The Pakistan Army and civilian democracy

April 28, 2009

The Pakistan Army has been getting a lot of flak over the past week or so for its alleged failure to take a tough line against Taliban militants expanding their reach across Pakistan’s north-west.  And although Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani issued a statement promising to fight the militants and security forces began a new offensive, doubts remain about the military’s willingness to take on Islamist groups that it once nurtured as part of its rivalry with India.

Among a spate of articles about Pakistan’s powerful military, Newsweek ran a piece headlined “Pakistan’s Self-Defeating Army”. It argued that far from serving as a bulwark against chaos, the military had helped destabilise Pakistan by undermining the development of a civilian democracy in the decades since the country was founded in 1947.

David Kilcullen, a counter-insurgency expert, called during a Congressional hearing for “fundamental, root and branch reform of the Pakistani military, and bringing it firmly under the authority of civilian elected officials”. Arguing that U.S. aid should be channelled into building up the police rather than the military, he said this ”would protect the Pakistani people, improve counterinsurgency performance, enhance the rule of law and weaken the stranglehold of the army over the civilian leadership of Pakistan.”

The arguments in favour of civilian democracy were well rehearsed when President Pervez Musharraf was forced out of office last year, and then endorsed by the administration of President Barack Obama. Kayani himself has so far stressed his commitment to civilian democracy. So to some extent the latest talk about the role of the Pakistan Army is a rehash of old news.

What I have not seen however, is a coherent and clear explanation of how the army is supposed to do more in fighting the Taliban, while also doing less by subsuming its power to that of the civilian government. Were the civilian government determined and united in fighting the Taliban, there would be no contradiction – in a constitutional democracy, the army is supposed to follow the orders of the political leadership. But there seems to be something of a suggestion creeping in that the army should be ready to take the initiative, with or without the backing of the government.

My impression, and readers will correct me if I am wrong, is that this suggestion crops up far more in the foreign media than in the Pakistani (English-language) press, which acknowledges the ambiguity of an army that is supposed to rescue Pakistan from the Taliban while also reducing its power.

According to the Daily Times, “the army cannot act in a political vacuum at home. It cannot fight a war on which there is no national consensus, and politicians are scared of losing popular support if they stand up to the Taliban challenge”.

Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying before the latest offensive that the Pakistan Army had said it would launch a new military operation only after clearance by the provincial and federal governments.

Before everyone piles in with comments, this is not meant to be an exhaustive piece about the role of the Pakistan Army (defence analyst Brian Cloughley has a round-up on the Bradford University website for anyone who wants to read more.) What is interesting is the ambivalence of the outside world about what the military should be doing. Should it only obey orders from the government? Or is it seen as the ultimate safety net that would guard Punjab (and Pakistan’s nuclear bombs) if the Taliban posed a real threat – even at the price of launching a coup?

Fox News had an interesting line in a follow-up article on its interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she fretted publicly about the keys to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

“A senior U.S. official travelling with the Secretary said whatever concerns Washington has about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal are longstanding and unrelated to the Taliban’s recent advances,” it said. “The official indicated that if the Taliban were to succeed in toppling the government of Pakistani President Ali Arif Zardari, the United States believes the likeliest event would be a coup by the military similar to the one that placed Pervez Musharraf in power in 1999.”

So which please? Does the United States want the army to cede ground to the civilian government in the interests of the long-term stability of Pakistan? Or preserve its power, just in case everything goes wrong and it needs to step in?

Comments

Back on topic.

It is refreshing to see the PA at least starting to consult the civilian governments (nationally and provincially). This is extremely important. Within Pakistan, it provides political cover for counter-insurgency operations. And when it comes to external challenges (India, Afghanistan, regional concerns), the civilian governments (as they gain capacity) will be able to reach better compromises. I am fairly sure that if Pakistan had a strong democracy today, there would be no threat of armed conflict with India or Afghanistan.

The Taliban challenge is a good one to help mature the civil-military relationship. Pakistani politicians will have to learn to expend political capital on issues of national security to help secure the long-term national interests of Pakistan. And the Army is learning that the civilians are not as incompetent as everyone makes them out to be (democracy is messy after all), and that political cover allows them the space to achieve far more than before.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Keith says:

“Back on topic.

It is refreshing to see the PA at least starting to consult the civilian governments (nationally and provincially). This is extremely important. Within Pakistan, it provides political cover for counter-insurgency operations. And when it comes to external challenges (India, Afghanistan, regional concerns), the civilian governments (as they gain capacity) will be able to reach better compromises. I am fairly sure that if Pakistan had a strong democracy today, there would be no threat of armed conflict with India or Afghanistan.

The Taliban challenge is a good one to help mature the civil-military relationship. Pakistani politicians will have to learn to expend political capital on issues of national security to help secure the long-term national interests of Pakistan. And the Army is learning that the civilians are not as incompetent as everyone makes them out to be (democracy is messy after all), and that political cover allows them the space to achieve far more than before.
- Posted by Keith ”

Keith, the P. Army is like a bunch of Mafia Thugs who own the country. Because there profile is so high, especially even more now, they have to give the appearance that they are supporting the civilian gov.t. The fact of the matter is that there is so much religious mold and mildew which has festered in the stagnation of Pakistani nationalism, based on religous hate, sponsored and served fresh by the PA.

The only way democracy can function in Pakistan, is if the PA changes the Pakistani Nationalism, which is founded on a bedrock of hatred towards India and pro Islamic Nationalism to a secular country, which defines its identity first by some other means than a religious one. This is not easy, but over time, can work.

Pakistan cannot have a function democracy unless it secularizes.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

President Obama in his first 100 days at the office press conference:

“On the military side, you’re starting to see some recognition just in the last few days that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided, and that their biggest threat right now comes internally. And you’re starting to see the Pakistani military take much more seriously the armed threat from militant extremists.”

This comes from the President of the US. All Islamic yo-yos in Pakistan should make a note.

 

Myra,Keith :

Though it is heartening to see PA interacting with civilian administration , this might seem quite pleasant sight for the western eyes , but the ground realities are quite different. PA officers are a bunch of corrupt rogues ,religious fundamentalists, war mongers ,butchers – you may name them for everything in the English dictionary they have their fingers in every pie right from illegal drug smuggling in border areas of Afpak , down the training of terrorists to infiltrate Afgahnistan and India , in the name of jehad. People of Bangaldesh has still not forgotten the murderous and marauding Pakistan army when they massacred in cold blood, more than 3 million innocent civilians ,raped and molested countless women in former East Pakistan .

What is the international community is definitely oblivious of the fact of presence of nuclear weapons and its command in the hand of Pakistan Army . The international community must immediately take possession of these nuclear weapons to prevent any catastrophe .

Posted by Manish | Report as abusive
 

another pakistan centric article. another round of mud slinging.and allthe usual suspects in place…umair,rajeev, mauyan, bullet-fish globalwatcher, myra, keith,….

to my country men [and women]…. go do something more productive than just adding to traffic on the web.

My respects to Umair… who seems to have single handedly with sood all the mud slinging from all sides….

despite the admiration, i implore you too, all this blogging is a waste, reading a book, writing ghazals, poetry,…. all seem far more productive than commenting behind every pakistan based article published on reuters online.

Posted by rony | Report as abusive
 

@My respects to Umair… who seems to have single handedly with sood all the mud slinging from all sides….
- Posted by rony

Rony: Special appearance?
I as an Indian admire Umair for representing 170 million Pakistanis. But what the hell are you remaining doing–writing ghazals, reciting poetry in the hour of need??? Perhaps Umair needs some help not your words.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@If the Pakistanis have the will they could wipe out LeT fairly quickly. AQ would be far more challenging.
- Posted by Keith

Keith: Yes Pakistan has tight stop-start valve over Kashmiri terrorists. getting leaky based on the recent reports and LeT is getting out of control.

True K-terrorist are focussed on India and do not have extensive network like A-Q. LeT or JeM have contacts with A-Q (OBL specifically).

In Mumbai attack, LeT showed that they are also focusing on the Americans/British/Jews.

Kashmiri terrorist JeM headed by Masood Azhar killed American journalist Daniel Pearl and possible role in disrupted British airliner plot of August 2006. http://www.cdi.org/friendlyversion/print version.cfm?documentID=1158

Good luck with elimination of A-Q. Are you on active duty in Afgh –if you do not mind?

–Let us see how much damage does PA inflict on Taliban or more appropriately how much it wants to do.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rony writes: “My respects to Umair… who seems to have single handedly with sood all the mud slinging from all sides….”

Things must be pretty bad in Pakistan. People get admired for lying their heads off. Umair has been handling all the Indian mud slinging (providing facts has become equivalent to mud slinging in Pakistan now-a-days) simply by repeating the same lines again and again. If you close your eyes and ears and keep repeating the same thing, you can handle any number of people trying to reason with you. What an admiration! May be he can make sound rhythmic and it will surely sound poetic. He is already trying to do that.
Here is one for you:

“Umair’s claims on nuke
Makes everyone puke”

If there are only the same lies to be repeated, there is one liar good enough. You don’t need million more doing the same.

 

Keith,

The exclusive focus by the US and its allies on Al Qaeda will not solve the problem on global terrorism. I understand that Al Qaeda has its tentacles in many parts of the world and has attacked the West boldly compared to all other terror organizations that are confined to local conflicts.

Al Qaeda thrived before 9/11 because of the favorable conditions it found in South Asia. It had a country available to itself in the form of Afghanistan. And the country was ruled by a primitive minded and brutal organization, the Taliban. The Taliban was created and supported by the intelligence and military of a neighboring nation, Pakistan. Pakistan’s creation of the Taliban was not really to bring peace to Afghanistan. It was more from a strategic interest in keep its conflicts alive in South Asia, in regards to continue the proxy war in India and control Afghanistan. Pakistan had grand plans for supporting militancy in Central Asia by training the IMU, Chechens etc through Al Qaeda. So a huge network had formed, which, if left to itself for another decade would have made things much worse. Pakistan was also engaged in clandestine nuclear arms sale with countries like North Korea, Libya etc. This development would have progressed unhindered had Al Qaeda not spoiled the party by hitting New York too early. I guess emotions overtook cold blooded war wisdom. Had they attacked NY after allowing the US to run into Iraq, say in 2004 or so, things could have been uncontrollable.

What I am saying is that Al Qaeda specific approach only kills the symptom. The root cause is much deeper. And it has not gone away. If any half baked attempt its made in the war on terrorism, in order to save money, avoid protests at home etc., it will only help the underlying cancer to wait and recharge itself again. One can see this already in Pakistan. This country, for whatever short sighted reason allowed the Taliban and Al Qaeda to escape when the US attacked Afghanistan in 2001. At that time, there was no belief that things will come to what we see today. Pakistan only tried to buy time by playing up to American emotions while keeping the problem incubated safely. Now it is hurting Pakistan itself as there is no room for this cancer to spread. It feels trapped. If the US cuts a deal with the region by allowing the Taliban to stay put, and making arrangements to curtail Al Qaeda alone, the problem will regrow after the US leaves. Things will revert back to what it was within a short period of time. I wonder if the Western powers engaged in this region have given this a thought or not. I am asking this question because this problem will affect my country in the long run. It is hard as it is to make progress against the odds. Kashmir problem is not the root cause of all the development of this problem over the years. It has managed to grow this deep mostly due to ignorance in the US and short sighted policies. Is there any thought floating around the circles about a real long term solution towards addressing the core of the problem in this region?

 

Mauryan, you said:

“But I do not know how much the Taliban will trust the ISI. ”

I can tell you, unequivocally, based on the past history, the ISI and Taliban are orchestrating this together, I wouldn’t put it past the PA army, if they have already made a DEAL with Mullah Omar to sacrifice many Taliban, in exchange for a future power deal to attack India together. These two business partners deal with extremely dirty and underhanded tactics. As I said earlier, I would not put it past the PA and Taliban if both of these guys are just “staging” for the sake of the world and the U.S. to throw a smokescreen for a future proxy war against India. This would explain why their “real” army is still deployed on its eastern front against India. They are just buying time. The U.S. is needed by the PA for money and this Taliban fiasco is just another Fund raising business venture by the PA to extort money from a post 911 paranoid America. Obama and Clinton are playing right into it. None of the money will be used to fight the Taliban, they are not doing it now and never will, even in Umair’s own words. Islamic Extremism and Radicalism has a comfortable home in the Headquarters of the PA and ISI and it is there to stay because it is good for business for the PA and ISI.

Just think about it, I would not put it past Mullah Omar Talibani and the PA/ISI to throw a smokescreen and sacrifice a few thousand Taliban so that the Taliban and PA/ISI can reground for a much larger conflict. The Taliban will co-operate because their friends in the PA and ISI will facilitate their growth and support, as they always have. This also explains why the PA General in a intercepted phone call called the Taliban Leader in Pakistan a “Strategic Asset”. This also explains their half-assed attempt at fighting the Taliban upto date. If this army is 700,000, claiming it can fight India, then why is it incapable of engaging the Taliban? Why? Because they are friends.

I don’t know what it will take people to realize that the PA and ISI are both cheating and lying to everybody and they are extorting money from the Naive western nations.

I hope the lawyer Barack and lawyer Hillary use their wit, wisdom and brain power to nail these two criminal factions to the wall. It is only then that average Pakistani’s can have true justice after 60 years of oppressive governance.

I simply do not trust these guys in Islamabad and Rawalpind, they are all liars.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Here is an article in Pak Tribune that gives some interesting view on the development of today’s crisis in Pakistan and a dream of a grand Islamic nation that goes from Spain all the way up to Indonesia. This magazine is made up of Umairs. But interestingly the article mentions India only once. That is an odd thing.

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.php  ?id=214278

 

GW Writes: “I simply do not trust these guys in Islamabad and Rawalpind, they are all liars.”

I don’t think Indians have ever have trusted these guys all these years. And they are not going to in the future as well.

We in India should drum up awareness about the various possibilities. I don’t know if our government is doing anything proactive or not. They seem to be in a reactive mode, waiting for Pakistan to do something and then responding. I hope they are using think tanks and strategists to work out various scenarios and be prepared to meet any outcome that unfolds.

Here is what I see. The Americans and their allies are only interested in their objectives. Their immediate objective is to destroy Al Qaeda and leave. They have no other interest. All their concern about Pakistan on the verge of a failed state, nation building in Afghanistan etc are all viewed with only one objective of getting OBL and cleaning up Al Qaeda. They are not so concerned about the Taliban, ISI, Nukes, Paki military, civil administration etc.. They have been friends of Pakistan when things were not any different in the past as well. And they do not care much about India either. Their idea of a peaceful South Asia is a region where all conflicts are confined to the region itself and does not spill over. So if India, Pakistan and Afghanistan choke each other out, no one will care so long as the effects are not felt beyond the region. They can blow up the Bamiyan Buddhas, or stage a military coup, or attack Mumbai. So long as their citizens are left out of it, they really have no interest. And their ignorant populations want it that way as well.

So we in India should see how we should protect our interests. We are the ones who get to live in the region. Because of Pakistan, no one wants to send their sports teams to India. We are stuck with this rotten limb that is still stuck to us.

From Indian stand point, we’d like to see the chaos inside Pakistan to tail spin further, weakening their system from inside out, and the region splinters up into smaller nations that distrust each other and hate each other. I think their ethnic groups are already in that state. India will be able to manage if Pakistan falls apart. We can survive by turning their attention towards each other, just like the British did by splitting up the sub-continent and turned the two countries against each other. I don’t think we have to do anything. It is already happening and we just need to wait it out. If the Americans get Al Qaeda wrapped up, they might quit in a hurry due to their weakened economy. We just need to be prepared to dodge any flying embers coming from across the border. In a couple of years, everything will calm down.

 

@Mauryan,

Once the Al-Qaeda are defeated and Taliban are sanitized from Pak soil, before the U.S. leaves they should give a parting gift to Pakistan, that being denuclearization, full wholehearted, transpartent denuclearization with IAEA inspectors on guard.

Next, India should landmine their border and a part of their LOC on the Indian side, upon Pak disintegration, this is the only way to keep any future proxy armies on their own side and ensure honesty from the PA and ISI. The new spy satellite and landmines should go a long way to preventing Army and ISI fueled Mujahideen or illegal Pakistani aliens from entering India to cause havoc.

Even now is a good time to landmine the Indian side of the LOC. Each landmine should be GPS tagged for future removal, once Pakistan secularizes and democratizes and its literacy rate in English goes way up.

Posted by GLobal Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan – “The Americans and their allies are only interested in their objectives. Their immediate objective is to destroy Al Qaeda and leave. They have no other interest”

I think sooner or later, we’ll be getting to a point where all these groups (AQ, Taliban, Let etc) will combine forces & will be so intricately involved with each other in Pakistan, that it will be very difficult to destroy or dismantle the infrastructure of one of them, without pretty much destroying the others too. I don’t think Obama is stupid enough to leave Pakistan without cleaning the whole mess & making sure that future 9/11s can’t be planned from Pakistan or Afghanistan. The economy has been bad but it’s not all that it’s made out to be & a recovery is expected this year itself. Besides, recessions don’t interfere with America’s foreign policies.
Another point to be made is that relations between US & India have become extremely good over the last decade or so & it is a defined objective of US foreign policy, to make India one of it’s closest allies in the world, along with UK, Israel & Japan and also to neutralize China’s dominance in the region. In light of this, the US will be wary of the threats to India, should it leave the region without taking care of business & India also has a voice now, that the US to listens to.
As far as the disintegration of Pakistan is concerned, it’s looking quite imminent at this point as there’s unrest in every province now. NWFP is pretty much under Taliban control, the Baloch uprising is strengthening by the day & things seem to be getting worse by the hour, in Karachi & Sindh. It’s just a matter of time, before there will be total anarchy & every province will become functionally independent of Punjab. Then it will all be just a formality.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Mortal writes: “Another point to be made is that relations between US & India have become extremely good over the last decade or so & it is a defined objective of US foreign policy, to make India one of it’s closest allies in the world, along with UK, Israel & Japan and also to neutralize China’s dominance in the region. In light of this, the US will be wary of the threats to India, should it leave the region without taking care of business & India also has a voice now, that the US to listens to.”

India-US relations have definitely improved. But it depends upon who is going to be in power in India after elections. If the commies end up getting a huge chunk of seats and belly dance with socialistic parties, in this economy, things can get worse. They have no experience running a government at the center. I hope Congress led coalition wins this time around. I want Man Mohan Singh to continue for another five years during this crucial period. I have no faith in Advani. He is a reactive man and does not think much. He is more militant in his approach and it will not do good at this time. With Obama giving incentives to minimize outsourcing to recover his country from the abyss, India’s service oriented economy is on the edge. So these two factors – who will sit on the hot seat and how the outsourcing industry will go, make a perfect storm. India has enough depth to tough it out through these difficult times. That is why they should walk the thin line very carefully. If we manage to come out of this crisis moment, then India will be safe in the next five years with better business and more economic clout. That is the real way to international respect and stature. If Pakistan goes in the opposite direction, which is more likely, by that time, it may not exist as a single nation. Then we won’t have to worry about LoC, Kashmir etc. That is why I prefer little nations in the neighborhood. Islamic unity is a myth. Ethnic divisions out date religion and are a lot deeper. Let them be divided ethnically and pray five times in their own respective country. That is safer.

 

GW writes: “Once the Al-Qaeda are defeated and Taliban are sanitized from Pak soil, before the U.S. leaves they should give a parting gift to Pakistan, that being denuclearization, full wholehearted, transpartent denuclearization with IAEA inspectors on guard.”

I hope these things happen. India should everything it can to avoid getting dragged into this mess. Provocation will come from Pakistan that will be getting sucked into the black hole of no return. India’s resilience can help accelerate the demise of the danger that has been bothering us for more than 60 years. The US has made many mistakes in the past. They generally let the cow run and try to catch it by the tail. With Obama in charge, they may act wisely and taking the nukes out will become a priority very soon. Pakistan will see a change at the top in the near future. It could be Kayani or Zardari.

 

Mauryan,

I also hope that Congress comes back to power with Manmohan Singh as the PM & I have a strong feeling, that’s the way it will be. I feel that the Indian populace is gaining awareness by the day & they realize that a secular Congress, headed by MS is the right way to go. BJP’s communal agenda won’t work this time & Advani seems to be an extremely polarizing & negative figure, to garner popular support. Vajpayee would’ve been a different story for BJP.

I think, India has a very good chance of getting out of this global recession with minimal damage & is better poised than most emerging countries, including China. As a financial industry professional, I can tell that here in the US, most financial analysts & economists are counting on India & China to get the rest of the world, out of this global downturn.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

A BJP led coalition at this time will be counter productive. The last time they were in power, at least they had a statesman like Vajpayee. BJP now under Advani will be viewed as a more belligerent government, like we look at Republicans under Bush/Cheeney. The BJP unnecessarily exploded the nukes in 1998 just to thump their chests and put Pakistan on steroids. They never recovered from that dosage. Now they are itching to nuke even termites in their houses. And BJP may go for Ram Mandir and unnecessary agenda at the wrong time to divert attention from national issues. This time they are better off sitting in the opposition. I want Pakistan focused on its internal matter and work towards speedy disintegration for world peace. Having BJP in power might slow that down and even might help the Pakistanis to motivate themselves to drop their goal and come after India. Advani is a refugee from Sindh and he has not come out of the shock of partition. His reaction will be militant and we don’t want that at this time. We should offer no help to Pakistan in any way so that they can dig their grave faster.

 

If and when Sindh becomes a free nation, may be Advani can return home there and die in peace reminiscing his childhood days. I don’t want him in charge of India because the man next in line is Narendra Modi who can try Hitler style activities if given Home ministry.

 

Mauryan and Mortal
in case you both missed, there are exclusive blog topics (posted on Reuters) asking for readers opinions on elections currently going on in India. Just scroll down and explore- India: A Billion Aspirations. I was surprised neither of you ever posted your comments there. Instead, unfortunately, you chose talking about elections (in India) here. FYI those posts were scantily commented upon.

 

AzadDP,

Mauryan & I, are simply discussing the Indian election vis-a-vis Pakistan & the affect, different Indian Governments might have on the current situation in Pakistan. I am very much interested in the Indian election & with what’s going on there but at this time I’m very much concerned about the dangerous situation in Pakistan as, what happens there affects the whole world.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

AzadDP writes: “I was surprised neither of you ever posted your comments there. Instead, unfortunately, you chose talking about elections (in India) here. FYI those posts were scantily commented upon.”

This was the first blog spot I stumbled upon. I’d like to spend time where there is real crisis. For India’s future, issues with Pakistan is vital. Elections inside India and the issues there are standard for any normal country. So I spend more time here than in other blog spots.

 

@The BJP unnecessarily exploded the nukes in 1998 just to thump their chests and put Pakistan on steroids.
-Mauryan

Mauryan: In a way it was good that India tested the NUKES to declare the Indian deterrant since from the era of Nuclear prolifeartion and smuggling, it was known that pakistan is also on the course. It was expected and Pakistan showed that indeed they have it. It is out and clear–better than Pakistan having hidden NUKES and using them.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@Advani is a refugee from Sindh and he has not come out of the shock of partition…….”
- Posted by Mauryan

Mauryan: I am going to pick up on you here. :-)

Acc. to your definition of Advani as a “refugee”, millions in India are refugees–that includes my grand parients from Pakistani Punjab, Global Watcher’s mom from Lahore, PunjabiYaar’s ancestors from Kasur in Pak. And the beauty is that PM Manmohan Singh is from Pakistan.

You can whip Mr. Advani’s a$$ for other reasons- not for this. How are we different from Pakistanis who call Pakistani Muslims who migrated from India as “Mohajirs”–a stupid terminology by all means?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Hindus moving south from undivided india are Indians.Period. Neither Mauryan nor I have the luxury of calling them refugees.Its like moving from Bengal to Andhra or kerala to Assam.That was their constitutional right, just to let you know.I dare say, this constitutional right is still in force in 2009.The ones who fled Pak just this past month should be given citizenship rights. Pronto.

 

@Hindus moving south from undivided india are Indians.Period. Neither Mauryan nor I have the luxury of calling them refugees.Its like moving from Bengal to Andhra or kerala to Assam.That was their constitutional right, just to let you know.I dare say, this constitutional right is still in force in 2009.The ones who fled Pak just this past month should be given citizenship rights. Pronto.
- Posted by Azad

Azad: you are right. Those who fled Pak-Are they sikhs?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

I guess I was a little too harsh on Advani. I do not like him from a political stand point. I was dead against his Rath Yathra which resulted in the deaths of many innocents. It achieved nothing but misery for many at the end. There are many politicians in India who are in a similar list that I have. BJP should bring people like Arun Shourie to the top. That guy can project a clean image and show promises. India needs a good alternative political party with good leaders. Vajpayee was a great man. But he is too old now.

Okay. Wrong discussion. Wrong forum. Let us now turn our attention to Pakistan.

 

Rajeev writes: “In a way it was good that India tested the NUKES to declare the Indian deterrant since from the era of Nuclear prolifeartion and smuggling, it was known that pakistan is also on the course. It was expected and Pakistan showed that indeed they have it. It is out and clear–better than Pakistan having hidden NUKES and using them.”

There was enough intelligence available about Pakistan’s nuclear capability. Israel has them too. But it has not been emotional like us. BJP initiated the explosions just to thump their chests. Pakistan does everything India does in order to satisfy their low self esteem. This resulted in economic sanctions which delayed progress for India. Leaders should think of the consequences before they make decisions. BJP’s nuke show off was emotional rather than rational. It was not needed. India had done multiple computer simulations of explosions and there was no need like the old days to explode the bombs to collect data. They wasted money and put India in the same league with a country like Pakistan. It has taken more than a decade to undo all the self inflicted damage. We know our capabilities. There was no need to show off. Pakistan’s nuclear capability was known already. Now BJP is not looked at with respect in international circles. Image really matters. BJP can boost Indian pride by engaging itself in progress. They did well otherwise during their tenure in power. I just did not like their nuke stunts.

 

Rajeev,

Taliban terror forces Hindus to flee Pakistan:
Their forefathers made a choice 60 years ago and stayed back in Peshawar despite Partition. And today their unhappy descendants — a group of Hindu families — have been forced to flee by the rising influence of the fundamentalist Taliban. See popup
“I think our forefathers committed a mistake by staying back in Peshawar during Partition and we are now correcting this mistake so that our coming generations will not suffer what we faced in Pakistan,” said Vijay Kumar from Peshawar in Pakistan
But Narain is not bitter about it, only practical. “When law-enforcement agencies are feeling helpless, how can a common man feel secure? We are not blaming the government, but it’s just that terrorists are calling the shots now.”
They are seeking Indian citizenship.
http://publication.samachar.com/pub_arti cle.php?id=3801606&navname=General&moreu rl=http://publication.samachar.com/hindu stantimes/general/hindustantimes.php&hom eurl=http://www.samachar.com/mostread.ph p&nextids=3801157|3801604|3801606|380160 5|3802959&nextIndex=3Pak.

 

Mauryan,

BJP initiated the explosions just to thump their chests………

what makes you say that. First and only set of test was done in 74, then in 98. The scientists needed the confirmation of data before deplying them.

That was a BJP poll promise, loud and clear,since the existing data up until then was nt adequate for deployment.

 

AzadDP writes: “That was a BJP poll promise, loud and clear,since the existing data up until then was nt adequate for deployment.”

Azad,

I do not have the articles for reference with me. It has been a while. India has an enviable super computer set up. In super computer circles, the Indian system is well respected. Long ago I have seen an article in the Scientific American or a similar journal that I do not remember exactly, where there was an article about nuclear arms proliferation. In that there was a mention about India’s nuclear bomb advancement by means of computer simulations to optimize the yield with smaller weapons. This is something only an exclusive club of countries were capable. The Americans have pretty much eliminated the need to actual testing. Their super computer simulations have helped optimize the nukes for different types of payloads. India has advanced quite a bit in this arena along with a few others. In essence, India had the capability to make those bombs without any data using actual tests.

And the BJP did not use the above reason for its election manifesto – “We will explode nukes so that we can get vital data.” It was not a smart decision as I see it. It was not going to solve our problems.

Though they have mellowed down in their rhetoric due to the experience in governing the nation, their nuclear demonstration ambition exposed their inexperience. India exploded the first ones in 1974. But that was the first time ever for India and we did not have advanced computer technology in those days. It was obvious that they (the BJP) were itching to explode the nukes once they came to power. And it proved nothing at the end. We need a leadership today that is not emotional. We are treading through troubled waters now. Therefore I am a bit concerned about who will come to rule India.

I would like India to focus more on missile technology, delivery systems, smart weapons, better reconnaissance systems etc. With crime becoming hitech, it is important to stay ahead of it. Our nuclear capability is accepted and respected. We must have better missile designs. We also need to work on making our own fighter jets. They will bring good money as a business.

 

Azad

The link was for someother news. But I used the quotes to dig the link:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/artic leshow/4239397.cms

Getting pretty bad there for the minorities with Taliban regime. The Sikh families house demolished since they could not give some more than 1crore Rs to taliban for protection. That’s huge money. Pakistan says do not interfere–Sikhs are Pakistan citizens.
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metr opolitan/12-pakistan-rejects-indian-stat ement-on-sikhs–bi-10
Well then Pakistan must be given a back handed slap next time they say word about anything on minorities in India—including Muslims whom the Government of India helping for the Haj pilgrims.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metr opolitan/12-pakistan-rejects-indian-stat ement-on-sikhs–bi-10

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 
 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/artic leshow/4239397.cms

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Problems pasting the clickable link

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/artic leshow/4239397.cms

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Wadosy,

You are wasting everyone’s time. From your English I can make out you are an immigrant from somewhere else. So though technically an American, in your heart you are someone else, in terms of your national loyalty.

We are dealing with Pakistan-India issues here. This is not a place for Israel bashing. Please find the appropriate site and flood that forum.

Israel may or may not be doing all that you are claiming. But right now, India will take whatever help it gets to fight terrorism. India is also highly respected in the Muslim countries, excepting for Pakistan. So India’s alliance with Israel is only for countering terrorist threat from Pakistan. Tomorrow this relationship can change. It is geo-politics. But Israel is far removed from India. Our countries see a common threat of Islamic terrorism. So we are working together. As far their values, we do not have much to say.

Can you please go somewhere else now? Thanks

 

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