Comments on: India, Pakistan and Afghanistan: the impossible triangle http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/ Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Myra MacDonald http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23785 Fri, 09 Oct 2009 17:09:55 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23785 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

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By: nameless http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23782 Fri, 09 Oct 2009 16:40:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23782 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

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By: Andy http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23516 Mon, 05 Oct 2009 00:44:06 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23516 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?

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By: rajeev http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23513 Sun, 04 Oct 2009 23:47:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23513 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.

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By: rajeev http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23512 Sun, 04 Oct 2009 23:32:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23512 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.

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By: Keith http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23504 Sun, 04 Oct 2009 16:59:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23504 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?

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By: Dara http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23497 Sun, 04 Oct 2009 05:06:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23497 “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.

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By: Dara http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23496 Sun, 04 Oct 2009 05:00:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23496 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.

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By: Raj http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23488 Sat, 03 Oct 2009 20:04:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23488 —–>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.

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By: Mortal http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2009/09/25/india-pakistan-and-afghanistan-the-impossible-triangle/comment-page-3/#comment-23484 Sat, 03 Oct 2009 16:37:06 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=3670#comment-23484 “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.

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