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
 

@Before you wish to disparage someone or something, first learn how to do it cogently.-AhmedAhmed: Thanks. I did not know. Importantly, I hope you did not miss my point in the process.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev, I do not you are addressing the right issue. The question to be asked to Pakistan is: “Do you think Al-Qaeda is an anti-Pakistan terrorist outfit or an anti-India, Israel, US outfit?”. The Pakistani army is clearly focussed on TTP. Their claims of fighting at a substantial cost for their country is hence not justified. They are not fighting for the British or Americans or for the general good of the world. They are fighting to extinguish the fire in their house. Remind me again why the world should provide economic aid to Pakistan?

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

President Obama has done what is in the best interests of his country from an economic and human perspective.Announcing the withdrwal date could be counter productive. Pak army, ISI, will focus on playing it out for the next 18 months, posing to fight “war on terror” while milking the West for more money and military supplies.

 

Ahmed,I was referring to your suggestion that integration is xenophobic. It is not. The Brits are within their rights to request that immigrants absorb British values and culture.As for the racism in the UK. Britain today is not the Britain of 20 years ago. The argument that integration is not happening because of racism does not hold water when you consider the fact that other immigrant communities, most particularly other South Asian immigrants are doing just fine in the UK. There maybe racism to be sure. But that’s not an excuse for what we’re seeing from Pakistani migrants.Why is it that 75% of all terror plots in the UK originate from Pakistan? Surely there’s a correlation between the number of Pakistani migrants there and the number and proportion of Islamist terrorist threats associated with Pakistan.Could you explain why we don’t see the same terror threat levels in the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand? They have huge South Asian immigrant communities. However, their mix of South Asian migrants is not the same as the UK.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

There is some misunderstanding on Obama’s announcement. He didn’t say he was going to withdraw completely in 2011. It’s the surge troops who will be drawing down in 2011.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev (and Myra).I think there needs to be a blog on the original goal of 43 allies of US in Afghanistan (“war on terror” etc), and later changing goals. This is central to US and allies fighting in Afghanistan and risking everyone’s lives including theirs. Nation building of Afghnaistan as it appeared from Obama speech is not on US priority list. On that I am surpised. US packed up and left in 1989 without nation building (they just funded stingers and ammunition) and got 9/11 and now if Afghanistan nation building is not at some # on US priority list, is US not making the same mistake? Obama might think he is cool by saying US interests are first on his priority, but American interets will be served by laying roads, building hispitals and clinics are the things that Afghans remember Americans long after US/NATO leaves.A discussion on the changing goals of US/NATO/ISAF in afghanistan will be helpful.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

I personally think immigration is an inalienable right and cannot and should not be confused with a legal one.-Posted by AhmedSince when is immigration an inalienable right? Immigration is a privilege. It’s a privilege given with a specific social contract. “You get to live here as long as you adjust to our way of life, and adhere to our laws and values.”There is no “inalienable right” to immigration. You can’t just move anywhere you like. Immigrants have to accept the conditions that come with moving to a new homeland.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

The coming pressure on Pakistan, combined with the incresing effort to sideline Zardari, almost looks like its preparing the ground for another military coup. I think this is really something to watch out for.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

- Posted by Keith”Could you explain why we don’t see the same terror threat levels in the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand? They have huge South Asian immigrant communities. However, their mix of South Asian migrants is not the same as the UK.”There is a very simple explanation for this. If you know anything about the history of the first mass immigration to the UK, they were mostly unskilled laborers to work at the Ford auto factory manufacturing Ford cars, vans and what the British call the lorries. Most of these initial laborer/immigrants were from the farmlands of Mirpur in Azad Kashmir. Hence the term ‘Mirpuria’ sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe an englishman of Mirpur decent who is invariably from a blue collar background. When you start at the lowest rung of the society and have limited choices to better yourself because of all sorts of discrimination of class and race then you end up alienating yourself from a culture where your past two generations have lived under the same shadow. Later on all sorts of educated and successful people migrated to England but the stereotypical Paki label and the attitude towards them stuck to this day and caused further alienation for the newly arriving immigrants as well.Now look at some of the other places. In America for example, Americans thought all Pakistanis in the US were either doctors or engineers till the early 70′s. Majority of them are affluent professionals. As with the typical stereotyping of asians (orientals for you brits), in America, all are automatically assumed to be mathematicians and analysts. Same is the case in the rest of the European countries. Also, the disproportionate population in the rest of Europe of all south asians, not just Pakistanis is because of the obvious initial language barriers.Your argument that a majority of terror plots originate from Pakistan, well, as Sherlock Holmes would say to the good doctor “Holmes, you have an uncanny talent of stating the obvious.” Islam i sthe second largest religion in the UK and what is the ethnicity of the largest population among muslims living in the UK? Take an educated guess and you’ll have your answer.The British would have everyone believe that this radicalization was not a result of the perception held by its own citizens of Britain’s foreign policy. Especially as it pertains towards Islam or Islamic countries. A study done last year in UK in the wake of 7/7 has suggested that not only UK’s foreign policy a significant source of alienation among young British Muslims but also shapes their attitudes towards British foreign policy. This often reinforces their social and economic discontent.

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,Read my earlier comments. I’d agree that the Brits (and more broadly Europeans in general) have a ways to go when it comes to integrating immigrants.That being said, I have to question why Indian and Bangladeshi immigrants advance so much in one generation while second or third generation British-Pakistanis seem to be regressing. Who do you think faces a higher barrier?As to your reasoning that terrorism happens because of the concern British Muslims have about UK policy and because they feel alienated, this is bound to raise questions about loyalty. While acting out of a sense of alienation could be understandable, how acceptable is it to kill your fellow citizens because you disagree with the government’s foreign policy (not even the domestic policy that causes their alienation)? Are British muslims loyal to the state they live in and their fellow citizens or are they so loyal to the Ummah that they consider it acceptable to kill their fellow citizens?Finally, your obvious effort at drawing an obvious statistical conclusions is flawed. Yes, Islam is the second most popular faith in the UK and yes, Pakistanis are the largest source of immigrants in the UK. However, are Muslim Pakistanis 75% of all British immigrant communities? And what about per capita stats. Are British Pakistanis more likely to produce more terror threats per capita than other immigrant communities?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Keith, Like I said the initial mass immigrants from Pakistan started at the lowest rung. The rest started at a higher level hence the disparity.I agree entirely. Islam teaches a follower to abide by the laws of the country they reside in permanently or even visit temporarily. This needs to be highlighted by all, and not just the Muslims. I am not justifying the acts of terror, I am stating the causes. All acts of terror against humanity are wrong, on so many levels.And the stats on population, I am not the one who came up with the 75% figure, you did. How accurate it is and how reliable the source is I am not sure. However you are trying to single out Pakistanis and I don’t think I am entirely comfortable with the inference, whether intentionally implied or stated as a fact. I don’t know you well enough to know of your intent but if I were to make a hasty judgment I would say you are bordering on, if not racism, then on ethnic discrimination.-AS

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed said:> I personally think immigration is an inalienable right and cannot and should not be confused with a legal one.Keith said:> Since when is immigration an inalienable right? Immigration is a privilege. It’s a privilege given with a specific social contract. “You get to live here as long as you adjust to our way of life, and adhere to our laws and values.”> There is no “inalienable right” to immigration. You can’t just move anywhere you like. Immigrants have to accept the conditions that come with moving to a new homeland.Keith is right on the legality of the issue, of course. I guess Ahmed’s point relates to the view of the Persian philosopher FM Isfandiary, who said, “There are no illegal migrants, only irrelevant borders.”I would like to agree with this idealistic philosophy, but with such huge economic disparities between nations, an open-borders policy will see the rich nations being swamped by migrants from poorer ones. It just wouldn’t be feasible in practice. The EU works because most countries are of comparable economic status, and migration can conceivably happen in every direction, not just one way.And yes, Keith’s point about migrants needing to adjust to the ways of their host country is very valid, and I think Ahmed acknowledged that earlier.The last century has seen more human migration than any century before it, and it seems to be an increasing trend, so Isfandiary’s vision may come true sometime in the future.Regards,Ganesh

Posted by Ganesh Prasad | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh,Good post.I think in Rome you need to do what the Romans do.I think the 2nd or 3rd generation migrants would have integrated very well in their adapted country compared to first generation.I think young people around the world are generally cool,they base their life on some role models if you are a black then it is Michael Jordan, or someone like Neil Armstrong the first man to land in the moon which spurred many innovation,a david beckham or a sachin in cricket.The biggest mistake America/Britian made was raising Osama into a Icon of demigod status & created unfortunately a violent generation.If there is someone among the Muslims who wins a Nobel Prize or if they initiate a project to land a person to Mars or Moon then the whole islamic world will rejoice in a new hero or a new meaning to contribute for mankind like their forefathers.One should remember the golden age of islam was in the period of AD800 to AD1200,Knowledge flourished & some of their capital cities like Baghdad were new empires for Library,scholastic achievment.Considering the current turmoil in europe & america on immigration the OIC should think of building a new city with as liberal a rule like the western society & allow people of the world to converge there.They should make such a city free from Visa & draconian laws then you would see their former glory will be recouped.The predominance of India in ancient period was also due to Takshila,Nalanda & major pilgrimage centre they became places for economic activities,you had immigrants around the world flocking to study the cultures.In india too if Manmohan singh creates a UT & free such a UT from Indian laws and allow those cities to regulate themselves for a fixed period of time with their own laws on self sustained basis you can do wonders.That may be a right way to attract back the Indian or global talents & also prove we can be a society on zero corruption,liberal & no past baggage.Their immigration problems should be treated as an opportunity in other countries.Without cross pollination no country can flourish.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,I didn’t pull that figure out of thin air. Gordon Brown himself said that three-quarters of all terror threats to the UK have a Pakistani connection:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps  /news?pid=20601102&sid=ay2G7lG1K5Y8http  ://www.siasat.com/english/news/qaeda-te rrorists-being-trained-pak-uk-pm-0The Secretary of Defence made the same assertion in Parliament:http://www.parliament.the-sta tionery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansr d/cm091015/debtext/91015-0007.htmThat's an assertion that has been backed up by the UK’s MI5, the SIS, Home Office and London Metropolitan Police. So if you think I am racist, then perhaps the same epithet should be directed against the entire UK security and intelligence community.It is stats like that, which are causing rifts between immigrants and natives. The rise of the BNP/EDL bunch are directly tied in to the failure of some immigrants to integrate and worse the propensity for some immigrants to take up violent causes against their fellow citizens.While the Brits may have some ways to go on helping immigrants integrate, the British Pakistani community has to ask the hard questions. Why are their second and third generation youngsters struggling while first generation immigrants from elsewhere who face significantly higher barriers, fair better? How come other second and third generation South Asian migrants don’t end up with the same problems? Simply burying their heads in the sand and labelling anyone who brings up these inconvenient stats as racist is not going to solve anything.The other player in all this is the Pakistani government. They will have to do more to shut down the terrorist breeding areas. If they simply maintain the position that it’s not their problem because these are British citizens, then the situation will simply reach a point where the Brits will simply be compelled to impose a travel ban to Pakistan. Second to India (and maybe the US depending on how you want to look at 9/11), no other country has suffered more from Pakistan based extremists. And they are now starting to crack-down because their patience has run out. Either the Pakistani government and the British Pakistani community will work with the British government to solve the problem or the UK will simply be forced to significantly curtail links with Pakistan.And the UK is the tip of the iceberg. If things get worse, Pakistanis will be less welcome in fewer and fewer places. The EU could well follow suit. And even the Gulf countries in the end might think it not worth their while to take in Pakistanis while safer labour can be brought in from elsewhere.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

As the world pursues Al Qaeda, it is important to remember the following facts:

1. Al Qaeda was an organization with central leadership, command and control located in Afghanistan prior to 911. But that is no longer true. According to former State Department official Mathew Hoh who served in Afghanistan, al Qaeda is an elastic, amorphous entity, one based not on geography but ideology. “Al Qaeda is a collection of ideas, of independent, autonomous cells,” Hoh says. “They don’t need a lot of funding. They need an apartment with an Internet connection.”

2. Even the 911 hijackers were not all recruited and trained in any one country. They came from different nations and were educated and trained mostly in the United States and Western Europe. What they shared in common was an ideology rather than a geography.

3. Hundreds of al Qaeda members, including many top leaders, have been captured or killed by Pakistani and US military in the region since 911.

4. There have been multiple reports of al Qaeda popping up in several countries around the world, confirming Mathew Hoh’s arguments that al Qaeda is not confined to a particular geography in central or south Asia.

Instead of focusing on a particular geography, the truly global terrorist threat from al Qaeda needs to be met with a coordinated international effort that relies on carrots and sticks to give the insurgents a stake in maintaining world peace.

Please read more at http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/12/facts-and -myths-in-afghanistan-debate.html

Posted by HaqsMusings | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev,

Like sun is the source of all the energy, Pakistan is also source of global terrorism, right from Madrid bombing ,Mumbai carnage, to 9/11, London underground bombing etc , Pak hands are always visible . Today Pakistan is ruled (Zardari is just puppet) by unscrupulous army and ISI which till few years ago official sponsors globally. One can not expect the change of heart overnight.

During her recent visit to Islamabad, Ms Clinton made a very valid statement when she said that Pak army and ISI were the sponsors of Laden and his cronies, they were granted sanctuaries in Pakistan, now it is difficult to understand why Pak army and ISI have so failed to nab them . Obviously, some thing is wrong somewhere . Gordon Brown is right in asking Pakistanis to hand over Laden and his cronies.

Pakistani rulers whether in army or civil , have some tacit understanding with terrorists , it is therefore incumbent upon the international community to seize control of Pakistani administration, dismantle the unscrupulous army and ISI , take control of weapons of mass destruction. Pak administration should be placed under an UN body like Kosovo or other trouble spots in the world , change education curriculum ,which preaches hatred against all the non-muslims , provoke them to launch terror strikes against them.

Posted by manishindia | Report as abusive
 

Instead of giving the professional salesman talk Mr Gordon Brown should ask his intelligence units about the whereabouts of mr Bin Laden. I am glad that he did not refer to his late father as he normally does. He is not getting my vote in the election. Good riddance of the defunct and corrupt labour party with leaders like tony and Gordon. Likewise Mr Obama should come out and tell us , if George w has told him, about the whereabouts of bin laden. The Bush family are the friends of the bin laden family! The recent congressional reports clearly states that bin laden was cornered in Tora Bora!! What happened then, was he flown over to a safer place like his entire family, after the sept.11?

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Here is a link to some excellent analysis on AfPak suggesting how should we should view this region. The correctly highlights the ethnic tensions in Pakistan that causes instability in Afghanistan and rightly supports the troop surge.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-ro ddy/how-we-should-really-be-v_b_376673.h tml

Posted by NPegasus | Report as abusive
 

Here is a link to some excellent analysis on AfPak suggesting how should we should view this region. The article correctly highlights the ethnic tensions in Pakistan which historically has been the source of instability in Afghanistan. Worth a read!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-ro ddy/how-we-should-really-be-v_b_376673.h tml

Posted by NPegasus | Report as abusive
 

Keith. You are one agent of doom and gloom. Yes, Pakistan is going through a tough time and we all know we have a problem in Pakistan, that much you are right to observe, and like I said before, you have an uncanny talent for stating the obvious. However it is not entirely as you try to describe it. Pakistan is not the source nor the cause of all the terror in the UK or the rest of the world for that matter. Blaming Pakistan for all ills like you are going about is not only disingenuous but also way too easy, and it has been done to death, not just here on this blog but elsewhere as well. What surprised me was how wrong I had been with my earlier impression of you. I had previously thought you were above that level of knowledge, intellect and understanding of the gratuitous Pakistan attacking posters, however, I am beginning to realize that your level of argument is the same as those whose logic is only based on a deep hatred for Pakistan and not as objective as you make it out to be.

However thankfuly there are still sane minds in the West and the rest of the world who realize that blaming Pakistan will not solve the problem, nor will putting undue pressure on Pakistan produce any lasting effects, and actually the reverse might happen as a result. They have identified the reason correctly and have suggested ways to fix it as well.

In response to your long diatribe of Pakistan centric bashing, I can only say the people you have quoted in your own support do not have much credibility. They have lost it all not just with the Pakistani people but also with the British public. Gordon Brown’s incompetency is
legendary in Britain and he has single handedly hammered down the last nail in the Labor party’s coffin. And MI5 and SIS/MI6 do not have a stellar record either, they shot and killed an innocent Spanish electrician at a subway station in London, and the other led the raid that saw the arrest of the 10 innocent Pakistani students all over Britain.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec  /03/pakistani-students-interviews?utm_s ource=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

This is precisely the kind of attitude that garners resentment and alienation among the very people who can help Britain curb this sort of violence. Deflecting the blame towards Pakistan is exactly the thing that should NOT be done.

Your thoughts on isolating Pakistan are a fantasy filled pipe dream. If we are to assume, even hypothetically speaking, that somehow Britain decides to prevent British subjects’ travel to Pakistan. Do you think that is even possible? Can anyone imagine that implementation of such order can be achieved by any measure short of raising a Berlin wall around Pakistan? Let’s enter your fantasy land and assume that somehow that was even humanly possible, do you think if that was such a practical and imaginable solution the West would not have suggested it, let alone attempted it by now? If it could really worked the west would have erected a wall like that around Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea by now already. All this talk of containing Pakistan is distracting the rest of the world from the real problem. Which is not only unrealistic but will also move us away from containing thereal issue of terror and violence. I think you just got carried away with your hate speech. You disappoint me.

Posted by AhmedS | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed:
@Pakistan is not the source nor the cause of all the terror in the UK or the rest of the world for that matter.”

-Ahmed
–Actually G. Brown and Keith agree with you. Pakistan is the source of 75% (not “all” of the problem in UK; means 25% are from elsewhere).

In India however Pakistan is the source of almost all the terrorism. Correct me if I am wrong. I’ll stop here so as not to dilute my message and do not give me a sketch of my personality here. Just deal with the discussion points.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

Enough is enough.Eight years, many lives and hard earned tax money of the free world has gone down the drain. Because of this WORLD had to face recession in 2008. God knows who is fooling whom.Congratulate Mr. Gordan Brown to speak out. Every common man like me feels frustrated, exhausted and carries deep depression that “TERRORISM” has infact grown all around the world since 2001.It is affecting productivity of every human being/society/ nations including law abiding citizens in Pakistan.Pakistan has not walked the talk.Does Pakistan, by way of deduction wishes to confirm to the world that it’s large Army/Airforce/Naval forces have failed to nab the rats created in it’s backyard? or is this an alibi to exploit USA/UK/EUROPE as much as possible, get substantial aid/grants in the name of fighting terrorism and spend the same money to train and spread more terrorists. Happennings so far and reports of CIA/FBI make you believe the latter.So what is it USA is waiting for, when even NUCLEAR ARSENAL is not safe in Pakistan. Without losing time USA/UK must go to UN Security Counsel, ask for ‘Rule of Law’ in Pakistan/Afganistan under the umbrella of UN(Enforced by the Free Democratic World)and finish the game in 3 months like in IRAQ so as to ensure that Justice is Delivered to those who suffered and are suffering.

Posted by SWARN | Report as abusive
 

@AhmedS,

Ahmed, Pakistan needs to be put temporarily under the world’s watch. Your country is out of control. Your politicians are corrupt and in the words of Mohammed Anjum here on this blog, “the Punjabi Mafia” own Pakistan. You can be as dismissive as you want and with one stroke, blanket all western leaders and their institutions as incompetant and still it changes nothing about your arguement, or the fact that Pakistan is sliding into a more incoherent and violent country. To top that all off, the future of Pakistn actually lies in the hands of Pakistani’s. You people are not actually sincere in wanting to rid your country of Islamists, Militants and non-state actors in a coherent and wholehearted fashion. You are willing to fight Pakistani Taliban, but help, aid and support Afghan Taliban and want the U.S. and the world to not bother you about the proxy army jihadi terrorists in Kashmir. In some previous articles by Myra McDonald, she mentions those same same Kashmiri terrorists, like the LeT as maintaining ties and working with Al-Qaeda.

Obama recently said that his goal in Af-Pak is:

“Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future,” said Obama in his speech.

It won’t be long until Obama adds your Afghan Taliban and LeT proxy armies to the list. Those Afghan Taliban are butchering NATO and U.S. soldiers, the same ally that has given your country and your Punjabi Mafia Billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer dollars to produce results, but so far, we have seen partial and half-hearted results.

These are not hate speeches. Hate speeches are given by Pakistani diaspora men like Anjem Chaudhary, in the UK, the lawyer turned firebrand cleric, whose family lives of public welfare, funded by UK citizens.

Your army is mismanaging its security situation in Pakistan, while sacrificing itself and its citizens by keeping such a large army facing India. India is not about to attack Pakistan, for any reason, despite the proxy armies you send on us, we have proven restraint beyond restraint.

Your 700.000 strong army is unwilling to re-allocate Kashmiri war assets for urban insurgencies and urban warfare, instead choosing willfully to keep their support of Afghan Taliban cadre and choosing to keep a quiet war against India, to justify their business philosphy. Those choices are not the fault of the U.S, India or anyone, but your citizens inaction against your politicians and inaction against your army. Your army chooses your future for you. The U.S. is only there because your Army let Al-Qaeda grow and your army was fueling proxy wars.

It is time for the U.S. to force Pakistan to close down its terrorism complexes and force responsible governance on Pakistan and perhaps even bring back the British to teach you people how to govern and get the Army to do some real work, like enforce security in Pakistan to protect its people, much more than it has been.

What terrifies us, is that you guys have nukes and those nuke are not in control of a democratic, moderate government, but an Army that is incoherent and has extremist elements within that are sympathetic to the Taliban and Militants. We have a problem with you being nuclear armed and in such a disarray, while you Pakistani’s casually accept open air hate speeches against all non-pakistani’s and accept militantism as a normal way of life. That has to stop.

Again, this is not bashing, that is the truth. How can you not see the truth, while it stands right beside you, under your nose, bring suicide attacks upon you, every week. Are you not tired of your army placing so much focus on Kashmir and so little on the safety and security of its citizens?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

SWARN: I understand your feelings. But I’ll like to adreess 2 specific points here.
@Enough is enough.Eight years, many lives and hard earned tax money of the free world has gone down the drain. Because of this WORLD had to face recession in 2008.”
-Posted by SWARN

SWARN: Recession in US is not due to Pakistan given financial aid. Those reasons are different.

@Without losing time USA/UK must go to UN Security Counsel, ask for ‘Rule of Law’ in Pakistan/Afganistan under the umbrella of UN(Enforced by the Free Democratic World)and finish the game in 3 months like in IRAQ so as to ensure that Justice is Delivered to those who suffered and are suffering.”
–I am trying to get over the 100,000 to 600,000 dead in Iraq for US intervention for cooked up reasons. There was nothing at stake there so one cannot even tell the use of force there. In Pakitsan not only a lot is at stake but replicating Iraq approach here will yield lots of death and destruction, regional destability. I am for more silent, less violent and more productive approach which is stop helping Pakistan anyway (no aid of any kind) after giving them a limited and defined time to fix themselves.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@Sanjeev,

There are more recent signs in Washington that the U.S. is getting fed up with Pakistan. The Obama administration and Holbrooke as recently as a few days ago have insisted that Pakistan take the fight against the Afghan Taliban, but the Pak Army is refusing.

Having accepted billions of dollars of U.S. aid already, Pakistan is choosing to maintain its “strategic depth”, that being the Afghan Taliban and Kashmiri Militants against India and cherry picking which terrorists it does not like.

If my guess is right, the Uniforms from Rawalpindi and Islamabad intend to re-install a Pakistani friendly Taliban government and topple Karzai, once the Afghan mission is completed.

The Pak Army will one day have a confrontation with the U.S. over this strategic depth doctrine. It is incompitable with western and indian goals of maintaining security.

Pakistani “strategic depth”, is killing Indians in Kashmir and killing NATO troops in Afghanistan. Let’s see if Pakistan delivers as an ally, or is the Pak Army serving its own interests first, as it always has.

There is nothing noble or redeeming of Pakistan’s presence in Afghanistan. The people have gained nothing from Pakistani meddling there.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

AhmedS:

@Yes, Pakistan is going through a tough time and we all know we have a problem in Pakistan…”
—Most Pakistanis agree to that.

@ Pakistan is not the source nor the cause of all the terror in the UK or the rest of the world for that matter.”
-How much is Pakistan the source of trouble, if not all?

@Blaming Pakistan for all ills like you are going about is not only disingenuous but also way too easy, and it has been done to death, not just here on this blog but elsewhere as well.”
–What more does it take to blame Pakistan than the knowledge that Pakistan has created and/or supported Afghan Taliban, LeT, JeM, HuM. Would you like to give causes and justification for this? One can see terrorism as short-term policy by a nation, but and no one is so committed to this policy as Pakistan. What is so special about Pakistan? Do you see Pakistan rulers have a plan to adjust to the changing scenario with terror hitting home?

Combination of lack of money and insecurity is teaching the West even faster what Pakistan is up to. This has started since last 2 yrs. Old policies will not be allowed to work with so much at stake. Theoretically, how long can a country survive if it were to continue with failed policies even under nuclear cover?

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

That is a long list of accusations wrapped in the guise of ‘facts’. If you really wish to know the facts, then understand why Pakistanis in general and the Pakistan army as an extension of them is always wary of your intentions. I wish we could choose our neighbors, but that is geographically impossible. We would like to live with honor as your neighbor and I know there are many well meaning people on both sides who wish to do just that, live in peace, however, due to the past history, there is such a big trust deficit between the people of the two countries that we are always fighting, either directly or indirectly. If Pakistan is culpable in fomenting trouble in India then India is also not innocent of doing the same in Pakistan. Unless you are honest enough to admit this there is no going forward. This is not a one way street.

Indian posters on this blog (there are very few and very welcome contrasting exceptions too) seem to have this holier than thou attitude that India is above all that. Well, my Indian friends, it is not. However that is not the problem. I say even Kashmir is the not the core problem, the problem is and has always been the trust deficit between the two neighbors. This trust deficit needs to be reduced to have any semblance of progress in relations between the two. Kashmir issue can be solved one way or the other amicably only if we first have trust between the two.

India has set its goal of becoming an economic power in the region. The people of India have tasted the fruits of economic progress and they like it and want to have more without any hindrance from any outside factors. One of the biggest and most annoying outside factors is Pakistan. On the other hand Pakistan has been unfortunate in the sense that it has grown up through it formative years fearing India and Indian designs of overrunning Pakistan and not accepting Pakistan as a legitimate entity. In the history of countries, Pakistan is just a baby. It has a lot to learn and overcome its fear of standing up on its own legs. I want to believe when people tell me that India has moved on from that Indira Gandhisque stage of not accepting Pakistan’s right to exist, but there have been no solid step taken from either side to set that in stone yet.

If we continue on this current trend we can blame each other to kingdom come and yet the accusations will not end. Many a sane people in India have said that a stable Pakistan is in India’s interest as well, but is there political will to actually believe in that? When in a country that calls itself the biggest democracy, a politician (Jaswant Singh) says something which might be interpreted as pro Pakistan in India, he is banished from his own political party. And then you have posters like SWARN who represents the sentiments of a majority of Indians who blame Pakistan of everything from terrorism in India to the global economic meltdown. I mean come on guys, this is supposed to be a serious forum. Not a place for jingoistic rhetoric which is not even funny. And as if direct threats are not enough, most posters here have also now resorted to coaxing and encouraging and even imploring the three U’s (US/UN/UK) to do their dirty work for them by unleashing their joint might onto Pakistan as if Pakistan were Iraq. America has its own interests in the region and Pakistan has its own. Right now both these interests seem somewhat at odds but don’t be fooled by the diplomatic rhetoric, the behind the scenes happenings are entirely different. When people lament the waste of all that US aid money, they fail to realize that America does not just throw money at Pakistan for nothing. It gets its own interests realized worth every penny of that money.

Before you blame Pakistan army of becoming the most powerful institute in Pakistan, stop and think for a second who caused that army to become so powerful in Pakistan? When you have India increasing its defense budget by almost 35% for next year to $30 Billion. And when you have one third of the Indian army poised on or around its border with Pakistan. Do you think that would make Pakistan, with a long history with India and no love lost between the two, any comfortable? And when you say what worries the Indians the most is that the Pakistani nukes are not in in control of a democratic and stable government. Pakistani nukes are in good responsible hands, and so are the Indian ones. If you think that in a worst case scenario the democratically elected government in Delhi will be consulted by the Indian army, then you live in a fool’s paradise my friend. Either country’s civilian leadership will not even matter. That is an entirely different playing field.

-AS

Posted by AhmedS | Report as abusive
 

@AS
“On the other hand Pakistan has been unfortunate in the sense that it has grown up through it formative years fearing India and Indian designs of overrunning Pakistan and not accepting Pakistan as a legitimate entity”–Vajpayee went to Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore a decade back. He said Hum Pakistan ko Takseem karte hain. What more do you want? If you cant get over the paranoia you have, dont blame others for it. India has full diplomatic relations with and last time I checked we had embassies in each others’ countries. Please get over it that India wants to destroy you, we dont!

“When in a country that calls itself the biggest democracy, a politician (Jaswant Singh) says something which might be interpreted as pro Pakistan in India, he is banished from his own political party”—What has that got to do with anything? It is politics, pure & simple. BJP also opposed the US -India nuclear deal in Parliament, so does that mean that the BJP is against India having relations with US? Doesnt every Mullah in every mosque every friday in Pakistan rail against the jews and Hindus?So doesnt that mean that Pakistanis are against Indians also?

Indian has to mass an army at the Western Border because your paltu kutte try to infiltrate from there to spray bullets at our city folks going about their business. We do have a right to have a holier than thou approach because as the world agrees, India has its focus right (on economics and money making) while your people are focused on global jihad. You got four provinces to rule, go about ruling it well, dont covet another one.

Posted by Sameet | Report as abusive
 

“America has its own interests in the region and Pakistan has its own. Right now both these interests seem somewhat at odds but don’t be fooled by the diplomatic rhetoric, the behind the scenes happenings are entirely different”
Posted by AhmedS

How about this for a behind the scenes happenings?

NY Times – ‘Pakistan Told to Ratchet Up Taliban Fight’

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/world/ asia/08policy.html?scp=1&sq=US%20rachet% 20pakistan&st=cse

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

You raise a number of issues, some valid, some not so valid. Let’s get some basic irritants out of the way.

From all my discussions with Indians (and I speak to quite a few), I can say that there is no doubt about this: The overwhelming majority of Indians do accept Pakistan’s right to exist, and do not wish destruction or instability on Pakistan. If Pakistanis believe that most Indians have still not accepted Pakistan, this is an irrational fear. Get over it already.

However, Indians in general are angry with Pakistan for its past (and perhaps continuing) support of terrorist groups that have periodically attacked India. This support must stop if you expect reasonable relations between the two countries, otherwise it’s like asking a person to stay on in an abusive relationship and behave normally.

Third, the concept of jihad is deeply offensive to non-Muslims and must be unequivocally repudiated by Muslims. We don’t care what the Quran says or how it is interpreted. It is simply unacceptable for Muslims not to accept the equality of non-Muslims. Regarding non-Muslims as kafirs who must be converted, subjugated or killed is a pernicious idea that has no place in a civilised world. The root of most terrorism emanating from Pakistan and directed at India is fuelled by this offensive concept of jihad, which has been given religious sanction by Islamic clerics. This must be repudiated if Pakistan is to have reasonable relations with other countries in the twentyfirst century.

Peace and prosperity can and will follow. But Pakistan needs to get its house in order in these two vital respects – learn to treat non-Muslims as human beings equal in every way to yourselves, and stop supporting violence against others. The respect and cooperation you extend will be returned in full measure, that’s a guarantee.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

AS,
You are playing flute in front of cows.

Posted by babag | Report as abusive
 

I said:
> We don’t care what the Quran says or how it is interpreted.

I meant to say:

We don’t care what the Quran says *but* how it is interpreted.

If jihad is interpreted as a person’s internal struggle against their own moral weaknesses, there is no issue. If it is interpreted literally as a “necessary” struggle that Muslims must wage against unbelievers, that’s unacceptable. It’s up to religious leaders to provide an interpretation that doesn’t pit Muslims against the rest of human civilisation. That’s really the elephant in the room. Pakistanis tend to talk about a number of grievances that they hold India responsible for, but no one has repudiated the concept of jihad against unbelievers. Until you guys can do that unequivocally, your motives and stated desire for peace will always be suspect. Can you understand this point of view?

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

U.S. admonishes Pak Army and Intelligence to take war on Afghan Taliban “Strategic Depth”, which rearms in Pakistan and kills U.S. and NATO soldiers. It seems that Washington is getting tougher on Pakistan actually stated that the success of the troop surge in Afghanistan will directly depend on Pak Army and Intelligence fighting and killing the Afghan Taliban. Failure to do so will result in the U.S. unilaterally droning further into Pakistan, to shore up the Afghan mission and protect the validity of the troop surge.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/tackle-ta liban-or-we-will-us-tells-pakistan-20091 208-khkp.html

Ganesh: BTW, your last post was well communicated. Non-muslims are not non-believers, we just seek our belief in a different manner.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

AhmedS:

@That is a long list of accusations wrapped in the guise of ‘facts’.”
–Why so? Educate us which part can be labeled as “accusations” and why or is it all pile of lies and why. Why your views are radically different from moderate Pakistani media that sees things much more objectively? There is no getting away for Pakistan than taking the credit for terrorism in India until today (direct or indirect).

@If Pakistan is culpable in fomenting trouble in India then India is also not innocent of doing the same in Pakistan. Unless you are honest enough to admit this there is no going forward. This is not a one way street.
-So let us talk about admitting. These days RAW is blamed by Rehman Malik for any terror attack that happens in Pakistan and on that Pervez Hoodbhoy says “If the Pakistani allegations are correct, we must conclude that the Indians are psychotics possessed with a death wish, or perhaps plain stupid. While India’s assistance for Baloch insurgents could conceivably make strategic sense, helping the jihadists simply does not.” I hope you get his point here. In the past in 80s RAW had Counter Intelligence Teams which in collaboration with KHAD were targeted towards pro-Khalistan terrorists, who were getting ISI support (using US/Saudi money for anti-USSR mission) until mid 90s. When Sikh terrorism was completely take care of, the then Indian PM IK Gujral (Indian PM directly controls RAW) asked RAW’s CIT wings to be closed down on moral grounds. Let us see how much you admit about ISI actions in India. I’ll be waiting since this is “not a one way street”.

@ If you really wish to know the facts, then understand why Pakistanis in general and the Pakistan army as an extension of them is always wary of your intentions.”
–This sounds strange coming from a person whose country has attacked India in overt wars. If you want credible sources for this then go google Asghar Khan and Noor Khan, 2 air chiefs of Pakistan who says it is Pakistan that always has been the aggressor. Still, go ahead and tell us the facts and tell us what we do not understand about Pakistan.

@ I wish we could choose our neighbors, but that is geographically impossible.”
–Who in your mind will like to be your neighbor? No one understands better than Pakistan than India and here lies Pakistan’s redemption. If Pakistan drops covert warfare, India and Indians will quickly trust Pakistan but rest of the world will still not trust so soon.

@We would like to live with honor as your neighbor…”
–what does that even mean? I have heard it n# of times without any Pakistani telling me the meaning or going forward with the discussion when asked. Such slogans are not enough.
@ and I know there are many well meaning people on both sides who wish to do just that, live in peace, however, due to the past history, ….”
–I am glad you know that. Should that not take care of your paranoia than aggravating it?

I also agree with Ganesh that Indians accept the existence of Pakistan as a separate nation. Indians will be plain stupid if they deny Pakistan the right to exist as separate nation. Paranoia, drilled into Pakistanis for self-serving interests of PA that India is looking to take over Pakistan, is baseless.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh, I think I can engage with you in a civilized discourse as you are not one of those who are just itching for a fight and like @babag said, I will be wasting my time with them.

You have raised very valid points and I would like to answer them as best as my own knowledge permits.

First point: Yes, there might be an overwhelming number of people who accept Pakistan’s right to exist but I don’t see them making that very deceleration vocal. And by accepting Pakistan as a sovereign nation does not mean just having an embassy in Islamabad. It means you accept the other country as your equal in the comity of nations, and not have aspirations to reduce it to an insignificant cowering subject. It is hard to accept your rationale that there is a majority of Indians who are not like that when I see Indian TV channels always using a condescending and patronizing tone towards an ‘insignificant Pakistan’ and announcing how India should just finish this ‘little ant size speck of a country’ off before breakfast tomorrow morning. I don’t know who or what to believe.

Second: Even if Pakistanis were to admit there is a one sided proxy war being waged by Pakistan, do you believe Pakistan created a problem in Indian Kashmir? Unless there is a problem no one from the outside can come in and create one. Just like there was an existing problem in East Pakistan that India took advantage of and supported Mukti Bahini with arms and training and even Indian personnel in the guise of Mukti Bahini. Today, on the eve of that day’s anniversary, how can we ever forget that you guys facilitated the amputation of our right arm?

Third: Your problem with Jihad is borne out of ignorance if not out of genuine intent. This is more of a theological discussion rather than a political one. However, let me humor you. Your interpretation of Jihad is as convoluted as of those sick mullahs who send innocent young children to blow themselves up in the name of Islam. Most people who bring up the violent nature of Islamic teachings to secure their case against Islam and Muslims either intentionally ignore the fact or honestly do not know how the Quran is structured. For brevity’s sake, I will give you an analogy of modern warfare. Let’s just say before the invasion of Normandy Private Ryan was given written instructions that he is supposed to kill any identifiable German he sees upon landing on the French beach. Now do you expect someone to quote those instructions to pfc Ryan 65 years later, and use it as evidence that all present day Americans are anti Germans and out to kill any and all identifiable Germans on the French beaches of Normandy? There is a time and place for everything, taking things out of context is very dangerous and disingenuous.

Likewise Islam does not teach Muslims to convert infidel kafirs to Islam or to subjugate them, and upon failing in that endeavor, to kill them. If that is your level of understanding of Islam then my friend we have a bigger problem in an educated enlightened person, than the ignorant mullah clerics we have.

Rousseau maintained that mankind was generally good and institutions corrupted. All people have their own aspirations, what the institutions do is harness this sentiment and use it as a collective to gain power. You and I individually might have good intentions but what matters is what the collective does, we are mere pawns as long as we are led by these self centered power hungry few who will use any means to gain and hold the attained power. If there were anything more potent than religion they would have found that by now and would have used it to justify their actions.

Posted by AhmedS | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

Thanks for your response.

On the first point, I’m pretty sure all the puffery and bombastic talk on both sides will fizzle out when peace is ultimately established, and both sides will probably chuckle at the things that were said during the heat of hostility. So I wouldn’t take these words too seriously. As another poster here has said, when Pakistan returns to stability and peaceful relations with its neighbours, India will be your first friend, and a dependable one. Other countries will be far slower to learn to trust Pakistan, I’m afraid. The country’s reputation has taken an international beating, and there’s no one to blame but past Pakistani leadership and their short-sighted policies. Remember that people of other countries have no cultural or emotional attachment to Pakistan, no interest in trying to understand you, and no affection at all. Any support you get from other countries is purely based on their self-interest. However, I can guarantee you that if terrorism from Pakistan is provably stopped (not cynically suspended), India will be your all-weather friend. This is probably India’s weak point – a desire for warm relations based on sentiment. You guys may think you’re closest to the Arabs or the Persians, but the inconvenient fact is that we’re the people who probably understand you best. If you can get over your hard feelings for long enough, you will see it for yourself.

On your second point, many others have pointed out that there is no comparison between Kashmir and East Pakistan. Even if we accept for the sake of argument that the Indian army is oppressing the Kashmiri people and that there have been instances of torture, rape, etc., there definitely has not been anything like the genocide that took place in East Pakistan. I’m not talking as an Indian here but as a student of history. In 1971, it was almost as if West Pakistan was begging to have its eastern half torn away, such was the ferocity of the massacre of Bengalis. Indian inaction in the face of such large-scale genocide would have been morally inexcusable. In contrast, while Kashmir has quite often been a case of heavy-handed rule (I am also indignant at the recent banning of prepaid phones in the state), it’s a bit of a stretch to compare it to East Pakistan.

On the issue of jihad, while it’s reassuring to read your enlightened interpretation, I’m not so sure your opinion is shared by many of your compatriots. I’m sure you and I can have a civilised discourse and be friends, but I suspect you are one of the few Westernised folk who can quote Rousseau and reflect philosophically about the origins of religious edicts. But can you put your hand on your heart and say this is the majority view? There is a serious problem of poor, illiterate youth being brainwashed into becoming terrorists and suicide bombers based on promises of reward for jihad. For every AhmedS, there unfortunately seems to be more than one Ajmal Amir Qasab. You can’t deny that the jihad mystique has thousands of youths in its thrall.

You’re obviously right when you say “There is a time and place for everything, taking things out of context is very dangerous and disingenuous” and I couldn’t agree more. Since you have a different view of jihad compared to the jihadis (who are unfortunately not a figment of the imagination), I’m obviously talking to the wrong person here :-) . And equally obviously, there’s no point in me talking to the people who do have such views because my opinion probably wouldn’t count in their eyes.

I guess we just have to wait for this society’s views to evolve on its own. In the meantime, the rest of the world has to stay on guard. It’s very sad and unnecessary, really. It would be good if people like yourself could be a bridge and act as a voice of moderation. I feel very sad to see the almost-daily bombings in Pakistan and people still unwilling to accept that this is the result of religious fundamentalism gone out of control.

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Wow AhmedS, you want 1 billion Indians to line up on your door step and chant “we accept Pakistan as a state”? You make up your mind about how Indians feel about Pakistan by watching Indian TV but have you seen what Zaid Hamid says about Ghazwa-e-Hind on Pakistani TV channels? You take umbrage to Indians describing Pakistan as “insignificant” but when Pakistani analysts talk about India being nothing compared to China, you guys have a smirk on your face! Do the decent thing and own up to your State’s dysfunctionality soon, would do your state a whole world of good! No need to cower around us AhmedS, your jawans are equal to 10 Indian soldiers, so chin up high and faith in Allah, please!

Posted by Sameet | Report as abusive
 

AhmedS:
What a “disingenuous” way of avoiding discussion on uncomfortable issues by dubbing them as “itching for a fight”!
Anyway, I will take the liberty of adding my 2 cents to the Jihad conversation.

Ganesh said: “Third, the concept of jihad is deeply offensive to non-Muslims and must be unequivocally repudiated by Muslims.”

You said: “Your problem with Jihad is borne out of ignorance if not out of genuine intent. This is more of a theological discussion rather than a political one. However, let me humor you. Your interpretation of Jihad is as convoluted as of those sick mullahs who send innocent young children to blow themselves up in the name of Islam…..”

My take: In theory, Jihad is not something bad and if correctly interpreted means something like “striving in way of Allah” with the intention to achieve betterment of the self and the society.

So if Jihad is so good why people like me or others or even good Muslims would complain? In addition to inner Jihad, Jihad-as-Nasf—(Jihad of the sword as self defense in response to aggression) is what has led to twisted interpretations of Jihad. All these radical Mullahs, OBL, Hafeez Saeed and other terrorists focus on Jihad-as-Nasf—(Jihad of the sword as self defense in response to aggression) are terrorizing in the name of Jihad. But why there is a support for these terrorists (anti-India) in Punjab (fair assumption)? Why should I not put a person who supports these Jihadis, even at ideological level, in category of terrorist-supporters? These terrorist leaders recruit young men by fighting for Allah and promise them rewards in heaven. A population calls them Jihadis but when these Jihadi blow up innocents (e.g, Mumbai case and now all over in Pakistan), a fraction of the people when pushed hard start calling them as terrorists (or preferably non-Muslims; cannot be Muslims; must be Indians….). But they will not call them terrorists before the action. This is hypocrisy and shows how messed up these people are.

Theory and practice of Jihad is so different.

Majority of people are sitting on fence and ready to fall whichever way the wind blows.

Can Pakistan’s policies in reaction to India’s role in creation of Bangladesh in 1971 be included in Jihad and terrorism justified that way? Without going into details of the genesis of the Bangladesh issue and India’s role, I will say NO. But a majority of Pakistanis do justify—perhaps at political level, who follow 5 pillars of Islam and still support these twisted Jihadis. There is a problem here. You seem to see 1971 as a reason for Pakistan to intervene. Pakistan has intervened via these Mullahs who recruit men/women for the cause of Allah. Indirectly, are you not a supporter? you may tell us that you support at political level but how does it matter if you support those terrorist activities on political grounds or religious—-all these terrorist org need is support and they get that in plenty. You need to know that your so-called “right-arm”—the East Pakistan was ignored by your heart and brain W. Pakistan since 1947. If you ask Bangladeshis, they will give less credit to India for the Bangladesh, but they will tell you that W.Pakistan’s policies is what gave rise to Bangladesh; with or without India that was inevitable. You, like most Pakistanis, will care less on that and rather care less that good that your right arm is happy now. Politically, India had the reasons to do so when Pakistan took away portion of Kashmir in 1948 and another attempt was made in 1965, soon after India’s loss to China in 1962. 1971 made perfect sense (this may sound bitter to you; but these are the political reasons). Pakistan had its chances with Punjab and failed and with Kashmir it is failing. Just wanted to put politics in context.

Let me refer you to a report (from your own country’s credible sources) on the state of what is being drilled into Pakistanis students through systematic teaching of distorted history and giving them a twisted sketch of other religions—namely Hinduism here.

“The Subtle Subversion: The state of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan”
http://www.sdpi.org/whats_new/reporton/S tate%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

It is long report but on page 19 of this on the “hate material” taught though text books is mentioned “Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus. For the upholders of the Ideology of Pakistan, the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence the Hindus have to be painted as negatively as possible.”

Distorted history, wrong information about India and Hinduism, as part of the curriculum, primes students up for falling to perverted Jihad! Say thanks to Jia-ul-Haq for that. What the region and even Pakistan recently faces are the consequences of perverted Jihad. At that point does it even matter, what the correct interpretation of Jihad is? Practicing inner striving is a private matter and what reaches publicly is the pain of twisted Jihad.

One need to acknowledge that there is certain special thing in Islam about using twisted interpretation of Jihad and the rewards associated with it that attract young minds. On the other hand, Gita, a holy book in Hinduism, is a lecture of Lord Krishna to warrior Arjuna to take rightful action and fight against his relatives, friends and teachers. Why Hindus, similar to Muslims, have not taken on the violent path by using twisted interpretations of this holy book? On the contrary, I see Geeta’s teachings used in non-violent ways by Hindus. Victimization as a reason can be quickly ruled out if one knows the history of Islam and Hinduism. Just a point to ponder off the web.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@Likewise Islam does not teach Muslims to convert infidel kafirs to Islam or to subjugate them, and upon failing in that endeavor, to kill them.”
-AhmedS

–Seems like you missed history that is studded with examples that prove the above statement wrong. Mughal emperors did that in India.

some examples:
1. Kashmiri Pundits were forcibly converted–the ancestors of many proud Muslims of today in that region were converted.

2. Ninth Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur who was beheaded by Aurangzeb on 11 November 1675 for not converting to Islam and representing Kashmiri Hindus on that issue (hence Gurdwara Sis Ganj in Delhi).

3. Two sons (younger one being 6yr old) of 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh were buried alive in the wall with an option to embrace Islam to save life.

Is it any different now? Muslims were left alone by terrorist and non-Muslims were killed in Mumbai 26/11 (although 40 Muslims still died). Dawn coumnist (forgot the name) rightly said that pakistan went to Mughal age, but instead of going to Akbar’s day, Pakistan chose Aurangzeb’s ways.

Just a bit of history in modern context. One can again twist like a pretzel to explain this.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

You may think me an agent of ‘doom and gloom’ out to slander your homeland but believe it or not I believe that the threats emanating from Pakistan and the lack of action and integration from the British Pakistani community endangers immigration everywhere.

As an immigrant myself, I am extremely worried that British Pakistanis could be tarnishing the image of immigrants all over the West. I think the recent increase in jihadist attacks and attempted attacks in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia all with links to Pakistan and with a fair degree of involvement from the overseas Pakistani community is doing a lot to damage the reputation of immigrants and make them appear to be terrorist threats.

You can take the head-in-the-sand approach if you like but it won’t make the problem go away. Citing mistakes made by MI5/SIS in a few cases does not take away from the fact that the vast majority (I never said all threats) of terror threats to the West today emanate from Pakistan. This is a fact reported by intelligence and security agencies in virtually every Western country. Trying to deflect responsibility by citing a handful of mistakes(however tragic) or blaming someone else (poor British integration policies) will not make the problem go away. Keep in mind the Brits are in the vanguard here. There are similar concerns all over the West. At this very minute, CNN is reporting that some Pakistani Americans have been arrested in Sargodha for planning terrorist attacks. Now, can you explain this trend when the US has far fewer issues with immigrant integration than the UK? Can you explain how the significantly larger Indian expatriate community produces far fewer terror threats?

You suggest that isolation of Pakistan is a pipe dream. In the absolute sense, yes. But there is nothing stopping the UK from forbidding its own citizens from travelling to Pakistan by placing travel bans, cutting air links, etc. And of course, that’ll be accompanied by severe restrictions on visas for Pakistanis attempting to enter the UK. In short, if this continues the greatest impact will fall on British Pakistani families who would suddenly see their ties to their motherland severely restricted. If they can’t curb the extremism emanating from their country, this is a very real scenario.

Sure, North Korea and Iran aren’t absolutely all that isolated. But life ain’t all that good in those countries either. If you think they aren’t practically isolated, you need to read a newspaper more. Do you really see Iran or North Korea mentioned in the travel or business section of your newspaper. Do you want Pakistan to become the next North Korea or Iran? That’s where this is heading right now if things don’t change.

Finally, drop the cries of ‘racism’. As a brown skinned immigrant to a western country, I am hardly out to attack other immigrants. The last thing I want are the actions of some tarnishing the image of all immigrants…and this includes the large British Pakistani community being held hostage by a few extremists.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

I’d really like to know why you believe Indians don’t accept your country or that the Indian military is not subjected to civil control.

On the first point, I have never met an Indian who thinks Pakistan should be annexed to India. Many will say they don’t want to touch Pakistan with a ten foot pole. If they had their way they would put up a giant wall from the Arabian Sea through the Himalayas. After all, why would they covet a country with so many troubles and very few assets to offer?

Next, the idea that the Indian military will act on its own. Can you cite an instance of this in history? In fact, one could argue that the Indian military has been the voice of reason in India’s national security decision making framework. They reluctantly carried through on Nehru’s forward policy and warned all along of impending disaster. Then there’s Manekshaw’s famous refusal to attack East Pakistan on demand. He delayed for months. These are hardly the actions of aggressors. Just because has an army that’s views civilians as window dressing on Pakistan’s national image, it hardly means India’s armed forces should be viewed in the same light. Again, can you cite a historical instance where the Indian armed forces have acted without civilian authorization? This would be news to us westerners who deal with the Indian military, increasingly, in the same light as a military operating under western principles (which include civilian control).

Next, this idea of India as aggressor. Who started Kashmir? Was it not Pakistani Pashtun tribesmen? Who started the 1965 war? Was not Op Gibraltar at least partly to blame? The only instance of Indian aggression here is 1971 for which Pakistan provided plenty of justification by slaughtering millions. Keep in mind if that happened today, there would be UN mandated intervention and it would have been US troops in Dhaka and not Indians. Pakistan’s own generals have spoken out and said that Pakistan has been the aggressor in several wars. So on balance, do you still think India is the aggressor?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Can we please stop forming images about other countries from television? If you were to base your image from TV, Pakistanis would all be terrorists, Indians would all be beggars, and Americans would be some combination of a sex-crazy boozehound and Paris Hilton. Obviously, those images are hardly true.

Ahmed,

For all your purported intelligence and assertions that Pakistanis should not be judged, why would you then judge the intention of Indians from what you see on TV?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

I think an earlier comment addressed to you got lost somewhere in cyberland or was rejected by the local censor or whoever. I make one last effort.

There is one thing where I agree with you and that is the fact that what is needed above all is to build trust before things improve. I agree 100% and I would be surprised if anyone did not – either in India or Pakistan. What do you think would help in this respect? I have already expressed my views earlier on this site on the very subject and would be interested to see your suggestions and a different perspective.

There are many issues you raise here though where we disagree to a large extent. Lets just take one issue for now – your hypothesis that Indians do not accept your country as a sovereign nation or wish to reduce it to a vassal state.

The overwhelming majority of Indians think no such thing. When you quote Indian TV as your main source, it is like me making a statement, based only on what Pakistanis on this blog say, that Pakistanis have a deep rooted hatred towards India. Both are ridiculous statements. Reading the english media and a few blogs, I know for a fact, there is goodwill aplenty on both sides. There is also anger for sure.

Let me take this a little further. You take what the BJP did to Jaswant Singh and Advani as proof of your theory that Indians are biased about anything concerning Pakistan. Didn’t you also notice, from the press and probably even the same TV channels which you quote here, that the majority of Indians lampooned the BJP and held it up to ridicule over its handling of these affairs? Why don’t you see that as an indicator? Do you know what the BJP is reduced to in India? It is being described everywhere as a sinking ship. Their views have been rejected by the people of this country, lock, stock and barrel?

The first requirement towards making up the trust deficit is having an open mind. My suggestion to you is to take a look at the larger canvas and not restrict yourself to a few isolated incidents which unfortunately hit the headlines more often than the good bits. That is the media’s job.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

@Ahmed,

Ahmed, when muslims or Pakistani muslims commit terrorism, western security agencies and immigration agencies have a duty to crack down and a large component of it will involve profiling, but that is not racism.

Ahmed, you cannot deny that in this century, acts of Islamic terrorism are by far the largest type of terrorism on innocent populations, hellbent on forcing their religious and political views on others.

Even though I am an Indian, brown skinned, I have no problem being pulled aside by security at any airport to make sure that there is no security concern, but that is not racism, that is a country being responsible and protecting the rights of its citizens.

On that note, I almost never or very rarely see, the local Masjid or Mosque in any country espousing gratefulness to their host country or protesting Islamic terrorism. Most Pakistani immigrants are quiet and say little to protest home grown youth terrorists or firebrand clerics. In short, the non-muslims are not seeing responsible behavior where Pakistani’s reign-in extremists from their own municipal society and mosques and stop their religious and political venom against host countries. That is a huge problem for us non-muslims, we want to see average Pakistani’s confront and challenge those with extremist views head on and co-operate more fully with police and security and intelligence agencies. That is our right to security, and safety as Pakistani diaspora do little or nothing police their own communities and in turn doing little to maintain a quality public image for themselves. It all starts and ends with the Pak Diaspora communities. Your elders and Imams are too absorbed with religious expansion and sometimes hatred and willfully or ignorantly turning a blind eye to the rot within.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@Keith,

It seems that the Pak Army is not willing to give up its “strategic depth” doctrine against India and Afghanistan. This strategic depth doctrine is actually a thinly veiled word for state sponsored terrorism, how can we view it any other way when the Afghan Taliban and their cadre operate from within Pakistan and the Kashmiri proxy army jihadi’s, almost 60 of them cross into India every month, as Indian agencies catch them. The Afghan Taliban terrorists are currently butchering NATO and U.S. soldiers.

How can Pakistan claim to call itself an ally against terrorism, while supporting and enabling Afghan Taliban terrorists and Kashmiri proxy armies. What moral ground is left for the Pak Army to want discussion on Kashmir, while the enable and allow terrorists to operate on their soil? I think NONE.

I am surprised this cat and mouse game with Obama has carried on for so long, if there was a Republican President in office today, I guarantee you, Afghanistan would have been closer to being resolved and the U.S. and NATO would be sitting inside of Pakistan, surgically taking apart the terrorist infrastructure there with our without permission.

The time has come to fix Pakistan and force them to own up for all of their irresponsible behavior towards Afghanistan, India and especially against the intelligence and psyche of average Pakistani’s.

As an Indian immigrant myself, I do not want to see Pakistan collapse or deteriorate, that is not good for the world, or India, but we do want to see a responsible, transparent military that is responsible to the civilian government and a country that is taking wholehearted, real steps to ride itself of Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and all terrorists against India. Until that happens, Pakistani Army is just playing games and trying to wait things out, until they can resume the low level war against India and re-install the Taliban in Afghanistan, once the U.S. leaves.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@RajeevK

Thanks for that link. It was a real eye-opener. Basically puts a lot of things into perspective and helps you understand the root cause of all of Pakistan’s problems. Basically as an Indian, I finally realized how thorough the brainwash job has been and why any Pakistani under the age of 29 has such a deep-seated hatred of Indians and Hindus in general.

As a student in a culturally diverse University in the US, we have often noticed this hatred but could never quite figure it out. As Indians who have faced the brunt of Pak sponsored terrorism, we do have a strong resentment towards Pakistanis. But, when it comes down to dealing with them, we always show sympathy because after all our bonds go far deeper and language is a great uniting factor. Alas, we always noted that any kind of attempt at friendship is always strained at best and the deep-seated hatred is always quite apparent. For reasons of camaraderie, politics was always left off the table.

On the other hand, once when I was flying from Colombo to Mumbai after vacationing there with my family, it so happened that Mumbai was a stopover on its way to Karachi. To say the least we were apprehensive initially, but the warmth and friendship we felt on that flight was par none. Needless to say all the Pakistanis on the flight were older gentlemen and ladies who belonged to a different era. They all had either lived in India at some point or still had family there. Everyone was extremely friendly were actually excited when we flew in over Mumbai, trying to catch some sights and sounds of a city they had all only heard of. Their sorrow about the sordid state of affairs in their country was clearly apparent.

Its a strange sad anomaly that we have to deal with. The older generation who still harbor love for the united motherland and are filled with horror over the violence that children of the same soil have inflicted upon each other will soon be replaced by a younger and drastically more hostile generation. Makes me question whether peace is just another pipe dream far from the ground realities we face. In the words of Megadeath – “Peace sells, but who’s buying?”

Posted by khuidude | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh, I had to re-type this again as my earlier comment vanished without posting. Anyway, apologize for the delayed answer.

Just because I can articulate my thought into the English language and quote Rousseau does not necessarily make me enlightened. And if you think I am westernized just because I am talking sense, let me assure you my friend, those two are not mutually inclusive, as the west does not have a monopoly on being sensible :)

Contrary to the popular myth, I am also not alone nor in a minority in Pakistan. There are people who are less educated who make even more sense than me. Likewise, just because there is a minority that is hell bent on corrupting the youth and using it as its weapon to seek concessions from the state does not mean most of us think it is acceptable. These terrorists get all the world’s media attention, but not many people see the steps we are taking to remove this curse from our society. You are quick to condemn and damn all of us in Pakistan but forget the sensible people including clerics who oppose the acts of terror. You don’t mention many good people including Sarfraz Naeemi, the cleric who was killed in a terror attack himself opposing these terrorists.

Since we are on the subject, it is not just the sick clerics who radicalize these youth, there are other factors that influence this equation of terror. And it is not just limited to poor and downtrodden who see no other option. One such example is the case of the five kids from Washington. Read the news here: http://tinyurl.com/yem7cax

Right now we need the world’s understanding, not necessarily sympathy, but understanding, which by the way I don’t see much of either. Pakistan will come out of this stronger, as we would have sorted out a few things. Meanwhile, no need to state the obvious, as we already know this monster is of our making, not solely ours but we are partly responsible for it. However, now we are dealing with it alone and without help from the outside. Instead, we are constantly being pressured with the western mantra of ‘do more’ as if we are already not doing enough, and on top of that from your compatriots, all we see is gloating and wallowing in Pakistan bashing. This is no way to advance trust, or understanding.

We are just now beginning to say farewell to Zia’s style of Jihad which has led us to the path of mistakes and foolishness. I think time is ripe for us to re-think and re-invent the nation. And I don’t know if it was even possible to learn these lessons before the recent events and the environment of confusion we are going through these days. No external pressure or entity can teach us nor can it educate us as to what is in our best interest. I have great hopes for my country in this time of great discontent.

I really appreciate your forthright observations. It is encouraging to know that India has a few of you around as well, unless you are an NRI?

Posted by AhmedS | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

Khuidude said:
> The older generation who still harbor love for the united motherland [...] will soon be replaced by a younger and drastically more hostile generation.

You said:
> Contrary to the popular myth, I am also not alone nor in a minority in Pakistan. There are people who are less educated who make even more sense than me.

I sincerely hope Khuidude is wrong and you are right. The last thing we need now is a hardening of attitudes. Our problems are entirely one of attitudes. There are really no problems between India and Pakistan that any two other neighbouring countries couldn’t solve in five minutes (think US-Canada or Australia-New Zealand). We remain condemned by our hard feelings. (This goes for you too, Ahmed.)

> Right now we need the world’s understanding, not necessarily sympathy, but understanding, which by the way I don’t see much of either.

I can see what you’re saying, but try and look at things from the other side as well. If you had a neighbour who was rearing pit bulls and training them to attack other people (including yourself), and one of them turned around and bit him badly, would you sympathise with him or think “serves him right”? And if he shot the dog that bit him but refused to put down the other vicious ones because he still hoped to set them against his neighbours, how much sympathy would you have for him?

There are still reports that the Pakistani military establishment doesn’t want to turn on all the terrorists operating in the country, only against some of them. They still seem to want to maintain “strategic depth” against India and Afghanistan. Obviously, this prevents Pakistan from being seen as a trusted partner by those outside who are threatened by terrorism. Pakistan cannot expect either sympathy or understanding when its fight against terror is so obviously half-hearted. Pakistan needs to show the world that it is serious about uprooting *all* terrorists, including the anti-India ones. As an Indian, that’s what I would infer from the term “do more”.

> You are quick to condemn and damn all of us in Pakistan [...]

Not all, Ahmed. People on this forum and elsewhere have been calling on right-thinking Pakistanis to step up and speak out against things that have gone wrong. For reasons of defensiveness or otherwise, we have never had an instance of a Pakistani coming out and clearly saying, “Our country’s policy of supporting terrorism was wrong and must end” even if many of you internally feel that way. What’s preventing this? You will be pleasantly surprised at how other people will reach across to you if you can empathise with their position.

> [...] but forget the sensible people including clerics who oppose the acts of terror.

If there are good people working in this cause, we need to hear more of it. For example, I hadn’t heard of Sarfraz Naeemi, and I suspect most people outside Pakistan haven’t. Part of it may be the fault of the media and its selective reporting, but people like you have a lot of influence too. The world is very eager to see the slightest positive signs from Pakistan, so if people like you can swallow your (natural) defensiveness when challenged on forums like this and respond with positive examples of what’s being done to improve matters, you will quickly get a positive response from others. I would strongly suggest you try this. Don’t be provoked by what you see as “attacks”. If there is a moderate and silent majority as you claim, it would be very good to hear those voices. So far, we have only heard defensiveness. I know it’s hard to respond calmly to hostile comments, but after a few mild responses, the opposition will also soften.

> One such example is the case of the five kids from Washington. Read the news here

I have seen this report earlier. There is an element of “jihadi cool” that has nothing to do with religion, I agree. It’s an unfortunate aspect of the times that the Muslim community has to be extra-careful about its reputation now and must police its own youth more carefully, otherwise news items like this and the Fort Hood shooting go on to reinforce a very negative opinion. Much as we would like to help, the rest of us are helpless bystanders. This is a matter for the Muslim community to handle. As a positive example of what can be done, a large number of Indian Muslims came out strongly in condemnation of the Mumbai attacks and closed ranks with fellow Indians. It did a lot to improve the image of Muslims within India, and the social rifts that had taken place in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots were significantly healed by this gesture.

> on top of that from your compatriots, all we see is gloating and wallowing in Pakistan bashing. This is no way to advance trust, or understanding.

Again, I see where you’re coming from, and again, I would ask you to try and look at this from the other side for a moment. My own reading of the situation is that the Mumbai attack was a turning point. Something snapped in India as a result of this attack. Even Kargil did not have the same impact. The level of goodwill towards Pakistan dropped sharply after Mumbai. Until Mumbai, all terror attacks against India were bombs, and there was always a doubt as to the source. It could have been homegrown terrorism and not a “foreign hand”. Things were never clear-cut, and so people were prepared to give Pakistan the benefit of the doubt. But Mumbai had a definite smoking gun, not just because one of the terrorists was captured alive and he sang, but also because lots of other evidence turned up, such as cell phone transcripts. Official Pakistani involvement became glaringly obvious.

I don’t share in the gloating at Pakistan’s current plight because (as always) it’s the poor and the innocent who are paying the price, but perhaps you can understand why people might feel vindicated. (I would gloat, though, if the terrorist handlers in the ISI got a taste of their own medicine at the hands of LeT and the like.) Looking at it dispassionately, the Pakistani military establishment really overreached itself with the Mumbai attack. They failed to understand that the world climate has changed. Your army has done Pakistan a great disservice by being seen as terrorist supporters in a world that is now strongly anti-terrorist. But there is still hope, as I keep pointing out. The ball is really in Pakistan’s court, though. If the world (including Indians) can see that Pakistan is taking steps to uproot terrorism (not just the anti-Pakistan TTP but also the anti-India LeT and Afghan Taliban), then you will start to see sympathy and understanding from Indians. Until then, wouldn’t you agree that Indians would see a reluctant Pakistani establishment as being essentially still an enemy?

I know the view in Pakistan is very anti-Zardari. I can’t comment on his integrity, but he seems to carry the least amount of anti-India baggage of all the Pakistani leaders I know about. Zardari represents to best opportunity for peace in my eyes, but unfortunately, he seems to be getting sidelined by the army, which is traditionally anti-India. Zardari (correctly) said some time ago that India is not a threat to Pakistan, and that’s something the average Pakistani would do well to understand. The threat only exists in your own eyes. India has bigger fish to fry. Becoming an economic giant is not a zero-sum game, and Pakistan can join in that prosperity if it chooses to. By remaining anti-India, you only isolate yourself from a growing economy, a rising tide that could lift your boats as well. What are your thoughts on that?

> It is encouraging to know that India has a few of you around as well, unless you are an NRI?

Guilty as charged :-) . I’ve been an Australian citizen since 2000.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Ahmed,

This is exactly my point. If Pakistani Americans are involved in extremism, how much can the West do? Here you have a community that is well-off, educated, integrated and for the most part accepted by their new homeland. They don’t have anywhere near the issues that British Pakistanis do. Yet, they are getting caught up in extremism.

The CNN article you put up highlighted the role of deradicalizers. What it does not say is the role of CAIR in justifying jihadism and other forms of extremism for years. On one hand they justify violence, then they seem shocked and surprised when some youth actually listen to their message, and then hastily call out the deradicalizers.

We have Pakistani expat groups that justify violence. We have the vast majority of these expat communities that does not speak out against extremism (you worry about Indians not accepting Pakistan, well just think about how worried we are when our Pakistani neighbours stay silent after a subway bombing or inciteful speech from a firebrand cleric). How do you think the British people felt when some British Pakistani said a British Muslim soldier who was killed in combat, deserved his fate? That’s the level of gratitude some of these migrants have for their new homeland.

So the West has two choices in this situation. Crack down on their immigrant communities. Or try and get Pakistan to shut down the safe havens where these extremists flock to. Which do you think is right? Should western governments come down hard on their Pakistani immigrants who harbour extremists? Or should they pressure Pakistan to close down the training camps all over Pakistan. Keep in mind these young Americans weren’t caught in the FATA, they were in Punjab….and that too a settled part of Punjab. Sargodha is hardly the sticks. One of the PAF’s largest installations is next door.

You suggest the world should be more understanding. But shouldn’t that understanding flow both ways? Our governments have gone out of their way to support Pakistan. The US isn’t the only one providing aid. My government here in Canada has encouraged billions in investment in Pakistan (see Barrick Gold in Baluchistan) and has donated tens of millions in aid (a lot for a small country like us). We have provided training to the Pak Army. Our NGOs are active in Pakistan. We take in large numbers of Pakistani migrants. So what more can we do for you?

On the other hand, what do we see from Pakistan? We see a society that tolerates and even justifies the rule of a military kleptocracy (see a few threads where one of your compatriots argued against democracy in Pakistan). We see Pakistanis who justify interfering in Afghanistan because of phantom Indian consulates. Yet, none can yet list a single consulate other than then officially listed 4. We see Pakistanis who feel that violence against civilians is justified in India and Afghanistan and even the West because it somehow suits their interests. Ask them if Indian meddling in Baluchistan is justified and they’ll say no. Ask them if Pakistani meddling in Kashmir is okay and they’ll reply with a resounding, “yes”. What kind of hypocrisy is that?

The world is more than prepared to support Pakistan. It is in nobody’s interest (not even your next door arch-rival) to have Pakistan become another Somalia. But this requires the co-operation of Pakistanis. We don’t need Pakistanis parroting conspiracy theories to excuse their inaction. We don’t need the ISI picking and choosing which terrorists to fight while actively assisting groups that are killing western soldiers in Afghanistan and civilians in India. And we don’t need Pakistanis who justify authoritarian rule because it suits their interests.

The world is ready to help Pakistan, as long as Pakistan is ready to help itself.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

kEiThZ said:
> Our governments have gone out of their way to support Pakistan. [...] We have provided training to the Pak Army.

I’m reminded of what Indira Gandhi said in the early 80s when the US was supplying arms to Pakistan and justifying it by citing the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. She said, “We have not heard of guns that fire in only one direction.” The West chose not to listen (as always until very recently) and now those guns are firing in their direction as well. Poetic justice, in a way.

Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

@Keithz

Keith, Pakistan needs an awakening. Pakistani’s generally claim statehood and sovereignty, while they allow and enable China, Saudi Arabia and outside foreign Islamic Militant fighters to operate on their soil to commit terrorism on others.

@AhmedS,

With regards to India taking of Pakistan’s right arm in 1971, yes we did to that, but your Punjabi Mafia Army, for which you will not admit on this blog, gruesomely raped and genocided 3 million Bengalis. Anything India may have done, sure it bruised your national EGO, but India did not do something so unforgiveable as systematic and organized racist mass slaughter of unarmed civilians, with the main target being Hindus.

Any grievances of Kashmir or 1971, are so miniscule compared to the Bengali Genocide. That is why the world is not going to listen anymore about Kashmir or 1971, as Pakistan has no moral ground.

Pakistani’s only saving grace now, is that it must fully and wholeheartedly deliver Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, AQ and Kashmiri Proxy War assets on a platter, if it wants to have any semblance of integrity or believability as a stable, peaceful nation that is against terrorism.

There simply is no legal or moral human justification for any sort of “strategic depth” terrorists against Afghanistan or India.

Pakistan has this one and only last chance to save it self and turn the page on militant-ism, otherwise the world will converge on Pakistan, militarily and politically and force terms on Pakistan. Pakistan will be trapped and not have any wiggle room.

At the end of the day, India wants a stable and friendly Pakistan, but in its current lackluster show, the Indians an the world are still doubtful as Kashmir proxy terrorists continue to operate against India and Afghan Taliban continue to butcher NATO and U.S. soldiers.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

Are we still debating about India and Pakistan and forgot about Gordon Brown’s worries. Perhaops we should ask Alcapone 2 if his new team has made any progress?

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

The only way in the direction of understanding & resolving these interwoven complex world problems is the real education of new generations, and empowering of the young generations as a start. Building of new institutions and replacement of the 30 plus generation with the young generation of 30 minus. This is not easy but not impossible. I believe that within 10 to 20 years, the fruits of empowering young generations will be evident all over the world.
I am working on a project based on my experience of transforming an educational institution of 520 kids from extremist/fundamental sentiments to liberal attitudes. I believe this is a step towards world peace by investing in the coming generations. I expect those they have a desire to help change the world can send me an email at khizar1@gmail.com. I am positive that someone is somewhere that can help change the world, but they just need to be reached and I am trying to reach them. Thanks.

Posted by khizar1 | Report as abusive
 

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