India, Pakistan and Afghanistan: the impossible triangle

September 25, 2009

A single paragraph in General Stanley McChrystal’s leaked assessment of the war in Afghanistan has generated much interest, particularly in Pakistan.

“Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan, including significant development efforts and financial investment,” it says. “In addition the current Afghan government is perceived by Islamabad to be pro-Indian. While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani counter-measures in Afghanistan or India.”

He did not say anything that anybody did not already know. Pakistan has long been wary of India’s growing influence in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and is seen as reluctant to turn against the Afghan Taliban and other insurgent groups as long as it believes it might need them to counter India. The fact that he said it all suggested a renewed focus on the relationship between India and Pakistan, whose confrontation to the east spilled long ago into rivalry over Afghanistan to the west.

Pakistan’s Daily Times said in an editorial the rivalry between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan highlighted the need for peace talks between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, which have fought three full-scale wars since independence in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

“One must be clear in one’s mind that in many ways the mess in Afghanistan is actually a spillover of the Indo-Pak conflict in the region of South Asia,” it said. “Pakistan’s policy of “strategic depth”, which reached a climax with the hijacking of an Indian airliner to Kandahar in 1999, was in reaction to the unresolved dispute over Kashmir which created the “threat of India” that Pakistan felt “from the east”. Even today, as Pakistan struggles against the Taliban, 80 percent of its army is stationed on the Indian border.

Dawn newspaper said McChrystal’s words on India were ”perhaps as significant as any other in the report”.  The Americans appeared to have finally understood, it said, that the war in Afghanistan could not be won without help from Pakistan. “But that means gaining Pakistan’s full cooperation, which in turn means alleviating the national security establishment’s concerns vis-à-vis India.”

However, as discussed in this analysis, India is in little mood to move rapidly towards peace talks with Pakistan until it takes greater action against militants it blames for last year’s attack on Mumbai, although the two countries have been taking incremental steps towards repairing relations. Many argue that the powerful Pakistan Army would be unlikely to turn against militant groups it once cultivated to fight India in Kashmir, without a comprehensive peace settlement with India. (For an understanding of how complicated all this is, read this book reviewby Pakistani strategic analyst Ayesha Siddiqa.)

So, to win the war in Afghanistan, the United States needs help from Pakistan, which Pakistan in turn is reluctant to provide so long as it believes it is threatened by India to both the west and east.  From Washington’s point of view, it needs to nudge Islamabad and New Delhi towards the negotiating table, by leaning on Pakistan to act against militant groups and putting pressure on India to resume peace talks. 

Here is another catch. Although the relationship between the United States and India blossomed under former President George W. Bush, there is far less warmth in New Delhi towards the Obama administration. The relationship started on the wrong foot with India concerned about increasing U.S. economic dependence on its rival China.

Now India and the United States are at loggerheads over President Barack Obama’s nuclear non-proliferation drive.  India has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That row, in turn, complicates efforts by Washington to persuade India to talk to Pakistan.

(Reuters file photos: Obama with Karzai and Biden; a British soldier in Afghanistan; hijacked Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar)

139 comments

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India is casting a bigger shadow and accordingly needs to be respected. Now, with a greater role India does have a responsibility to negociate reasonably with Pakistan and show sensitivty to regional issues. More on India’s moves on the international stage is at asiachroniclenews.com

Posted by Cameron | Report as abusive

Pashtoon dominance based on the relative numbers in Afghan society was the bedrock of the Afghan state since its foundation. A Tajik dominated government installed by the US is a sure recipe for failure. Karzai as the Pashtoon face of this Tajik government will never find acceptance to this ethnic group, and in turn India’s opportunate investment will ultimately go to waste. Pakistan’s General Talat Masood one of the better defence analysts has analyzed it well when he says the US in not going to be here forever, but Pakistan is going to be here forever.
When the time is ripe Pakistan will find the right balance to engage and moderate the groups neccessary to bring this war to an end, but this will also see the eviction of Indian influence as a prerequisite to the return of a Pashtoon dominated governement to its rightful place in Afghan society.

Posted by abbas | Report as abusive

whereas India is pumping in a miniscule developmental aid into Afghanistan, a poor country, the way it does to Nepal, Myanmaar, Bhutan and Palestine, USA on the other hand is pumping billions into a rogue nation that spends precious aid money to buy expensive weapons.

Time US senators realized their historic flaw. Not to mention how the weapons are sold in black market- Iran presumably is buying american equipment via Pakistan. The Paks are capable of these shady deals, one needs no reminders about such behaviour. It was US that faced the worst terror strike to date, lessons are to be learned and use them to keep bad countries militarily weak, for, one never knows when there will be a 180degree turn that transforms a friend into a foe.

So McChrystal will decide the foreign policies of India and Afghanistan?

That’s his strategy to fight talibans?

Posted by Ronny | Report as abusive

@Abbas,

You Pakistani’s don’t own Afghanistan. Perhaps your people should learn to treat Afghani’s not as rodents or cockroaches, rather than equal human beings. Pakistan society is extremely supremacist and racist towards Afghans. Is it any wonder why Pakistan will not let any positive development happen there.

Where India is giving civilian aid to Afghanistan, Pakistan sees that as a military threat. Pakistan has a vested interest to see Afghanistan remain as a backwards, tribal, warlike stomping ground, from where their Army can indulge in the Opium trade and recruit jihadi militants to attack at India. The will continue to do this, even if Kashmir issue is settled in the future, that is a certainty.

Pakistan has no intention of ever allowing Afghanistan to be a functional democratic society with strong institutions.

A fragile weak and backwards Talibanized Afghanistan is lucrative for Pak Army and other Pak parasites who need it for their own ends and means.

Pakistan never wants Afghanistan to become a functioning, educated society with a democratic voice.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

With regards to Af-Pak, it is time that the U.S. quits dancing around the bush with Pakistan and speaks bluntly and with force and accept no Pakistani conditions on on the war on terror and militants. The U.S. should demand utmost full co-operation and draw down of Pak Army on the Eastern flank with India, to use those soldiers to wipeout militant training camps and the Taliban.

There is no reason for the U.S. to remain in a blackmailed and fooled state by Pakistan. The U.S. has a hallmark opportunity to wipe militant-ism from Pakistan and Afghanistan for a very long time.

Pak state sponsored militant-ism will always be there, regardless of Kashmir.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Azad
You can get a good paid job for Indian lobbyists in Washington.

Having said, Pakistan’s role will only increase in near future with US failure imminent in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be called in for damage control and rescue.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Zazi-Pakistan link: Are terror training camps alive and well?

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0925/p06s0 7-wosc.html

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Pakistani General dined with Hafiz Saeed
http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-mat rix/archives/2009/09/pakistani_general_d ined_with_h.php

This is how Pakistan army/ISI are fighting with talibans?

Did US aid pay for the dinner?

Posted by Ronny | Report as abusive

Pakistan wants India/NATO/US out of Afghanistan and ISI in ..

Talibans want Italy/UK/Germany/US/NATO out and Talibans in ..

What’s the difference? Looks like both Pakistan and Taliban are one and same .. just different clothing depending on occasion ..

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Ronny,

You said:

“Pakistani General dined with Hafiz Saeed
http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-mat rix/archives/2009/09/pakistani_general_d ined_with_h.php

This is how Pakistan army/ISI are fighting with talibans?

Did US aid pay for the dinner?
- Posted by Ronny ”

–> I am sure that RAW, CIA and MOSSAID nexus forced the Pak Army by gunpoint to dine with their friend Hafiz Saeed.

@Pak Blogger:

“Having said, Pakistan’s role will only increase in near future with US failure imminent in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be called in for damage control and rescue.”

–>It is true, that Pakistan is eager to see the U.S. fail in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that Zardari calls U.S. a friend. With friends like Pakistan, who needs an enemy.

Pakistan should keep its paws off Afghanistan and just get out of the way or get rolled over if it chooses to stop progress.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Ronny,

Glad you posted that link with the video. But what is going on here?

I’ve eaten at 10 Corps (lunch), but not because the Pakistan Army thinks of me as one of its own.

That TV report makes it all sound so simple, when we all know it is not. This is not to make a comment on Hafiz Saeed. But at the same time, watching that video, do people actually believe that’s the way it is?

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Myra:
Why things look so complex to you? A branded terrorist (accused of killing 170 people and more) is sought by UN, US, India, Interpol. But Pakistan army general dines with him and Pakistani politicians listen to his hateful lectures. If I were a Pakistani, I’d abandon that city or country wherever Hafiz Saeed lives!

And you don’t have any clue what’s going on? What more proof need more proof? Pictures and videos don’t lie!

Taliban Widen Afghan Attacks From Base in Pakistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/world/ asia/24military.html?_r=3&hp

US accuses ISI of supporting Taliban ‘shadow govt.’
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=107 084&sectionid=351020401

Posted by Ronny | Report as abusive

..US failure imminent in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be called in for damage control and rescue.
- Posted by Umair

You make me laugh again!

Pakistan was in total and sole control of Afghanistan for nearly 20 years (1990-2001). There was no India or US or NATO in Afghanistan during that period. Can you name a single thing that Pakistan/ISI has built or created for Afghans (other than Taliban) in that period?

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

@Myra,

Please see the link below, as Zazi, Afghan national is arrested.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/25/terr or.probe.afghan/index.html

To all Pak blogger naysayyers, this IS the reason, why the Afghan Mission can, must and WILL succeed. U.S. lives are constantly at risk from this tribal region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

There is still the real threat of terrorism against U.S. Citizens in the Continental U.S. That is why they are there in Afghanistan. Any Pak bloggers telling the U.S. to leave Afghanistan are advocating or enabling terrorism against the U.S. citizens. It is time that Pakistan chooses to be on the right side of Af-Pak, in every meaning of the word.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

IF US/NATO can’t do the job, they should leave and Indian army will finish the job.

Indian Army did build 250 Kms road, Parliament, hospitals and schools under consistent attack from ISI/Talibans. Indian army will finish the job the 12-24 months. There is no point in blaming others for Obama’s indecision.

Obama is more interested if safeguarding the human rights of terrorists! Talibans has only got worse under Obama!

Obama’s Befuddling Afghan Policy
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424 052970204488304574426812788385256.html?m od=googlenews_wsj

U.S. scrambling to come up with new Afghanistan plan?
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/23/a fghanistan.strategy/

Afghanistan Analysis Paralysis
http://voices.kansascity.com/node/5998

Posted by SOman | Report as abusive

Terrorists are learning new skills in Pakistan (Video)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8 276007.stm

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

Everyone knows Pak’s ISI created the militants in the first place. What more reasons do one need to push pakistan for eradicating these militant parasites ?

Its foolish to compare pakistan (a small country) with India interms of economy, education, military or anything else. I strongly disagree that the Afghan issue is due to the so-called “Indo-Pak” conflict. Every other country has some or other issues with its neighbours. Only in India-Pak case, the issue is a lot bigger due to the presence of militants created by Pakistan.

Posted by professional | Report as abusive

Both pakistan and India need to realize this fact that Afghan people are no fan to any one of them nor a single afghan bears to a slightest ratio any involment in their affairs. The history had proved it to them they should not to rely on karzi or either talibans afghanistan belongs to Afghans and the world know it since long.Afghanistan and the pakistan side of tribal region problems only can be solved by the prople who belongs to this land not by any super power or india and pakistan.
The pakistan side of pashthoons (Afghans) on every occasion proved thier loyality to their land on either side of durand line pakistanis need to respect their support against India since and before its creation in 1947. what else pakistan need of the afghans.

It’s a well known fact (as acknowledged by the the author) that the Indian aid & influence in Afghanistan is for the betterment of the Afghan people & the overall development of Afghanistan whereas the Pakistani influence in Afghanistan is intended towards keeping the Afghan people backward & Afghanistan as a colony controlled by the generals in Pakistan. Pakistan controlled Afghanistan (through Taliban) till 2001 and it can be argued that 9/11 happened because of the Pakistani influence in Afghanistan. Knowing the above, why in the world should the US care about Pakistan’s feelings vis-a-vis India’s influence in Afghanistan? It’s about time that we stop caring about what the rogue & sleazy generals of Pakistan think. They need to be told to stop demanding & start cooperating or else let’s redeploy the troops form Iraq to Pakistan & clean up the mess ourselves, once & for all. If it is indeed our policy of not giving in to the demands of terrorists, let’s not give in to the demands of the terrorists in uniforms i.e. Pak Generals.

As a side note, over the years, I’ve come across a lot of Afghans here in NY as many of them are cofee & food cart vendors & cab drivers. I usually strike a conversation with them & within minutes, they all usually say the same thing “Pakistan has destroyed our country & we hope India can help us build it”.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Myra:
you missed the point!
Not everyone who eats lunch or dinner at Pakistan army is a terrorist! Some are for sure!

But everyone who eats lunch or dinner with Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist for sure! No doubts!

Ronny’s link just proves how deep are terrorists embedded in Pakistan army/ISI. Would you consider hanging out with this guy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafiz_Muham mad_Saeed

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

India is an extremely under developed country, which has millions of impoverished and uneducated people, it has the awfully deficient infrastructure for its own population; it needs a lot to do on its own turf then to afford a luxury of squandering its resources in a foreign land. It is obvious India wouldn’t be wasting its resources there, if they were not on its defense (offense) budget. It is a pure strategic move under pretence of developmental help and that’s how it is detrimental, not only to the regional peace but also to Afghanistan itself, since there will never be a peace in that country if it becomes a bed of regional cold war.

If it were to help-your-neighbor spirit, there is much solemn need for it within its own borders. Instead of building Delaram-Zaranj highway in Afghanistan; it would be building highways in its own country to provide corridors to landlocked states of subcontinent. The Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have requested India for years to establish such corridors for commerce and trade which had always been turned down by India. The Indian influence in Afghanistan has nothing to do with Afghan people or their development; it’s a pure ante-Pakistan move.

For Pakistan, it’s especially tormenting because its economy has suffered immensely over three decades of Afghan situation. It has borne a brunt of more than three to five million refugees crossing over its borders. Such an influx of population can be a fatal blow on a developing economy however, Pakistan has survived through it. The international support that Pakistan has received over the years is not even a fraction of what it has lost in monetary terms due to international interference in Afghanistan.

Above all the social cost of crowding in Pakistani cities and villages as a result of spread and resettlement of these refugees along with a continued war on the border that spills over, is impossible to quantify in monetary terms. Now suddenly India comes along and starts spending money to create political sympathies in Afghanistan is no-brainer.

In fact, this strategic move goes beyond ushering political sympathies in Afghanistan, it is more likely to inflict an under-the-belt blow to Pakistan’s security by sponsoring anti state activities inside Pakistan from behind. Pakistan’s western borders are transitional and almost impossible to monitor, this allow undeterred access to inland which otherwise not that easy for India from the east.

India has to realize that instead of resolving outstanding issues with Pakistan, expanding its conflict across the region it is opening a new era of cold war. It will have adverse effects not only to both countries involved but to the country being used. This will be detrimental to the regional peace.

Posted by AAfromUSA | Report as abusive

Myra,

I wonder if the US bothered to verify the legitimacy of Pakistan’s threat perception on the border with India.
Clearly, the US is impatient to get out of Afghanistan. India should restart the back-channel dialog with Pakistan on Kashmir. Pakistan is not going to stop supporting terrorism, its bread & butter, and Kashmir will not be resolved on Obama’s timetable. Knowing this, India has nothing to loose. In return for the bold gesture, Indians can charge a steep price from the hapless Americans; may be clean waiver at the NPT?

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Did you ever write something without India, Pakistan and Kashmir in it?

Seems like you are deliberately trying to blame India for all the AF-Pak mess and bailout Pakistan/ISI/Taliban in spite of the all the terrorism and killing?

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

But at the same time, watching that video, do people actually believe that’s the way it is?
– Myra

Would you have the same comments if I show you evidence of UBL having dinner with the ISI general?

Saeed is India’s UBL. Why this patronizing?

Posted by Pooja | Report as abusive

This McChrystal guy was asked to fight, not find excuses. is he gonna fight or run?

Seems like all want to run away! Pakistan army prefers to have dinner with Talibans and hide them after dinner. UK, Germany, Canada, Italy want to run away cuz Talian is not their problem. Obama wants to bribe Pakistan army generals and cut and run. McChrystal wants to blame India and run?

Is anybody serious about fighting Taliban?

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

Its American and European forces messing in Afghanistan.Its time for Asians to raise concern and kick them out of the region.Longer they’ll stay more damage they’ll cause for the subcontinent.These Americans are responsible for rise and spread of terrorism.They are rewarding terrorist countries(Pakistan) for harbouring terror and exporting throught world.9/11 was direct consequences of all evil American govt has done in the past.

Posted by Kumar | Report as abusive

The resolution of a problem is always impossible if a problem is crosslinked with a stake. The elimination of taliban or a temporary defeat cant make us win a war in Afghanistan unless pakistan takes on directly the responsibility of fighting taliban.So inturn Pakistan needs a bigger incentive for taking on taliban than just dollars or military assistance.the resolution of Kashmir can be a BAIT to that by America. SO THE SOLUTION TO THIS TRIANGLE IS THE RESOLUTION OF KASHMIR PROBLEM WHICXH INTURN WILL BRING PEACE TO SOUTH-ASIA TOO.

Unless the Kashmir issue is resolved neither America can defeat Taliban nor India can sleep in solace. The Americans will face the same fate as they faced in Vietnam unless they gain the real sympathy of Pakistan and moderate muslim world.In SouthAsia America has very less time to make a turnaround of loosing the war in Afghansitan.They have no other option left except helping Pakistan in resolving kashmir issue,that will boost the Pak-American understanding,help Pakistan to concentrate on Afghan border to check in and outflow of taliban and help the Pakistan to counter those who use Americans as synonym to antimuslim force.

Posted by ZIA | Report as abusive

India will give up Kashmir when Britain gives up the Falkland Islands or when the US gives up Hawaii ans Puerto Rico.

Posted by Moose | Report as abusive

Afghanistan should again become neutral territory as it was pre-1978 during the Cold War. It has close cultural ties with Pakistan and also with India to some extent and those can be maintained.

But this heavy rivalry between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan is very destructive to all parties concerned.

A lighter touch by all should be the order of the day.

Posted by Alethia | Report as abusive

Lets assume .. Pakistan gets Kashmir and Afghanistan and Indian Punjab .. and anything else on the wish list!

Is the problem solved? War over? What happens to the thousands of Talibans and AQ inPakistan? Will they convert to monks? Will US still give AID to ISI? Will ISI give up dinner buddies (Talibans)? Will ISI/army/generals learn to live in 1/100 th budget?

War is the only choice. ANy other discussion is only empowering the Taliban.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

“We all love you” but go to the World Bank for money!

FoDP dumps expected billions into WB basket
http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_deta il.asp?Id=24703

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

It is not India’s problem that Afghans love India! Can someone tell the Afghans to love Talibans and forget India!

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2 009/09/2009926101231313412.html

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive

In stead of investing in Talibans and AQ, why can’t the Pakistan army invest in roads, schools, hospitals in Afghanistan and compete with India in something constructive and gain Afghan influence?

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

India wants business and repeatedly asks Pak to trade rather than fret about Kashmir. India gave Most Favored Nation status to Pak over a decade ago. India requests Pak to buy, say, tea from India rather than from Kenya. Big saving in transport cost, etc. Made in Pak goods enter India without tax, the favor has not been returned. India built hydro-electric plants for Bhutan with a buy back garantee for the power generated, it has planted orchards in Nepal again with buy back guarantees, it has given hundreds of scholarships to Sri Lanka. May be it is hard to understand that India prefers trade and Afghanistan has American money. Pak could do the same, trade rather than worry about ‘Indian influence’ and stop supporting nonsense like burkhas and illiteracy for women. As for refugees, from Bangladesh alone, India has millions. Afghans, Iranis, Iraqis, too trickle in.

Posted by Kurien | Report as abusive

India wants business and repeatedly asks Pak to trade rather than fret about Kashmir. India gave Most Favored Nation status to Pak over a decade ago. India requests Pak to buy, say, tea from India rather than from Kenya. Big saving in transport cost, etc. Made in Pak goods enter India without tax, the favor has not been returned. India built hydro-electric plants for Bhutan with a buy back guarantee for the power generated, it has planted orchards in Nepal again with buy back guarantees, it has given hundreds of scholarships to Sri Lanka. May be it is hard to understand that India prefers trade and Afghanistan has American money. Pak could do the same, trade rather than worry about ‘Indian influence’ and stop supporting nonsense like burkhas and illiteracy for women. As for refugees, from Bangladesh alone, India has millions. Afghans, Iranis, Iraqis, too trickle in.

Posted by Kurien | Report as abusive

Myra, this Af_Pak strategy should be used once and for all to root out all terrorism in the region. As far as the Entire Pakistani-ISI-Pak Army establishment, there should be an aggressive witchhunt against Pakistan to root out, arrest, try and imprison all state actors, that propagate terrorism against ANYBODY.

Kashmir is not a bonafied, moral or legal excuse to propagate terrorism against a sovereign, democratic nation of India, especially in this civilized world.

Afghan’s need freedom from Pakistani oppression and subjugation, India is providing much needed rebuilding efforts. Af_Pak mission needs to be used to corner all terrorism and terrorists from Pakistan, bar none.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

AAfromUSA, Afghans refugee didn’t cross to Pakistan. They crossed to their own land that was stolen from them by the Brits in 1893. Afghans don’t recognize the fake boarder of Durand. Pakistan is cancer tumor created by the West in the hub of central Asia and the sooner it is divided and chopped into different parts, the sooner we will see peace in the region.

Posted by Afghan | Report as abusive

Mike Harvy,

Kashmir is the symptom not the cause of unrest in South Asia. However, if Pakistan is blackmailing the US to solve its problems in return for co-operation in Afghanistan what would India get from the US in return for its cooperation? What price is the US willing to pay for dragging India in to this mess? I’d like to read that somewhere.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Saudi Arabia and China, had stayed away from the latest Friends of Pakistan forum summit in the US

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp  ?page=20099\26\story_26-9-2009_pg7_42

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

A nation of Beggars!

“Not once in our sixty-two year existence have we survived without the assistance of foreign governments”

“In our sixty-second year, perhaps it’s time we came to terms with the reality that we are and have always been a nation of beggars”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp  ?page=20099\26\story_26-9-2009_pg3_2

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

So the root cause of all evil in this world is the stalemate in resolving the Kashmir issue! That is why Pakistan became a terrorist sponsoring state, lost Bangladesh, got involved in the war against the Soviets, created the Taliban, threw out all the democratically elected leaders, became a military ruled country etc..

The US wanted to avenge for Vietnam. So the CIA and the Pakistan set up a bear trap in Afghanistan. The Soviet union fell for it and the war led to its collapse. The original reason was the Kashmir problem was unresolved, therefore Pakistan and the US decided to bring down the Soviet Union first so that all the following events would lead to a point where there would be no way other than resolving the Kashmir issue. And the US decided to turn a blind eye when AQ Khan stole centrifuge technology and built his nukes. Without resolving the Kashmir issue, Pakistanis will starve and disappear from the face of the planet.

All these years no US general or diplomat ever considered Kashmir as the core reason for all the problems in the region. Now that they are running out of ideas, they have decided to try something that never was connected to the problem all these years. Now they want to combine Kashmir into the solution and make a complete mess of it. Haven’t the US and Pakistan messed up Afghanistan enough already?

Kashmir is a part of India and will remain one. We do not want the US or anyone else telling us which state we must give up so that the bearded lunatics in Islamabad can be made to give up their addiction to guns and bombs. Leave India out of your mess and clean up what you created as a part of the cold war strategy.

Pakistanis are creating confusion by their wily methods and the Americans are falling for it again. If India’s developmental projects in Afghanistan are making Pakistanis uncomfortable, then let them sever their ties with China completely. What is China doing inside Pakistan? Should the US tell China to get out of Pakistan and stop all its “projects” there? India is a sovereign nation. Afghanistan deserves to be one. India and Afghanistan have had long history of friendship before Pakistan put the Taliban in power there.

Do not create a mess in order to solve another mess. The US should have the boldness to confront the truth. Pakistan is not their ally. They are the root cause of all the problems related to Islamic terrorism in this world. Najibullah Zazi went to Pakistan to get trained on his terrorist plans. Kashmir is not the problem here. Pakistan is. Let the US go directly into a war with Pakistan as it did with Iraq. Let them clear out the nukes from there that have been developed by illegal means anyway. India’s wanted criminals are state guests in Pakistan.

Until America does the right thing, there will be no solution in Afghanistan. The right thing is not to take on Afghanistan or Iraq, but Pakistan. They are your enemies uncle Sam! Do not blind fold yourself and waste your energy on others. Leave India out of the picture.

US aid bill carries strings:
* Seeks access to N-proliferators
* Brings army/ISI under civilian govt. control
* Parliament to debate defense budget
* Prevents AQ, Taliban and associated terrorist groups, such as LeT and JeM from operating in Pakistan. And ISI/army to stay away from supporting such groups.
* Army can’t depose judges or PMs

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/world/11-us-a id-bill-carries-strings–seeks-access-to- n-proliferators—il–10

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

No lies, no spins! It’s be bad for national interest!

“Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) about corruption in Pakistan has said the report is against our national interests”

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-t ransparency-pakistan-corruption-report-f ouzia-qs-02

Posted by Rony | Report as abusive

Those who say that Pakistan will continue to support militants even after the resolution of Kashmir issue, are incorrect. They are not in touch with Pakistani people at large. There is no reason why Pakistan would want to have rivalry with India when opposit of it will boast its economy and society?

Evidence suggest that Pakistan has four neighbors. Before the Afghan mess was created by international interference; there had never been a single incidence of violence there. The borders in the west were transitional and no visa was required by authorities on both sides. In the north, everyone knows Sino-Pakistan relations. What is wrong with the east then?

Only with India Pakistan has a violent history and any sane mind can understand why. It’s a Kashmir issue, denying of which is simply ignoring the hard reality, it will continue to haunt.

It is not the people of Pakistan who are holding grudge against Indian existence, any one who speak with Pakistanis at home or abroad knows well. They love Indian culture and want friendship. Every time borders open up thousands of Pakistanis travel to India.

However, it is not the same on the Indian side. There is still a huge mindset that continues to attack Pakistan’s sovereignty by constantly wining about the partition. They are full of vengeance for destroying their dream of “Bharat Versha” with partition. Why Pakistan’s existence is still a bitter pill to swallow for many in India even after sixty years?

Being said that, true that the terror is an outshoot of continued militant struggle in Kashmir. But one should realize that there had been millions of Kashmiris who escaped their homeland and settled in Pakistan. Their two generations have grown up in Pakistan but their torment never subside. These so called Pakistanis can never be convinced to give up their stance on Kashmir. How could they when majority Indians who never been to Kashmir would n’t do it either.

When Indian plane was hijacked, the terrorists were escorted to Kandahar, and released to save a few lives. What India has to realize that Pakistan may also have similar compulsion for not going after these militants (who may have grown up in Pakistan but are Kashmiris by heart). Pakistan risks a lot more lives then a few passengers of the plane if it turns its back on militants without a justification.

The Justification can be provided by the resolution of Kashmir issue. If not, there could be more 26/11, and neither India nor Pakistan could do anything about it. History teaches lessons, after 9/11 US (the worlds lone super power, established not just an aspiring one) went after terrorists and invaded two countries, after eight years what we got? We have cut the terrorists loose all over the globe.

The pragmatic resolve is to eliminate the emotional supply of blood to terror, by eliminationg the issues that ignite sentiments and host terrorist. The only way forward is to resolve the Kashmir issue for the sake of development. God forbid one more 26/11 and all foreign investment in India will go packing.

Posted by AAfromUSA | Report as abusive

What Pakistanis fail to understand is that US failure in Afghanistan will mean that the Kashmir issue will never be solved or at least won’t be resolved in their favour.

If the Americans fail in Afghanistan, they aren’t just going to pack up and go home, to let AQ regroup. Drone attacks will accelerate. They will stop co-operating with Pakistan. They will start backing India. And they will throw some serious cash behind the Afghan security forces (something they haven’t really done until very recently).

And there is no way the Americans or the rest of the world for that matter will recognize any Taliban puppet government installed in Kabul by Pakistan. And should Pakistan choose to recognize such a government, they would become international pariahs as well.

All in all, US failure in Afghanistan would have dire diplomatic consequences for Pakistan. And that’s not even worse than the security consequences of having a failed state with no stabilizing force right on your borders. With the Americans gone, the Taliban is sure to set its sights on Pakistan next.

All those Pakistanis wishing and praying for the US to fail in Afghanistan and for it to become another Vietnam (anybody who makes that comparison is obviously ignorant about history) should be careful what they wish for. The West’s failure in Afghanistan could very well be the first step of the end of Pakistan.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Hello Myra,

“I’ve eaten at 10 Corps (lunch), but not because the Pakistan Army thinks of me as one of its own.”

Your analogy is not appropriate.

You are dined and feted by the Pakistani army because of your job description. You are part of the press corps and they want you to write good about the Pakistan army.
The Paki army is doing their job.

Do you believe the Pakistan army is doing their job wining and dining Saeed?

Can you clarify the following?

“That TV report makes it all sound so simple, when we all know it is not. This is not to make a comment on Hafiz Saeed. But at the same time, watching that video, do people actually believe that’s the way it is?”

The commentator draws an inference from the video.
You apparently disagree ? Can you clarify what you meant by your comment?

Contrarian

Why India is taking a step towards Pakistan? It is the pressure from USA only. Our leaders has already surrendered to USA for the sake of Power. One should not be surprised one day whole of India is taken over by pakistan and China under the leadership of USA.

Posted by Nita | Report as abusive

Myra Says:
“I’ve eaten at 10 Corps (lunch), but not because the Pakistan Army thinks of me as one of its own”

I bet you have never written anything against ISI or Talibans! Please show me a pointer if you ever did. Because, if you ever write against ISI/Taliban, you will be against the national interest of Pakistan.

ISI will blacklist you, harass you and may not allow you to reenter. The fact that you had lunch with them means you are in their good books because you always write favorable to them and Talibans look innocent cute lil boys!

Pakistan blacklists US journalists and NGOs
http://www.metransparent.com/spip.php?pa ge=article&id_article=8268&lang=en

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Eureka .. Eureka ..

‘Village’ of White Germans Discovered in Pakistan
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/200 9/09/26/village-of-white-germans-discove red-in-pakistan/

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

“While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani counter-measures in Afghanistan or India.”

So India is the culprit in undertaking activities that benefit the Afghan People? Moreover, the General see this as a threat to security. Wouldn’t the answer lie in telling Pakistan to do better humanitarian work in Afghanistan and turn public opinion in its own favour? Or is the General implying that that the answer lies in telling India to stop doing any further constructive and beneficial work there?

“the mess in Afghanistan is actually a spillover of the Indo-Pak conflict in the region of South Asia,”

Oh really? I thought the mess was due to the fact that America wanted to go after Osama. Does anyone even remember that 9/11 and to get Osama (“dead or alive”)was what started this whole mess? Are we now to believe that were it not for Kashmir, there would be peace in Afghanistan and 9/11 would never have happened?

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive

Pakistan as everybody knows is pro China. Did India at any time objects this. Then why Pakistan must object Afganistan’s relationship with India which does not have border with it.
First trade and commerce will be within neighbours and then only with far off countries. Afganistan ruling and opposition parties like India and their policies.Hence they want a better relationship with India. Why should anybody object this?

Posted by S.Chandrasekaran | Report as abusive

All Indian friends are trying their best to demonize both Pakistan and ISI. Just because India is big and spending money in Afghanistan does not mean Pakistan will sit back quitely. Pakistan has its regional interests and Pakistan has enough resources and will to nurture its interets no matter how big or strong India is. So India, get ready to face Pakistan, we will safeguard our regional interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Re the Hafiz Saeed video, my comment was about the voiceover rather than the pictures.

I tried to address the LeT question here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEd ge/idUSTRE55K0TO20090622?sp=true

Stephen Tankel also has an interesting post here on Jaish & LeT (which was helpfully pointed out by someone here in an earlier comment):

http://icsr.info/blog/Bahawalpurs-Real-E state-Boom

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Myra, Gentle Readers,

The US/Nato forces seems to be obsessed that they alone will determine how the Af-Pak war will turn out. Pakistan does not seem to be in synch.

Check this out.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2167198

At about 17.35, the commentator, Aamir Ghauri, gives another perspective of Pakistan’s end game.

Pakistan is waiting for China to play its cards and is fairly confident that an economically imposing China and a resurgent Pakistan can checkmate all and sundry the in Af-Pak wars.

Contrarian

Your analysis is off the base.

McCrystall’s neeocon ideas are fed by Pak/ISI anxiety about pro-India Karzai gov in Kabul. If true, it means that non-military forces can tip the scale in Kabul. So what is NATO/ISAF doing in Hindu Kush?

From my understanding of Pak/ISI strategic outlook, they would rather block NATO supplies from Turkmenistan than allow ISAF forces on the ground succeed in Khandhar – Phustun stronghold of Karzai’s ancestry.

Pak/ISI is not really interested in supporting Obama in his fight against Taliban and Al Queda in Hindu Kush. Principally because the sooner ISAF is forced to withdraw its ground forces the better for Pak/ISI to entrench its own power in the region.

For Iran, Pak/ISI is a Sunni (Punjabi) tribal group bent on social hegemony of Hindu Kush – which will never be allowed by Shiite Persians. Nor will India allow Pak/ISI any military stronghold in Kabul.

In sum, it is daunting for beltway decision-makers to understand the cultural context of the Hindu Kush tribal conflict which until 1947 didn’t include Sunni Pak/ISI.

Posted by hari | Report as abusive

The big issues are as follows:

1. Pakistan does not have the ability to win a war with India. All it can do is use threat of nukes to cause a ceasefire when it is beaten conventionally. History has shown this every time.

2. Pakistan claims to support the fight against terrorism. At the same time, it seems to support terrorism. And again at the same time, it seems to be trying to keep terrorism from taking control of it’s country.

3. China will not help Pakistan. It relies on the West for trade. And the West only trades because China minds it’s own business. If China helps Pakistan in war, it loses it’s trade and economic growth. China will not sacrifice it’s own interests for Pakistan.

4. Even with Pakistan falling apart from extremists, Pakistan supporters still believe it must work against the West and India interests. The more unstable it is, the more hostile it becomes to West and India. Do the pakistani supporters support Pakistan? Or do they actually support the extremists? Or are they simply lashing out at traditional enemies, rather then the muslim enemies that are slowly taking over their own country?

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

Pakistan has its regional interests and Pakistan has enough resources and will to nurture its interets no matter how big or strong India is. So India, get ready to face Pakistan, we will safeguard our regional interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
- Posted by Umair

Your logic is like France has regional interests in Germany. And if Germans like Brits, then France would send terrorists and suicide bombers to Germany.

Or

US has regional inteests in Mexico. If Mexicans like Canadians, US would send terrorists and suicide bombers to Germany.

What makes Pakistanis think that Afghannistan is their’s and they can kill, destroy as they wish? What can’t Pakistanis respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan?

This just shows the immaturity of Pakistan as a nation. You guys don’t deserve a sq foot area, forget nation. You have never showed the responsibility or maturity as a nation. Only Pakistan is a danger to itself and others.

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

Umair: “Just because India is big and spending money in Afghanistan does not mean Pakistan will sit back quitely. Pakistan has its regional interests and Pakistan has enough resources and will to nurture its interets no matter how big or strong India is.”

If India’s constructive projects inside Afghanistan can irk Pakistan so much, then India has a similar objection to Chinese involvement inside Pakistan. China has overtly sold military equipment to Pakistan on top of it. It is building a big port at Gawadar in Balochistan. Pakistanis might wash it off as long term friendship. But to Indians, it is definitely a collaboration against Indian interests. So please cut off your diplomatic ties with China and ask them to pack up and leave. Then India will think about its relationship in Afghanistan. Also, there is some more on the list:

1. Close your mission in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Pakistani presence in these two countries is a threat to Indian security and integrity. Leave all our neighboring nations.

2. Stop relations with Iran because India and Iran need to sustain their relationship. Your gas pipeline project is against Indian interests.

If you thought these statements are illogical, then realize that this is what Pakistan is pushing the Americans to say. And it is not going to happen. Every country has its sovereign right to diplomatic relations with any country they wish.

So India, get ready to face Pakistan, we will safeguard our regional interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
- Posted by Umair

So India, Afghanistan are part of Pakistan’s backyard! Do you also need Iran, China, Saudi, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh?

Where does your regional interest stop?

And sending terrorists and bombs is the only way you got to prove your regional interest?

Have you ever thought you can also gain regional interest by building roads, hospitals, school, Parliaments, Hydro-elec power stations, Transmission lines or feeding the school children? But then how can you donate, when you are begging yourself? Sending terrorists is the cheaper way to prove regional influence!

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

US threatens airstrikes and sending commandos deep inside Pakistan!

Western intelligence officers say Pakistan has been moving Taliban leaders to the volatile city of Karachi, where it would be impossible to strike. US officials have even discussed sending commandos to Quetta to capture or kill the Taliban chiefs before they are moved.

The United States is threatening to launch airstrikes on Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership in the Pakistani city of Quetta as frustration mounts about the ease with which they find sanctuary across the border from Afghanistan.

Senior Pakistani officials in New York revealed that the US had asked to extend the drone attacks into Quetta and the province of Baluchistan

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo rld/Afghanistan/article6850838.ece

Posted by Robin@hotmail.com | Report as abusive

Dear AAfromUSA

Please read my earlier note. India would love to trade with Pak rather than fight. Each war was started by Pak and India merely protected itself, won each time and returned ALL overrun territory. 90, 000 Pak prisoners of war and defeated generals were treated honorably.

It prefers trade so both can be better off and gave Pak, Most favored status and removed border taxes for Pak goods more than a decade ago.

The US has wanted Kashmir, named centuries ago after the Hindu saint Kashyap, since the second world war. Pak is a battering ram for the US, which wants Kashmir for its own purposes, certainly not to present it to Pak. Where does that leave Pak? With leaders whining for more money which never reaches ordinary Pakistanis.

Why not indulge in trade instead?

We too have MILLIONS of refugees. We do not see Pak as bad, simply as crazy neighbors who prefer war to trade.

Posted by Kurien | Report as abusive

Finally US/NATO got some wisdom!

“Western troops might be fighting on the wrong side of the border”

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/sto ry/0,25197,26132293-2703,00.html

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive

Obama makes decides!

McChrystal report officially backburnered now
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/26/mc chrystal-report-officially-backburnered- now/

US threatens to escalate operations inside Pakistan
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew s/asia/pakistan/6237185/US-threatens-to- escalate-operations-inside-Pakistan.html

Frustration leads to US threat to bomb Pakistan bases
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/sto ry/0,25197,26132293-2703,00.html

I am so proud of Obama! This decision will save the lives of so many soldiers!

Posted by Devol | Report as abusive

Jihad in Pakistan’s South Punjab

Cancer is going to the brain now!

http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-mat rix/archives/2009/09/jihad_in_pakistans_ south_punja.php

Posted by Rodeo | Report as abusive

Terror’s Training Ground

“We can tell you without closing our eyes that we don’t see anything.”

http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsSep2009/c overstorysep.htm

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Can’t Prosecute JuD for killing 170 people in India: Pakistan
http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php  ?id=152497

But …

Can help JuD set up 10 new training camps to kill more!
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2 009/09/pakistan_opens_new_t.php

And someone suggested India should talk peace with Pakistan!

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

AAfromUSA (Alocoholic Anonymous from USA?)

Excuse me, your argument sounds deranged. India continues to enjoy better relations with all its neighbors than that with Pakistan. According to your logic, Pakistan should be blamed, isn’t it?

Pakistan has blamed the Soviet jihad for its descent in to chaos. Pakistan has blamed NATO for the Talibanization of its country. Pakistan has blamed the US for meddling in the country, yet it demands loads of money from it. Similarly, Pakistan has blamed Kashmir for the unrest in South Asia. What new is Pakistan going to invent to blame its problems on an external source?

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

“Are we now to believe that were it not for Kashmir, there would be peace in Afghanistan and 9/11 would never have happened?”

Well 9/11 had nothing to do with Kashmir and Afghan mess started due to the arrogance of two world powers fighting a cold war. Kashmir issue creates hostile sentiments that rise with militancy in the region (blaming one another is no way resolving it).

Just as cancer metastasize itself in vulnerable parts of the body, AQ finds these hostile sentiments a favorable ground to lodge itself and spread its menace around the world.

Not considering the ground realities is simply being blind to the destructive future. India and Pakistan both must act now. The Kashmir issue may not have caused the Afghan problem but settling issues between Indo-Pak will definitely help resolving it.

Posted by AAfromUSA | Report as abusive

Richard Holbrook today came on Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN and reiterated the main objective of the Afghan mission: “rootout Al-Qaeda and all militant element bent on killing U.S. citizens. Until that objective is completed, the US will stay in Afghanistan”

Loosely translated: “Either you are with us or against us, we don’t trust Pakistan to eradicate US threats, so we can leave.”

Pakistan needs to get off the fence and decide whether it wants to be on the end of a very large canon. Beggars have no place dictating terms and asking for more free beggar bowl money. Zardari keeps soliciting cash for the Pak Army and not for the people.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

The “End Game” begins!

Obama gives notice to Zardari that US Special Ops are going to Quetta, Karachi .. everywhere!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew s/asia/pakistan/6237185/US-threatens-to- escalate-operations-inside-Pakistan.html

Zardari gets mad and sick and boycotts all Obama speeches! Visits hospital too!
http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_deta il.asp?Id=24692

Army/ISI go on emergency .. hide the AQ/Talibans quickly .. get ready for Drones and Special Ops in Quetta, Karachi .. everywhere!
http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php  ?id=152243

Pakistan army ordered to hit back at U.S. forces
http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.as p?code=177691

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

@Kurien

Hard to trade with India when India allows very few products that its neighbors produce to be imported. Trade is two-ways not just one-way.

Your claims about wars and US wanting Kashmir similarly one-sided nonsense.

The Afghan effort is stumbling because its been under-resourced since 2001, and the Afghan allies the West has are very poor. The India-Pakistan angle is a sideshow.

Robin says:

“Western intelligence officers say Pakistan has been moving Taliban leaders to the volatile city of Karachi, where it would be impossible to strike. US officials have even discussed sending commandos to Quetta to capture or kill the Taliban chiefs before they are moved.”

–>If Pak establishment chooses to protect Criminal Taliban and put them close to innocent civilians as human shields, so be it. Let the Drones launch surgical strikes into urban cities to root out terrorists. We have the technology and the patience to do this.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

“All Indian friends are trying their best to demonize both Pakistan and ISI” – Posted by Umair

Indians haven’t demonized the Pakistani establishment (mainly the military junta) & the ISI but rather, they have demonized themselves with their own demonic deeds over the years & at the present time. The only difference is that whereas earlier, it was only the Indians who knew about it & made noise about it, now literally the whole world seems to be talking & making noise about it.

“Just because India is big and spending money in Afghanistan does not mean Pakistan will sit back quitely. Pakistan has its regional interests and Pakistan has enough resources and will to nurture its interets”

What regional interests are you talking about? Keeping the Afghan people backward, impoverished & radicalized so that your immoral generals in Rawalpindi can control Afghanistan as a de facto colony?
And what resources are you talking about? With all due respect, your leaders are paying their bills with foreign aid & IMF funds, so what other secret ‘resources’ do you have?

“So India, get ready to face Pakistan, we will safeguard our regional interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere”

We’re ever ready to face you. We have faced you before & beaten you before. So please cut the macho melodramatic jingoistic rhetoric & try to live in the reality.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Pakistan, we will safeguard our regional interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
- Posted by Umair

How about saving your national interest, sovereignty and dignity within your country?

US threatens airstrikes in Pakistan
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo rld/Afghanistan/article6850838.ece

Posted by Kamov | Report as abusive

.. elements in Pakistan for the brutal killing of former Afghan President Dr Najibullah in Kabul 13 years ago..

“I am of the firm belief that the same elements are again involved in destabilizing Afghanistan as part of their wish to establish their hold on the country,”

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.a sp?id=200429

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

“Dr Najib was also a staunch supporter of regional cooperation and tried to keep good relations with Pakistan, but, unfortunately, the elements in Pakistan who were at the helm of affairs were interested in conquering Afghanistan rather to establish cordial relations as a neighbour”

“The “evil forces” killed Dr Najib in a very humiliating and brutal manner and entire Pakhtun nation could not forget that humiliation and will keep on the struggle against those anti-humanist forces,” he said.

Najibullah was forced to seek shelter at the UN compound in the capital, remaining there until he was tortured, castrated, then killed in September 1996 by the Taliban who captured Kabul.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.a sp?id=200429

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

Pakistan now seeks $500m from US in direct budgetary support to account for the FAT defense budget ..

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.a sp?id=200434

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive

Hey Umair,
How about some freedom and a little plebiscite for our baluchis? They are humans and deserve some freedom and some democracy too!

“we were forced to become a part of Pakistan, literally on gunpoint”

“We need nothing from Pakistan. We want them to leave our land and release our people from their torture chambers”

“The Baloch have always been betrayed while they struggled politically”

This looks like the repeat of Bangladesh Story!
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/prov inces/04-some-balochis-support-the-sarda ri-system-others-direct-democracy-qs-10

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive

“All Indian friends are trying their best to demonize both Pakistan and ISI” – Posted by Umair

Plzzz .. give me some evidence when Pakistan and ISI were angels ..

Do angel create and shelter Taliban, AQ, LeT, JuD, JeM ….

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

Now Bangladeshis poke fun at Pakistan!

GOD saved Bangladesh from the begging bowl!

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2009/09  /29/news0376.htm

Posted by SOman | Report as abusive

As I had written here months ago, that if the Pak didn’t get off the fence the US would start to turn up the heat. It’s happening. The US wanting to drone Quetta is old news among those that know. There’s worse coming.

The Pakistanis still don’t seem to get it. The Obama administration and NATO is starting to view their failings in Afghanistan as Pakistan’s fault. There’s even frank talk sometimes suggesting that the west is actually at war with Pakistan. Virtually every diplomat, military officer and aid worker in the region considers the Pakistanis duplicitous. It the west fails, while there might be some partying in Pakistan, the West will most certainly make Pakistan pay for its perceived treachery for decades to come. And since Pakistan won’t be needed when the Afghan mission ends, there are quite a few options for the West (particularly the Americans) that could be employed to punish Pakistan.

Pakistanis have a choice to make here: they can choose to win the battle (kick the west out of Afghanistan) or win the war (secure their long term future by helping the west stabilize Afghanistan). They can’t have it both ways. Either they help the west or they don’t and risk being blamed for the next half century for every terrorist attack that happens in the West.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

The ethnic, religious extremist strife in AfPak region is of some importance to India undeniably. But India is not, and should not be bogged down in this mess.

India should continue its economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan with whom India has had a strong bond for so long. India should keep an eye on the intensifying Balochistan freedom struggle.

India should implement counter strategies to discourage punjabi army, ISI/terrorist networks from indulging in terrorism in India, but…..these things shouldn’t bog down India in AfPak.

Focus on economi development, strong strategic relationship with Afghanistan, alleviation of regional economic disparities within India should be high priorities.

Establishing good relations with Sindhi, Pashtun and Balochi brothers should be part of India’s strategy to fight the terrorist troubles created by punjabi army, and ISI/terrorist networks.

Soman, thanks for the article, Umair, here is a little excerpt from that article, posted here as a gift for your reading pleasure:

“Q. Please explain your calls for an independent Balochistan.

A. Firstly, I’d like to emphasise that we were a free people. In 1948, we were forced to become a part of Pakistan, literally on gunpoint. On top of that, Balochistan as a province and the Baloch as a people have not been treated fairly by successive governments. Still, we have tried to fight for our rights within the Pakistani parliamentary system, but every time we have been suppressed through military operations and other means. At this point, things have come to such a head that people are left with no choice but to seek complete independence from Pakistan.

Different methods are being employed in the process of an independent movement. There are political groups and then there are armed groups – albeit with a political objective – whose politics are fundamentally, if not solely, based on achieving the independence of Balochistan from Pakistan. Of course, a unification of such groups is a rather important factor in most independence movements and that is something I think Baloch independence organisations should also move toward. “

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

As i sit here reading the comments, stories and the coming in of the baluchi situation of Pakistan i can only say i do feel weird to see this kind of post on a currently disconnected post concerning a completely different situation and i can only say, It is either the plan of Pakistans enemies because one thing is for sure their leader Bugti who got killed was a supported of Pakistan which can be found in many books so which ever person from baluchistan says we were forced at gun point is a liar or needs to get his facts straight.. other thing is that the coast of makran and gwadar interests both America and India as in the situation of an all out war or problem the Nato supplies and the best way in is from there, that is why in the first place all miscreants especially from afghanistan after getting beaten up in Swat are being put together in the Baluch region and i can tell everyone planning so .. ull get defeated .. bring it on if u have the balls

Another thing before i go .. i would like to tell all americans that 9 /11 was an inside job no matter what .. read http://www.cyberdera.com or watch the series arrivals.technocrazed.com and ull understand and all that is happening to america today is its own failing

Baluchistan is a region where land lords have not let them do anything .. whome these people know as gods .. I have worked in the government department of Administration and we had UN send us PC’s to send to Baluchistan and one of the leader said we dont need those neither we need schools give us money ..

i guess he needed to get guns and blow up some schools for his own reign on the leashed people. Other than that everyone needs some supports so did Pakistan … RAW .. ISI .. when did RAW do something good .. Has CIA ever done something good, i dont think so .. the fact is we all have been brain washed by American Media and their Jew Agenda nothing else. ISI didnt do anything good .. i dont want them to do anything good for India either cause they have never done anything good.

As long as baluchistan is concerned the day they get plebiscite from their own Feudal gods theyll be good to go and much better .. my father worked for SSGC can u imagince Bugti wanted 90 Pickups for himself .. he never let even one school operate .. was he an angel no

Myra, new topic:

Pakistan and its ISI not just state sponsors of terrorism, they are also minting counterfeit Indian currency, please see and read the links. This same money is the source for much terrorism. Dubai is an accomplice, where the counterfeit money gets laundered. It seems that this is the so-called “other source” of funds, if USA or IMF does not provide AID money.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/pakistans-big -business-minting-indian-money/44937-3.h tml

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scd-1jp3_ hw

http://www.india-forum.com/indian_politi cs/marxist-jihadi_criminal_enterprise.ht ml

“The amount of money allegedly bring to the coffers of Pakistan ISI and Jihadi terrorist groups is beyond imagination. The earnings from counterfeit Indian currency distribution also could be significant to Jihadi terrorists and subversive Islamic groups like NDF and SIMI. Money may be used to purchase weapons, fund subversive activities, and for slush funds for bribery and corrupting police and politicians.”

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Keith
“The Obama administration and NATO is starting to view their failings in Afghanistan as Pakistan’s fault. ”

-Maybe the Obama administration and NATO should stop supporting the corrupt narco-criminal government of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan who has failed to gain support of his people there. Today Afghan trade in drugs is at the highest level, in the heavy presence of international forces there. Hamid Karzai cant even get out of his presidential residence in Kabul and is viewed as a stooge and puppet of the west.

Though you are using very threatnening words of punishing Pakistan and i do not want to respons to that. All I would state is that this blame game is not going to help anyone. Pakistan has cooperated so far, Pakistan has provided logistical support and ISI has apprehended most Al-Qaeda fugitives recently. Do you think an all out confrontation is a way forward, i would rather suggest negotiate your way out of this quagmire. Take Pakistan and other muslim nations and regional stake holders on board, only then you will succeed in Afghanistan. good luck!

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

There is a solution, one which the Generals fear above all, that Pakistan will disintegrate into 4 parts as Balochistan breaks free. Its this (alleged Indian) influence from Afghanistan reaching across the border that worries them so. One 30-year State Department veteran just smiled wryly reminding me that back in 2001 it was State that carried the message to the Mush that the US was prepared to carpet bomb Pakistan “into the stone age”.. As Bangladesh broke free in 1971, so can Balochistan by 2011..and Scind will have to make its own choice..

Posted by pravin banker | Report as abusive

@As I had written here months ago, that if the Pak didn’t get off the fence the US would start to turn up the heat. It’s happening. The US wanting to drone Quetta is old news among those that know. There’s worse coming.
- Posted by Keith

Keith: Pakistanis are not on the fence, they are with “them”. Pakistan never became a true ally on this mission. After 9/11, while US, through Northern alliance and few others groups, was fighting against Taliban, Pakistan continued to assist Talibans and other terrorists in Afghanistan. Musharraf at that time asked Bush for the safe exit of Pakistanis stuck in from Afghanistan. So thousands of Pakistanis ISI operators were airlifted from Konduz Afgh by running night time sorties from Gilgit and Chitral in pak over many days and among the passengers were Taliban+IMU+A-Q etc. terrorists who should have died in bunker busters than flying safely to Pakistan. Surprisingly US did not oversee that mission but later it was known that several wanted elements escaped. This later was dubbed by the frustrated US as “operation evil lift” and by some Pakistanis as “operation great escape”. With a long history of mentoring these terrorists, only US can trust Pakistan on this. Pakistan’s efforts have been counterproductive and there is no reason why they will not continue to do so in the future. The favorite excuse of their reluctance is the Indian factor. Pakistan expects India to fix the Kashmir deal/pack up its Army from Indo-Pak border and abandon the pro-Afghan development projects in Afghanistan, and then Pak will become an ally in true sense. There is no chance for India doing that simply because Pak loves and parties with lunatics from LeTs and JeMs and what not hyphenated gps and is praying for Mullah Omar/Taliban as the ruler of Afgh. All Pak has got to offer to Afgh is Mullah Omar and I have not seen anyone saying how pakistan will improve relations with Afghanistan and what could pakistan even theoretically give to Pakistan. But they will complain about India’s develeopemnt projects. US is complaining about Pakistan’s duplicity but what is not clear is when US says enough is enough, and have serious chat with Pakistan and ask them to shape up.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pak blogger,

“Another thing before i go .. i would like to tell all americans that 9 /11 was an inside job no matter what .. read http://www.cyberdera.com or watch the series arrivals.technocrazed.com and ull understand and all that is happening to america today is its own failing
- Posted by Umair”

–>What little credibility you had, you have just lost it. Since the humour here is beyond even discussing, let me leave you a thought:

-Marriot Hotel was an inside Pak ISI job.
-Benazir Bhutto assasination was an inside ISI job.
-Assasination attempts on Musharaff, were an ISI job.
-Attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team was an ISI job.
-Thousands of Pakistani Police and Soldiers’ unfortunately lost in line of duty…ISI job.

I can go on and on…and by now you think that we are starting to sound nonsensical and conspiracy ridden, irrational cretin, right?, before you think that, go look into

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Umair et al,

These aren’t my words. This is the stuff I’ve heard. I’ve had a hell of a time trying to convince those I meet that the situation is complex and that Pakistan’s interests must be taken into account.

That being said, Pakistan does not help its own case. India does. Indian aid in Afghanistan doesn’t just buy Afghan influence. It shows that India is out to make a positive contribution in the world. And that’s what military officers, diplomats, etc. come away with when they compare Pakistan’s contribution to the mission in Afghanistan. Sure Pakistan has arrested some AQ leaders. But it seems very curious to those of us in the west that it’s always the number 3 guy and never higher. Than there is what appears to be the truly bizarre and lackadaisical attitude of leaving large swaths of the Pakistan’s territory virtually ungoverned so that they become bases for Afghan insurgents. This is what has led to increased drone strikes in Pakistan. If Pakistanis can’t do the job, the CIA will. And with every drone strike, westerners are left with the impression that Pakistan either lacks the will or the ability to secure its own territory and shut down the safe havens of our enemies.

Nobody is suggesting that an all out war with Pakistan is about to happen. However, there is certainly a perception building that Pakistan is uncooperative and therefore should be coerced towards greater co-operation.

As for taking muslim nations on-board, the west has several onboard and some have even contributed troops to the Afghan mission. However, the West’s overriding concern is its own security. Suggesting that we simply agree to Pakistani terms (which really equates to asking for NATO to surrender to the Taliban) is not practical or acceptable since Pakistan is in no position to guarantee the security of the West (or even itself these days). It does not help that most terror plots are hatched in Pakistan or have a link to Pakistan these days. Would you trust your security to a country that has become a hotbed of terrorism? It’s not that NATO does not recognize Pakistan’s concerns in Afghanistan. However, Pakistan’s credibility and influence is severely limited by its actions and the success of its actions on the ground.

It’s unfortunate because Pakistanis deserve better. However, till Pakistan can show itself to be a truly reliable ally, it will be seen as an obstacle to peace and security in the region. And to the extent that Pakistan jeapordizes western interests in the region, the west will attack to remedy that. Hence the desire to drone Quetta.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Keith you said:

“The Pakistanis still don’t seem to get it. The Obama administration and NATO is starting to view their failings in Afghanistan as Pakistan’s fault. There’s even frank talk sometimes suggesting that the west is actually at war with Pakistan.”

–>I have friend that did a mission in Afghanistan. He had stated to me that Afghans are sick and tired of Pakistan meddling in their own backyard, even 20 years after the Soviets left. Afghans, while are muslim, have a deep respect and friendship for the non-muslim Indians rebuilding their country and leaving a worthwhile legacy. The are frustrated that Pakistan has only given them chaos, militantism and used them and gave nothing redeeming.

Behind the scenes, rest assured, the tables and the deck is starting to stack against Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban that are killing NATO troops there and killing and beheading poor Afghans there, the Afghan Taliban leadership is living in Pakistan, where they are being protected by the Top Pakistani brass, protecting in the manner that the Pak establishment has made excuses for not attacking them. It should be a no brainer. As Pak. Brass keeps making excuses, NATO and U.S. are losing lives and burning billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, because Pak is not fully co-operating with the U.S.

The time has come now for Barack Obama to make a style statement on Afghanistan and turn the sights towards Quetta and Waziristan in Pakistan. The Pakistan people need to be told that their masters in Uniform are not willing to take out the Al-Qaeda and Taliban, that threaten U.S. lives. Just recently an Afghan national in the U.S., trained by these same militants was caught plotting a massive terrorist attack on U.S. soil in New York.

If Obama feels that the Afghan mission is faltering and not being successful, he will fight tooth and nail to prove himself, his administration and his reputation.

In fact, during the election in 2008, he actually said that he would be willing to invade Pakistan, if the U.S. mission Afghanistan was failing and Pakistan did not co-operate fully on the war on terror.

The time for requiring permission anymore from Pak is over. It is time for the U.S. to start crossing the border and target militant sanctuaries and do the right thing and act quickly on actionable intelligence and do it without hesitation. No permission is required, there is a war against Militant-ism, this war knows no borders.

If Pakistan is duplicitous on the war on terror and if the Americans and the world feel safer surgically striking targets in Pakistan, wherever they need to, so be it, let it begin.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Pakistan never had any plans of wiping out terrorism. It sponsored terrorism to get at India. Unfortunately what they sponsored ended up spreading like an epidemic in all directions and is beginning to hurt them. They had hoped that the Americans will pick up the bones thrown across the fence and leave them alone to do their own thing. All Pakistani terrorism sponsorship has been aimed at India. But it has turned global and gone beyond their control. Even after the US invasion of Afghanistan, they have been fooling themselves with the belief that no one will disturb their Jihadist elements kept in cold storage for anti-India activities. They thought things had become clear and allowed Mumbai attacks to happen, with the hope that it will draw India into a conflict and create enough chaos in the region to drive out the Americans and their allies from their vicinity. But America forced them to accept the truth that Mumbai attackers were indeed from Pakistan and really pushed them against their wish. Then they twisted their arm to take on the Taliban with their military. Now they are going to zero in on Quetta. If the Americans are talking about it, it means they are going to do it. Obama has no interest in increasing troops right now. So the only option left is to take on the bad guys in Quetta where Pakistan has safely kept them. If they move them to Karachi, that will be drawing the US further inward. Balochistan getting its independence seems to be a strong possibility once the US gets Quetta cleaned out of Pashtuns and Taliban leaders from there.

The best thing for Pakistan to do is to make friends with India, change its mindset and give up sponsoring terrorism for good. If they fail to do that, they are doomed. Kashmir is not the problem here. It is this passionate dislike and hatred against India that is festering inside Pakistan and rotting it from within.

Keith, you wrote:

“Nobody is suggesting that an all out war with Pakistan is about to happen. However, there is certainly a perception building that Pakistan is uncooperative and therefore should be coerced towards greater co-operation.”

If that were indeed the case, how would you suggest Pakistan should be coerced? Does that not go to the heart of the current debate – how do you persuade Pakistan to turn against groups it once saw as “strategic assets” against India? And how do you do so in a way that does not undermine the civilian government?

And if the real debate is about Pakistan, do you need to keep troops in Afghanistan to maintain pressure on Pakistan?

I know there are no simple answers to all this but would be interested in your views.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Dealing with pakistan is mighty more complex than afghan, Because nobody obeys anything in Pak, the ISI is independent, the Pak army is idepenedent, then the landlords and the elected government. each of them function on their own terms, talking and coercing the elected government means nothing they don’t have any control over ISI(which is like the ultimate undercover terrorist organisation). ISI’s idealogy is to win a Mighty rival(not only India.. anybody they can’t win in a war ) by a thousand cuts(translate to terrorist strikes). Winning and transforming ISI is the key for US to win this war(without ISI.. hopefully AQ will be dust job).

Posted by katty | Report as abusive

Myra, you said to Keith:

“If that were indeed the case, how would you suggest Pakistan should be coerced? Does that not go to the heart of the current debate – how do you persuade Pakistan to turn against groups it once saw as “strategic assets” against India? And how do you do so in a way that does not undermine the civilian government?”

–>First of all Myra, the civilian government, is a thinly veiled facade for the Pak Military and Brass.

Unfortunately, you cannot have it both ways. Almost any action on the part of the U.S. will generate anti-US activity and work to undermine the civilian govt. The U.S. should start unilaterally destroying all Pakistani made militant “strategic assets”. The assets should be taken by surprise from many directions, at once, as this will leave them in a state of disarray and potentially even cripple them permanently.

The U.S. should not spare any sanctuaries and penetrate as deep as they need to, even to south Punjab, where many militant groups reside.

The time for walking on eggs shells is over. Fixing Pakistan to rid it of the Taliban leadership and “strategic assets” will require, quick, decisive action, bold action, with overwhelming firepower, as precisely as possible, to minimize innocent civilians.

As long as Pakistan keeps getting rent money from the U.S, they won’t do much, they would not dare challenge the U.S. in a military confrontation.

The Pak Army has been selling Pak sovereignty to Wahhabi terrorists for the last 60 years. Sovereignty is a myth.

Pakistani Army’s love affair with terrorism must be broken by any means possible. I don’t believe tickling their feet will lead to them giving up their love affair with terrorism.

Just to be clear, if the Pak army loses the Taliban as its strategic asset, it will use the Kashmiri militants against the U.S. and NATO. It is only a matter of time.

The longer the U.S. and NATO walk on eggs shells, the longer, the terrorist machine in Pakistan will keep consolidating and adapting and finding new sanctuaries and more people on all sides will suffer. The public in the U.S. after years will not want to stomach a protracted war.

It is time to finish things for good and put the Pakistani double gaming to an end. Let’s just see if the NATO and U.S. leadership can just for a moment, set aside political correctness and do the right thing.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Myra,

In the long term, the biggest threat to militant-ism and its membership is capitalism. When you introduce capitalism to Pakistan and Afghanistan, you will can bring Wal-Mart, McDonalds and Target and such consumer outlets.

If you have a population that is busy, has to pay the bills and mortgage, has to goto work, has to raise children, you will not have idle people, who are going around looking for work, or self-worth and joining militant groups. You will have a population that looks forward to fridays, resting on the weekend, cutting the lawn and planning their next vacation.

This democratic way of life is the greatest threat to the 7th century strategic assets that Pakistani state Agencies have been creating.

In the words of Benazir Bhutto, democracy is the best revenge.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Keith
Thank you for taking up Pakistan’s case and highlighting Pakistani concerns. Indeed Pakistan’s interests and western interests do not necessarily be identical in Afghan scenario. But recently NATO has expanded ties with Pakistan, there is a need to abandon an approach of coercion on Pakistan. Both Pakistan and the west have to find common interests to work together and eliminate the differences.

Myra (in response to your question)
“If that were indeed the case, how would you suggest Pakistan should be coerced? Does that not go to the heart of the current debate – how do you persuade Pakistan to turn against groups it once saw as “strategic assets” against India? And how do you do so in a way that does not undermine the civilian government?

And if the real debate is about Pakistan, do you need to keep troops in Afghanistan to maintain pressure on Pakistan?”

-My opinion on above questions.
-The west can persuade Pakistan by advocating a just solution to Kashmir dispute. Solve Kashmir, get Indians off our backs. With an India many times larger than us and ever ready to threaten and undermine Pakistan, we need all we can get to defend ourselves from India. Call it paranoia or whatever, but Pakistan’s threat perceptions are different (I call it 1971 East Pakistan syndrome). The west feels threatened by alleged terror groups or havens in Pakistan, whereas for Pakistan, India is a significant threat. When Obama administration preaches Pakistan that India is no more a threat, that is equivalent of coercion. In other words let India cease to exist as a threat to Pakistan (not cease to exist as a nation) only then will millitant groups see the back of Pakistan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/ asia/30mumbai.html?_r=1&hp
Network of Militants Is Robust After Mumbai Siege
Myra the above article claims LeT have become a wild card in Indo-Pak relations future. Also, that for Pakistani intelligence the priority is Pakistan, not India. In other words groups that pose a threat to India are not urgent to be tackled. Pakistan needs to be secured first.

-”“Hafiz Saeed is the army’s man,” said Najam Sethi, an analyst and newspaper editor in Lahore, Pakistan. He and other analysts said the ISI was in no hurry to discard a group it helped create for a covert war against India.

“They have not abandoned it altogether,” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a military analyst in Lahore. “It is not a total reversal; it is a realization that this is not advisable at this time.”
For Pakistani authorities, the political problems posed by arresting Mr. Saeed, or undertaking a broader crackdown on Lashkar, may outstrip the legal ones.

The organization and its cause — to “free” Kashmir — remain close to the hearts of the Pakistani public as well as the military and intelligence establishment. “(from the above article)

-In my view, it will be give and take, the west will give certain guarantees to Pakistan before they could get concessions from Pakistan. India will be stubborn as ever, but this will be a test for western nations. Sort out the mess and harmonize the region, give in to bullying by the Indians and live under vulnerability. The biggest favor India can do to the world is sort out the Kashmir dispute in a justified manner and peace will prevail.

Also, with regard to keeping foreign troops in Afghanistan to put pressure on Pakistan. Well foreign troops in Afghanistan are bogged down with an insurgency carried out by sophistication by the Taliban. Those troops are fighting for survival and do not pose a direct threat to Pakistan. the recent suggestion by Vice President US Joe Biden to rather cut down the troops in Afghanistan and concentrate in eliminating Al-Qaeda elements in Pakistan is better. US scale back military presence in Afghanistan and NATO does the same. Pakistani government be provided the tools (drones) to do the job in eliminating the Al-Qaeda elements in its territory.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

If that were indeed the case, how would you suggest Pakistan should be coerced? Does that not go to the heart of the current debate – how do you persuade Pakistan to turn against groups it once saw as “strategic assets” against India? And how do you do so in a way that does not undermine the civilian government?
And if the real debate is about Pakistan, do you need to keep troops in Afghanistan to maintain pressure on Pakistan?
I know there are no simple answers to all this but would be interested in your views.
Myra

Great questions Myra. You’re right there are no easy answers. All I’ll say is that I’ve seen growing support for a much harder stance against Pakistan with every official I meet. They usually come in to talk to me believing that Pakistan needs to be flattened and come away with at least some understanding of the complexity of the situation. That being said, that does not remove the view that Pakistan is far from an honest broker when it comes to Afghanistan.

Do you need troops in Afghanistan to keep the pressure on Pakistan? I’d say you do. The Pakistani argument for a long time has been that the West will eventually abandon Afghanistan and they’ll be stuck with the mess. The only counter than I can see to that is to offer to keep troops in there as long as it takes. If NATO/US were to pack up and leave tomorrow, how certain can we be that Pakistan would secure Afghanistan or at least guide it down the road of stabilization. Most officials would simply laugh at that kind of a suggestion. A country that does not appear willing to secure its own territory is hardly one that can be counted on to help stabilize another. At least with NATO/US there, the Pakistanis are compelled to pay attention to their own problem areas like the FATA and NWFP. How much attention does anyone really think they’d place on these areas is there wasn’t heavy American pressure and western loses occurring across the border.

As for coercion…. It’s starting. Look at the rapprochement with the Russians. Obama and NATO are crafting an alternative to the supply lines through Pakistan. Building an alternative does two things. It removes the hedge and exclusivity the Pakistanis have on NATO. And it threatens the livelihood of Pashtuns and Balochis who operate the trucking lines into Afghanistan, creating splits between them and those who support the insurgency in Afghanistan. That’s just one example. You are also starting to see splits between the Americans and the Pakistanis on air strikes. I would not be too surprised to see some unilateral strikes in the months ahead, especially if the CIA thinks there are some real high-profile targets that are worth the relationship risks with Pakistan. And it’s not just drones. I would not rule out strikes in urban areas using black suits. Then there’s the increasing US willingness to use economic aid as leverage. Those IMF conditions from last year for example. They were extremely stringent and could not have happened that way without US acquiesence. Add all that too minor policies like making visas more restrictive for Pakistanis, enforcing more restrictions on Pakistani business, etc. all those tiny annoyances and indignities that countries in good standing don’t usually suffer.

Unfortunately, all this means that the relationship between Pakistan and the West (not just the US) is in for a very rough ride in the years ahead. Yet there is nothing that Pakistan can do to change the perceptions of the West except take action that is perceived to be in the Western interests (solve terrorism at home, clamp down on Afghan insurgents, cut off groups that kill westerners and attack western economic interests in India). If it can’t do that, then whatever happens in Afghanistan, it will be Pakistan that pays the price for it. I would think that this understanding should be enough to coerce Pakistan to change its ways. If it isn’t…then unfortunately they aren’t the only ones in for a rough ride.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Pak Blogger:

“My opinion on above questions.
-The west can persuade Pakistan by advocating a just solution to Kashmir dispute. Solve Kashmir, get Indians off our backs. With an India many times larger than us and ever ready to threaten and undermine Pakistan, we need all we can get to defend ourselves from India. Call it paranoia or whatever, but Pakistan’s threat perceptions are different (I call it 1971 East Pakistan syndrome). The west feels threatened by alleged terror groups or havens in Pakistan, whereas for Pakistan, India is a significant threat. When Obama administration preaches Pakistan that India is no more a threat, that is equivalent of coercion. In other words let India cease to exist as a threat to Pakistan (not cease to exist as a nation) only then will millitant groups see the back of Pakistan.”

–>Wrong answer. Pakistan wants to use this fight against Militantism and AQ and needs to turn this tough cornering situation and reface it with another problem, and redirect it away to another country, altogether. What you Pakistani’s are saying is that you will not fully co-operate on the war on terror and in fact, work to undermine it, using proxy armies, if you do not get Kashmir. The only solution on Kashmir, is quit thinking it is yours, it belongs to India, all of it, including the one on your side, what do you think about that.

Double speaking and slithering is a norm when dealing with Pakistani’s the Kashmir issue, will in no way be linked with Kashmir or AQ. Nice try. But the world and the U.S. is onto Pakistan. You have no moral basis to bait and switch the U.S. onto an entire different issue. Try if you wish, it will backfire, the Afghan mission, if it falters, the umbrella of fighting terrorism will extend to include Kashmiri militants. That will put the Kashmir issue to the grave.

India is not the biggest threat to Pakistan. The biggest threat to Pakistan is the Pakistani Army, your ISI and homegrown Jihadi’s. You Pakistani’s have to quit blaming everybody else for your problems and just try to be better, more responsible human beings.

They genocided 3 million bengalis, that prompted the Indian Army to lunge forward with a humanitarian effort that led to the Bengali’s wanting Independence. Did you hear what I said? The bengali’s did not want to stay with West Pakistan, they did not want to be a part of your oppressive Union neither through force nor co-ercion, get that through your skull. Bengalis to this day, are happy that India stepped in and enabled Independence and stopped the Genocide.

Check your history. Pak. Army has attacked India every time and thus weakened and embarassed Pakistan everytime. Your generals historically were never great strategists, never good planners, had no brains, no game plan, other than that, they were good soldiers.

The Pakistani establishment is trying to slither out and relabel this entire AF_Pak as a Kashmir issue. The only two commonalities are that Pak Army and ISI are fueling terrorism in both of those regions.

Afghans also welcome friendship from India, which is not based on a nefarious or military basis of any kind.

You Pakistani’s must quit being so paranoid and afraid, just because India is good at a lot of things, that does not mean that you should counter it with terrorism, why don’t you try to emulate us and use your academic human skills for improving things for once?

Let me repeat, India is not a military threat of any kind to Pakistani statehood. The U.S. knows that and acknowledges that. All U.S. intelligence think tanks know that India is no military threat of any kind to Pakistan, unless Pakistan starts a war on India, first.

India has no plan to pre-emptively invade another country. Kashmir is only a political tool to drive the Pakistani hate factory and use that as diversionary tool, to deal with all internal and external problems.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Yahoo questions, a blogger wrote:

“In 1819, 30,000 soldiers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore attacked and annexed Kashmir as a part of Ranjit Singh’s empire. In 1846, the British rulers sold Kashmir to Maharaja Gulab Singh by the Treaty of Amritsar. The Maharaja declared himself as the King of Jammu and Kashmir. Following the partition of India and Pakistan, Pakistani tribal Pashtuns attacked and annexed some portions of Kashmir.To save kashmir its king asked the help of India and an instrument of accession was signed between the Maharaja and the Indian Union.”

–>Any intelligent person here, will realize that ALL of Kashmir is a part of India, from its history, and in every legal way possible. We Indians have no dispute over Kashmir, we know it belongs to India and Kashmiri’s are a part of India. We have chosen not to goto war over Pakistan’s Kashmir, which also belongs to India. It is therefore logical to keep the status quo and put this issue to rest and realize that the line of control is the defacto border.

Kashmir has NOTHING to do with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Those are entirely two different issues. The U.S. has no interest, nor any place to want to touch the Kashmir issue with the Indians, because the Americans already know that in every way possible, Kashmir is a part of India.

Pakistan has nothing redeeming to offer Kashmiri’s only more genocide and more plundering of the region to line the pockets of Islamabad. An ignorant and militant population has been created in Pakistan to keep public opinion one-sided there to divert attention away from the actual criminals in office there.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Myra, Umair, Keith, GW and all:

@The west can persuade Pakistan by advocating a just solution to Kashmir dispute. Solve Kashmir, get Indians off our backs. With an India many times larger than us and ever ready to threaten and undermine Pakistan, we need all we can get to defend ourselves from India. Call it paranoia or whatever, but Pakistan’s threat perceptions are different (I call it 1971 East Pakistan syndrome).
-posted by Umair

I said this in my last post also and I repeat here and add it a bit “The favorite excuse of Pakistan’s reluctance in helping the West is the Indian factor. Pakistan expects India to fix the Kashmir deal/pack up its Army from Indo-Pak border and abandon the pro-Afghan development projects in Afghanistan, before Pak becomes an ally in true sense.
First of all, waiting for K-deal to happen and then Pakistan getting into the game is like waiting for a long time (???) and each day costs lives and $$$$$ to everyone. Hypothetically speaking, let us say India entertains Pakistan’s childish request, how long will it take for the K-solution to emerge (1-2 yr ???). Can the West wait this long and what will India get from 1) Pakistan 2) West?
Guys, as much as all of us love solutions and peace and expect the West and the only non-NATO US ally Pak defeat terrorism in Af-Pak, the chance for India entertaining this request is ZERO—I see no motivation for India here—simply because Pak blatantly loves and parties with lunatics from LeTs and JeMs and is praying for Mullah Omar/Taliban as the ruler of Afgh.
Pakistan has no resources and worse no intentions to help the development of Afgh and still worse opposes Indian involvement in the development of Afghnistan. I am sure the West and India agree on this and if YES we both disagree with Pakistan.
If K-deal and Afgh-approved Indian involvement in Afgh is the basis for reluctance of Pakistan in helping the West, then Pakistan has really run out of excuses and is directly saying that it wants to put Taliban back in power to take care off India—-why would the West do it.
Myra, what do you say. Your insight will be highly appreciated.
_________________________________
@ In the words of Benazir Bhutto, democracy is the best revenge.
- Posted by GW
GW: But note that her words are limited to Pakistan since under her democratic govt, Afghanistan was given the gift of Taliban. Yes sure she made a U-turn when out of power and criticized them.
She smuggled CDs containing uranium enrichment data to North Korea on a state visit in return for data on missile technology.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

“All parts of India where Muslims are a majority must be freed”, he said.

“One highly placed Lashkar militant said the Mumbai attackers were part of groups trained by former Pakistani military and intelligence officials at Lashkar camps. Others had direct knowledge that retired army and ISI officials trained Lashkar recruits as late as last year”

“Some people of the ISI knew about the plan and closed their eyes,” said one senior Lashkar operative in Karachi

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/ asia/30mumbai.html?ref=world

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

Rajeev,

One thing I am fairly clear on, is that when you talk to Indians they are convinced that India does not pose a threat to Pakistan; when you talk to Pakistanis, they are convinced that India does pose a threat.

This threat perception has if anything worsened since Mumbai, since there is a belief in Pakistan that if there is another big Mumbai-style attack, India will strike back.

If you follow the Indian media, particularly the television media, you get the impression that India is in a particularly belligerent mood right now. Because I know India, I try (as best I can from a distance) to take the electorate as my starting point and work up from there, since the government will always be sensitive to the electorate. And as we have discussed before on this blog, I see some discrepancies between “public opinion” as portrayed by the media and what people appear to be thinking on the ground. (if I could read the local language newspapers, I’d probably be able to make this case much better). But if you are a Pakistani who has never been to India, your perception of “the Indian threat” is likely to be informed by the media, no? And do remember all that stuff – TV and print – is available everywhere these days. So it’s fairly safe to say there is a big perception gap.

On Kashmir, there’s a basic roadmap on the table for an agreement on this reached through back-channel diplomacy. Pakistan has signalled a willingness to return to back-channel diplomacy by naming its man to hold the talks:

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Afgha nistan-Pakistan/idUSTRE58O4C220090925?sp =true

Those who I have spoken to about that backchannel deal say there was a long way to go to reach an agreement, so I wouldn’t suggest it can be done overnight. One thing that does puzzle me though, is that the roadmap incorporated something that India has been wanting for years; that there be no exchange of territory in J&K. As I have written in some of my stories, there was a big question mark over whether the civilian government in Pakistan would be ready to back an agreement put together by Musharraf. With Pakistan now signalling that it is willing to pick up where Musharraf’s envoy Tariq Aziz left off, does it serve India’s interest to snub it?

This is not to suggest that a deal on Kashmir could magically solve Afghanistan overnight. But among the questions people are asking: Can you stabilise Afghanistan without stabilising Pakistan? And can you stabilise Pakistan without a settlement with India?

Keith,

On your point about the men in black suits, even if this option were adopted, would anyone know where to look without help from Pakistan?

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

“If you follow the Indian media, particularly the television media, you get the impression that India is in a particularly belligerent mood right now” – Posted by Myra MacDonald

Myra, you make it sound as if the bitterness of Indians towards Pakistan is somewhat unjustified. You don’t seem to take into account the fact that countless Indian civilians have been the target of terror attacks orchestrated by the Pakistani establishment over the years. Being a non-Indian westerner, it might sound as similar rhetoric to you but do you realize that just between 2006 & last November there have been multiple Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks in every major Indian city (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Lucknow etc)? Do you expect the Indian public to just ignore the non-stop terror onslaught from the Pakistani establishment?
What has changed since the Mumbai attacks is that Indians finally said in one voice “We’ve had enough”. You wanna know the mood of the Indian electorate, that’s exactly what it is. Maybe not in villages & smaller towns but in all major cities, security is a major priority. You can say that the Mumbai attack was the event that finally broke the Indian camel’s back.
Hypothetically speaking, if you are a British citizen, how would you feel about bombs going off in London, Manchester or Liverpool on a regular basis & how would you feel about the french, knowing that they are the one’s responsible for it?

“Indians they are convinced that India does not pose a threat to Pakistan; when you talk to Pakistanis, they are convinced that India does pose a threat”

Forget about talks & perceptions & let’s talk about actions. It’s been acknowledged by many Pakistani intellectuals as well as politicians and even Retired military officers that India has never attacked Pakistan. Even Zardari has acknowledged that India never was & nor is a threat to Pakistan. In spite of this, if Pakistanis wanna be paranoid about India, what do you expect India do about it? Who do you think is in a belligerent mood, India or Pakistan?

“With Pakistan now signalling that it is willing to pick up where Musharraf’s envoy Tariq Aziz left off, does it serve India’s interest to snub it?”

Myra, you make it sound as if India has never tried to resolve outstanding issues with Pakistan, in spite of overtures from Pakistan. India has tried to embrace Pakistan with open arms on numerous occasions, only to be back-stabbed time & again. Before the Mumbai attacks, Pakistani diplomats visited India regularly, Pakistani artists performed in Indian shows, Pakistani cricketers played in Indian leagues & Pakistani actors acted in Indian movies. Indians had opened their hearts & wallets for Pakistanis but as I said, the mumbai attacks left a deep wound in the heart of Indians & Pakistan’s credibility was badly damaged. How are Indian’s supposed to feel about Pakistan when they read that people like Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim & Azhar Mahmood, the men who planned & orchestrated the murder of thousand’s of Indian civilians are being whined & dined by the Pak army?

Now, Indians want to see some action taken by Pakistan before they can trust it again. It’s that simple. You may see it as a snub, if you choose to!

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Myra,
I’m afraid you like to think you are neutral, but to Indians you come across as a passionate, rigid advocate of pakistani position! (No offense!)

No matter how many months we interact with you, you simply reiterate the pakistani story line. I would prefer to call it pakistani lie , but for the sake of having a civil conversation I’m calling it a story line.

And the story line you are not budging from is this…. That kashmir is the root cause of problems between India and Pakistan. Read your post to Rajeev again, you are stuck with this position.

Some kashmiri muslims not wanting to be part of India IS Kashmir problem. Muslim Punjabis living in their own land waging wars, terrorist attacks on unarmed civilians in Mumbai and Delhi is NOT “kashmir problem”…..BUT manifestations of pakistan problem!! when their country is falling apart in every way, muslim punjabis parroting about Kashmir is pakistan problem, NOT Kashmir problem.

If you wish and allow I can elaborate more on what is “pakistan problem”.

You talk about back channel diplomacy willl lead to solution that India wanted. Then why are Indian leaders and bureacrats are not keen? So what are you saying? India’s democratic governement, and leaders don’t want peace and are pursuing militarism? We know otherwise.

The truth of the matter is once again I repeat you are a passionate advocate of pakistani position and have utter disregard for Indian concerns. This lack of understanding on your part could explain why you seem to be perplexed by Indians not moving with “back channel diplomacy”.

I want to see if you will post this since you didn’t post my earlier post yesterday.

Regards,

Kashmir has nothing to do with what is going on in Afghanistan. The whole problem erupted due to cold war where the Soviet union entered Afghanistan and fell victim to the trap laid. Then the US went busy with the new world order, Kuwait liberation and Yugoslavia. There was no time to look at Afghanistan and it lost its strategic value. And Pakistan took full advantage of the situation with the evil plan of bleeding India to death. In 1989 it sent all the war hardened Mujahideen fighters into Kashmir and the place has never been the same. The strategy was exactly what was done to the Soviet Union. Stage a rebellion, fight a low intensity war with trained militants and bleed the enemy. Soviet Union fell because the country bleeding them was the US. Well Pakistan is no US and India is no Soviet Union. So trying to ape a global conflict for its regional ambitions, Pakistan got twisted in the bargain. It got intoxicated with Islamic fundamentalism that was flaming the neighborhood. Unfortunately the flames reached too far and now a new war has emerged from it. Pakistan is trapped by its own flames and it is trying hard to drag India into it, now that it could not succeed in bleeding India to its death. Kashmir is only an excuse. They will never stop with Kashmir. They’ll keep slipping out of every grip by promising on one side and breaking them on the other side. It is the art of their survival. They have done it all these years and money is poured on from outside all the time. What fuels them is anti-Indian passion. Indians in general do not worry much about Pakistan. There are enough goals to accomplish and enough issues to tackle. But Pakistan seems to have only one issue – get at India. They are willing to stab themselves in order to destroy India. They have spent all these years doing nothing else and it shows. If they realize this, then there is hope for them. Otherwise, Kashmir will not resolve their situation. India will do whatever suits its interests and it is not going to be favorable to Pakistani interests. Pakistan has no choice but to destroy its terror machinery. Otherwise they will fail. And the Americans will not show any remorse for their actions. Pakistan is drowning and they are desperately trying to grab India’s feet instead of saving themselves.

Myra,

You said, “With Pakistan now signalling that it is willing to pick up where Musharraf’s envoy Tariq Aziz left off, does it serve India’s interest to snub it?”

- There is no question of snubbing Pakistan. Let Pakistan prove its sincerity by taking steps in 26/11 investigations. As Manmohan Singh admitted, India will meet more than the half way if Pakistan takes tangible steps against terrorism.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

If anyone is interested in the details of how perceptions differ in Pakistan and India, do look at the APP and PTI reports on the same briefing by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley:

The APP version stresses his call for dialogue between India and Pakistan & his comments about the linkages between India, Pakistan and Afghanistan:

http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?opti on=com_content&task=view&id=86888&Itemid =2

The PTI version emphasises his call for Pakistan to take action on Mumbai:

http://www.ptinews.com/news/308286_US-en courages-Pak-to-investigate-Mumbai-attac ks

And here, for good measure, is the link to the State Dept’s own transcript:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2009/s ept/130095.htm

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

I have some hope of President Obama’s policies and for once a US President admitting that the Afghan war is a triangle. Please can The US stop trying to govern the world let alone Britain following as if we were glued to to US for any decisions especially with regards to war.This is an other Vietnam, when soldiers and innocent people die everyday. Firstly going to Afghanistan ‘invation’ was to ‘kill’ the poppy field, yet again a lie. Words from many politicians ‘we cannot leave until ‘the job is done’. The problem is nor the US or the UK studied the complexity of these 2 countries with their various religions, are they all delusional in thinking that they can win this war. Unless they engaged with the people instead of killing them there is no hope of any positive results. Unless around the world we engage a talk and programme with the Muslim people, in engaging with the Mosques not engaged in the teaching of terrosim, we need their help instead of not facing one of the real problem. After all the infiltration of terrosism has become a war against the West where we have blinded ourselves and now we are facing at times a hatred of Muslim people against us. Obviously I am against all form of terrosism, but sending our missiles and firing at them is not going to resolve the problem. In Afghistan we are on a no winning solution, the Taliban know their country and can hide and move without unfortunately the lack of knowledge our milatary is aware of. Such a shame for an other war of disasters yet again when so many people, children are killed every day, have no longer houses to live in. Like Iraq promising to offer the people of this country a democracy and a restructure of their country, they yet again made promises they cannot provide, simply because Bush Jumior was totally unable to go to war with a proper plan for the people of this country. Somehow they have now left with a total mess behind and so many Iraqui
who were led to believe for a better life. An other failure! How many more do we need? Simply get out, please do not tell us that we need to stay for an other 4 years this will not change anything excep for living Paksitan and Afghanistan in an even more turmoil than they are in or else at least try to understand how these countries and people work within their own contries.
Let’s not be delusional we will not win this war we only goint to carry on killing people – ours and theirs.
I am afraid I find this world rather malignant and cannot see any improvement in Civil Rights and Human Rights.
JUST LET IT GO AND TRY TO REGAIN A SENSE OF UNITY BETWEEN ISLAM AND THE WEST.
AN FINALLY MAYBE THE INTELLIGENCE OF MANY OF THE WEST COULD DO A BETTER JOB INSTEAD OF STARTING BLOODY WARS AROUND THE WAR.
Also by the way, nothing really happens to ‘save’ Africa, why? After all they are only people and most of their countries have little to offer such as oil or anything else.
We can only reflect to the US various ‘Coup’ in South America, fear of communism was then the point or shall I say total obsession about communism from the US.
I find it all very sad, have we learned amything about history. A wise man Krishnamurti had so many wise and itelligent views in his talks and his books, maybe some of these could be sent to some of our World Leaders, the question is about some of them, would they really understand!!!!!!!! Catherine

“And the story line you are not budging from is this…. That kashmir is the root cause of problems between India and Pakistan. Read your post to Rajeev again, you are stuck with this position.”

–>Myra, the root cause is not Kashmir, Kashmir is just another lightening rod for the Pak Army to garner Political support and militant support to ascede land from India. You are a westerner and don’t understand some Eastern Creeds very well, their mentality. I would thought you would have realized by now that some creeds always blame their problems on other people and start conflicts, based on fictitiously fueled grievances, for the sole purpose of expanding their creed. The Pak Army does not care damn, humanity or otherwise for the Kashmiri’s. This is only about land and satisfying one’s ego.

If it was not Kashmir, the Pak Army would have been fueling separatism in Gujarat, with absolute 1000% certainty and trying to separate that from India. You are an extremely educated, sophisticated and intelligent and I ask you to please just take a step back and don’t be so pulled into the Kashmir propaganda. (Please don’t take offense). But you are favouring the Kashmir discussion to scapegoat all of Pakistan’s problems and its dabbling with Taliban and Proxy armies in Afghanistan, a completely separate issue. In the future, please do not link the two together, they are not, they are only linked by the fact that the Pak Army and ISI are causing militant activity for their own means, in both regions.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

US wants to missile attack Taliban Targets.

Myra, Aslam Raisani, chief minister of a Pak province says:

“Any type of American attack will have serious implications. I hope America will not make this mistake — such attacks would harm the American interests in the area and there may be a public reaction against any such attack.”

–>Loosely translated, this means, if you destroy our proxy Taliban assets in Pakistan, we will make sure that the Afghan mission fails and make sure that public opinion turns against you (the U.S.).

The Taliban in Afghanistan are killing U.S. and NATO soldiers, therefore a mission objective is to wipe out the Taliban. Pakistan just got an AID package cleared by the U.S. Congress today, and while it claims to be an ally of the U.S. At the same time, it is vehemently protesting any military action on the Taliban, those who are butchering U.S. lives in Afghanistan. How can Pakistan consider itself an ally, while enabling the Taliban leadership in Quetta to butcher U.S. soldier’s?

At the same time, Pakistan is trying to link Kashmir to their willingness to co-operate on the war on terror, is it just me, or is it blackmail and Pakistan just showed its cards and lost all moral ground?

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Myra,
We all know perceptions differ amongst us.

But can you respond to the question posted by Mortal:

–>Hypothetically speaking, if you are a British citizen, how would you feel about bombs going off in London, Manchester or Liverpool on a regular basis & how would you feel about the french, knowing that they are the one’s responsible for it?

———————————————-
I have seen Myra write about the “freedom struggle” “aspirations” of Muslims in Kashmir, I’ve seen you write about Afghan war, terrorist organizations based in (p) Punjab, how the Indo-Pak troubles affect your (West’s) security, etc, etc…

I have never seen you write one thing. I am looking forward to see you write a column titled “Will Pakistan army and ISI abandon terrorism as a negotiating tool?” Or at least you can start by at least recognizing Indian views in the comments section if writing such a piece would be too much to ask for!

When Umair says, to avoid Afghan quagmire US should negotiate with punjabi army& ISI, that’s exactly what he means– i.e using terrorism as a negotiating tool to achieve fantasies/ strategic goals, i.e.using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

Here is an Indian proposal:

1)punajabi army/ ISI stop terrorism in all Indian territories including the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for 3 full calendar years

2)punajabi army/ ISI allow the perpetrators of Mumbai massacre to be brought to justice

3)punajabi army/ ISI close all anti-India terrorist training camps.

After the above, India can decide if it is worthwhile to start “composite dialogue”. You don’t discuss something when the opposing party is thrusting a gun on your body under the table!

Guys:
Easy on Myra :-) Let us shoot the message, not the messenger.

Since very few Pakistanis write on Reuters, Pakistan POV is a reflection of personal opinion of few individuals. So it is better if Myra for the sake of discussion takes Pakistani side. It hardly matters if she is pro-Pakistan or pro-India. It will be helpful if Myra would like to carry the discussion forward by responding to reasonable Indian responses or their counter-questions.

Myra:
@One thing I am fairly clear on, is that when you talk to Indians they are convinced that India does not pose a threat to Pakistan; when you talk to Pakistanis, they are convinced that India does pose a threat.”
-Agreed.

@This threat perception has if anything worsened since Mumbai.
- “threat perception…. worsened since Mumbai” means Pakistan already had threat perception. Why did they have threat perceptions before Mumbai? Indians and Pakistani perceptions are based on the available facts. It is well researched by scholars and written a lot by columnists recently that the Pakistani that common Pakistanis have been taught distorted facts at young age. Remember an extensive pdf report by 2 Pakistani scholars who said that careful deletions and distortions of historical facts were introduced in Pakistani school text books. These books teach Pakistanis students that India is an evil neighbor, with ridiculous Hindu religion, that has evil designs of consuming Pakistan.

India has been shown as a nation that always attacked Pakistan and Pakistan defended itself. Recently Pakistan’s 2 ex-airchief’s (one of them airchief in 1965 war) and a general blamed Pakistan Army for attacking India each time and keeping even their PAF in dark. So what Pakistanis know is a big LIE that India invaded Pakistan in 1965 taking advantage of the darkness of the night and Pakistan responded, defeating India since 1 Pakistani soldier was equal to 10 Indian soldiers. I still see Pakistanis agreeing with that despite the internet availability of the same news that India and Pakistanis have (as you said). They do not make use of the updated corrected history and tell themselves that India did not attack Pakistan and in fact India has defended. This is what makes their threat perceptions about India. Pakistani establishment is the prisoner of its own lies and feeds lies to common people which have such threat perceptions. Do you agree with me on that? I know you might bring Siachen vs kargil.

Pakistanis complain about India creating Bangladesh in 1971 but they fail to see that India had no plan about Bangladesh until their elections. It is not a secret now that Bangladesh was the result of the genocide of 1-2 millions of their fellow country people by Pakistani Army. Rather than giving hell to their leaders and generals for their stupidities they see India as threat.
The threat perception of Pakistanis will change if they know that the GHQ ordered the destruction of the 1965 war diaries, and all the Foreign Office record pertaining to the East Pakistan crisis (1970-71) was also destroyed?

Indians despite the wars that Pakistan imposed on India and the terrorism they supported in Punjab and are doing in Kashmir (besides ISI involvement in NE India) have been open to Pakistanis if you look at the warming up of relations at many levels before 26/11. Others have already commented here on that.

@there is a belief in Pakistan that if there is another big Mumbai-style attack, India will strike back.
It is good they believe so and I wish they push the Pak govt to chill and pack up the terrorists and go to the table with India. It cannot be both at the table talking peace with India while terrorists running on the loose all over India. It goes without saying that Indian govt (like any other govt anywhere else) is duty bound to defend the nation in a most appropriate way. That is for govt to decide how it responds to next terrorist attack (hope it does not happen). But India has done the needful of showing the restraint after 26/11 and parliament. This is as good as it gets in such high profile Fidayeen attacks like in Mumbai. India also has used the international diplomatic channels. Ask yourself this question: What has been Pakistan’s response and attitude in nearly one year. Do keep aside the Af-Pak issue (India does not care). So what more is left for India to do the next time attack happens; any ideas? Don’t you think Pakistan is pushing India into war?
@ Belligerent Indian media–TV and other media.

–Everyone is angry. This is not some Media or internet blog thing. It is down to the roots at people level. You may find discrepancy but the people I talk to is like saying Pakistan is incorrigible; they won’t change their ways. You might be thinking about Mumbai alone. To me and to people, that is just a dot on the graph, but yes a big one. There is a history of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and 26/11 has further tipped the balance towards aggressive measures either from Pakistan against terrorists or from India against the terrorists in pakistan. None of Indian TV channel or media person is dedicated to Pakistan unlike in Pakistan people like Zaid Hamid (Brasstacks) who constantly feed its population hate against India/US/Israel. He is always in an “ON” mode. He talks about Pakistan rule over India and Pakistan flag over Red fort; Mugha l glory and all that. They are not just being defensive; they run anti-India propaganda all the time through various media. Indian Have you missed Pakistani media? Who is more belligerent here?

Before 26/11, media was not “belligerent” and many common Indians have never been to such blogs, did not know of Zaid hamid types, never even thought of Pakistan other than cricket or during terrorist strike like at Parliament, bomb blasts in the major Indian cities. 26/11 changed all that—that is an important day and this attack was of serious threshold value.

@ since the government will always be sensitive to the electorate. And as we have discussed before on this blog, I see some discrepancies between “public opinion” as portrayed by the media and what people appear to be thinking on the ground.
– I do not know how scientific is the discrepancy you mentioned? There is no way to really know that. Govt cannot turn to electorate for each single decision. Electorate has done its job of chosing Congress govt with a fresh memory of 26/11 attack. So it is over to the govt, Just a noisy belligerent media cannot push India into attacking Pakistan. But the progress on Pakistan’s behalf will also decide how India responds—Pakistan’s sincerity shown through actions against high profile terrorists will alter India’s response. India might then view the next attacks as retaliatory by the terrorists after let us say Saeed Hafliz or Azhar is hanged by Pakistan.

I think the Western media think bit differently. For India LeT Saeed and JeM chief Azhar etc carry even more value than OBL, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar carry for the West. These guys are next door unlike OBL et al for the West.

@The back chanel talks. With Pakistan now signalling that it is willing to pick up where Musharraf’s envoy Tariq Aziz left off, does it serve India’s interest to snub it?
—Ex-PM Vajpayee started this channel and PM Singh continued with the process until Musharaf got into his own political mess. Vajpayee was admirably doing it in the background of parliament attack and kargil war by Pakistan or its terrorists. Then Why not now? Despite the seriousness of terrorist attacks in past few years and now 26/11—-solid evidence and a Pakistani Fidayeen caught alive in Indian jail—One year gone and Pakistanis socialize with Hafiz Saeed and have no case against the chief whose tools attacked India. This is disturbing enough for India to not have it one way. It is unclear what Pakistan will do with the terrorists. Pakistan has failed to convince India on its concern of terrorism from Pakistan soil. If they are non-state actors, Pakistan will not be able to control them anyway. They need to come clean where they stand.

Myra: Does it not strike you that Pakistan does not want to get rid off terrorism and creates atmosphere where Indai-Pak talks cannot be held. Reason is they know India does not and will not attack—it never did. This is BS served by PA to people and even Pakistani experts know that, if you dig deeper. Kashmir binds Pakistani, gives survival advantage to military for controlling civilian govt since they run terrorist organizations, which gives them control over civilian govt and gets Pakistan money from the West. This is an industry. Is there still a doubt—these terrorists chiefs are Pakistani state guests but still the terrorists are called non-state actors. JeM chief Azhar released from India jail in plane hijacking is an established killer and is given kid-friendly facility in S.Punjab.

@ This is not to suggest that a deal on Kashmir could magically solve Afghanistan overnight. But among the questions people are asking: Can you stabilise Afghanistan without stabilising Pakistan? And can you stabilise Pakistan without a settlement with India?
– So that means you are waiting to stabilize Pakistan and India-Pak relations for fixing Afgh. That’s good for media discussion but at ground when each days costing lives and $$$$, I do not think the generals are waiting to fix Pakistan and India-Pak relations for Pakistan;s help in WOT. Pakistan is really making the Western media who asks such questions dance on its tune. Myra, let us say K-deal is done, but the terrorists issue is not solved and they strike in India; then Pakistan still faces the same threat from Indian attack. So-K-deal is an excuse and completely relevant for getting Pakistan’s participation in Afgh.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

“Before 26/11, media was not “belligerent” and many common Indians have never been to such blogs. 26/11 changed all that—that is an important day and this attack was of serious threshold value” – Posted by rajeev

That is so true & I’m an example of such an Indian/Person of Indian origin. Before last year’s Mumbai attacks, I had never taken the time to visit the website of a Pakistani newspaper, watch a Pakistan related video, comment on a Pakistan-specific blog or interact with a Pakistani, online. I feel that in just a few months following the Mumbai attacks, I learned more about Pakistan & Pakistanis, than I had done during my entire life prior to that. I’m sure that event certainly had threshold value for many others, as it did for me.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Good News!

India and Pakistan agree to work together in Pakistan.

Krishna said that he was pleasantly surprised by Pakistan’s suggestion, and has expressed India’s willingness to work together for rebuilding Afghanistan.

Is ISI on board?

http://www.sindhtoday.net/news/1/56225.h tm

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

@Rajeev: “Have you missed Pakistani media? Who is more belligerent here?”

I think Myra has overlooked a big chunk of the Pakistani media because by & large, the real hard-core Pakistani media communicates in Urdu & not english whereas in India, english is the primary language of communication across the board. The english faction of the Pakistani media i.e. Dawn, Daily times etc represent the liberal/moderate minority of Pakistan. The western media is oblivious to the Zaid Hamid type nut jobs that you mention because those guys, by and large, only communicate in Urdu.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

“his is not to suggest that a deal on Kashmir could magically solve Afghanistan overnight. But among the questions people are asking: Can you stabilise Afghanistan without stabilising Pakistan? And can you stabilise Pakistan without a settlement with India?” Myra

For those who have tried and continue to push Kashmir into every problem besetting Pakistan and now even Afghanistan, would someone please enlighten me on some facts.

India Pakistan is a 60 year old problem area, Afghanistan just a few years. How come Pakistan suddenly showed instability only a few years ago even though it has a 60 year old problem with India? So isn’t this the old ‘link everything to Kashmir’ Pakistan card it has always played and its supporters have dutifully sympathised. Pakistan destabilised because it reared a monster which is now devouring it.

“With Pakistan now signalling that it is willing to pick up where Musharraf’s envoy Tariq Aziz left off, does it serve India’s interest to snub it?”

Myra, India has stated time and again, which so many pretend not to hear….start action against terorism emanating from Pakistani soil and we will walk the extra mile. For discussions sake, suppose India gives up even this stand, what in return will Pakistan bring to the table?

As for Pakistanis seeing an India threat. Will someone please tell me how many lives have been lost due to murderers and thugs trained in Pakistan attacking India and how many have the Pakistanis lost to Indian hoodlums?

Finally is India alone responsible for solving the Kashmir problem or is it Pakistan’s responsibilty too?

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive

What was the man doing as he cycled near the aeroplane? Who’s the guy looking at Obama with contempt as Karzai wears a worn out look probably bored by Obama speech? The soldier is doing something which is like making indian hand made chewing tobacco. Do these picture really convey the real story that everyone in world is now fed up with AfPak, one of sources of perennial misery in world? When did talk resolve perennial misery of world also needs to be ascertained? I did some googling, but nothing came up. This problem and problems for Israel exist due to secularism practiced by westerners. If both problems can go away by talking then UN should construct a new auditorium with retiring room for talkers so that they leave with agreements in hands. Till that time, they should debate it out continuously in presence of learned judge, United States of America + Great Britain.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

world knows pakistan is major root cause of terror. world is allowing pakistan to bully others and legitimize its militant activities. if you don’t tell pakistan with a some tough words they will keep being themselves. juggling one terror after another. blaming india and stuff. it is not india needs to talk peace but pakistan need to lay down their illegal activities. now that they declared india’s nuclear test was a blow up. what non proliferation they are talking about ? india doesnt have any dangerous nuclear weapons. we had some dummies until our scientist exposed it.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

myra, when are you giving northern ireland to the irish ? how does this question sound to you ?

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

Mortal:

The article in Dawn “On screen, out of touch” by Nadeem F. Paracha tells the story of popular media of Pakistan.

http://nadeemfparacha.wordpress.com/2009  /06/18/on-screen-out-of-touch/

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Lots of questions, but here as some brief answers:

1)How would I respond if militant groups in France were attacking Britain?

There are many answers to that question but the obvious one would be to say: Can you invade France? If the answer is ‘no’, you would then need to take a very cold dispassionate look at what it would take to persuade the majority of French people, and French institutions, to turn against those militant groups.

2) Why has Kashmir become such a big issue now?

Kashmir is a historical problem; the more recent rivalry has been over Afghanistan, especially since the Soviet invasion, with blowback into Kashmir:

Steve Coll makes the point about Afghanistan here:

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db90 0SID/SNAA-7WF7DC?OpenDocument

3) Is India alone responsible for solving the Kashmir problem or is it Pakistan’s responsibilty too?

One would assume that both countries are responsible, and that is the whole point of negotiations

4)Where is the discrepancy on the media coverage?

Over the outrage at the Sharm statement. Ask people outside of Delhi and they will often say they don’t care – that doesn’t mean they trust Pakistan – but they are far more concerned about the economy and don’t really care if the prime minister decides to talk to Pakistan or not.

5) When are you giving Northern Ireland to the Irish? Well if the people of Northern Ireland wanted to be part of Ireland and voted in a referendum to do so, I’d be quite happy – but that’s a misleading analogy as I’m sure many people who comment on this blog would argue

6) On different perceptions of history.

This is a subject for a whole different post but every country has a different view of history.

Many people in India think Britain deliberately divided the subcontinent to permanently weaken India; in Pakistan they think Britain deprived it of Kashmir to permanently weaken Pakistan & that Mountbatten favoured Nehru over Jinnah for personal reasons; in Britain people think it left India because it was crippled and bankrupted by World War Two.

You can argue about this at length – and many do – both about the history of partition as well as what happened before and after. But I’m not convinced there is room to reach a common view of history without a peaceful settlement that would allow so much people-to-people contact that everyone would start revising their views. But you can’t get a peaceful settlement with such different views of history, which creates a Catch 22.

7) Is it not good that Pakistan’s threat perception may have increased post-Mumbai?

Don’t know. You can equally argue that it would make Pakistan even more reluctant to turn against militant groups if it believed it might need to use them as a first line of defence against India. So it’s another Catch 22. I made this point here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Afgha nistan-Pakistan/idUSTRE55K0TO20090621?sp =true

8) India has a different threat perception than the west about the Punjab-based militant groups.

Are you sure? Why assume this?

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Crossing the Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LLnuglrW 34

Pay attention to what Praveen Togodia VHP leader says at @17:00 onwards, i haven’t been to India but now i have a better idea of anti-Pakistan sentiment originating source.

It is bad if the threat perception in Pakistan have increased after Mumbai attacks. That means Pakistan will remain on offensive.

Difficult job preaching common sense to Indian friends.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Myra:
@ 6) On different perceptions of history.
This is a subject for a whole different post but every country has a different view of history

Myra: I agree it is hard to agree on common history but the crux of the discussion is that Pakistani people’s “threat perception” is based upon distorted history taught to them in school and lies told to them by Pakistani Army.

To say “every country has a different view of history” will be disagreeing with Pakistani scholars A. H. Nayyar and Ahmad Salim, Ex-Pak Air Marshal Nur Khan— who led PAF in 1965 war—and ex Ex-Pak Air Marshal Asghar Khan—-all of them say that Pakistanis have been taught distorted history and told lies that India invaded Pakistan. This is the background of why Pakistanis are such suckers for PA/ISI lies that India invaded Pakistan in the past and continue to be a threat to Pakistan.
Here are the links, which I am sure you are aware of:

1. Pakistani scholars A. H. Nayyar and Ahmad Salim prepared a report about history being taught in Pakistan schools. The report is named “The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan.” They have spent a lot of time and energy and arrive at a conclusion that Pakistani students have been taught a distorted/deleted history—the falsehoods and there needs to be a serious change in the curriculum. This includes India-specific distortions.
http://www.sdpi.org/whats_new/reporton/S tate%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

2. Ex-Pak Air Marshal Nur Khan who led PAF in 1965 war against India says:
“The 1965 war was based on a lie in which Ayub Khan and his generals misled the nation that India rather than Pakistan had provoked the war and that “we were the victims of Indian aggression”,
http://www.pakistaniaviationforum.com/in dex.php?showtopic=378&mode=linear

3. Ex-Pak Air Marshal Asghar Khan says:
“The fact is that in the last 60 years of our existence, India has not started hostilities against Pakistan unless provoked to do so, or until we created conditions, as we did in 1971 in East Pakistan, for India to interfere militarily….”
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/colu mnists/16-ardeshir-cowasjee-wise-words-f rom-an-old-warrior-hs-04

Let us call spade and spade. Myra, if these caring Pakistanis are saying that why not you?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Mortal: The article in Dawn “On screen, out of touch” by Nadeem F. Paracha tells the story of popular media of Pakistan.

http://nadeemfparacha.wordpress.com/2009   /06/18/on-screen-out-of-touch/
- Posted by rajeev

@rajeev: Thanks

@Myra: You should check out Rajeev’s link as well.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

“Pay attention to what Praveen Togodia VHP leader says at @17:00 onwards, i haven’t been to India but now i have a better idea of anti-Pakistan sentiment originating source. Difficult job preaching common sense to Indian friends”
- Posted by Umair

Thanks for the video link. I respect Dr. Hoodbhoy & Dr. Hameed Nayyar & feel they are amongst a few voices of reason in Pakistan.

Talking bout the video, I really wonder whether you, yourself ever read/see the articles/videos that you post here.
Did you see the anti-India hate mongering by Mullahs, jihadis, adults & children on the streets of Pakistan? Did you hear the acknowledgment that Pakistan invaded Indian territory in all wars fought & how your army projected them as victories, although they weren’t?
Did you hear the reference Dr. Nayyar gave from a Pakistani school text book which said that a Hindu can never wish well for a muslim?
Did you hear Ms. Rehman talk about how the Pakistani army keeps alive the fake perception of ‘Indian threat’ through it’s propaganda machinery?

This video is from 2004 & a lot has changed since then in both India & Pakistan. India has out rightly rejected right wing communal fundamentalism & the BJP lost 2 elections since then (the last one, decisively). On the other hand, Pakistan has become more radical than it ever was. You point out at the VHP fellow in the video. I don’t know who he is & I guarantee that 99% of Indians don’t know anything about that nut job either. People like him have an extremely minor following in India & are shunned by a vast majority of Indians whereas a delusional & moronic hate-monger like a Zaid Hamid is considered as a national hero by a majority of Pakistanis.

I agree that India still has many many problems to solve; at the communal level & at the socio-economic level but it is definitely moving in the right direction whereas Pakistan is definitely not & that’s the basic difference between the 2 at this time.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

—–>That means Pakistan will remain on offensive.

Difficult job preaching common sense to Indian friends.

- Posted by Umair
===============
:=|

HAS pakistan ever been NOT on the offensive???
You don’t want to look, see and think where it has taken you!

India has survived and come out the winner in response to your “on offensive”.

Many parts if not most parts of India if you ask an average Indian on the street who is Praveen Togadia, the chances are high he wouldn’t know. Praveen Togadia is fringe in India, the euivalents of Togadia run the army, ISI and government in pakistan.

I don’t expect you to see this truth since you want to be “on the offensive” all the time.

Myra,
“One would assume that both countries are responsible, and that is the whole point of negotiations”

I don’t think anyone here says no to dialogue and negotiations.

In fact the Coll testimony referred to by you actually supports this view when he says that US policy in the region should be directed towards “…. and most critically of all, to persuade the Pakistani military and intelligence services that it is in Pakistan’s national interest to pursue normalization and economic integration with India and to abandon its support for proxy Islamist groups such as the Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and others.”

What India is saying right now right now is please show us some effort being directed towards this end. Otherwise, no amount of dialogue is going to be effective or lasting.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive

“They are far more concerned about the economy and don’t really care if the prime minister decides to talk to Pakistan or not.” Myra

Well I am out of Delhi, living in a second/third tier city and please believe me when I say, ‘yes, we are more worried about the economy but we certainly do care about how the PM handles Pakistan, specially at this juncture.’

In fact I am off for a few days to a small coastal village, given the opportunity, I will try to understand what people there think about this.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive

Judging India by what Praveen Togodia says is like judging the US by what the Grand Dragon of Ku Klux Klan says or like judging Pakistan by the ramblings of the former Baitullah Mehsud. Let’s leave such ridiculous characters out of civilized dialogue.

Umair,

If you are truly interested in peace with India, you and other Pakistanis need to get past the fringe elements and give weight to the statements and aspirations of the vast majority of moderate Indians. Giving weight to statements by fringe leaders in India only makes Pakistanis look paranoid, delusional and on occassion comically so. Would you suggest that the Indians should judge every Pakistani according to what Hafiz Saeed says?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

Myra/Dara:

@“They are far more concerned about the economy and don’t really care if the prime minister decides to talk to Pakistan or not.” Myra

Well I am out of Delhi, living in a second/third tier city and please believe me when I say, ‘yes, we are more worried about the economy but we certainly do care about how the PM handles Pakistan, specially at this juncture.’
-posted by Dara:

Myra: So does it mean that economic recession and loss of jobs in US makes Iran, North Korea, OBL, Al-Qaida any less important? My amswer is NO and that means Obama got one more job to do (fix ecomnomy). In Detroit where the unemployment is in double digits, do people give a damn to Afghanistan/Pakistan, but tomorrow when they do get the jobs they will start asking Obama about what he is doing about Af-Pak. In India it is PM Singh’s job to address all the issues.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Umair:

Nice documentary by Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zian Mian.
@Pay attention to what Praveen Togodia VHP leader says at @17:00 onwards, i haven’t been to India but now i have a better idea of anti-Pakistan sentiment originating source.

— Indian sentiment is against Pakistan govt, not Pakistani people.
Praveen Togodia is a fool because only fools will dream of occupying Rawalpindi or elsewhere in Pakistan. I see no motivation even BJP is not working on his agenda—remember Vajpayee/BJP—Kashmir deal/Backchannel. But even assuming your point, Togodia’s mass appeal is less than the number of Indians criticizing Pakistan. So what’s the source of the remaining vast majority (like me for example) for criticizing Pakistan? The answer is Pakistan sponsored terrorism that has killed Indians since last 20yrs.
Now, could you also come out and address the Indian reason for the anti-India hate in Pakistanis and comment on 3 points in my post to Myra October 2nd, 2009 10:34 pm GMT. I will appreciate if you do without jingoism.
I noticed this in the video:

@11:28: One guy wants to fly the Pakistani flag at the red fort.

@11:52: In Islamabad, lots of people fantasize that “Kashmir will become Pakistan.” It seems plebiscite has already happened. The same statement is in Azad Kashmir constitution. Only those who “Kashmir will become Pakistan.” are permitted to be part of the Kashmir govt.

@21:40: A text book in Pakistan says that Hindu can never be a well wisher of Muslim.—Did you study that?———-In India no student is taught this about other religions.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pay attention to what Praveen Togodia VHP leader says at @17:00 onwards, i haven’t been to India but now i have a better idea of anti-Pakistan sentiment originating source.
- Posted by Umair

When did Praveen Togodia send terrorists to attack civilians in Hotels, Train stations or Parliament buildings in Pakistan? How many times?

How many madrassas Praveen Togodia runs and what kinds of trainings do people get in his madrassas?

How many Interpol/UN/US arrest warrents and ban orders pending against Praveen Togodia or his madrasssas?

How many times Praveen Togodia closed previous madrassa and opened a new one to conceal his hideous activities?

If you can answer above questions, you will find the difference between an Indian politician and a Pakistani terrorist?

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Myra,

After reading many of your articles I have a series of questions I hope that you and others can weigh in on, thank you.

1. It appears that after mumbai that Pakistan and India have backed themselves into corners based on their positions on Saeed. The statement at the NAM conference seemed like a way to reach out but was shot down by the opposition in India. If pakistan doesn’t move on terrorists and Saeed what other concessions could they give, to induce India into broader talks.

2. The US seems to want India and Pakistan to start talks. Specifically what type pressure could they exert on each nation individually to start talks.

3. Mcchraystal seems to praise India for its aid to afghanistan and views it with potential caution due to pakistani sensitivities. What type of role does the US deem acceptable for India in afghanistan, and how does it view the Indian consulates?

4. Since Americans also died in mumbai, I was wondering what the US position on Saeed is. Do they subscribe to the view that there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute him, or that he is being protected by powerful elements in pakistan.

5. Do you think the US will stand firm on the conditions in the Kerry Luger bill, or will they rewrite it to accomodate pakistani concerns?

6. Mcchrystal wants more troops for afghanistan, but there are significant numbers of fighters coming and going from pakistan. How is this strategy supposed to work if the US and pakistanis can’t/won’t reach haqqani, Mullah Omar, and Hekmatyer?

7. Can the pakistani government survive if it attempts to prosecute Saeed, or will it be viewed as caving to India.

8. What do India and pakistan each lose individually by not talking. If a cold peace emerges, trade is kept at the same level (or marginally increases), people to people contact is maintained as is, and other non essential government cooperation is maintained.

9. In the comments section on one of your articles you indicated that the Indian media was making to big of a deal about the fact that Saeed dined with the 10th corp commander.

“That TV report makes it all sound so simple, when we all know it is not. This is not to make a comment on Hafiz Saeed. But at the same time, watching that video, do people actually believe that’s the way it is?”

I was wondering if you could expand on the first and last sentences in the quote.

10. If Obama chooses to reorient strategy to primarily focus on Al-qieda how will he proceed. Since Al-qieda is mainly in pakistan now, will the US expand drone strikes and rely on pakistani forces for ground operations (in pakistan), or will we openly see US forces and special forces engage in hunt/kill (counterterrorism) operations in pakistan.

Thanks,
Nameless

Posted by nameless | Report as abusive

Hi, in answer to your questions:

1. It appears that after mumbai that Pakistan and India have backed themselves into corners based on their positions on Saeed. If pakistan doesn’t move on terrorists and Saeed what other concessions could they give, to induce India into broader talks.

As discussed in this article

http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/1 0/05/pakistan-and-india-looking-beyond-t he-rhetoric-redux/

and in this editorial in The Hindu:

The important question is to watch what happens in the trial of Lakhvi and the other six men – it’s due to resume, I think, on Oct. 13

2. The US seems to want India and Pakistan to start talks. Specifically what type pressure could they exert on each nation individually to start talks.

Pakistan has already called for the resumption of talks. Any pressure from the United States on India would be indirect – India has asked Washington to help convince Pakistan to crack down harder on groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Those groups are mentioned in the Kerry Lugar bill among the conditions attached for military aid.

I haven’t been able to find a final version of the Kerry-Lugar bill in the Senate website, but All Things Pakistan has what it says is the final draft:

http://pakistaniat.com/2009/10/07/full-t ext-kerry-lugar-bill/

3. Mcchraystal seems to praise India for its aid to afghanistan and views it with potential caution due to pakistani sensitivities. What type of role does the US deem acceptable for India in afghanistan, and how does it view the Indian consulates?

I don’t know the answer on that. But it’s a good question.

4. Since Americans also died in mumbai, I was wondering what the US position on Saeed is. Do they subscribe to the view that there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute him, or that he is being protected by powerful elements in pakistan.

I’ve spoken to American analysts who say there should be pressure to act against Hafiz Saeed. That said they have not made any specific comment on the nature of the evidence, which is for a Pakistani court to decide. I’ve also spoken to analysts who acknowledge the difficulties of moving against Lashkar, including in this article:

http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEd ge/idUSTRE55K0TO20090622?sp=true

5. Do you think the US will stand firm on the conditions in the Kerry Luger bill, or will they rewrite it to accomodate pakistani concerns?

As far as I understand it, it can’t be rewritten.

6. Mcchrystal wants more troops for afghanistan, but there are significant numbers of fighters coming and going from pakistan. How is this strategy supposed to work if the US and pakistanis can’t/won’t reach haqqani, Mullah Omar, and Hekmatyer?

According to the people I have spoken to, you can still do population centric counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. The question of what to do about fighters based in Pakistan is, as you know, subject to a very long discussion in Washington.

7. Can the pakistani government survive if it attempts to prosecute Saeed, or will it be viewed as caving to India.

I’m not sure I can answer that without giving it a bit more time for thought.

8. What do India and pakistan each lose individually by not talking. If a cold peace emerges, trade is kept at the same level (or marginally increases), people to people contact is maintained as is, and other non essential government cooperation is maintained.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has argued that by not talking, India is reduced to passing messages through a third party – ie relying on the Americans, and to a lesser extent, the British. Some would also argue that a refusal to talk may even raise the risk of more attacks since the two countries would be unable to raise trust levels enough to share intelligence.

According to the analysts I’ve spoken to, for Pakistan it makes life trickier for the civilian government and leaves the army nervous about Indian intentions.

9. In the comments section on one of your articles you indicated that the Indian media was making to big of a deal about the fact that Saeed dined with the 10th corp commander.

“That TV report makes it all sound so simple, when we all know it is not. This is not to make a comment on Hafiz Saeed. But at the same time, watching that video, do people actually believe that’s the way it is?”

I was wondering if you could expand on the first and last sentences in the quote.

I think I answered that in an earlier blog. My comment referred not to the video but to the voiceover which seemed to give only one side of the story, in a very complicated situation.

10. If Obama chooses to reorient strategy to primarily focus on Al-qieda how will he proceed. Since Al-qieda is mainly in pakistan now, will the US expand drone strikes and rely on pakistani forces for ground operations (in pakistan), or will we openly see US forces and special forces engage in hunt/kill (counterterrorism) operations in pakistan.

I have no clear idea on what Obama will decide to do. But there have been reams of speculation written about this by Washington pundits.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

[...] on the casualties we ourselves are suffering day after day. Our government continues to pacify the neighbours, US continues to condemn everything going down and our innocent citizens keep dying day after day. [...]

[...] we had the leaked report by General Stanley McChrystal in September suggesting the issue should be handled with caution given Pakistani sensitivities [...]

[...] we had the leaked report by General Stanley McChrystal in September suggesting the issue should be handled with caution given Pakistani sensitivities [...]

[...] we had the leaked report by General Stanley McChrystal in September suggesting the issue should be handled with caution given Pakistani sensitivities [...]