, for every single move your opponent has a well thought counter move to trap you. You have to remain a step ahead, vigilant and remain strategic in your thinking all the time. Otherwise you loose very quickly.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

@So it is very important for Pakistani disapora in the USA, anyone reading here, put you act together. Step up the media war, there are people in America who understand the reality. Lets create an anti-war consensus in the US through media and lobbies. While we in Pakistan will take care of things on ground, we need support from overseas
-posted by Umair

Umair: FYI, if you missed a post from “Hussain” among Pakistani diaspora, he called Pakistan and the region as toilet-bowl. So the start is there for you at the media level. From the remaining I see some intelligent Pakistanis who share India’s view and you will be disappointed from their views.
I am with you on the anti-war view once the militants are gone. Good luck to Pakistan with the situation at the ground! India is with you and make me proud of my neighboring country so that I can say “Taliban and XYZ militant groups used to exist on Pakistan, Afghanistan and India since all 3 countries are strongly anti-terrorism.” Nuclear prolifeartion may never be used but terroism with nuclear deterrents are the biggest threat to humanity. I hope we agree on this much.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@So I get Pakistani logic. US hits Pakistan. And Pakistan hits India
-posted by Mauryan to Umair

Mauryan: Do not worry that’s the agreement between Umair and US and who cares. But I can tell you this, and Pakistani coumnists and Holbrooke agree with me too that someone can stick it in Pakistan’s behind but Pak’s guns aimed at India will not turn around to fire at the ravisher. well have fun both ways.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Nuke Mullah writes: “No they wont, they know Pakistan could in return gift a few nukes to the Ayatollahs of Tehran. So they know it, they are not stupid to drag Israel into this mess,”

This is the clear proof that Pakistan is a rogue state. I am sure your government is using the same logic – steal weapons making secret, build weapons, demonstrate, sell the technology to other criminal states, threaten the civilized world with further criminal acts if black mail is not accepted.. Need I say more? Your own words have proven our point that negates the very title of this blog “Pakistan is the threat exaggerated?” I managed to get it out of your mouth.

“Israel is still bogged down with rag tag Hezbollah, just google 2006 LEBANON WAR to see how Israel was humiliated by Hezbollah 3 years back and last thing they want to see nukes inthe hands of Hezbollah and Iran.”

I have already forwarded this response to certain organizations in India, US and UK. They probably are browsing these sites to get the feel and who is who. I am sure their think tanks have already worked out this scenario and have made corresponding plans.

“Remember international politics is like chess, for every single move your opponent has a well thought counter move to trap you. You have to remain a step ahead, vigilant and remain strategic in your thinking all the time. Otherwise you loose very quickly.”

I agree with you. Since your country has lost very many times in every tactics it has employed, you must be very experienced in making poor plans and losing quickly. There is no doubt about it.

Other countries make better plans. For example, your forced internal war with the Taliban might be a way to keep you busy with your own tail. One way to keep a monster busy is by making its own rear end hurt. Sometimes in a rage it can cut itself in half. That seems to be the plan.

Mad Mullah writes: “And for so much hue and cry about the Pakistani capital falling into Taliban hands lets shift it from Islamabad to Karachi down south. We can keep playing hide and seek with Taliban and shuffle back and forth between Buner and Islamabad.”

That seems to be the plan. You are going to be kept busy chasing your own tail. So the Taliban will attack. The military will run under the table. The US and UK will poke it to come out. The military will have no choice. So it will close its eyes and run straight into the Taliban. The Taliban will retreat for sometime. Then attack again. Your military will run and hide inside the closet. The US and UK will poke it again. And your military will close its eyes, take a deep breath and run straight into the Taliban. Every repeated cycle of this will tire out your military and it will begin to collapse from within. It will try a few tricks like drawing India into a conflict. But in the end, the Taliban-Military see-saw match will keep your ugly minds perpetually occupied.

“We fought the Soviet war for America in Afghanistan, that is enough. This time its our way or no way.”

That’s correct. Your way has been explained above. Read it again so that you do not forget. At the end, the tired Sindhi, Balochi and Pashtun officers and soldiers will revolt and leave the Punjabi cowards at the mercy of the Taliban. Then there will be four or five militaries fighting each other. It is like the coin speeding up along the funnel and finally disappearing in the middle. There is no other way, as you have mentioned. The world will use this lesson in its history lessons for future children on how wrong it is to combine religious radicalism, nukes, hate etc together and what the outcome will be.

Let the yo-yo cycle continue.

well, much has beed spoken about different possibilities of dragging India in the middle when Pakistan is fighting with Taliban. The most important thing for Pakistani’s would be to think about future generation. If these incidents continue then with sinking literacy rates, economy and International reputation the future of Pakistan will be in great danger. Wake up and work for the better future of coming generations. Good governance, good education, better economy and entertainment should be the motto of everybody rather than fighting among themselves.

Posted by Abhishekh | Report as abusive

Mauryan
“You are going to be kept busy chasing your own tail. So the Taliban will attack. The military will run under the table. The US and UK will poke it to come out. The military will have no choice. ”

LOL, Pakistan Army is fully deployed to counter India, while its the FC(Frontier Constabulary and Rangers) playing hide and seek with the Taliban.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Mullah writes: “Pakistan Army is fully deployed to counter India, while its the FC(Frontier Constabulary and Rangers) playing hide and seek with the Taliban.”

I am now fully convinced that your brain is completely washed up. I am talking about US/UK plan on keeping you engaged with your own internal turmoil. And you turn around and talk about keeping alert about India. Looks like nothing else matters in Militarystan. There are only a few simple principles:

1. If there is an external threat (like the Soviet invasion in the past or the American threat now that is growing), accumulate arms and prepare the military for any eventual attack from India.

2. If Americans decide to bomb Pakistan as an ultimate AfPak strategy, nuke India.

3. If the military is made to self destruct by clubbing it with the Taliban and made to oscillate like the yoyo, be prepared to tackle India.

So there seems to be only one thing that occupies the mind of a Paki Mullah – get at India. Your logic over many blogs that I have watched projects the suicide bomber mentality that is spreading its wings into the hearts of citizens like you – “I know I will die. But I will take a few others with me.”

Yo-yo cycle has started, by the way. The military has gone in after the Taliban. Once your “masters” are satisfied (which means you will do something that is minimal enough to satisfy them), the military will declare everything is fine and retreat. The Taliban will start. To re-arm the Taliban, an “Indian threat” drama will be staged, where the Taliban will come forward to fight along with other lunatics. So they will be armed. Then the Taliban part of the yo-yo cycle will start. As the yo-yo goes on, the military will engage in a self-defeat much to your dismay. Your brothers are already talking about this in other blogs.

okay i agree with the author that pakistan is going no where. it is a strategy, the american government uses to alarm its citizens. and to conjour up support for more money for the military. secondly the pakistan army is so powerful that the taliban are no match, what the army is fighting are actually the frontier corps not the REAL army which is on the eastern borders. frontier corps was formed by the british to tackle the tribals because these are the locals and know the language. moreover they are illtrained and are trained like a police officer. the army is not wasting itself on the western border because the real threat is from india, which is constantly conspiring. so its a double. all this operation is just to show the world well actually they are not even hitting the taliban but some other militants like the uzbeks and chechens which are not taliban. the taliban are a secured proxy for any future use against india. and believe me they are an indispensable resource. the suicide bombings can create havoc in india. and the pakistan will use it as its hydrogen bomb. when india was getting beligerent after the mumbai attacks these taliban had already declared that they would fight with pakistan to create havoc in india. so india will face destruction if it does anything to pak. moreover if pakistan is so called handed to the extremists , believe u dont know what will hapen to india..all these suicide bombers will spillover in india through kashmir and they can esily reach delhi and all the cities ..and probably this is the plan for any future use of these new trained jihadists..india chance of progressing would be lost forever if it tries to destabilize pakistan..india has no idea what it is playing with …and the master of this monster is yes the scary word ISI….

Posted by rehman | Report as abusive

Yo-Yo Rehman writes: “moreover if pakistan is so called handed to the extremists , believe u dont know what will hapen to india..all these suicide bombers will spillover in india through kashmir and they can esily reach delhi and all the cities ..and probably this is the plan for any future use of these new trained jihadists..india chance of progressing would be lost forever if it tries to destabilize pakistan..india has no idea what it is playing with …and the master of this monster is yes the scary word ISI….”

If Pakisatan is handed over to the Taliban, trust me, they will be fighting ten wars with other ethnic groups to hold on to power. Do you think a Sindhi or a Kashmiri will agree to be a part of a Talibanized Militaristan? They will revolt. Only the Punjabi cowards will submit to Taliban. And Indians are not fools. We can read the ulterior motives of all Islamic yo-yos and we will be ready for any spill over. Take it from me. If Taliban gains ground, the following will happen – 1. Civil war within Pakistan, 2. Nuke removal by the world powers 3. Dismemberment of Pakistan with co-operative help from Afghanistan and India. There will be finally a small land locked country named Bakistan who will be controlled.

Rehman, thanks for an insight into the mind of another radicalized, twisted & brain-washed Pakistani. Although, your rhetoric is way too delusion & moronic to respond to, it gives us an idea about how your leaders think because you’re reflecting their thoughts. The pattern of Pakistani thinking is quite clear: One Pakistani talks about black-mailing the world with threats of handing over nuclear technology to Iran, while another, stupidly talks about sending Taliban suicide bombers into Indian cities.

It’s about time, the world takes note of this & instead of throwing Aid morsels into it’s begging bowl, declare Pakistan as a ‘Rogue Terror-Sponsoring Nation’.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Criminalization happens in the mind. Criminals need serious rehabilitation and very few come out of it. The responses one sees from Pakistani posters clearly shows that Islamic radicalism and its criminal aspects have infected their minds thoroughly. They seem to hate India passionately and will sell their women to see that happen.

Rehman:

The world is listening to you. While India knows that you are just an “empty vessel making noise”, but you sure are strengthening the view that why Pakistan has suicidal tendencies.

BTW “violence begets violence” if you know what I mean.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

well, much has beed spoken about different possibilities of dragging India in the middle when Pakistan is fighting with Taliban. The most important thing for Pakistani’s would be to think about future generation. If these incidents continue then with sinking literacy rates, economy and International reputation the future of Pakistan will be in great danger. Wake up and work for the better future of coming generations. Good governance, good education, better economy and entertainment should be the motto of everybody rather than fighting among themselves.
- Posted by Abhishekh

Well spoken sir. Sadly, the reputation of Pakistan has already deteriorated significantly. Who would want to invest in a country where a suicide bombing happens virtually every second day. These days Pakistan sees more violence than Iraq! That’s why I sincerely hope that the Pak military understands the threat.

The threat is not exaggerated. There are citizens all over Pakistan who worry about their safety, or live in fear or extremists who have been put in charge of parts of the country. Unfortunately none of those great things that you mention can come true until the threat of these extremists is taken seriously.

And the threat coming after this is not one from India but the threat of economic failure. Pakistan cannot survive without aid today. And it likely will have to stay on welfare the way things are going. Without literacy, infrastructure and social services Pakistan will find it hard to attract foreign investment and even more difficult to support budding entrepreneurs from within. In sum, if things don’t change we are going to see the downward spiral towards economic destitution.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

There is no way that taliban and co. could have become such a “threat”. To me, it certainly seems like a Pakistan game plan. Any novice can tell you that if you let talibans rule Swat, they will definitely go after other regions. So, why Pak establishment would not anticiapte this? Well, they know it all. Question is who is playing this game and why? I am sure that they day Pak govt. goes after talibs, it would be matter of one week to “defeat” them. Behtullah Masud, the alleged mastermind of Benazir assassination, would have directly benefited from Swat “peace deal” offered/signed by her PPP led govt. Something BIG is behind the scenes..What’s the agenda?

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

Pakistan is the gravest threat to the world . The worst news is they have nuclear weapons and that they are just itching to use them . India , israel and the united states should have a contingency plan to take them out if and when the taliban take over.

Posted by Google | Report as abusive

if pakistan goes under and refuses to use its samson option, would that mean that muslims –or at least pakistani muslims– are more moral than israelis, who seem to be willing to nuke as many people as possible as they go under?

Posted by wadosy | Report as abusive

Umair says:

“LOL, Pakistan Army is fully deployed to counter India, while its the FC(Frontier Constabulary and Rangers) playing hide and seek with the Taliban.
- Posted by Umair ”

The PA propaganda machine is working well it seems. To create enough hysteria and create a “for now” containable enemy in Buner and SWAT for the sake and benefit of the Americans so they can keep giving Billion$ to the PA. Umair said himself, the real Army is waiting to wage a war with India.

Umair, it is refreshing to finally see Urbanites call for the removal of the Taliban and they are complaining that the PA is not protecting them. You stupid punjabi’s are just itching to start a war with India, just admit it, you know it is true. As you waste your time on the eastern border, the Taliban are growing mold and mildew in punjab for your benefit. One day, when you star a war with India, the Taliban are waiting for this, for it is then, that they will take the heart of Pakistan, when the PA army is bogged down in a confrontation with India.

Your punjabi Fauji’s won’t be able to prevent or stop the headless body’s which will be showing up all over Islamabad, the suicide bxmbings, bullet riddled bodies and missing people. You punjabi’s like to live illegally and on the edge of disaster, it seems.

As you keep sending your proxy armies, to Kashmir, India Army will keep finishing them off, as they have been for years. Thank God the U.S. is providing free Billion$ of dollars, so that the PA can fuel proxy armies against India. The U.S. republicans have been very helpful in that regards.

If it is true, that the PA is ready to start a war with India on a drop of a dime, it is apparently clear that their operational preparedness is a thinly veiled preplanned war with India. I can tell you Umair, if you guys start a war with India, it will be foolish, painful and above all extremely deadly for Pakistan. Pakistan will cause its own collapse if it attacks India. If India is attacked, the PA and Pakistan itself will be decapitated by the overwhelming Indian response. Maximum damage, defeat and surrender of the PA will be guaranteed. This time, the surrender will be signed in a Pakistani city and your nukes sitting in an Indian war museum. Just remember, do not cross that LOC with proxy armies and do not cross that LOC with any PA army either, because it will bring only one outcome for Pakistan.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Umair,

One more thing, I think having your whole army ready for a war with India, you guys have become rusty. Perhaps the ensuing tsunami of urban civil war in major Pakistani cities to ravage Pakistan in the not too distant future will be enough to give you guys years of training.

If the PA is corrupt, inept, doublefaced and cheating the Pakistani citizens of a full democracy. It is doing this by keep proxy armies pinned against India, which has also brought in the Taliban, who are starting to hurt Avg Pakistani’s. The PA is also playing a game with the US. and all of this, is orchestrated to maintain rivalry with India to keep lining the pocket$ of the PA army and their families in the gated urban centres in Pakistan.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Mauryan,

I guarantee, this time around, India, from the Dalits, to the Brahmins to the Sikhs, all Indians, of all backgrounds and religions are united to face off with Pakistan if it starts another proxy war. India has time and again shown its resiliency and unity, despite its own problems.

1.2 Billion Indians, they cannot stand a chance, because in war with India, they will run out of bullets, weapons and most of all, fuel. They will not have any where to land their precious F-16′s even.

Since Pakistan wants to reserve the right to start another war with India, through hook and crook or using the Taliban or proxy armies, India reserves the right to retaliate in a unified manner, using Russia, the U.S. and NATO to lead to Pakistan’s disinitegration and disarming, permanently.

The next uncalled for Kargil inflicted upon India, demands an unreciprocal answer to Pakistan, far beyond its imagination.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I am just waiting to see how long it will take before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Holbrooke are betrayed by the Pakistani establishment, ie the ISI and PA. Their games are not that hard to figure out.

While guys like Umair say:

“LOL, Pakistan Army is fully deployed to counter India, while its the FC(Frontier Constabulary and Rangers) playing hide and seek with the Taliban.”

Guys like Umair should realize that any war started by Pakistan, will be finished conclusively and decisively by India. No more flexibilities or niceties or gentle wrist slaps should be given the next time around, like they were in 1971, 2002, or Kargil.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

GW,

My preference would be to avoid a war. Because a war with India will help Pakistanis regroup and reunite. I want them divided as quickly as possible. The only way to achieve that is to let them divide by themselves. We have to do nothing. So if they provoke us, we should minimize the damage by being alert and acting ahead of them. We now have more technology on our side with the RISAT watching them carefully. If we get into a war, a dying Pakistan will try to use the nukes just to show its frustration. And a war at this time will drive off business in an already bleak world economy. We must hold off and be resilient. Our defense should be made proactive rather than reactive. This means we should not wait for the jackals to come in and cause damage. We must nail them before they act by watching them. May be using the help of CIA, Mossad etc India should enhance our intelligence capabilities. If we did this for the next few years, a frustrated Pakistan will shoot itself and fall apart. And I prefer that to any long lasting solution. Punjabi menace in the form of Pakistan will be eliminated. And Sindhis, Balochis, Kashmiris and Pashtuns can live in peace after that along with India. And they can keep those war mongering wolves in check. They are the reason why Pakistan is where it is today.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05  /01/pakistan.taliban/index.html

Mauryan, bloggers, please see link above.

This is a refreshing turn of events in Pakistan. It is always the women, who have to stand up against Radical Islamists. Where are the Pakistani men? Are you all cowards?

There is nothing greater in Pakistan than a female Pakistani who is putting herself out there against the backward male aggression of the Taliban, nurtured by the PA and ISI. Women in Pakistan should unite for all causes to get parity with men, who have used the religion to keep them down.

I hope there are more signs of glimmer and hope like we see in this article, it is the women of Pakistan who will bring peace and reconciliation with India.

Women sow and men plunder.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

GW writes: “It is always the women, who have to stand up against Radical Islamists. Where are the Pakistani men? Are you all cowards?”

Pakistani Men are Taliban’s favorites. It’s radical Islamic love. So women get to protest :-)

It is clear that Pakistanis value their Islam over everything else, including peace with neighbors and the world. It was able to attack India again and again with weapons that US gave it for its proxy wars in Afghanistan. No more, Pakistan has been getting its arms now from China and Korea.

With Baluchistan and Pasthunistan(more stans here!) poised to make runs for independance, this is a dire situation for Pakistan. A country that lives by the gun(so defined by its army and ISI, not necessarily all its people) will die by the gun. A Pakistan ruled by Taliban is even more dangerous, and other countries including US will treat it no better than a terrorist nation. Pakistanis, don’t complain later when countries of the world start bombing you, if you do not stand up for your country now and push your government to act strongly against your terror camps, madrassas and talibans.

Posted by ASH | Report as abusive

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