On Afghanistan: a quick round-up of views from around the world

February 2, 2010

afghan girlFollowing up on my post earlier this week on fighting over a settlement in Afghanistan, here is a quick round-up of reaction on how this new phase in the Afghan war is being perceived, according to the editorials and op-ed pages from  some of the countries with a stake in the region. Please add more in the comments if you think there are important articles which have been overlooked:

Pakistan:

In this guest column for the BBC, Ahmed Rashid writes that the only way to end the war in Afghanistan is to talk to the Taliban.

Ayesha Siddiqa at Dawn worries about the risk of renewed regional rivalries, especially between Pakistan and India, if the United States pulls out too quickly.

And Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani said Pakistan wanted a stable Afghanistan and was willing to help train Afghan security forces in order to achieve this, but did not want the Talibanisation of Afghanistan.

India:

Its op-ed writers have been very quick off the mark to adjust to what they see as a shift towards a settlement that might favour Pakistan in Afghanistan.

Brahma Chellaney sees the new American strategy as one of “Surge, Bribe and Run“.

C. Raja Mohan writes that we are now into Phase Two of the Afghan war which will involve reaching out to the Taliban leadership to find a way out.  India should respond, he says, with a bold initiative to talk to Pakistan to assuage its concerns about Indian intentions in Afghanistan. The best way to do this would be to organise a trilateral summit between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Saudi Arabia:

Karzai goes to Saudi Arabia this week to seek support for his reconciliation efforts with the Taliban

An op-ed in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, owned by a nephew of King Abdullah,  suggests that expectations that Saudi Arabia might be ready to bail the Americans out of their Afghan problem should be treated with caution.

Canada:

Could someone else check this out? I’ve been adjusting my Google news feed to set it to different countries, and whichever country I claim to be in, I’m getting a lot of forthright comment from the Canadians on where we stand right now:

Unhappy ending” -Toronto Star“;  Taliban Talks Dangerous – Calgary Herald. Coming from a small country myself, I’m inclined to think the Canadians have a good measure of what is going on, even as they prepare to get out of  Afghanistan.

In the meantime, there is more to come from the many other stakeholders involved.  Comments and links welcome.

20 comments

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[...] moving towards some kind of reconciliation with the Taliban. Read more from the original source: On Afghanistan: a quick round-up of views from around the world … Share and [...]

Myra:
the view from Pakistan Army:
http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o= t-press_release&date=2010/2/1

“General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that our objective is to have peaceful, stable and friendly Afghanistan. “We cannot wish for Afghanistan anything that we don’t wish for Pakistan”. ”
“COAS identified five fundamentals that helped in turning the tide and must not be lost sight for future operations. ”
“He informed the NATO commanders that our strategic paradigm needs to be fully realized. ”
“In his concluding remarks, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that Pakistan has contributed to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. We have the will and resolve to overcome the menace of terrorism in our country and we have the public support. We have also offered to train ANA and ANP, as we have the capacity and wherewithal to do so. He reiterated that Pakistan should be trusted and enabled.”

————————-
-Though this breifing was given to foreign media persons at GHQ, on Gen. Kayani’s return from NATO HQ visit from Brussells. I am sure it was given keeping in mind the current situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan is offering to train Afghan forces otherwise the vaccum which will be left by withdrawal of foreign foces in Afghanistan might be filled up by India.

Also, one more link

Kayani Spells Out Terms for Regional Stability
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/06-p akistan-does-not-want-to-control-afghani stan-kayani-rs-02

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Myra, Thanks for all the links. Found the Dawn article the most interesting, presumably because it has its nose more to the ground than the others. Though one thing baffles me, Ayesha Sidiqqa states “leaving Afghanistan at the mercy of a Karzai-Mullah Omar coalition supported by India.”

Supporting Karzai is one thing but dealing with Mullah Omar seems too far fetched to me. Still it’s interesting to note how all the different perspectives zero in on a post US Afghanistan. My own view as mentioned before is that if the Taliban and Mullah Omar come back, (possible) they will most certainly be backed by their eastern neighbour rather than India. And all the promises and good intentions that Omar may profess to make about turning over a new leaf will be only temporary. Slowly the fundamentalists will take over and this time their grip will be harder to break.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

An interesting write up in the Daily Beast, takes a closer look at the $150 mn buy out package and also laments the fact that Afghan society was poorly represented at the London talks.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-s tories/2010-02-02/desperate-for-a-taliba n-deal/

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

@Following up on my post earlier this week on fighting over a settlement in Afghanistan, here is a quick round-up of reaction on how this new phase in the Afghan war is being perceived, according to the editorials and op-ed pages from some of the countries with a stake in the region.”
Myra

Myra: Let us start from home. what’s the view of the Afghans about what’s coming. How many are thrilled?

May be I missed.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Myra:

After US embassies attack in Africa before 9/11, Taliban was asked by US to handover OBL and Taliban kind of told Americans “screw you” and were hit (as was Sudan) by missiles from Clinton/US that killed some in terror camps and included their ISI agents.

After 9/11, Bush’s promised Americans about Osama bin Laden that “We’ll smoke him out of his cave and we’ll get him eventually,”

Now after this long war, neither Taliban has been controlled nor top A-Q leadership been captured. With Taliban in a position of strength, asking them not to entertain OBL/terrorists sounds more like a request. Now Taliban will get international aid too. If there is a winner here that is Taliban. That should not be extrapolated that Pakistan is also the winner. Once US is out and Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan should brace for worse to come. Despite the difference with TTP, Mullah Omar will not be thrilled at the fact that TTP–representing Taliban in Pakistan– was targeted by PA.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Alas, it’s our history to get into wars early and fight hard, only to have the Americans walk in, declare victory, take the trophy home and get Hollywood to make movies about the ‘American’ victory or sacrifice thenceforth.

Canada fought virtually alone in Kandahar for two years. That’s given us a much different perspective on the Taliban and the negotiations that are going on. Our leaders are a little less enthusiastic that negotiations with the Taliban at present will achieve much or protect the gains that have been made.

The Taliban don’t respect weakness and they most certainly won’t concede much if they know we are leaving shortly. It seems remarkable that the Americans can’t seem to understand this at times. Just as the Obama surge is coming on stream and making a difference and pressuring the Taliban, the West led by the US pushes for negotiations. Yeah, that’ll convince ‘em.

The Taliban should have been pushed to a point where they really thought we would not leave and they would be beaten. Then they would have negotiated in earnest. And to think it was an American who said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

Keith, “The Taliban don’t respect weakness….”

I couldn’t agree more with your view. I also think that the Talib must be laughing themselves silly over those $150 mn in bribe money. What happened to the $25 mn or whatever that was put on Obama’s head and Mullah Omar too? No takers in spite of reliable and constant reports of his roaming around freely in you know where. Mind you I think there will be a lot of takers this time but none will deliver. Money has its uses but…….

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Keith
Why don’t you simply accept that NATO/ISAF and US operation enduring freedom has been a dismal failure in Afghanistan? And i guess what you are witnessing now is a “shock and awe” campaign by Taliban. No matter Taliban do not have B-52s and B-2 spirits or bunker busters, but still they are causing “shock and awe” by road side bombs and suicide attacks. The Taliban prefer gorilla warfare over conventional warfare. And what should have been done decades earlier you are now coming to terms with it. Cracks are appearing in NATO alliance and everyone is war weary. Now is the time to negotiate the way out of this mess. In Afghanistan the insurgency is rural and controlling the cities mean nothing. NATO and US can go on for another few years without much different outcome and no one knows better than you since Canadian forces stationed in RC South have witnessed the fighting in South and suffered mounting casualties.
Pakistan had always taken the route of negotiation but every time Pakistan was criticized for its role to bring stability in FATA and tribal areas by seeking an accommodation with local Taliban. Now what is the talk all about in Afghanistan? of course an accommodation and negotiation. The fighting needs to stop and we must now talk about solutions, bring in Saudi Arabia take Pakistan onboard and mediators like Turkey. Soft power is needed to sort out the conflict, international tribunals must be formed and UN peacekeeping mission must replace the ISAF/NATO and US operations.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Guys, just to digress back to Kashmir, see link:

http://www.india-server.com/news/pakista n-prime-minister-gilani-supports-20585.h tml

Pakistani leaders are duplicitious and are egging on and encouraging Kashmiri terrorism, carte blanche. They are all a bunch of liars and completely dishonest. This is not a country, Pakistan is a terrorist, army mafia run colony.

You can call it politics, or what ever you want, Myra, but the only one in Pakistan, who called the Kashmiri separatists in India, what they really are, is Mr. 10% Zardari and even he has been silenced. This is why Pakistan is screwed, it is on a one way course towards an endless cliff with no bottom, deep into oblivion.

If Paks are so concerned about Kashmiri sovereignty and serious, why don’t they vacate PoK and then talk some sense, perhaps the Indians may engage the topic.

Pakistani leadership is basically encouraging terrorism and death upon Indians, by encouraging Kashmiri militants. This whole nonsense of “moral” and “political” support to Kashmiri militants is all hogwash, it goes much beyond that, it includes military training.

Peace talks will never happen with Pakistan, they want continuous concession of Indian land from India. Until the Pakistani’s are honest, they will continue to reap their own Karma and be ravaged as a nation.

Pakistani’s blindly keep playing this dirty trick upon themselves.

It is time the U.S. wakes up and considers removing all monetary aid, if Pakistan chooses duplicity on Kashmir and all other terrorist encouraging activities, against any nation.

I don’t think the defibrillators are going to work on Pakistan, Pakistan arrived in the morgue long ago.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Umair says:

“Soft power is needed to sort out the conflict, international tribunals must be formed and UN peacekeeping mission must replace the ISAF/NATO and US operations.”

–>Wrong answer. Pakistan wants to backdoor UN Pakistani peace keepers into Afghanistan to re-occupy and re-install the Taliban.

The only way to fix the militants is by overwhelming sledgehammer might and drones.

The militants do not respect a weak hand that is only good for talking. Talk is important, but it must be backed up with a sledgehammer in each had that is ready to follow through and smack down hard. Otherwise soft approaches are useless, Islamic militants laugh at soft approaches and do not respect that, they only respect either a drone or a cruise missile, after all, is that not why Pakistani army is pounding them with tanks and from the Air?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Umair:

@Taliban prefer gorilla warfare over conventional warfare. And what should have been done decades earlier you are now coming to terms with it.”
–Umairpk

–Duh! “Decades earlier”, meaning anti-Soviet mission was accomplished by active unambiguous participation of Pakistan with US money and Israel also a facilitator in that operation. Who was a duplicious character at that time? None. Jihadis plus Pakistan alone were useless against Soviet might. US gave Pakistan/Jihadis whatever they needed—Stinger missiles–to shoot down helicopters and throw out Soviets.

Now, the situation is different. We got Pakistan taking money from US but practicing duplicity and allowing Afghn-Taliban to survive (but killing Pakistan Taliban). What a bunch of thankless cowards that now US needed help and Pakistan did not give.

Did you notice that in your hatred against US, you are becoming quite an admirer of Taliban? You must be shortsighted not to foresee that NWFP/FATA will be the target of resurgent Taliban. They did not give a damn to US and they know Pakistan inside out. With admirers in Pakistan and more Pushtoons in Pakistan than Afghanistan, the job will become much easier. My guess is Taliban’s first agenda will be to control all the Pushtoon area of Pakistan.

@Cracks are appearing in NATO alliance and everyone is war weary.”
–US/NATO can make an exit and their countries are not vulnerable to Taliban. The most vulnerable is Pakistan.

Two serious questions since you are closer to the area:
1. Do you know what the Afghan Pushtoons feel about Taliban coming to power. Last time Taliban was thrown out of power, Kabul was quite a happy and noisy place with loud music, men shaving beards, women on the street….
2. What do Pushtoons in Afghanistan feel about Pakistan involvement with Taliban?

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

RajeevK: “they did not give a damn to US and they know Pakistan inside out. With admirers in Pakistan and more Pushtoons in Pakistan than Afghanistan, the job will become much easier. My guess is Taliban’s first agenda will be to control all the Pushtoon area of Pakistan. ”

Pakistan has a plan for that. People underestimate the cleverness of Pakistanis.

Already there is a “conference” going on in Azad kashmir for the next set of objectives, now that things are “improving.” Pakistan is about to launch a major offensive in Kashmir, which will align all elements behind them. India is sure to retaliate and Pakistan has been dreaming of that moment for almost ten years. So long as Pakistan can deflect all the forces away from them and turn them outward, they will survive. They did that with the US by deflecting it into emptiness. Now that the US is fatigued and has made its intentions to exit clear, Pakistan will deflect everything towards India and live happily.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@ So long as Pakistan can deflect all the forces away from them and turn them outward, they will survive. They did that with the US by deflecting it into emptiness.”
@Now that the US is fatigued and has made its intentions to exit clear, Pakistan will deflect everything towards India and live happily.”
Posted by KPSingh01

–India faces terrorism from Pakistani Punjabi terrorists–Let/JeM types and Pakistan’s worries should be religious fundamentalism which has roots in Taliban types. If I were a Pakistani, I will be worried about Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan since Taliban class of fundamentalists has its agenda to run their Islamic rule in Pushtoon areas at minimum and they dislike Pakistan’s democracy–howsoever weak.

In the past Pakistan has successfully connected Taliban/Afghanistan with India/Kashmir by running anti-India terrorist training camps in East Afghanistan. Dynamics have changed a lot compared to pre-9/11 days. Even if US/NATO/India exit from Afghanistan, it is going to be harder this time for Pakistan to run terrorist camps in Afghanistan using Taliban/Afghanistan. Taliban likes to test the limits but knows what they are. Not that you mention, but I do not see Taliban can be distracted to fight against India especially when they have no geographical contact and no compelling reason. They will prefer low hanging fruits i.e., controlling the Western side of Pakistan.

So you may be right that Pakistan will export terrorism to India but that will not be Taliban. With no US/NATO troops in Afghanistan, Taliban’s job is much easier now.
It could be more complicated if Pakistan rekindles terrorism in India and India retaliates heavily against them (in India) allowing Pakistan to start propaganda of anti-India Jihad in the name of kashmir freedom. Still I do not see Pushtoons being so motivated by all this. We are not even discussing Indian options in Pakistan like Baluchistan…..

There is something about the momentum of instability that it is hard to be controlled and easy to maintain by opportunists. Pakistan has quite a bit right now and the only way forward is positive step otherwise they will really go back in time to see Muhammad bin Qasim, so-called “the first Pakistani” (BS). Pakistan exists because of India and Pakistan should be wise to know the meaning of that.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

RajeevK: “If I were a Pakistani, I will be worried about Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan since Taliban class of fundamentalists has its agenda to run their Islamic rule in Pushtoon areas at minimum and they dislike Pakistan’s democracy–howsoever weak.”

Afghan Taliban has relied on Pak military for its survival. When it took over Afghanistan in the 1990s, it was trained by Pak military and intelligence. Pak army regulars participated in the invasion in disguise. Many had to be air lifted as a part of the Musharraf-Bush agreement. Pakistan has sheltered them in Quetta all these years and has not allowed the Americans to venture there. Al Qaeda too does not want to go against the Pak military. One Ilyas Kashmiri was supposed to have planned for the assassination of Kayani and was advised by Al Qaeda not to pursue that goal because Pak military was not to be touched. The only elements fighting Pak military are the TTP. All other groups, LeT, JuD, Afghan Taliban etc have stayed away from taking on Pak military. They are all, in a way, proxy divisions of Pak military and depend on it for their sustenance and survival. That is why Pak military is only acting against the Mehsud clan and is refusing to move an inch beyond that. The US wants the Haqqani clan taken on by Pakistan and it has been refused. So Pakistan has managed to keep all these “strategic elements” alive by toughing it out. They are the weapons Pakistan will use to achieve its regional goals that include Kashmir. What they aim for would be to drive Al Qaeda out of the region. That will satisfy American interests and they will not bother with the rest after that. They have come to that. So Pakistan will throw that bone for the Americans to chew. The Taliban will listen to Pak military because they lost Afghanistan due to Al Qaeda. Pakistan will act rapidly now to get Taliban accepted as a part of the solution. Mullah Omar will be advised to play along to get the Americans out of the region. Once they are gone, there will be plenty of time to regroup and take over Afghanistan. Pakistan will launch its first offensive into Kashmir which will help deflect the Pashtun and TTP groups towards India. Taliban does not care about the elected government in Pakistan. They know who is in charge. Once Kayani retires, Ashmed Shuja Pasha will take over and he is now in charge of the ISI. So connect the dots.

As soon as Taliban takes over Afghanistan, they will destroy everything India has built there – roads, schools, hospitals etc.

India is not smart and has relied on reactive rather than proactive response. It must see what is coming and start propping up Northern Alliance and others. It has gained foot hold inside Afghanistan and it should use that to cause pain and agony to Taliban using their own medicine. Allowing them to walk over everything will not be productive.

Pakistan wants no solution. They only wants problems so that they can play the middleman role and derive benefits out of it. They must be licking their lips at what is coming. This is all assuming Americans leave by 2011. If the Americans knock out Haqqani and decide to stay longer, things may become chaotic enough and Pakistan’s gamble can backfire. That is why they will make one desperate push in Kashmir very soon.

Every time India opens diplomatic talks with Pakistan, we see a strike from Pakistan. India has started the dialogue process again and the Jihadis have had a huge meeting in Azad Kashmir to liberate Kashmir from India. So put things together. Another major offensive is in the offing while the namesake diplomacy drama goes on.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

I am a Pakistani though an expatriate.Gen Kayani’s talk of strategic depth and of Pakistan having a say in Afghanistan is worst piece of crap I have come across. Although when it comes to Pakistani Military ( I must add Punjabi Military) cannot think beyond India.Period
When will they realise that Pakistan has around 180 Million people who want to have a better future and we bloody care if we have a say in Afghanistan we want better services,security, electricity etc.
Improve the economy, minimize the power of the army, send the Afghans back( there country has better security now!!) and things will fall in place. Besides have zero tolerance on militancy, be it India centric or wherever. They must be ruthlessly killed. Does the Pak Army have the balls to do that.Your guess is as good as mine!!

Posted by verboseguy | Report as abusive

@Verbose guy, it seems when Pakistani that once citizens leave the insane asylum of Pakistan, being so immmersed in the propaganda and politics there, people seem take a 180 degree view of their country. Most do not want to go back and most, even Pakistani collegues of mine blame the militancy and backwardness of Pakistan on the self-serving Punjabi Mafia junta that controls the civilian government and pushes the judiciary around.

As long as Pakistani Army keeps grip on power in Pakistan, there will always be terrorism on India, the world and the citizens will suffer from a fractional existence.

Pak Army politically speaking wants to maintain enemies to maintain their so-called protection of the country, when in fact they make fools of their own people.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Rajeev/KPSingh
I have a few thoughts,
you asked a couple of questions, I will try to answer them based on my understanding, geography plays little role even if you are aware of the ground reality you can make your own assessment:
“1. Do you know what the Afghan Pushtoons feel about Taliban coming to power. Last time Taliban was thrown out of power, Kabul was quite a happy and noisy place with loud music, men shaving beards, women on the street….
2. What do Pushtoons in Afghanistan feel about Pakistan involvement with Taliban?”

-1. When I was in Peshawar just last Monday, I saw the difference between Peshawar and Islamabad or Lahore. The Pushtun area (Peshawar/Kabul) are a deeply conservative society. In Peshawar CBD the mosque was full during daytime prayer, people had to lay down prayer mats on the road across the passing by traffic and prayed. I could see school girls/womenfolk passing by and most of them were covered (not all wearing burqa, but they use shawl/sheet to stay covered). In the bank I saw during lunch time all employees had laid down a prayer on the floor and were praying. The news you saw in 2001 when US invaded and a few people surely did shave off beards and turned on their radio sets. But that is not reality, Afghan has always been a conservative, religious and tribal society. Just FYI I am no Taliban admirer, am educated and live in modern city, have access to media etc. And most of Pakistanis are like me, no one supports backwardness, illetracy etc. So to correct your perception. Secondly, though the people of Afghanistan generally do not want to return to authoritarian strict rule, they also hate the inefficient and corrupt puppet Karzai government in Kabul. People of Afghanistan are just normal humans, they want to follow their beliefs and live according to Islam, want security, good healthcare, jobs and secure future. In fist place,back in 90s Taliban rule was welcomed by Afghans at it had brought some stability to the civil-war torn country where Taliban confronted the warlords who had held the public hostage. This time, corrupt Karzai government and inefficient Afghan security forces have failed to win public support.
2-What Pushtuns in Afghanistan think about Pakistan’s involvement with Taliban? well , in my opinion Pushtuns across both sides of Pak-Afghan border have strong connections. They see each others as cousins/brothers and many have relatives across the border. Islam is the bond between them, as far as Taliban connection is concerned. Most view foreign troops as occupiers and want them out. Before you question that you have to clearly define who a ‘Taliban’is? today even common criminals are doing drugs under the disguise as Taliban. It has just become a buzzword.

And KPSingh, by reading your comments it seems you are a self proclaimed fortuneteller. First let me tell you, Pakistan is very skeptical of the outcome of Afghan war. Pakistan is very cautious at the moment, and has offered to mediate between Taliban and other parties on terms. However, the Taliban on their part have always been independent and Pakistan has limited influence on them. But this time it is expected Taliban will listen to the advise. You suggest India should start supporting elements of Northern alliance. US and allied forces (Pakistan is also part of them giving them logistics transit of 70% of supplies)are never going to allow another civil war. Last thing Afghanistan needs after so many years and so many casualties is a pull back of US/NATO and ensuing civil war between rival factions backed by regional states India-Pakistan-Iran-Russia etc and another power game.
You say Taliban will take over Afghanistan and destroy everything, wrong. Taliban last time in power were isolated and had little dplomatic presence overseas. This time they will make the most of (if any) international recognition they get and will go with diplomacy.
You further say Pakistan wants Afghanistan to keep burning and that Pakistan will be licking their lips at what is coming. WRONG again, no other country has suffered more than Pakistan. 3 million refugees, a war spilling over to its tribal areas and what is coming is another potential civil war and further instability for Pakistan. Last thing Pakistan needs, it will be in the interest of everyone if Afghanistan gets stable. So correct your perception.

Rajeev, lastly you stated that Taliban will come into power and threaten Pakistan. That they will take over FATA/NWFP. Let me point out to the fact that Pakistan Army secured Swat and routed millitants out of South Waziristan last year with successful military campaigns. Things are under control in North Waziristan and also that most Pakistanis are moderate and do not support Taliban. It is just a myth, Taliban cannot threaten Pakistani state, most people reject that. My only point we need to reintegrate the Taliban, debiref their leaders. Give them role in Afghan governance, call a ‘Loya-Jirga’ gathering of tribal elders and end the conflict.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@India is not smart and has relied on reactive rather than proactive response. It must see what is coming and start propping up Northern Alliance and others. It has gained foot hold inside Afghanistan and it should use that to cause pain and agony to Taliban using their own medicine. Allowing them to walk over everything will not be productive.”
Posted by KPSingh01

–If Taliban goes to pre-9/11 days, India will also do that (NA like you said and I am sure RAw is not sitting still). Iran, Russia and India none wants Taliban running business that affects either of these countries. India’s concern is terrorists training of anti-India terrorists in Afghanistan. Let us see if that happens. If it does then Taliban is an issue. Other than Pushtoon raiders (from pakistani territory) entering Kashmir in 1947/48 or (unconfirmed), recent reports that some arrested TTP guys were forced by Pakistan into Kashmir and once in a while Mullah Oamar’s anti-India statements, Pushtoons from Afghanistan do not have any motivation to participate in Kashmir. About Pakistan, there are enough choices for them alteady. Getting taliban involved in Kashmir also means a risk to pakistan–I am sure by now even PA knows that. There is not much difference between TTP and Af-tal other than which side of Durand line they operate but similarities include establishing an Islamic state of their choice in Afghn and Pakistan. That’s the Taliban’s goal.

I agree with Pakistan’s current Kashmiri support in the conference (Kashmir solidarity day is being celebrated). All participants like LeT, JuD are expected–all Punjab based terrorists.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

“It is within us” By Kamran Shafi

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/colu mnists/13+kamran-shafi-it-is-within-us-9 20-za-01

“How can Afghanistan become friendly towards Pakistan when there is continuing ambivalence in wholeheartedly targeting the Taliban leadership, both Afghan and Pakistani, which as we well know are closely allied? How possibly can Afghanistan call Pakistan a friend when senior Pakistani army officers refer to these people, its enemies, as ‘assets’?

“On another tack, how can the ultimate leaders of groups that also attack innocent Pakistanis in Peshawar and Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi be the strategic assets of our brass hats?

“How can Afghanistan consider Pakistan a friend when the Quetta shura of the Afghan Taliban which has now been outed by no less a personage than the minister of defence, is not even touched let alone degraded to an extent that it will cease being a threat to Afghanistan? When its leaders openly defy government authority and do as they will in Balochistan, extending their murderous tentacles into Iran too?

“Unless, of course, it is still the case that our great strategists feel that the Taliban, both the Pakistan and Afghan variety, are the only ones who can ensure a peaceful, stable and friendly Afghanistan. If so, they have very bad memories, for they do not have to look very far back into Afghanistan’s sorry history to see how badly this, for want of a better word, scheme, failed so very miserably the last time around, with the Afghan people facing untold tribulations at the hands of a backward and medieval regime.

“How possibly can the Afghans see Pakistan as a friend when they see that their tormentors and the Pakistani security establishment are still friends? No sirs, no, Afghanistan will never consider Pakistan a friend unless those who have made mindless statements about the Taliban being assets retract those statements in totality and without reservation. And far more than that take stringent action against all of the terrorists without exception.”

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Here is B Raman giving a kind of “state of Pakistan” address.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx  ?264218

I cannot disagree with much except I disagree with Raman’s statement “They [Pakistan] have always believed that one Muslim is equal to two Hindus”.

In fact they believe that one Muslim is equal to ten Hindus.

For the sake of objectivity, here is another article on on 1965 war, written by Ahmad Faruqui, Pakistani author.

http://pakistanlink.org/Opinion/2009/Sep 09/04/03.HTM

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive