Pakistan after Baitullah; a new political hurdle

August 9, 2009

The obvious question to ask about the apparent death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone attack (apart from the question of proving his death) is what, or who, is next? Does the Pakistan Army still go into South Waziristan to fight the Taliban, or does it consider it “mission accomplished”? And after apparently eliminating a militant leader who had focused on targetting Pakistan, will it now go after other militants whose main area of operation is Afghanistan?

As discussed in my last post, Pakistan’s military offensive in South Waziristan was framed in the context of a punitive mission against Mehsud based on Raj-era notions of retribution, and was therefore quite different from its operation in Swat, which aimed to re-occupy territory seized by the Taliban and restore the writ of the state.  So if Mehsud is indeed dead, the Pakistan Army may already have met its objective.

It would probably need new orders to do more – and however much analysts argue that the Pakistani military still calls the shots on foreign and security policy – Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani has been something of a stickler in insisting that he takes his orders from the civilian government.

So even on this narrow technical definition, the decision about what happens next will be political rather than military – albeit a decision in which the army has a powerful say.

But at a much broader level, the decision will define Pakistan’s approach to Islamist militants.

According to the New York Times, the death of Mehsud is likely to mean that Islamabad will come under even greater U.S. pressure to go after militants who fight the United States and its allies in Afghanistan. These include the Afghan Taliban, believed by Washington to be based in Quetta in Baluchistan, and the Haqqani network founded by Afghan warlord Jalauddin Haqqani, based in North Waziristan.

And that could be much trickier. The Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network were used by Pakistan in the past to control Afghanistan and many analysts think it is reluctant to turn against them now as long as it believes it can use them to counter India’s growing influence there.

American journalist Nicholas Schmidle argues in Slate that Mehsud was an easier target since he had alienated both the United States and Pakistan.

“Now the hard part begins,” he writes. “Since the CIA has demonstrated its ability to pinpoint “high-level targets,” it will want to go after other top Taliban leaders in Pakistan, such as Maulvi Nazir in South Waziristan and Jalaluddin Haqqani in North Waziristan. But Pakistan’s military and security establishment perceives both men, who focus their fighting in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan, as national security assets more than threats. And there’s no magic drone strike to fix that.”

And the hard part may take time. There are many, many other pieces of the jigsaw that have to be fitted in first. Inside Pakistan, the civilian government, the army and public opinion would all have to rally behind any decision to widen the scope of the country’s fight against the Taliban. And beyond  Pakistan, the likely outcomes of the U.S. military offensive in Afghanistan to the west and the tortuous peace process with India to the east have yet to become clear.  Expect much uncertainty before the broader picture takes shape.

(File photos: Pakistani soldier on Afghan border; General Kayani with Prime Minister Gilani)


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Myra,One hopes you don’t seriously believe pakistan army is serious about fighting terrorism. There is no evidence pakistan army has completely abandoned the strategy of using terrorism (1) directly against India and Afghanistan and (2) indirectly against the West to milk aid money.There will be cooperation only against terrorists who disobeyed their mentors in the pak army/ISI. If anyone thinks other wise they are out of touch with reality.Until and unless US, and donors impose stringent conditions and tightly monitor how the aid money is spent, pakistan is likely continue with the drama of selective participation in the “war on terror” for propaganda puroses while simultaneously running terrorist camps.Pardon me if these have been already posted.The following two documents are worth reviewing:#1) Study by Azeem Ibrahim at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University outlining the chicanery of pak army in milking aid money and using it for anything but “war on terror”http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.e du/files/Final_DP_2009_06_08092009.pdf#2  )Pakistan’s terrorist windfallBy BRAHMA CHELLANEY cgi-bin/eo20090425bc.html

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

[…] parts of the jigsaw are yet to be fitted, as this round up of the US paper’s suggests.  The Pakistan government are no in position to be sitting back […]

Posted by Can the Taliban survive the “death” of Baitullah Mehsud? « BBC World Have Your Say | Report as abusive

[…] death is a major turn-off, check out the always dependable Reuters Pakistan blog for good links and cool-headed analysis. Feel free to use the comments section below to explain to me how exactly this guy, assassinated by […]

Posted by Monday Reading: Confusion Reigns in Afghanistan « The Stupidest Man on Earth | Report as abusive

Yes.This will be the toughest for both US and Pakistan.Pakistan has so many power centers that one does not know who they are and what their motives are.US faces the dilemma of not appearing to interfere in Pakistan( in fact it is the best kept open secret)and yet force Pakistan to go after the group.Daunting task indeed!

Posted by S.V.Ramanan | Report as abusive

Pakistan Army and ISI have scored major successes against Al-Qaeda and Taliban millitants. If Baitullah Mehsud really died in a CIA drone strike, its is quite likely the intteligence was provided by ISI. ISI has apprehended many high value individuals related to Al-Qaeda and brough them to justice. The democratic government in Pakistan has completed more than one year, President Zardari will complete one year in office in September, the economic performance of this government is not impressive but not too bad either. The spate of suicide bombings in urban cities in Pakistan has subsided, confidence has returned, the Army has regained control of Swat and Malakand, security has improved. An average Pakistani is much more confident now, the IDPs/refugees are returning back to their areas. What appeared to be a certain crisis at the end of April when a full scale operation was laucnhed in Swat is now over and with the perseverence of Pakistani state it is proved Pakistan can take on every challenge.After Baitullah’s death, the focus now must be on Baluchistan. Haqqani and Maulvi Nazeer can wait, while any RAW supported terrorists in Baluchistan must be the top priority. Pakistan’s national security interests and priorities are different. the millitants posing direct threat to Pakistan should be dealt on a priority basis. India must demonstarte its committment to resolve disputes like Kashmir first, US must give a time-frame for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Than work with Pakistan on priority areas. While US has opted to work with Pakistan Army and ISI closley and maintains close contatcs at operational and strategic level. India has only managed smear campaigns to vilify Pakistan Army and ISI. No wonder for Pakistan Army and ISI, the biggest threat posed to Pakistan comes from India. That perception is not going to change any time soon unless India gives official response on Baluchistan dossier and stops terrorist activities in Baluchistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Myra,Next drone targets should be:1) Mullah Omar2) Al Qaeda Leadership3) Proxy Army Jihadi’s assets and their leadersAs a performance based measure, confirmation with dental records should be confirmed by international monitors, before any monitary assistance is given to the gov’t of Pakistan.The U.S. should feel very free to go after Pakistani state agencies, which it deems “Rogue” or operate in the shadows within the government and those who are undermining the Afghanistan mission.Once all terrorism is rid from Pakistani soil. The world needs to come up with a plan to denuclearize and demilitarize Pakistan permanently, with security guarantees from India, of course.It is a nuclear and militarized Pakistan, which created most of the terrorism in this world and let to the death of so many innocents.Denuclearizing and demilitarizing Pakistan is like taking the venom out of the snake’s fangs, rendering it mostly harmless. Terrorism will have no home in Pakistan, if the nukes are removed. It is the nuclear EGO that Pakistan has, that fuels the state agencies to use terrorism as foreign policy instruments.As I said, Pakistan may keep its statehood intact, so long as Pakistan denuclearizes and draws down its military and India would never attack Pakistan unprovoked. India’s nukes are a deterrent against China, not Pakistan.Unless Pakistan is denuclearized, it will continue to fuel terrorism, Guaranteed, 1000%, it will NOT stop, therefore the U.S. will be betrayed by the U.S.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Typo:t will NOT stop, therefore the U.S. will be betrayed by Pakistan

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

USA brought the Arab Terrorists (who they call Al-Qaida) 200 leaders of the so-called mujaheddin for fighting Russians. Pakistan bore the brunt of 3.5 million Afghan refugees while USA slipped away for more than a decade from Afghanistan since the 1990’s and is now is teaching Pakistan that it has trained the Terrorists.After more than 12 years in 2001 USA learns that the terrorists have been trained by Pakistan and then reenters the region. Such innocence?You gave them all kinds of weapons and training and left them to destroy the two countries so why are you blaming Pakistan Army? USA is the imperialist leader that was also using Pakistan for its own interests!!!Now you are asking for same imperialist techniques of blackmailing Pakistan that they should do the fighting for uSA in Waziristan. What Haughtiness!!!

Posted by Ratee | Report as abusive

Mr raj whose comments appear on behalf of India says that Pakistan Army is not interested in fighting Taliban. Its lost 2000 soldiers so far maybe you feel life is not precious for them.For you information if India’s enmity to Pakistan has been proven by its interference in Baluchistan most recently through Afghanistan. Its hand in separation of Bangladesh is undoubted. So Pakistan was deceived by Nehru in 1951 in not fulfilling the promise of a plebiscite in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. So why not have the plebiscite if India is so democratic. India knows it will lose Kashmir if such a vote takes place. The democracy in India is farce. So Pakistan has the right to demand the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan. If Pakistan does not help the separation of Kashmir then its foolhardiness on the part of its leadership.

Posted by ratee | Report as abusive

Myra,I am a regular almost daily reader of your columns. I teach International Relations and am interested in observing the exchange that takes place among your readers.I find that views of both Indians and Pakistanis reflect “mirror image” problems (not unlike the US-Soviet rivalry during the cold war). By and large, the Indians seemed to suffer from inability to view the situation in South Asia beyond Pakistan’s misdeeds and suspect intentions. There are also Pakistanis who fear India’s economic and military prowess and see Indian actions as threatening to Pakistan’s survival.However, there are Pakistanis who do see the “dead end” nature of this long standing India-Pakistan rivalry and seek to offer alternative perspectives on their domestic situation and international relationships. I see their opinions expressed regularly in the Dawn, The Daily Times and The News.However, it is very hard to find any independent, scholarly alternative perspective among the Indian commentators which does not reflect the official/nationalist viewpoint on India-Pak relations or India’s foreign policy goals. In other words, most writers’ worldview are defined if not limited by their obsession with Pakistan’s mal intentions.If India would like to gain recognition as an important regional or a global player, it would have to show leadership, and this requires ability to get along with its neighbors in the region. Its vast potential and promise will not be realized because large sums of revenues would have to be spent on military expenditures over conflicts which could or should be solved by negotiations.Without fresh thinking and news ideas, the South Asian region will continue to be festered with conflicts and challenges. Sorry to be pessimistic at the juncture of the celebration of 62nd anniversary of independence of the two nations, but I keep hoping that the future generations in the region will have opportunity to lead a better life (based on security, neighborly peace, economic development and continuing improvement and well being of all the citizens.

Posted by Daily reader | Report as abusive

Daily reader,Thank you! Can’t agree more!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Mr Daily reader,Thank you for your thoughts.I do admit certain rigidity on the part of Indians, but there are ample reasons for it. As you note that we suffer from a inability to look at problem from new perspective, I will respond that you are views are somewhat myopic.Forgive me for saying this but the assumptions drawn in a classroom in some peaceful college hardly have any reality in them.When you talk of engaging in dialouge you forget that pakistan is an unusal country and its not the same as negotiating with north korea or libya. We have negotiated multiple times with pakistan, Shimla agreement & Agra summit just to name a few but each time there were no results or counterproductive results.The reasons are simple, there are multiple power center in pakistana)Politicans: They have been trying to make the political structure the most powerful organisation for 62+ years. The recent events indicate they are gravitating towards US in order to land a crippling blow to Army/ISI influence and grip on power.b)Army: I have lost counts of the coups and political decisions which have been reversed by army in pakistan. In the words of Benazir Bhutto “its a state within a state”.c)Radical islamic parties: People will be quick to point out that they never get overwhelming majority in elections, however they are powerful enough to compel china to have a separate agreement with them(another state within a state?).In this perpetual powerplay any agreement with one of the power centers is bulldozed by the others. While Zardari and maybe Nawaz shariff are trying to weaken the Army/ISI by taking an anti Taliban/Terror stand, Gilani and Kayani are keen on maintaining “strategic depth” and waiting for NATO to move out of the region.We can keep throwing fresh Gandhian ideas at the problem and the ambivalent pakistani power centers will keep throwing jihadis towards us.The solution in my opinion to make one of the power centers in pakistan to be the supreme authority who can clearly negotiate and more importantly delivere its promise. (Take you pick a)politican, b)army dictator & c)Radical mullah)As far as the future is concerned, maybe we can take some solace in the fact that the biggest nation in the sub continent despite having multiple ethnic, religions divarsities is progressing in the right direction and this will sooner or later result in other countries in following the suit.I look forward to your future comments

Posted by indian1127 | Report as abusive

I am totally agreed with Umair. “After Baitullah’s death, the focus now must be on Baluchistan. Haqqani and Maulvi Nazeer can wait, while any RAW supported terrorists in Baluchistan must be the top priority. Pakistan’s national security interests and priorities are different. the millitants posing direct threat to Pakistan should be dealt on a priority basis.”

Posted by Nauman | Report as abusive

I would like to respond to Daily Reader without questioning who he is, on behalf of what country he is speaking etc.He/she writes Indians views are defined by “obsession” with pakistan’s malintentions. (again I’m afraid this sentence gives away which country he represents).Malintentions? How about malactions? India only has responded to pakistan’s war mongering, territorial revisionism , and jihadi terror war on unarmed civilians.There are multiple views from pakistan because the official version is full of lies, and some in the pak media speak the truth and contradict the lies. There are no such problems in India and the opinions seem to be somewhat monolithic.I’m curious if you would post your name reflecting your religion and country. For example every one knows Raj is Hindu name. Why don’t you post your name Mohammed or Nazia?! Is this a new attempt at propaganidizing the supposed, non-existent innocence of pakistan?About India’s “lack of leadership” we all know what this code word means. India should yield more territory and should identify itself as an equal to a much smaller failed terrorist state.

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

A civilian who abets a criminal is prosecuted with criminal charges. How come a country abetting world wide terrorism remains unpunished? Looks like Pakistani establishment is too cozy in their Islamabad and Rawalpindi safe-haven to understand the changed ground realities. There is no GOOD TALIBAN or BAD TALIBAN… there is only Taliban and Al-Qaeda

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

@Daily Reader,While you eloquently point out faults of Indians and India, which is democratic, inclusive, secular and plural, you fail to recognize and mention known history, that Pakistan has for years was a state sponsor of IT (International Terrorism), proliferated nuclear technology for personal profit, lacks rule of law, Pakistan is owned by its Punjabi Military Junta, has started 3 wars against India, committed a genocide of 3 million against Bengal, in which 2.5 million hindus and 500,000 muslims were genocided and still no Pakistani here admits to that genocide and most Pakistani’s do not acknowledge that systematic murder of Bengali’s was a holocaust.How can we trust Pakistan and take it seriously, when everytime there is a peace overture, there is a terrorist attack on India? Ie Kargil and Mumbai.Does Pakistan even deserve statehood? What did Pakistan do for the world to deserve anything?Is the fact that India is progressing and developing at light speed on its own merits, with hard work and perseverance, does not justify Pakistan to feel threatened at “Indian Intentions” to bring terrorism upon India, what kind of ludicrous thinking is that to justify terrorism on India? Why do Pakistani’s feel threatend by bonafied progress by hard-working Indians? We did not steal anything from anybody, we worked for it, with honest living and hard work, sorry if that threatens you Mr. Daily Reader.In 62 years, Pakistan’s pride and joy is it’s nuclear program, stolen from the West by a below average marginal student named A.Q. Khan, again, a thief, considered a hero to many. Technically speaking, Pakistan’s nuclear program should be considered “Haraam” and therefore illegal, even by Islamic standards.Pakistan may keep its statehood intact, without the world and Indians jeering at it constantly, if they deal properly in the following order with the following ills:1) (A)tomic – Denuclearize, no exceptions, this nuclear EGO is the root cause that enables Pakistani terrorism without the fear of reprisals. As long as Pakistan is nuclear, it will continue to fuel terrorism against India and the World. Nuclear armed Pakistan state agencies are enablers of Islamic Terrorism. Why should Pakistan be allowed to keep nukes? so it can keep doing terrorism on India and not have to suffer consequences?2) (A)rmy – Reform entire military structure to remove entire power from Punjab and share with other provinces of Pakistan, from top to down, and reign in all so-called “Rogue” elements, which foment and fuel terrorism against anybody. The Army is in the hands of the ethnic punjabi’s who have made the Army into an economically parasitic industry, which survives by mining the blood of the average Baloch, Pashtun, Sindhi and therefore takes much more than it gives back and operates in this manner, to keep Pakistan intact by force, murder, intimidation.3) (A)llah – Destroy all Radical Anti-Western Madrassas, which preach hatred, death and destruction to non-muslims. Arrest all proxy army leaders and disband and destroy entire proxy terrorist camps. All Pakistani state literature, from the schools and armies must be rid of racist, hate-filled literature against America, the Jews, and India. God and politics MUST be separate and cannot exist in the same place.4) (A)merica – America needs to dictate much stronger terms to Pakistan to stop terrorism in all its forms. The U.S. should increase its Drone program to infiltrate deeper into Pakistan to destroy Madrassas and proxy army training camps.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Daily Reader,I think it’s quite safe to say that you are a Pakistani (hence the rant about all Indians having a myopic view etc). Anyways, if you do happen to read Pakistani newspapers like Dawn, you’ll actually see many many Indians promoting out of the box solutions & peace with Pakistan. I also happen to check Pakistani blogs like Dawn’s often & in fact there are more Indians on them than Pakistanis. Of course there are hawks & doves on both sides & there are plenty of belligerent Pakistanis that I’ve come across (many on this blog itself), so please don’t use sweeping generalizations. And if you are trying to act neutral, please leave your Pakistani bias at the door.

Posted by brewer | Report as abusive

Umair says:”India has only managed smear campaigns to vilify Pakistan Army and ISI. No wonder for Pakistan Army and ISI, the biggest threat posed to Pakistan comes from India. That perception is not going to change any time soon unless India gives official response on Baluchistan dossier and stops terrorist activities in Baluchistan.”–>Please correct that statement, the ENTIRE world, every nation believes that ISI and Pak Army actively promoted terrorism against the world and India.The biggest threat to Pakistan is not India, that is admitted by Mr. Zardari himself and even some Ret. Pak Army Generals. The biggest threat to Pakistan is within, that being the takeover by Islamic militants.India has no official dossiers from State of Pakistan on Balochistan. It was not too long ago that Balochi leaders were murdered by Pak. Army, was it not? See link: odules/news/article.php?storyid=62It appears at least one province in Pakistan being kept in Pakistan through murder and intimidation by state agencies.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

indian1127You are constatnly trying to find fault with the governance system in Pakistan, however it is worth notable that Indian governments are also always shaky coalitions. the congress and BJP two main parties have totally different positions on national matters, Pakistan and Kashmir, foreign policy. While the BJP is always hawkish, the Congress is accused of being soft on terror and with Pakistan. Again, there are hindu fundamentalists and extremists in India too, the people like Col. Purohit of Indian Army who were involved in Samjhota express train bombing and killing of Pakistani citizens. No Indian government is strong enough to make its decisions and solve disputes with Pakistan.As far as Indian democracy and development is concerned, it is still a distant wish. India has a long way to go before it proves itself as a corruption free, human rights abiding nation. With the Kashmir dispute simmering and human rights violations in Kashmir and with rampant corruption, communal violence in India proper, India has a lot to prove. Stop finding faults with Pakistan and projecting India as a utopian wonderland.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

In response to “Daily Reader”:I found your post thoughtful, but lacked it an understanding of geo-politics in South Asia. During the 90’s, when the BJP (so called Center-right political party — or hawks according to Dawn) assumed power in New Delhi, what did the then Indian Prime Minister do? He went to Lahore and talked with Nawaz Sharif. What was the Pakistani response? Kargil war.When Mumbai was attacked by so-called Pakistani non-state actors (Pakistani establishment sponsored terrorist organizations) on 26/11… did India go bombing Karachi or Islamabad? What did the US president do after 9/11? Go to war. A lecture room view on South-Asia is different when one has lost friends and family to Pakistani terrorists. I tend to be center-wing in my opinion, but when it comes to Pakistan, I would place myself right of right wing. There are simply too many misdeeds done by that country that have been unpunished.Hopes of a new generation seeing better times are always good. I do not see that happening in Pakistan where a big part of the generation has grown on Jihadi material. Only time will tell how many more Pakistani’s will attack another New York, London, Madrid or Mumbai. The terrorists will be Pakistani though.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

@Indian1127If Indians stick to their rigidity in their views,be they right or wrong, then so will their neighbors. Its takes two to tango.Returning to topic, Mehsud’s elimination is a very welcome development as he had the unique ability to unify factions. Without Mehsud, Pakistani militant groups will return to their old pattern of local commanders, local mischief and local agenda, which makes them easier to handle.It must also be said that even during Mehsud’s time, he never came to any serious aid of his junior factions, for example when military ops were going on in Bajaur, Swat and Khyber, Mehsud did not try to save them.

Posted by Bangash | Report as abusive

@@ By and large, the Indians seemed to suffer from inability to view the situation in South Asia beyond Pakistan’s misdeeds and suspect intentions.”posted by daily readerdaily reader: It will be helpful if you give your viewpoint on South Asia, considering everything.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I think there’s a serious split coming in Pakistan-America relations. Nicholas Schmidle’s article alluded to it. The Pakistanis are quickly running out of excuses for not really cracking down on the Afghan insurgents operating from their country. And the Obama administration is running out of patience.The mid-term elections are a little over a year away and the Obama administration has to have something to show for it. I expect pressure on Pakistan to ramp up.Beyond that, there’s already talk among analysts of what would happen if Pakistan prevents any real success from taking root in Afghanistan. The consensus is generally that the US will stick it out with some kind of rump force to keep whacking AQ and the Taliban occassionally. But Pakistan will bear the consequences for its intransigence. The Americans would simply declare Pakistan a non-ally and slap it with sanctions once they pull out. The aid money would stop as well and the vetos would be slapped on at international organizations (IMF, World Bank). In short, the Pakistanis would pay a heavy economic price for working against the West in Afghanistan…and it really is questionable if Pakistan could come out unscathed from that kind of economic turmoil as one cohesive country.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

The best way to ensure India has a safe future on the west is to split Pakistan into Paktunistan, Baluchistan, Punjab and Sindh. The earlier things move in that direction, the better. Pakistan has been held together by people of different ideology by a single factor – Islam. That’s not a good way to bind any country. The better it’s split apart, the better for the world!China is the most important external threat for India. The major population is unaware of this challenge. They still seem to have a fixation on Pakistan and the best way to expose this is for the media to continue extrapolating this for the benefit of the country. I personally am perplexed by the attitude of the politicians, saying we don’t have a problem with China. The military has consistently been telling that for the past decade and the bhabus have made it their trait to not bring it out in public. I cannot forget the major mistakes like not creating a buffer in Tibet when China attacked and took over the nation and not being prepared when China attacked us.Our main enemy is within (in the order of priority) -Corruption of the government and legal system,Too many people dependent on agriculture,Cast related,Religion related,General awareness of what India stands for.I recently read an article about how the government responded to Sorbajee’s petition (PIL) that Maharashtra police was ill-equipped to meet the challenges posed by terrorist outfits. It’s baffling when the Ministry of Home affairs responds by saying “Maharashtra was allocated Rs 725.62 crore between 2000 to 2009 for upgrading infrastructure, purchase of modern weaponry and intelligence gathering equipment”. It’s as if their job was done by sending some money to the police. I have seen umpteen number of requests by Police form all states telling (in the media) we are still illequiped. The problem is not with the police – its will the administration that handles the police. That’s what corruption is all about – the administration. The politicians come and go – the people do the right thing there. But want about the administrators? How can we change the administrators? Where are the bills to ensure the administrators can be bought to task for their incompetency?We as a country have to be able to see a human being in the needy of the society, rather than flaunt our wealth in front of them. Most of the needy people depend on agriculture for their survival. We need to urgently find a solution to this difficulty. The government should limit spending on urban development and focus on rural development – education, roads, water, electricity all with a job focus. Tax the rich in India to put money the above. More so, if corruption is reduced, we will get there faster.Cast and Religion has it’s influence since long and it’s not going to disappear on a wish. I certainly don’t wish is away, but I would certainly like to wish away the corrupt among the leadership of each society. Religion is not democracy, but it can be made closer to it, provided we have the above priorities sorted out.Finally, what is India – a national anthem, a flag, a country, a religion, a set of people, a land mass. It could mean a lot for the world around us, but it’s more important we form our own opinion about India along with our interpretation of ourselves, our rights, our life, our family, our religions and many more. This has to be in line with what’s best for the country.We need a leadership who realizes the above problems and can:1) Speak it out to the public about it’s implications without creating divisions,2) Speak out a possible list of solutions to enable us to go forward3) Take the collective help of the people to implement it.Any which way, we have to implement it. It’s better we implement it now than later in the day when it will be too late.Please help ourselves be a better nation.

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive

@No Indian government is strong enough to make its decisions and solve disputes with Pakistan.-posted by Umair-It takes 2 to TANGO. who has been ruling Pakistan–no one knows—while Pakistan is expert in doing TANGO with all stripes of terrorists on the floor, it is amusing that Pakistan does nort know how to deal with nations. who rules Pakistan is the first question..Indian politicians untill recently had no clue. so what solutions are you talking. Think cooly before shooting knee jerk return comment.There is NO dossier given by Pakistan..just a baseless allegation thus far and that includes balochistan issue and Lahore attack. Give factual statements…even commenters have some responsibility.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Umair wrote:No Indian government is strong enough to make its decisions and solve disputes with Pakistan.-Why should any Indian govt talk with a Pak govt that supports terrorist groups and the Taliban to use as proxy wars against India?there are hindu fundamentalists and extremists in India too, the people like Col. Purohit of Indian Army who were involved in Samjhota express train bombing and killing of Pakistani citizens.-Again with the train bombing. What about the way you try your terrorists? A court hands down a sentence only for the Supreme Court to overturn it and everyone stuffs their faces with sweets in celebration. Should I even bother to mention the treatment of Mukhtar Mai (gang raped in a matter of honor) or Taslim Solangi, who was thrown to a pack of dogs and shot in the head infront of her father over a land dispute. Yes, Pakistan has a wonderful, smooth functioning judical system.As far as Indian democracy and development is concerned, it is still a distant wish.-M. Singh was voted in for a second term. What about your Pakistani democracy? Pakistan seems to have spent most of its 62 years under military dictators. As for development; India has moved on. In 1991, M. Singh removed the Licence Raj and made it easier for foreign companies to invest in India. We have call centres that seem to be the butt of peoples jokes, but at least its providing a service to the world. We have TaTa that have developed the world’s cheapest car. We have even the IPL that was formed by the millionaires of India who made their money from the economic reforms. Plus, the nuclear submarine.As for Pakistan development:Pakistan economic growth weak: IMF.Pakistan receives further $1.2bn from IMF.July trade deficit narrows 31%.Pakistan textile industry buckels under crisis.Banks reluctant to increase textile lending.Pakistan nuclear sites attacked thrice, claims reports.(all are recent DAWN article titles)You want to show the world that you are ‘defeating the Taliban’. However, you wish to retain the Taliban that you created and nurtured to use against India. Pakistan’s faults are greater than any other country. Otherwise it would not be so prominent on the international news radar.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Bangash Wrote”Mehsud’s elimination is a very welcome development as he had the unique ability to unify factions. Without Mehsud, Pakistani militant groups will return to their old pattern of local commanders, local mischief and local agenda, which makes them easier to handle.”This statement reflects the mindset of an average Pakistani. Instead of eliminating rest of the the militant groups, pakistanis are talking about “OLD PATTERN” and how easier is to “HANDLE” now, Handling them in old pattern is making them attack India and Afghanistan in the name of Jihad. I don’t see any difference between a seasoned terrorist and an average pakistani if he thinks on similar lines.

Posted by singh | Report as abusive

Daily reader,Very good observation. Can’t agree more. Majority of the posts are the repetition of same old story.

Posted by babag55 | Report as abusive

@JacobPlease take discussions of India to some Indian blog.US-Pakistan partnership is beginning to get back on track with elimination of Mehsud using Pakistani intel and US drones.

Posted by Bangash | Report as abusive

“I think there’s a serious split coming in Pakistan-America relations. Nicholas Schmidle’s article alluded to it…..” – Posted by KeithThere’s a common saying in Pakistan since the 60’s: Pakistan exists because of three A’s – America, Allah & Army. Subservience to America runs deep in the psyche of every Pakistani leader & Pakistanis in general. I don’t think that the Pakistanis have the stomach to stand up to America & disobey their master. Yeah, they’ll always make some noise to extract that extra buck from their but eventually, they’ll come around to doing what America wants them to do (Case in point being the recent action taken against Taliban by the Pak army). Hence, I very much doubt that it’ll come down to any serious rift between the US & Pakistan because with it’s ‘stick & carrot’ approach, the US will get pretty much what it wants from Pakistan. Common Pakistanis can challenge America with nonsensical diatribes & do all the anti-American rah rah they want (on internet blogs) but the truth is that their establishment is pretty much owned by the US.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

An excerpt from an article in Dawn by Mahir Ali:”Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the Baitullah affair, however, is the insinuation that the Taliban have been receiving assistance from India.This allegation was deployed to sow disaffection against Baitullah among his followers by appealing to their instinctive hostility towards Pakistan’s eastern neighbour. But there are indications that it may not have been merely a cynical piece of disinformation: there is at least a chance that those who concocted this canard have persuaded themselves to take it seriously. It surfaced, for instance, in a briefing given by the suddenly PR-savvy Inter-Services Intelligence directorate to The Guardian’s correspondent Declan Walsh, who was also told that ‘Indian officials had orchestrated last November’s Mumbai attacks [in order to] cover up an investigation into Hindu extremism’.The absurdity of such claims – particularly when they are made by an organisation that must know better – may seem mind-boggling, but the mindset behind them ought to be familiar to all Pakistanis. They are, after all, the product of a nationhood that has for more than six decades defined itself negatively. Pakistan, from the outset, was the un-India. In the eyes of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a Muslim-majority state did not necessarily entail a departure from essentially secular ideals, but the Objectives Resolution, passed just months after his demise in September 1948, effectively put paid to his vision” ct/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspap er/columnists/separated-at-birth-289

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

US-Pakistan partnership is beginning to get back on track with elimination of Mehsud using Pakistani intel and US drones.- Posted by BangashHow funny, if Baitulla Mehsud was CIA Agent as stated by Fellow Pakistanis commentators here, why will Pakistani Intel tell his hideout location to CIA, and why will CIA drone him.Other side of the story is, if he was enemy of Pakistan and Pakistan knows where he was hiding, why don’t Pakistani Army bombed that place themselves and take full credit. Instead you are trying to snatch credit from CIA, and top of that with a Drone attach which you are opposing already.Do you have some answers ??Umair, Bangash, Bagbag, mohammad Anjum, any Pakistani.

Posted by singh | Report as abusive

Fierce clashes broke out between supporters of Baitullah Mehsud and rival Turkistan Bhittani in the Frontier Region of Jandola on Wednesday and each side claimed inflicting heavy casualties on the other.(DAWN, 13/08/2009)I think we can forget about the political implications after Mehsud’s so-called death when factions of the Taliban are fighting with each other.One small thought has dawned upon me. The USSR forces left Afghanistan in 1989. So, the Mujahideen guys would have been on average aged 15 – 30 years. So, in 2001 they would have been 27 – 42, still with enough fight in them. It is now 2009, so they are now 35 – 50 years old. After the Soviets left Afghanistan, the Americans knew that their work was done. However, the Mujahideen could not seem to get themselves organised to rebuild their own country. They were all united to remove the USSR, but could not come together to fix things. The USA did not want to interfere otherwise IT would have been seen as an ‘imperialist capitalist’ interferring with a Muslim nation of holy warriors. If the Mujahideen had collected themselves together and appointed a leader and council and approached the USA to help rebuild Afghanistan, then the USA would have happily obliged. This only begs one question: Why did Saudi Arabia not step in with their oil money to rebuild Afghanistan?The USA got occupied with another situation in the Middle East: Kuwait. When Saddam decided to attack Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia; Osama Bin Laden offered to defend Saudi Arabia. Only Holy Warriors should defend the Holy Land. The Saudis thanked him, but no thank you. They turned to George Bush. OBL got angry that his offer was rejected, but more so that Americans will have bases on Holy Muslim Arab Soil. It was he who then formed Al Qaeda and not the Americans.Taliban originated, the early 1990s, from Pakistan and were given all the blessing of the state to conduct their recruitment from Zia ul Haq’s maddrassa education system in order to bring about their draconian, medieval laws in Afghanistan. Only 3 countries in the whole world legitimately recognised the Taliban as ruling government of Afghanistan: Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. It was this Taliban that hosted OBL and his Al Qaeda as honored guests in Afghanistan.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

@SinghPakistanis have a diversity of views and while a few fools called Mehsud a US agent, many correctly called Mehsud an Indian agent. Baitullah is the second major Indian agent in Pakistan to be eliminated following Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006.

Posted by Bangash | Report as abusive