Give us bin Laden, Britain tells Pakistan

November 30, 2009

It’s the kind of language, or perhaps more accurately the tone, that can test the patience of any nation.

You have had eight years,  you should have been able to catch Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri,  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is reported to have said about Pakistan in an interview with the BBC following a conversation with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari over the weekend.

“We have got to ask ourselves why, eight years after September 11, nobody has been able to spot or detain or get close to Osama bin Laden. Nobody has been able to get close to Zawahiri, the No 2 in al-Qaeda. And we have got to ask the Pakistan authorities and security services, army and politicians, to join us in the major effort the world is committing resources to, not only to isolate al-Qaeda, but to break them in Pakistan,” he said.

Quite apart from the fact Brown chose to go public with his frustration with Pakistan just days after a U.S. senate report said that U.S. forces had bin Laden “within their grasp” in Afghanistan back in 2001, it comes when Pakistan is in the middle of an offensive in South Waziristan which has triggered a wave of retaliatory attacks on its towns killing hundreds.

As the Times reports, Brown’s intervention upset Pakistan which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. ”We are doing what we can. We have carried two very big operations at enormous cost to the country,” the Times quotes Pakistan’s envoy Wajid Shamsul Hasan as saying.  Bin Laden, according to Pakistani intelligence was in Afghanistan, and if the West had information about him being in Pakistan, they should share it, the Pakistanis say.

Pakistan had captured or killed 700 al Qaeda members over the past eight years, a Pakistani foreign office spokesman said, adding nobody should have doubts about its resolve to fight them.

Indeed, some Pakistanis feel that Britain is not doing enough to fight terrorism. The Guardian ran a piece a couple of months ago quoting Pakistani officials as saying their country had become the “whipping boy” for Britain. ”

“Sometimes for our British friends the truth is bitter. We have somehow turned out to be a whipping boy, there is a long history to that. The British need to search their own house. Britain has to take responsibility and they have to look into the issues which are driving these youth to extremism, which is the third-generation British – they weren’t born and bought up in Pakistan,” the paper quoted a Pakistani diplomat as saying.

Pakistan has doubtless been selective in its targets, going after the Pakistani Taliban  with far greater purpose than it has with the Afghan Taliban. But is a public admonishment of a country of more than 160 million people necessarily the best way to get things done ?

India hasn’t stopped saying Pakistan isn’t doing much to bring all those responsible for the attacks on Mumbai last year to a court of law, producing an angry stream of words from Islamabad. The United States has repeatedly urged Pakistan to do more, both in public and in private.  The question now is how does a nation under such intense and unrelenting pressure react ?

(Photograph of Gordon Brown with Pakistan’s President Asif Zardari and his daughter Asifa in London in August 2009)

Comments

“The British need to search their own house. Britain has to take responsibility and they have to look into the issues which are driving these youth to extremism…”What a surprise…It’s not anybody in Pakistan’s fault, it’s all the fault of us British…

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive
 

Official: Pakistan can help broker U.S.-Taliban talkshttp://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap cf/07/10/pakistan.taliban.omar/index.htm lSo why is it unreasonable to ask? Double-dealing must come to an end one day?

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

This is exactly why Obama must continue to pressure Pakistan by keeping the war going in Afghanistan. Without that, Pakistan will do even less than they are now.http://neoavatara.com/blog/?p=8983

 

It is too late to ask these kinds of questions. They should have asked in 2001. This is called catching the cow by the tail. The US and its allies have underestimated Pakistan and have trusted this nation way too far. Pakistan has been ally for its own purposes. It has no interest in solving Islamic terrorism. It is the birth place of this new kind of terrorism fueled by radical Islam. Why would it give up that weapon? It is obvious that the Pakistanis know where Bin Laden is. They are being cornered. So the truth will be exposed soon. It will be interesting to see how they slip their way out of this.

 

@Mauryan,I also believe Pakistan will be shamed one day soon for harbouring or enabling the most wanted cadre of militant Islam today.They reason, Pakistani’s need to understand why we doubt them, is that they seem to want to kill or capture only easy prey, that is low level fighters. With the exception of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the world wants Pakistan to hand over all Al-Qaeda, Let, JuD, HuM, Taliban and criminal drug warlords in their pockets and other cadres on a platter, no more truces with these monsters, we want them hunted, without excuses and obfuscation. The half hearted attempts the the Pak Army is a half hearted commitment that seems to suggest that they want to protect the militant cadre for perhaps future use, for their own means, that is unacceptable to us.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

More is coming. Obama has issued a letter to Zardari that is pointing directly at Pakistan. It is no longer going to be “our terrorists” versus “their terrorists.” Pakistan is being told to clean up their act and go after all groups that are parked there. With a weakened Zardari, it is going to be interesting to see how things develop from here. Obama has also mentioned that the US will not abandon the region after wiping out all the terrorist groups.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2009/11/29/AR2009112 902934.html?hpid=topnewsIt would be good if Pakistan gets sincere in its efforts and comes out clean. Here is a chance to reap the benefits of American benevolence if things are done right. This time the wording has been point blank – do not use terrorism as a state policy. Hopefully Pakistani people will go with this and cleanse their country of these elements once in for all. There is no room for Kashmir dialogues here. The goal is to clean up Pakistan first so that peace can prevail in Afghanistan. Finally the Americans are coming to the reality. This is a welcome sign.

 

Yes Pakistan should do more, but this time it should do with the NATO and US forces what it did with the Soviets!!!Well Mr. Brown, he works for you… why don’t you tell us where he is?

Posted by zaid | Report as abusive
 

Keith,I have been telling you this. We need to confront Pakistan with the truth and NOT acquiesce to Pakistan’s demands or desires. Obmama is putting all means on table to deal with Pakistan (we all know what that means). Even Brown is tightening the screws on Pakistan.=====Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in Washington for the first official visit of the Obama presidency, signed a joint statement pledging to “enhance” cooperation to root out extremists in Afghanistan.Obama and Singh in their statement voiced “their shared interest in the stability, development and independence of Afghanistan and in the defeat of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”"They’re probably frustrated with the Pakistani complaints as there’s very little to substantiate any of their claims about a nefarious Indian role in Afghanistan,” said Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.”Clearly, as the joint statement showed, the US and India share the same goals,” she said.Ashley J. Tellis, a South Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said India’s reconstruction efforts fit in neatly with the Obama drive to ensure Afghanistan will no longer be a haven for extremists.”India has a comparative advantage in this area and it provokes the least Pakistani anxiety,” Tellis said.Owing to India’s cheaper labor and proximity to Afghanistan, Tellis estimated that Indian-led reconstruction projects cost up to 10 times less than a Western-driven efforts.But India feels a major stake in the outcome as many of the Islamic extremists who found haven in Afghanistan also virulently oppose the secular but Hindu-majority regional power.Lashkar-e-Taiba, the extremist group India believes carried out the grisly assault a year ago on its commercial hub Mumbai, was created in Afghanistan.”India’s core interest is for the Taliban not to return to power. They fear Afghanistan would then once again provide a haven to anti-Indian groups who before long would find sustenance in Pakistan,” Tellis said.On Afghanistan, Obama finds friend in Indiahttp://www.google.com/hostednews/af p/article/ALeqM5jx1aG0Wp6jpFDmdxWkvhi6ge HhAw

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

@….U.S. senate report said that U.S. forces had bin Laden “within their grasp” in Afghanistan back in 2001,….”Sanjeev: When Fox news channel’s Gerardo Riviera was boasting that Fox will be the first one to report as soon as bin Laden is caught, I sensed that the Tora Bora circus using Afghan locals is a recipe for bin Laden et al’s escape.Now US senate report discloses that:”…..a larger troop commitment to Afghanistan might have resulted in the demise not only of Mr. bin Laden and his deputy but also of Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban. Mullah Omar, who also fled to Pakistan in 2001, has overseen the resurgence of the Taliban.”–What a mystery solved! Why is it that people from Asia are able to predict the result of US and its allies missions so early and so accurately while these Fat Cat generals run failed operations.General impression in the public was that US wanted to catch OBL without wasting much American lives. Does it ever work that way?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan Army is striking deep into Al-Qaeda territory, and Pakistani flag is now hoisted in South Waziristan. Many passports belonging to Al-Qaeda suspects were found in Waziristan, and Army is swiftly moving against all terrorists holed up there. Gordon Brown is stupid to issue such statements at this stage, he must shut up and let Pakistan do what it is doing. If Pakistan needs to do more, so does Britain and US etc.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

@It is obvious that the Pakistanis know where Bin Laden is.–Mauryan–I agree somewhat, not totally. Pakistan in last eight years would have enough chances to catch OBL but would have let him go. Would Bin Laden willingly trust Pakistanis? It is possible if he caught by Pakistanis.If they want, Pakistanis have human intelligence and people who can help them catch OBL et al.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

The US and Britain are fond of dictating to other countries about the mess that they created without knowing how to clean it up themselves.They have very,very,very short memories.Bin Ladin is a monster you created and trained against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.Bratain is also stupid enough to go into Afghaistan again for another bloodied nose.Keep blaming and pressurizing Pakistan as much as you like the fact is your created monster is running a mock with you.

Posted by s vally | Report as abusive
 

I said on here months ago that this was coming. There is growing frustration with Pakistan and their cat-and-mouse games that are costing the lives of soldiers in the country next door and increasingly threatening what are now western financial interests in India.That said, I don’t think Gordon Brown’s comments were entirely fair. While spoken out of frustration there has to be some recognition that the UK has to do more on its end. They really have to do a better job integrating immigrants into the mainstream. The lashing out by youth of Pakistani heritage over there is not all too different from the frustrations of residents of Algerian residents in the Paris banlieu.A dual track effort is called for. The West (UK in particular which seems to have a lot more problems than Canada or the US for example) has to do better at integrating immigrants and Pakistan has to do more to stop exporting terrorism and tolerating jihad holiday camps in its remote areas.Hey, and if things get really bad, perhaps the Brits could consider travel restrictions to/from Pakistan to control the import of extremism from there.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

@ “They’re probably frustrated with the Pakistani complaints as there’s very little to substantiate any of their claims about a nefarious Indian role in Afghanistan,” said Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation”.this is precisely the reason why Pakistan and her people do not trust US. When it comes to the interest of US, she would behave like parrot and would not listen to what Pakistani are saying or thinking.There is Indian influence in what ever is happening in Pakistan. US and UK (Not UK, Just England) are playing in the hands of India.

Posted by Ali Hassan | Report as abusive
 

Yes Pakistan should do more, but this time it should do with the NATO and US forces what it did with the Soviets!!!Well Mr. Brown, he works for you… why don’t you tell us where he is?- Posted by zaidLast time around Pakistan had a superpower and an oil rich uncle providing a one-stop shop for all your jihad needs.This time around nobody’s coming.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

“Owing to India’s cheaper labor and proximity to Afghanistan,”This so called South Asia expert Ashley J. Tellis thinks that way. some one should tell her(whatever)that Pakistan is in more proximity to Afghanistan.”ndia has a comparative advantage in this area and it provokes the least Pakistani anxiety,” Tellis said”.India is building castle on loose sand. it will be known at that time when US and NATO forces would leave Afghanistan disgracefully, God willing, leaving Indians on the mercy of locals. Their advantage and influence will be judged at that time.

Posted by Ali Hassan | Report as abusive
 

Keep blaming and pressurizing Pakistan as much as you like the fact is your created monster is running a mock with you.- Posted by s vallyDo you mind letting the Americans and Brits into your country then to fix the problem, since you think they are responsible?If the answer is no, then it’s incumbent on Pakistanis to tackle the problem themselves.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

I would like to agree with Umair’s statement “Gordon Brown is stupid to issue such statements at this stage, he must shut up”But then Brown and Co’s wires are connected in reverse–they pay Pakistan when Pakistan blows up people using terrorists and will shoot Pakistan when Pakistan is working at catching terrorists.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

I would caution from reading too much into just the comments about cracking down on Pakistan. They are being offered a lot more aid, and a whole host of other assistance to get the job done.What’s happening here is that the US is calling their bluff. The Pakistanis have long said they didn’t have the resources to tackle cross-border insurgents and terrorists. Now the Americans are offering them whatever they need to do the job. Tons of economic assistance, a new strategic partnership, even a promise of arms supply. But in exchange they have to completely shut down all the cross-border terror shops and insurgent groups operating across both the Eastern and Western border.I am curious to see how the Paks respond. Somehow, I don’t think they’ll play ball. The strategy directly targets the Pak Army. And it also goes a long way in strengthening Pakistani democracy. This is going to be really tough for the green suits in Rawalpindi to swallow.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

One defining characteristic of the paks is they punch way above their size and always overestimate their strength. This was true in each and every war they initiated against India.Instead of focusing on nation building, for all their existence they were very much used to make themselves available for all types of strategic games with big powers; they received tons of aid money and weapons which helped in their desperate pursuit of parity with a much bigger India.Now in 2009, in Afghanistan , things are not working out the way as they are used to in the past. There is a convergence of economic, geostrategic interests of the West, China, Russia, India and most importantly the people of Afghanistan in bringing peace and stability to that unfortunate country.Paks are adamantly struck at the zero sum game of viewing Afghanistan as their colony and the imperialistic attitude of “everyone else should get out” “this is our backyard” mentality. In the mistaken belief that their nuclear weapons makes them some type of super power, slowly and steadily they are getting to confronting just about everyone.The outcome of this mindset/behavior is rapid rise in the ranking of failed state index and economy in the ruins being on life support. Of course life support is from the Americans and the British they so seem to loathe.

 

The British Goverment should have acted little bit more independently when it comes to supporting the Americans adventures abroad. After all they have already tried their luck in the past but achieved nothing.I would like to ask mr Brown when you have youths getting hits on youtube about all kinds of jehadi groups. You also have some mullahs which would like to spread the haterd message and brainwash kids. The young people need to feel part of britan but when you have Prince Harry yobbing “paki”. They are serious problems with young kids in the UK generaly not only asians but white too. The goverment is failing and it just wanted to change the headlines.Surely Pakistan can or should do more, but what can Pakistan do when you had training camps in Lake district?well some of them did train there. Justice, no doubale standards, hope, work with true leaders of the country. Dont support dictators even though its easy way out to look after your intrests.The problem here is NO clear objectives, except for catch OBL dead or alive. But when they had him in their site, they let him go and left it to their afghan allies (northern alliance).If the British know where he is provide inteligence, work with the pakistanis and conduct joint operation. I mean you already have the eye in the sky so surley all activaties can be monitered.These sort of statments are out of frustration when you have dead soldiers bodies arriving at wooden baset and its all sinking in how costly the mission was/is. I feel proud of those dead soldiers after all they are laying there life for their country not looking into if the war is just or not. If the ojectives are clear after all its been eight years excpet Kabul, everywhere else is taliban.I hope there is better understanding betwen these countries after all theses cowards are no ones friends. If the Pakistanis nurtured them so did the west too. If we have created this mess together surley we should solve it together once for all. But also listening to what Pakistan have to say, after all they are directly affected by this.

Posted by Majid | Report as abusive
 

This is like the pot calling the kettle black. Zardari is not much of an orator nor does he have any sharp wits about him but he could have retorted that you guys have been in Afghanistan for almost 8 years now, with all the might and technology and a free hand to do whatever you wanted to do, and after spilling the blood of thousands, what do you have to show for it? You came in to get rid of Al-Qaeda etc and liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban and yet after 8 long years you are still fighting like day one.If Osama is not in Afghanistan, then the Brits automatically assume that he must be in Pakistan. What logic is this? And even if he is alive and somewhere in the badlands of the Pak-Afghan border, can Pakistanis even find him? With limited resources at Pakistan’s disposal, and where the NATO forces failed to find him with all its drones and predators and the high tech gizmos at its disposal? I wonder if Gordon Brown will ask the US the same question as to how come the NATO forces could not get him when they had him in their sights at Tora Bora in 2001?Rhetoric aside, Gordon Brown being Gordon Brown and the British being the British –with their colonial mindset to the core– still think Pakistanis are loyal subjects of the queen and the British PM can admonish the president of Pakistan like a teacher does a student who was caught playing hookie. This OBL monster is West’s own creation, and before someone starts to state the obvious here –and surely someone will– yes, we know we share the burden of creating this monster, but the US is equally culpable. Gordon Brown said what he said because he has taken it upon himself just like his predecessor acts like the bouncer for Uncle Sam. The hubris is nauseating.If OBL is not in Afghanistan, he could be anywhere. Maybe the recent sighting of him with Elvis in Vegas should have been more thoroughly investigated. Or maybe someone should have consulted Geography Professor Thomas Gillespie of UCLA who claims to know the exact location of OBL at http://tinyurl.com/b9hsya.-AS

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

“Yes Pakistan should do more, but this time it should do with the NATO and US forces what it did with the Soviets!!”- Posted by zaidDon’t be so quick to take full credit for the defeat of the Soviets. If it wasn’t for American arms, training, funds, intelligence & resources, there’s a good chance that Afghanistan & Pakistan would’ve been Soviet colonies today.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

ISI, the democracy killer in Pakistan!”Pakistani Journalist Critical of the Military Is Threatened by ISI”http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/wo rld/asia/01pstan.html

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

If Osama is not in Afghanistan, then the Brits automatically assume that he must be in Pakistan. What logic is this?- Posted by AhmedI think you need to ask that question to Abbas or Gul. And please do that fast!http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap cf/07/10/pakistan.taliban.omar/index.htm l

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

@Ahmed, Pakistani’s,I can’t seem to comprehend something here, you people have bled Billions of USD from American Taxpayers, have a 700,000 Army with 500,000 of them staring for a fight with India, and you have the gall to say to the world, “we don’t have enough resources to find Bin laden, give me a break, OBL is a joint creation of Saudi terror machine, Pakistani Terror Machine and US. The only difference this time, is that the U.S. is back to finish its busines and clean up its mess, the Saudi’s are not helping at all, the question, what is Pakistan doing to find Laden and his cadre?…nothing you Pakistani’s also helped to create laden and his might band of militants, you can’t hide anymore..it is time to own up to your responsibility and quit blaming everything on others. We are now in Afghanistan to take responsibility to create the monster that was created….Pakistan is still deciding what to do as NATO troops die.If OBL and his cowards are hiding in Karachi or something…you can bet that Drones will not stop at doing surgical hits on cities.What is nauseating is Pakistani complicity and half hearted lackluster fighting, especially on 26/11, you Paks kept denying his nationality. Had Ajmal Kasab not survived, you Pakistani’s would have denied Pakistani soil, carte blance that it was even used for any such terrorism. Still LeT leader walks free.The world is growing weary of Pakistan’s repeated coverups, lies and story telling.Obama and Brown are going to slowly corner Pakistan. The vice is tightening, I think we start to see more desperate and paranoid comments coming out of Pakistani’s in the near future, especially now that Obama is adding another 30,000 troops.The Afghan mission failure is not an option, it is best that Pakistan co-operates in its success, otherwise the mission will most likely be widened over the entire Pakistan itself, that in my humble opinion is highly plausible.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

Who cares what system is good so long as economy is good? Look at China. They do not have democracy, but are doing better than Americans now. That is all matters for this land.- Posted by Mohammed AnjumSo why don’t you guys merge with China?That will save us a whole lotta migraine and you guys can save a lotta jet fuel!!!

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

I think Britain is playing a blame game without realising the fact that it is Pakistan that is suffering the most from the terrorist activities. Everyday suicide bombs rip throught the bodies of my innocent civilians, most of them earning much less than a dollar a day. I think we should support Pakistan to acheive global peace and stabilty.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Keith said:> The West (UK in particular which seems to have a lot more problems than Canada or the US for example) has to do better at integrating immigrantsDoes the West (the UK in particular) have a problem with all of its immigrants or just those from a particular geography? The answer to that question may suggest who needs to do better at integration.Regards,Ganesh

Posted by Ganesh Prasad | Report as abusive
 

This admonishment of Pakistan by Brown look like an effort to create a prologue or a preparation to Obama’s Tuesday speech regarding Afghanistan. I predict that today evening when Obama announces troops increase in Afghanistan, he is going to give equal importance to Pakistan, hence the Brown dance.

Posted by SunnyAshawan | Report as abusive
 

Osama is up der indose caves keep shooten boys like the President told us to, got da news camera lets go!

Posted by Not required | Report as abusive
 

Why Pakistan is able to capture Osama bin Laden, when U.S. is unable to do same, exhausting all high-tech ? No one would buy the notion that Pakistan “harbors” Osama, as Pakistan already has too many internal conflicting factions to deal with. If he is spotted inside Pakistan, why not drop him a lazer-guided missile ?

Posted by Postovit | Report as abusive
 

Postovit writes: “Why Pakistan is able to capture Osama bin Laden, when U.S. is unable to do same, exhausting all high-tech ? No one would buy the notion that Pakistan “harbors” Osama, as Pakistan already has too many internal conflicting factions to deal with. If he is spotted inside Pakistan, why not drop him a lazer-guided missile ?”It is not Pakistan as the whole entity that might be hiding OBL. Since Pakistan is a country made up of diverse people, there might be extremely radical elements there who might be hiding OBL. And they might have links with the ISI and other powerful organizations to keep his presence secretive. I am sure many of these groups have their own agenda, their own links inside the government establishments and their own reasons. Their military did not support Bin Laden much. They were focused on the Taliban and were supporting them from the beginning. So long as Bin Laden’s operations did not go against their overall regional goals, Pakistani army did not mind his presence. But it looks like he hijacked their mission by taking over the support of the Taliban. After that Taliban did not listen to the commands and requests from the Pakistani army much. So Pakistan’s regional plans got derailed by Bin Laden. Had they known his plans, they probably would not have allowed him to succeed. Musharraf was kept oblivious of Al Qaeda’s plans until 9/11 exploded. That is why Pakistan seems to be co-operating with the US against the Al Qaeda willingly, while not touching the Taliban and other terror groups that it has nurtured for its regional strategic objectives. But Al Qaeda is clever. It has made it impossible for the US to isolate it. As a result, the US has been forced to zero in on Pakistan’s puppet groups. This way, Al Qaeda leaders know that the US will not succeed entirely. It has realized that by not allowing the US to reach into Pakistan, it can buy time and tire them out. The US is realizing this game plan. So it has begun to point at Pakistan sponsored radical groups directly this time, forcing its military to fight against its own creations. It will be interesting to see how this surge in troops will play out. The one who blinks will lose. So far Bin Laden has been on the gaining side. Even if he dies, he is going to leave a long lasting influence on the radical elements that can give rise to a thousand more like him.

 

Ganesh posted….”Does the West (the UK in particular) have a problem with all of its immigrants or just those from a particular geography? The answer to that question may suggest who needs to do better at integration.”Ganesh. Two can play this game. How about this as a continuation to your glib thought?Does the West (the UK in particular) have a problem with all of its immigrants or just those it considers to be alien to its culture and values and intentionally singles them out? The answer to that question may suggest a better answer to who needs to work harder to give up its xenophobic attitude towards one particular group.-AS

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

Ramen posted…”I think you need to ask that question to Abbas or Gul. And please do that fast!http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap cf/07 /10/pakistan.taliban.omar/index.html”I don’t see how that link is relevant to this discussion or even to what you are trying to imply. If you think Abbas is offering a way to mediate and to get the Americans to get in touch with the Afghan Taliban then that’s what the Americans want. What does that have to do with finding OBL?And you should be thankful that Pakistan kept a small door open to be able to get the two parties to talk. I think the following is more relevant where you can see the Americans in secret talks with the Afghan Taliban. Now you go read this real fast!http://tinyurl.com/yjb4qc3-AS

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

‘Osama Bin Laden was “within the grasp” of US forces in late 2001 but escaped because then defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected calls for reinforcements, a US senate report says’Mr Brown, instead of asking Pakistan about OBL, should ask his mentor, US to ask Mr Rumsfeld about his blunders. God only knows how many such incidents happened which could have led to the capture of OBL in the past.Ongoing military operation in tribal areas of Pak is gaining success and shortly Pak Army would be holding the area physically thereby removing any chance of OBL staying there, if at all he is there.What is the sit there in Afghanistan with more than 100,000 NATO / US troops? How many parts of Afghanistan are under their control ? Perhaps only 5 %. What little peace appear to be there has been bought by Italians and British forces. Mr. Brown should keep this in mind. Instead of asking Pakistan, his forces there should show some guts, fight and finish Talibans like Pak Army is doing in its part of area.and what Mr. Brown is contributing further? Just 500 soldiers. huh. He should send them to Lake district.

Posted by Ali Hassan | Report as abusive
 

The Night Of Pakistan’s Generalshttp://www.strategypage.com/qnd/ india/articles/20091201.aspx

Posted by Somers | Report as abusive
 

The Scary Unraveling of Pakistan by Ahmed Rashid”There has been an unrelenting campaign by the military and political parties who are allied to the army to weaken Zardari so irreversibily that he is forced down from office and a new, more pliant president could be appointed who would do the army’s bidding”http://www.thedailybeast.com/blo gs-and-stories/2009-11-30/gunning-for-za rdari/full/

Posted by SOmers | Report as abusive
 

Willie Brigitte was trained by Pakistan military”There is an Interpol warrant for his arrest as well as a number of Pakistan military and intelligence officers identified as terrorists”http://www.dailytelegraph.com .au/news/willie-brigitte-was-trained-by- pakistan-military/story-e6freuy9-1225805 920213

Posted by Suma | Report as abusive
 

The Indian Muslim leader (Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) who foresaw the unraveling of of Pakistan, even before partition in 1946!http://twocircles.net/2009dec01/apr il_1946_interview_maulana_abul_kalam_aza d_man_who_knew_future.html“I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems:1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises.”

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

Does the West (the UK in particular) have a problem with all of its immigrants or just those it considers to be alien to its culture and values and intentionally singles them out? The answer to that question may suggest a better answer to who needs to work harder to give up its xenophobic attitude towards one particular group.-AS- Posted by AhmedYet, don’t all immigration policies then have some shade of xenophobia? After all, most immigration policies have integration at their core. If the Brits feel a culture is alien to them, they are within their rights to single that culture out and seek accommodation. This is not racism. This is matter of effective management of immigration issues. The alternative is to simply limit immigration from that part of the world. Would you want that?To answer Ganesh’s questions, the UK is unique in the Anglosphere for having a very high proportion of its South Asian immigrants from Pakistan and more specifically from Kashmir. This is not the case in the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

@..even if he is alive and somewhere in the badlands of the Pak-Afghan border, can Pakistanis even find him?-Ahmed–Do tribes there know that you call that area “badland”? For Indians, Pakistan Punjab housing LeT et al is the “badland”.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed said:> Ganesh. Two can play this game. How about this as a continuation to your glib thought? Does the West (the UK in particular) have a problem with all of its immigrants or just those it considers to be alien to its culture and values and intentionally singles them out?Touche. The constructive point I am trying to make though, is that victimhood is largely self-selecting. Hear me out. In Australia, I have some Indian and Sri Lankan friends who insist that this is a racist country and have a seemingly unending series of anecdotal encounters to prove it. I would argue that not only is racism in the eye of the beholder, but also that our attitudes consciously and unconsciously shape other people’s responses to us.I would argue that Westerners have been traditionally ignorant of the differences between various eastern cultures. Until recent times, most of them would have been hard pressed to explain the difference between Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. I’m sure even today, there are people who confuse Sikhs with Muslims because of their turbans and beards. I have read comics where Maharajahs (a Hindu title) have been depicted as exclaiming “By the beard of the prophet!”, which shows a basic lack of understanding of eastern religions and cultures. I have also seen American soaps where Middle Eastern belly dancers put their palms together in the Hindu style of greeting. My point is that Westerners have not bothered to selectively discriminate against Muslims alone. If the Muslim community feels alone in being persecuted, perhaps they should look inwards.For example, the UK of the 70s was a lot more overtly racist than it is today, and many people from the subcontinent have grown up hearing the racist slur of “Paki”. Remember that this epithet was not used exclusively against Pakistanis but against all South Asians, including Indians and Bangladeshis. Yet what is the perception about this group today? I read an article in a British journal a couple of years ago that said if you visit your doctor in the UK today, it is very likely to be a young Indian woman. British journalists didn’t concoct this stereotype out of thin air. The perception is supported by the tendency of the Indian community to concentrate on higher education, especially medicine. In contrast, Gordon Brown recently complained that 3 out of 4 terrorist plots lead back to Pakistan. It’s not a racist bias on his part. It’s a direct consequence of the choices made by a significant number of Pakistani youths in the UK. In short, you have a group of people who were uniformly reviled as “Pakis” a generation ago, yet one subset subsequently came to be associated with being doctors, the other with being terrorists. The difference was in the choices made by a significant number of them.Another example is the “dotbuster” attacks on Indians in parts of the US in the 80s. Again, although it’s only Hindu women who literally wear a dot on their foreheads, the attacks targetted anyone (male or female) of South Asian appearance. The Indian response was to quietly drop the external symbols of difference, dress more like Westerners and integrate better. Today, the dotbusters are gone, and Indian women are free to wear the dot again if they choose to. In the intervening period, Indians have come to be seen as one of the most successful ethnic groups in the US. (A similar response by Muslims today would see them dropping the headscarves and beards for a few years until the atmosphere improves, and then quietly starting to wear them after a few years of peace.)We’ve all heard of the Danish cartoons. But no one has heard of the “Australian cartoon”. A few years ago, there was an article by the well-known columnist Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald on some topic concerning India. Accompanying the article was an utterly irrelevant cartoon that showed the Hindu god Ganesha with a bottle of whiskey in one of his four hands and a cigarette in another. Even if we disregard the idolatry aspect, even Muslims should be able to empathise with the fact that the religious sentiments of Hindus were hurt. Of course, there were angry letters to the editor, but importantly, there were no fatwas, no death threats and no plots against the life of the cartoonist a la David Headley/Dawood Gilani. This did not mean that cartoons against Hinduism were encouraged to continue. I guess Australian media and society in general have since matured and it is unthinkable that such a cartoon would appear today. It’s simply seen as being in bad taste. There has been no fear of a violent reaction. The result is that the Hindu community has not come to be seen as a set of dangerously violent fanatics.In all these examples, what one may uncharitably call a “cowardly Hindu” response has been quietly successful. In contrast, a more robust “insult us and you die” mentality has not done the Muslim community any favours.To repeat the point I made initially, victimhood is largely self-selecting. We cannot influence the (initial) treatment we receive at the hands of other people. But our response to it can shape our subsequent treatment. Hindus (and Indians in general) were initially treated the same way as Pakistanis (and Muslims in general), yet perceptions about the two groups have since diverged, and this is because of different responses. The Indian response is generally to swallow insults and work harder (and at most, protest peacefully). The approach seems to have worked.It’s not too late for Muslims to adopt this approach. Why can’t Westerners develop a perception of Muslims as hard-working, honest, egalitarian and charitable people with strong family values, simple living and no personal vices? These are after all, some of the best aspects of Islam. Rather than take a powerless victim-style approach, blame other people and thereby exacerbate the perception problem, why not powerfully grasp the opportunity to change perceptions through more constructive behaviour? Break the cycle here. That’s the larger point behind my seemingly glib comment.Regards,Ganesh

Posted by Ganesh Prasad | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev posted….Before you wish to disparage someone or something, first learn how to do it cogently.For a definition of ‘badlands’ please refer to:http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/ webwn?s=badlands

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

The other shoe dropped tonight. Obama just raised the bar for Pakistan.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Keith posted….By definition xenophobia has more of a negative connotation and I used it in that context. UK has a disproportionate population of south asian immigrants than other western countries, or as you put it, the Anglo sphere. And this population comprises not only of Pakistani decent immigrants but also of Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan origins as well.I personally think immigration is an inalienable right and cannot and should not be confused with a legal one. I fail to see your point as to how do you manage immigration issues based on xenophobia? Applying xenophobia as a management tool to achieve integration is a concept that I am having a hard time understanding. Please enlighten me.What I do understand is how USA employs an immigration management policy to the best effect. America has a well defined policy which allows a certain number of individuals from all over the world to be able to immigrate to America. Each country has a quota. Countries that are under represented are eligible to take part in a so called diversity visa program every year. America was founded and populated by immigrants and became great because of immigrants of all ilk and race and nationality. Americans use the analogy of a salad bowl when describing their country. All kinds of different vegetables are represented by the different colors and shapes and sizes and attributes. America has come up with a system where everyone is welcome and the system encourages everyone to participate in and provides incentives as well as opportunities to better themselves and their adopted country. When you are denied integration by virtue of your race and national origin, you have integration problems like Britain has where even third generation immigrants from south asia are still called Pakis and Currie munchers and Coolies.

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

@Ganesh Prasad,Thank you for summing up those words, you are wise my friend. The real trouble is not what the trouble is in your life, your degree of trouble will be determined by how you respond and handle a problem.In other words, you choose how bad or severe your predicament is, depending on how you react internally and process the problem. You can be fearful and become a victim and say not much and rise above it. Unfortunately, the bedrock of Islamic psyche favours fear and victim-hood, along comes with that is blame and conspiracy stories. I personally believe that Hindus have developed wisdoms for many things over the last 7,000 years, largely by choice and because the cultural and religious institutions have largely enabled them to become reality.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

Sanjiv,I have a feeling that Pakistan, once again, will con the Americans, the Brits and the ISAF forces by playing on their impatience.The ISAF forces and their governments are desperate to at least find some bad guy to vindicate their strategy to double-down in AfPak. It looks like the replay of the past. Pakistan will take the money and the weapons; catch some terrorists; temporarily break contacts with the big sharks; deny any ivolvement in double-dealings and if caught in nefarious acts pretend to be surprised. The Pak army has perfected this art over last three decades and in the event of being cornered from all sides it will call upon its kryptonite – Kashmir.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

@Ganesh,To my last posting I would also add that westerners also do have stereotypes of muslims, but muslim have to have courage and toughness of sensibilities and not see themselves in this manner or get offended at something a non-muslim would say and be offended and hurt so easily from off coloured comments by people who only seek to offend.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh Maharaj. I agree with you 100% but like every facet and fact of life there are two sides to every coin. I agree with the background and you brief lesson on history of racism and resulting integration or lack thereof in the UK. I agree there as well and there was a time when I used to feel the same way.I am at a loss as to what to discuss and what not to, at a greater length. All that you have touched on briefly in your post is worthy of a separate discussion.I know exactly where you are coming from when you say “Westerners have been traditionally ignorant of the differences between various eastern cultures.” That is absolutely true. In the wake of 9/11 I thought it would be wise for Muslims to keep a low profile and not be overtly visible. There are ignorant people everywhere and there were a few incidents in the US where people were harassed and in an unfortunate incident where a Sikh was shot a killed by an ignorant person who mistook him for a muslim. Such was the unfamiliarity of an average American with Muslims and their ways. However, one day I was watching the X-Men and there was a dialogue where the blue shape shifting woman (Mystique) was asked by another mutant character in the movie and he said, (and I am paraphrasing): “If you can change shape and look like the regular human beings why not change and stay like that and become like the rest of them all the time?” Implying that since you are being hunted down like a freak and an animal, you can be safe by changing yourself to become just like them and integrating better. And I don’t remember any other dialogue of the movie or action sequences but I can never forget the answer. She said “Because you shouldn’t have to.” That was a powerful message that has stayed with me since. That is how America is in general. People celebrate the differences and appreciate their positive contribution. That is what has made America so great, in all senses of the word. Integration should not mean that you give up your ways and shed your past. When generation after generation you are not encouraged to evolve and assimilate it causes problems.

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

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