In the drama of the runaway general, don’t forget Pakistan

June 23, 2010

mcchrystalOn a visit to Pakistan in April, two comments stayed in my mind, encapsulating the Pakistani view of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.  One was from a political analyst in Islamabad, which stood out for the unusualness of the imagery.  “Obama,” she said, “has tried to put his feet in both boats.”  The other was from a senior serving officer, who appeared to be giving a personal opinion rather than reading from the script prepared for more official briefings.  “The Pashtun areas (of Afghanistan) are slipping out of the hands of ISAF and NATO, and everybody knows it,” he said.

The Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal - the drama aside of firing a top commander in wartime - is remarkable in the extent to which it plays up a similar assessment of the war in Afghanistan.

“Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it’s going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm,” it says. “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win,” it quotes Major General Bill Mayville, chief of operations for McChrystal, as saying. “This is going to end in an argument.”

In that context, McChrystal’s departure, and the very public washing of dirty linen over the conduct of the war, is unlikely to change the working assumptions Pakistan has about Afghanistan, and in consequence its policy decisions.  And given that Pakistan (nuclear-armed, population 170 million, base for al Qaeda and many other militant groups) is a bigger strategic nightmare for the United States than Afghanistan if it goes wrong, those policy decisions may well count for far more than the fate of a single general.

True, McChrystal had a tendency to say in public what others said in private.  His leaked assessment of the Afghan war last year was one of the first official U.S. documents to note that “increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani counter-measures in Afghanistan or India.” But him saying that, and indeed for that matter U.S. Special Representative Richard Holbrooke’s insistence that he will never mention the word “Kashmir”, do not change the underlying dynamic.  The Pakistan Army defines its policies according to its perception of a threat from India – and, to keep the time frame in perspective, has done so since 1947 – and that is not going to change overnight. Many analysts, most recently in this RAND Corporation report, argue that Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency will continue to rely on militant proxies it once cultivated to counter India both in Kashmir and in Afghanistan.  Its willingness to help prod the Afghan Taliban into peace talks is seen as at least partly dependent on a reduction of Indian influence in Afghanistan. So this week’s talks between the foreign secretaries and interior ministers of India and Pakistan in Islamabad could ultimately prove to be a more significant turning point – or more precisely, given these things move so slowly, the glimmer of a turning point in the distance.

McChrystal was also one of the first to play up publicly the possibility of reconciliation with the Taliban, telling the Financial Times in an interview before the London conference on Afghanistan in January that all Afghans could play a role in the future of the country. But that view has now been echoed by Holbrooke, and the suggestion that the United States might have to negotiate a settlement with its enemies is no longer condemned as heresy in the way it once was.

Arguably the sudden departure of British envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Sherard Cowper-Coles this week  will have a bigger impact on the chances of negotiating a settlement. The British tend to punch above their weight in South Asian diplomacy, and Cowper-Coles, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia who was believed to favour talks with the Taliban, was well placed to try to find a way towards a settlement.

But in any case, it is hard to see how McChrystal’s departure could lead to any real change in policy – even if President Barack Obama had wanted to use it as an opportunity to change course. (In the event, Obama said there would be no change in policy and signalled continuity by naming General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, to replace McChrystal.)  Scroll back to last year’s lengthy review of the Afghan war to remember quite how limited the U.S. policy choices were in Afghanistan.  At least one of the arguments put forward was the domino theory – that if Afghanistan were allowed to descend into chaos, Pakistan would follow.  So far there is no real sign of Washington resolving that conundrum – that its troops are in Afghanistan while al Qaeda, and the bigger strategic threat from state collapse, are in Pakistan.

Nor indeed has the Obama administration really resolved the contradictions inherent in the idea of fighting insurgents enough to bring them to the negotiating table.  As Henry Kissinger said of the Vietnam War, “The effort required to bring about a compromise was indistinguishable from the requirements of victory—as the administration in which I served had to learn from bitter experience.”

But none of these many contradictions - from Pakistan’s role as an ambivalent ally to its long-standing rivalry with India to the ground realities of Afghanistan – were ever going to be resolved by bringing in a popular commander.  With McChrystal’s departure, the currents and cross-currents of Pakistan’s own battle with Islamist militants remain.

And as some analysts argued during the strategic review, the United States had to build up its troops in Afghanistan to show it was serious and keep the pressure on Pakistan to tackle militants on its own territory. At the same time, these troops would try to avoid inflaming the situation by following a counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy aimed at winning hearts and minds rather than fighting insurgents. In that reading of U.S. policy, the underlying fundamentals of the situation across Afghanistan and Pakistan – far more than the commander on the ground – defined the strategy.

So back to balancing your feet in both boats…

53 comments

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American Strategy did not work with Pakistan, because people assume “pakistan” is a normal country like any other country.”Pakistan” is an ideological construct, currently owned by pakistan army?ISI/terrorists.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

The past and present are a continuum…..

There was no plan for “Pakistan” ideologues pre-1947 and no plan post-1947.. other than confrontation with “Hindu” India, militarism, religious frenzy, terrorism and of course….renting oneself to Americans..

It continues to this day…..indulging in terrorism, printing fake Indian currency, confrontation, militarism, “lobbying” against India…..activities which have only led to “pakistan”…..climbing up on the failed states index……global HQ for terrorism..

Margaret Bourke-White was a correspondent and photographer for LIFE magazine during the WW II years. In September 1947, White went to Pakistan. She met Jinnah and wrote about what she found and heard in her book Halfway to Freedom: A Report on the New India,Simon and Schuster, New York, 1949. The following are the excerpts:

QUOTE
The huge marble and sandstone Government House, vacated by British officialdom, was waiting. The Quaid-i-Azam moved in, with his sister, Fatima, as hostess. Mr. Jinnah had put on what his critics called his “triple crown”: he had made himself Governor-General; he was retaining the presidency of the Muslim League — now Pakistan’s only political party; and he was president of the country’s lawmaking body, the Constituent Assembly.

“We never expected to get it so soon,” Miss Fatima said when I called. “We never expected to get it in our lifetimes.”

If Fatima’s reaction was a glow of family pride, her brother’s was a fever of ecstasy. Jinnah’s deep-sunk eyes were pinpoints of excitement. His whole manner indicated that an almost overwhelming exaltation was racing through his veins…………………

“Of course it will be a democratic constitution; Islam is a democratic religion.”……..

This confusion of democracy with charity troubled me. I begged him to be more specific.

“Our Islamic ideas have been based on democracy and social justice since the thirteenth century.”

This mention of the thirteenth century troubled me still more. Pakistan has other relics of the Middle Ages besides “social justice” — the remnants of a feudal land system, for one. What would the new constitution do about that? .. “The land belongs to the God,” says the Koran. This would need clarification in the constitution. Presumably Jinnah, the lawyer, would be just the person to correlate the “true Islamic principles” one heard so much about in Pakistan with the new nation’s laws. But all he would tell me was that the constitution would be democratic because “the soil is perfectly fertile for democracy.”…….

What plans did he have for the industrial development of the country? Did he hope to enlist technical or financial assistance from America?

“America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America,” was Jinnah’s reply. “Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed” — he revolved his long forefinger in bony circles — “the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves.” He leaned toward me, dropping his voice to a confidential note. “Russia,” confided Mr. Jinnah, “is not so very far away.”…….

“America is now awakened,” he said with a satisfied smile. Since the United States was now bolstering up Greece and Turkey, she should be much more interested in pouring money and arms into Pakistan. “If Russia walks in here,” he concluded, “the whole world is menaced.”……

Jinnah’s most frequently used technique in the struggle for his new nation had been the playing of opponent against opponent. Evidently this technique was now to be extended into foreign policy.

END QUOTE

The past and present are a continuum…..

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Its like a great game again and those who are the good guys still killing in the name of great game either it is ik Kashmir and done by Pakistanis or the Indians !!!
United Nations and the west is not keen having peace on this mother earth otherwise they could have stop Pakistanis and Indians from killing innocent Kashmiris
Yet it is a time for USA ,move away very fast from the United Kingdom so the CROWN of power can remain in United Steates
A Kashmiri

Posted by JammuKashmir | Report as abusive

@”So far there is no real sign of Washington resolving that conundrum – that its troops are in Afghanistan while al Qaeda, and the bigger strategic threat from state collapse, are in Pakistan”

How about, for a change, the Pakistani establishment realizing that the biggest threat to itself, the region & the world is from an internal collapse of the Pakistani state?
Like adamant juveniles, they refuse to gauge the precariousness of the current situation & continue with their India centric “strategic death” policies even though they are under an existential threat, internally.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Too much is being read into Obama’s decision to fire General McChrystal. He wasn’t fired because of the strategy or his leadership. He was fired because he was publicly insubordinate and his comments undermined the principle of civilian control of the armed forces, something the US takes very, very seriously.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

World peace is at stake in this part of the world. People in Pakistan an in india want peace now and for the future; both of these countries need an honest broker who wants peace as they can see the impact of a conflict reaches all over the world. India need to come out of this super power craze instead they should compete with China and recognize U.N resolution on Kashmir that it’s a disputed region and work with it’s neighbors to free Kashmir.

Posted by kaz2222 | Report as abusive

Keith:
“He was fired because he was publicly insubordinate and his comments undermined the principle of civilian control of the armed forces, something the US takes very, very seriously.”

-Keith, let me be honest here, McC was a very good officer, an expert in COIN. There is no question of insubordination of chain of command. It is merely a case of Obama’s Afghan policy and Af-Pak team being dysfunctional and in disarray. I will do a brief analysis of the US/NATO ops in Afghanistan and Pakistan Army ops in Pakistan.
First, it was Vice President Biden who advocated lesser troops and more counter-terror sort of arrangement which was dismissed by McC in his London speech last year.
In Pakistan, Gen. Kayani had full public support, he was incharge and his hands were not tied as McC. Pakistan Army has done exceptionally well in operations in FATA and tribal areas and brought the situation under control. While the US and Colaition in Afghanistan has completely FAILED. The Afghan policy is in total disarray, rifts in Washington were ongoing.
The commander on ground McC was a gifted officer, only the political team in White House had an egoistic attitude. Why were resources not given to McC. If even it is argued this is a case of insubordination, i think it is because conditions were created for it.
Last time such a thing happened was Gen. Douglas MacArthur disagreeing with President Harry Truman on confining the Korean war. He was fired too.
$300 billion wasted, annual expense of $70 billion in Afghanistan today, a bridge to nowhere, i told you Soviet Union collapsed when Afghan war became an economic drain. A tragedy is unfolding, allies are quitting, Dutch and Canadians leave next year. Pakistan knew the US policy is deeply flawed and here we are a total failure. Morale of NATO and US forces will further sink. There is no belief in US as to what they are doing in Afghanistan will be successful or not. How can you take others onboard? Even now Pakistan will not believe you.

We should now be talking about post-American Afghanistan, we are done, the war is over. Its time you take full help of Pakistan Army and ISI in negotiating an end to this along with Afghan leaders.

Just imagine US gives $20 million to Taliban to keep the roads open for Colaition movement and supplies. Is this the way to fight a war? And then you blame Pakistan. To get things right and work with Pakistan as an ally is the only way forward. The challenge in Afghanistan is formidable, and only full support from Pakistan can ensure conditions in Afghanistan for colaition to withdraw leaving a stable country behind.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

In Pakistan, President Zardari is not liked by the Army, but due to support by CJSC Gen. Tariq Majeed there is a policy to treat Zardari as commander in Chief. President and Army chief went together to Military Hospital Rawalpindi meeting injured soldiers.
Similarly, Gen. Kayani always kept low profile, he give policy statements but rarely makes public comments. The Army kept the civilian leadership in loop, PM and COAS visited Swat together, there was full public support for the Army, the policies were clear. All key players, the PM, President, COAS, Air chief, Foreign Minister were on the same page.
In US, while secretary of defense had a different view, the secretary of state was supportive of ground commanders. Then the Vice President was always saying something else, National security advisor, ambassador in Kabul, CIA director everyone was having their own opinion. The entire Af-Pak strategy review was a futile exercise.
This entire mess has widely exposed the rifts within US ranks. And it could not have been worse for the Afghan war. If there was any hoep of suceeding, I don’t think everything can be put together back again. And everyone can sit down on the same table and build consensus and devise a cohesive strategy.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Kayani told McChrystal earlier this: “You must be wishing your were a Pakistani. Out here, the army commander can call civilian leaders as wimps. On top of that, it is the civilian leader who gets ejected. If Obama were in Pakistan, he would be seeking asylum in Saudi Arabia or UK after he is thrown out of power for telling the army general to step down. And McChrystal would be the new President of Pakistan.” See, being a Pakistani comes with some privileges.

I think India’s presence in Afghanistan is being blown out of proportions. Didn’t the US threaten to bomb Pakistan back to stone age in 2001? So why are they concerned about Pakistan’s demands that India be cleared out of Afghanistan? Pakistan will demand this and more if people start playing to its tunes. The situation is getting complicated by Pakistan’s diversionary tactics. That’s all. Western style diplomacy does not work well with these people. Using the stick does. Pakistan being nuclear armed will have no bearing on the US. If they are so dangerous, Armitage would never have warned Musharraf in the first place. Just that warning was sufficient to make a “nuclear armed” Pakistan to switch sides and join the war on terrorism (LOL). These guys just thump their chests. If they are whacked in the rear, they would be singing the American anthem without any hesitation. That’s the way to survive in this region. They are tango dancing with the Taliban now because after the US leaves, they will have to face them. Fear of Pashtun retaliation makes them go along with them. So the US will need to induce some fear and then Pakistanis will align themselves properly. These people do not need butter smearing. Just whack them once and see how they fall like iron dust around a magnet. We know these people. They are only good at sabotage and double dealing. If directly dealt with, they will not hesitate surrendering. Give that a try.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Keith,
One more thing, when I say Pakistan Army is highly professional and disciplined, I mean there is unity of command, no tolerance of subordination. In Pakistani system, the civilians have minimum interference in military affairs, though civil-military relations have improved in Pakistan in recent years.
Personally, I think McC is a great officer, I have known Lt. Gen Jamshed Gulzar Kayani (late) who had been corps commander 10 corps Rawalpindi a straight forward officer and straight talker. These guys are born soldiers, they are bold, bright. Gen. Jamshed was also critical of Gen. Musharraf and had opposed the storming of red Mosque in Islamabad as well as his policies related to American support.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

More useless comments from hindus and Indians, constantly engaged in hateful rheoric against Pakistan, thank God Pakistan has Nukes and the ISI to put lowly Indians in their place, these hyenas as witnessed from their obsessive compulsive hateful posts towards Pakistan proves the need for Pakistan to carry a big stick.

Posted by m1ldbrew | Report as abusive

Kpsingh silly cabbie, why dont you try what you want the Americans to do? Fact is your India brought 1 million troops on Pakistans borders on 2002 and then what? nothing, they sa there in disgrace when Pakistan called Indias bluff…bwahaha! talk is cheap silly cabbie, truth is India with 5 times a miliary can only yell and jump around but dare not cross the line. Pakistan smacked Indians in the backside hard in 65 when Indians were confidant of having some daal in Lahore, never even got past the BRB canal, BBC reported Pakistani troops were lined up disciplined, calm manner while on the Indian side their stomachs were upset and Indian soldiers were filling fields in line to take a dump, its just too funny.

Pakistan is a Non NATO ally of the US, why would it have gone against the US post 911? Would have made you cabbies very happy and thats exactly why Pakistan made the right move and dumped the cunning Afghan Taliban who are nobodys friends.

India dares not attack Pakistan and despite every provocation, sits idly at home in the end because throughout history, you are slave people, enslaved by Macedonians, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Arabs, Mongols and so on, now back to your cab Sardargee.

Posted by m1ldbrew | Report as abusive

@singh,

u r right. Either the paks are at your throat or at your feet. I would rather have them at my feet, using what ever bullying is necessary to get them to comply. Obama better flex those muscles even more soon and be ready to push the PA establishment around, grab them by the collar and throw them into the wall.

Keithz knows what I am talking about, there are other “tools” the west can use at the right time of their choosing. Any comments keithz?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Now that one troll is getting frozen cold shoulder, surge in new posters is not something one should be surprised of. In the absence of moderation policies, expect more and more venomous posts and personal attacks from “different” posters.

I’m sure there is a special place reserved in hell for trolls.

Posted by Seth09 | Report as abusive

Umair, The best strategy now would be to help american friends with the whole afpak transition.

I disagree with your position on India. I think we should continue to let india sink billions in afghanistan. These ‘well-intentioned’ investments will help afghans, once a nice transportation/mining infrastructure has been built, Pak can help our many afghan/pushtun brothers delete indian exploitation/colonization and help them take over their own soveriegn resources. We humble Pakistanis will be more than happy to allow transit of mineral and resources through gwadar.

It’s all coming together rather nicely.

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

Keithz knows what I am talking about, there are other “tools” the west can use at the right time of their choosing. Any comments keithz?

Posted by G-W
=
GW, what used to be the pak little “economy” is in the tank. Despite loud empty bravado, and chest thumping by paks, they know they are at the mercy of Americans and other western powers to feed and cloth their population. Despite this heavy support from outsiders, the paks have been climing up the ladder in failed states index.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Here is a BBC article that is written by Ahmed Rashid. Pakistan is asking for more money and this is becoming a standard trend.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_a sia/10375056.stm

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@ Blacksabbath1

Just cut it man! This blog is frequented by women & could be accessed by minors/teens as well. Have some consideration for them. Don’t let this idiot degrade you as a human. Just ignore him!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mirza:
stay tuned at the following wavelength, there is a message for you:
“”U.S. should look at nuclear deal for Pakistan if militancy tackled-RAND report”"”

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

stay tuned at the following wavelength, there is a message for you:
“”U.S. should look at nuclear deal for Pakistan if militancy tackled-RAND report”””

>> I have moved on from that one. what happened to your boycott? or was that boykoch?

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

It looks like the U.S. wants to negotiate with afghan taliban as suggested by pak. The departure seems near.

Americans should provide pak with drones, awacs, defense shield, submarines, destroyers, f35, tanks etc.so that we can eliminate the terrorists once and for all.

The 1 trillion dollar in afpak mineral wealth should be used to morally support non-terrorist liberation movements in kashmir and assam.

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

With the kind of news floating about Afghanistan, expect another “Pakistan”-sponsored terrorist attack within India anytime soon.

Now that Indo-Pak peace process is getting kicked off again (sort of), its just going to be too tempting to wait any further for the hate mongers. The lull has been there for just too long ever since ISI/PA got busy on western front.

May be after Obama’s return from India visit?

Posted by Seth09 | Report as abusive

All muslim of all countries should notice the savage hatred indians have for islam. They make israelis seem friendly in comparison.

All muslim countries should suspend trade with the world’s most islamophobic country in the world: India.

For evidence, simply read the disdain india has for islam on this and thousand other blogs.

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

According to the BBC report posted by KPSingh:

“With 28% of the budget being reserved this year for servicing Pakistan’s huge external debt of $54bn, nearly 60% of the budget is taken up by just two items – defence spending and debt servicing.

Almost the entire development budget of $9.2bn will be provided by outside donors.”

–\\
This is astonishing….Basically paks have fine tuned both (1) art of begging and (2) terrorism.

Using terrorism as a tool to milk aid money!

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

For the record:

Mirza as usual is lying that I asked for his boycott. Evidence is my own posts to Mirza.

The word I used was to be “careful” in dealing with Mirza. In other words I asked the guys (not restricted to Indians) to respond to the respected author’s article than to Mirza’s mostly useless posts.

Back to the topic:
In the drama of the runaway general, let us don’t forget Pakistan.

Who can forget ongoing dental pain?

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Poverty Graph

According to WFP, India accounts around 50% of the world’s hungry. (more than in the whole of Africa) and its fiscal deficit is one of the highest in the world. India’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) score is 23.7, a rank of 66th out of 88 countries. India’s rating is slightly above Bangladesh but below all other South Asian nations and listed under “ALARMING” category. Ref: IFPRI Country Report on India

Around six out of 10 Indians live in the countryside, where abject poverty is widespread. 34.7 % of the Indian population lives with an income below $ 1 a day and 79.9 % below $ 2 a day. According to the India’s planning commission report 26.1 % of the population live below the poverty line. [World Bank’s poverty line of $1 a day, but the Indian poverty line of Rs 360 a month, or 30 cents a day].

The Current Account Balance of India

“A major area of vulnerability for us is the high consolidated public-debt to GDP ratio of over 70 percent … (and) consolidated fiscal deficit,” says the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy.

According to CIA world fact book, the Current account balance of India is -37,510,000,000 (minus) while China is the wealthiest country in the world with $ 426,100,000,000 (Plus) . India listed as 182 and China as no.1 [CIA: The world fact book]

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

New York Times has a recent article on Pakistan’s true motives with the fall of McChrystal. We all knew all along that things will come to this stage. The Americans have been too nice and soft with Pakistan and they are paying the price for it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/world/ asia/25islamabad.html?hp

I am still surprised that there are so many Pak sympathizers in the West despite the true nature of the Pak military and the radicals. Pakistan is trying to shove Haqqani into the equation now so that he can be let off the hook. This is for a strategic reason against India. We Indians have no idea why Pakistan has been in a war mode with India at all times. They seem to be doing only the job of digging more trenches. Even if India does something normal, Pakistan takes it as an act of sabotage. In reality Pakistan has been doing all the nasty stuff with the connivance of the Western powers. They are so much into it that everything done by others appear to be some form of retaliation for their acts. I hope the US knocks the Haqqanis out using their drones. That is the only way to re-balance the equation.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Minorities

About 20 %, or 200 million, are religious minorities. Muslims constitutes 138 million or 13.4 5, Christians 24 million or 2.3 %, Sikhs 19 million or 2 %, Buddhists 8 million or 0.8 % and Jains 4 million or 0.4 %. “Others” numbered 6.6 million or 0.6 %. According to Mr. Tahir Mahmood, an Indian Muslim journalist, “The 2.3 % Christians in the Indian population cater to 20 % of all primary education in India, 10 % of all the literacy and community health care, 25 % of all existing care of destitute and orphans, 30 % of all the handicapped, lepers and AIDS patients etc”.

Discrimination against Minority Muslims

Recently, Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report admitted that 138 Million Muslims across India are severely under-represented in government employment, including Public Sector Units. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state reported 0 (zero) percent of Muslims in higher positions in its PSUs! It has found that the share of Muslims in government jobs and in the lower judiciary in any state simply does not come anywhere close to their population share. The only place where Muslims can claim a share in proportion to their population is in prison! (Muslims convicts in India is 19.1%, while the number of under trials is 22.5%, which exceed their population ratio) . A note sent on January 9 by the army to the defence ministry in 2004 says that only 29,093 Muslims among a total of 1.1 million personnel — a ratio of 2.6 %, which compares poorly with the Muslims’ 13.8 % share in the Indian population. Officially, Indian Army don’t allow head count based on religion.

A Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, compared to the national average of four years. Less than two percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology comprise of the Muslim community. According to the National Knowledge Commission member Jayathi Ghosh, ‘there is a need to re-orient official strategies for ensuring better access of Muslim children to schooling outside the madrasas which cater to only four per cent of children from the community.’

Discrimination in Media

Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70 % of the key posts across newsrooms in the country. The so-called twice-born Hindu castes dominate 85 % key posts despite constituting just 16 % of the total population, while the intermediary castes represent a meager 3%.

The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34 % of the total population, have a share of just 4% in the Indian newsrooms. Muslims, who constitute about 13 % of the population, control just 4 % top posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes /Aborgines (STs): Based on CSDS study, 2006. Ref: The Hindu, June 05, 2006

Discrimination in Judiciary

India’s subordinate courts have a backlog of over 22 million cases while the 21 high courts and the Supreme Court have 3.5 million and 32,000 pending cases (2006). In subordinate courts, over 15 million cases are filed and an equal number disposed of annually by about 14,000 judges! Every year a million or more cases are added to the arrears. At the current speed, the lower courts may take 124 years for clearing the backlog. There were only 13 judges for every million people.

Recently a parliamentary committee blamed the judiciary for keeping out competent persons of downtrodden communities from “through a shrewd process of manipulation”. Between 1950 to 2000, 47% of Chief Justices and 40% of Judges were of Brahmin origin!. Dalits and Indian aborigines are lesser than 20 out of 610 judges working in Supreme Court and state high Courts. “This nexus and manipulative judicial appointments have to be broken, it urged”. [Parliamentary standing committee report on Constitutional Review, Sudarshan Nachiappan]. Among 12 states with high-Muslim population, Muslim representation in judicial sector is limited to 7.8%. (Justice Sachar Report).

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, only 31 per cent criminal trials are completed in less than a year. Some take even more than 10 years. According to its study, Crime in India 2002, nearly 220,000 cases took more than 3 years to reach court, and about 25,600 exhausted 10 years before they were completed. The term of the Liberhan Commission, formed 14 years ago to probe the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya and originally given a mandate of three months, has been extended again!

Discrimination against Children

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the highest number of street children in the world. There are no exact numbers, but conservative estimates suggest that about 18 million children live and labor in the streets of India’s urban centers. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta each have an estimated street-children population of over 100,000. The total number of Child labor in India is estimated to be 60 million.

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

can we please talk about the new general in afghanistan now??

Posted by mirzausman | Report as abusive

To the Moderator
Pls intervene and stop these insane name calling- highly inappropriate and spoils the reading experience.
In case u do not get the Hindi insults, pls ask one of the guys to provide u a basic dictionary of swear words. I am sure any one of the guys will be happy to help u.

How are these insults even relevant to the topic on hand?

Posted by nvrforgetmbai | Report as abusive

To get back to the point
1) it looks like the US will exit Afghanistan in some form of defeat- no matter what they call it. Frankly this is a war with very little pay off. And the Americans unlike us South Asian people have limited appetite for body bags.
2) Next govt in Afghanistan will have some form of serious power sharing with the Taliban

Question is what are the implications of these on the region?
1) This does represent a victory for Pakistan which gets its old ally back in power. What are the implications for India? We pull all our personnel out of Afghanistan + put more forces along our friendly neighbor :) and in Kashmir.
2) Will the US continue to drone its enemies in Afpak? More mercilessly now that no damage to troops on ground.
3) Will the US continue its policy of financial support to Pakistan?
4) Does the blowback from these jihadi elements into “Pakistan proper” i.e. Punjab end? Will the suicide bombings end?

And lastly as a literal person what these two boats? I do not get it.

Posted by nvrforgetmbai | Report as abusive

The subheading of this article says “Perspectives on Pakistan”. Given the tone of most of the comments here, I say – how droll! Perspectives indeed. :) I’m rather disappointed with Reuters. This website is one that I read regularly while at work with an MNC bank, besides other websites of other organization of comparable reputation such as BBC news, Bloomberg & Washington Times among others. In my opinion, by letting such a thread continue in this manner for this long, you are seriously undermining your credibility & right of place as a news agency in this league. As an agency that caters to the business/ corporate world, I’m inclined to be even less forgiving. When you have reporters who do such a fabulous job for you and are highly spoken of in the niche circles of high finance, why let something this basic ruin your positioning?

I notice that some posts are moderated. Why not this one – I wonder. Anyhow, I hope you’re clear about the segment(s) that you intend to reach. I’m beginning to think I don’t belong in it.

Posted by kirsat | Report as abusive

NY times article clearly outlines how Pak while milking western aid money and blood, working at cross purposes. How do you separate the Haqqani group terrorists, from Al-Qaeda terrorists? you can’t.

Who thinks the Haqqani group terrorists are going to bring Jefforsonian democracy to Afghanistan? Pak army has nothing to offer the hapless Afghan people other than tyranny and terrorism the same thing they have offered to the pak “nation” for 63 years.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

@MirzaUsman, let me quicly address some of your the wet dreams in your terrorist mind.

When the U.S. leaves, do you think Pakistan should resume its state policy of terrorism via Pak Army and proxy army militantism in Kashmir against India and Afghanistan? please answer that.

Based upon history, it seems that Pakistani Army wants to resume the good ole days of the business of finding new creative inventive ways of agitating India and fueling militancy. Thank god India is not like China.

If India was anything like China, Pakistan would have been decimated. The Chinese genocided 35-79 million of their own last century under the loving guidance of Chairman Mao, just think what such a regime would have done to Pakistan by now, if Pakistan was doing low level terrorism against China, Pakistan would not even exist as a country, as China would put Pakistan into the history books. India has done no such thing.

Oh…BTW…do not worry about the Babri Mosque, all of these previously hindu shrines were defiled and now come back to their rightful place of worship.

Seeing you posting propaganda SPAM here, it is so nice to see that you are worried about Indian demographics and the Indian economy, except that you are completely blind to the fate of your own country, as it slides to the edge of the cliff. Terrorists are busy in Pakistan killing each while average Pakistani’s, guys like you, keep wanting the Afghan mission to fail, so that Pakistan can resume its “normal” business of state sponsored terrorism against India and the poor Afghan’s.

You Pakistani’s are going to truly pxss off the U.S. and western alliance. Don’t be too surprised, if they make a style statement of the military kind and lob something huge at you one day….because they are getting fed up of the double dealing games and losing their soldiers at the hand work of your Haqqani/ISI. As Pakistani’s burn up U.S. taxpayer assistance to build more nxxlear bxmbs and terrorism and weapons against India, the patience is going to run out as little progress has been shown.

While Pakistan is great at killing unarmed civilians and doing little double dealing games, you Pakistani’s scare easily, all talk, no real bxlls you talk a big game, but when there is a guillotine or sledge hammer waiting, you cower and go back with your tail between your legs…..This is what WILL happen, it happened in 1965, 1971, Kargil, especially when Richard Armitage make the comment about putting Pakistan back into the stone age, Mushy came on board very quickly to fight terrorism. You can expect such behavior to keep occurring. Mumbai was the latest embarrassment. The U.S. will continue to slap you guys around at their leisure and your army will keep making your people suffer.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Reuters moderators: If you’re going to delete the following report on Pakistan on a blog about Pakistan, please also delete the spam about India posted by mirzausman above. Thanks.

WASHINGTON: Pakistan was ranked the 10th most failed state in the world, just three places below Afghanistan, in a US survey released on Monday.

Somalia tops the 2010 Failed States Index followed by Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Chad.

The index issued by the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace, a Washington-NGO, ranks India 87th in a list of 177 countries.

Burma has been placed at 13. Sri Lanka is ranked 22 and Nepal 25. China is at 57th place.

The report notes that Pakistan has more than once been described as the world’s most dangerous country.

Pakistan’s poverty rate stands at 40% and rising alarmingly. More than 60% of Pakistan is illiterate. The report also noted that Pakistan has one of the worst human rights record against minorities and women in the world.

“President Asif Ali Zardari’s democratically elected government looks hapless — unable to gain any measure of civilian control over a nuclear-armed military … or an intelligence service that stands accused of abetting terrorism,” observes the Foreign Policy magazine.

Economic Indicators

Pakistan has one of the lowest tax collection rate in the world. The poorest 10 per cent of Pakistanis account for four per cent of the national income, while the richest 10 per cent account for over 26 per cent of the income.

“Billionaires President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are two of Pakistan’s five wealthiest men.”

The country had a trade deficit of nearly $25 billion and has an inflation rate of 20.8 per cent. The inflation rate increased dramatically due to devaluation of the Pakistani rupee and the rising costs of production stemming from social and political instability.

Pakistan was one of the biggest recepient of IMF loans and foreign aid in 2008 and 2009.

Posted by BlackSabbath3 | Report as abusive

@Umair,

Except he wasn’t fired for the strategy or the lack of coordination. Those areas are both the responsibility of the President. He was fired for insubordination. End of story.

From the rest of your comments, it’s pretty clear that Pakistanis don’t really understand the concept of civilian control of the armed forces. That’s something we take very seriously in the West, and so do some of your neighbours for that matter.

Obama said during his speech specifically that there is no change in the strategy. And from the change of personnel (throwing in Petraeus) to everything that’s taken place in the aftermath of the changeover, nothing indicates a change in strategy.

What is clear is that they are thinking about an exit. It’s irrelevant that some of NATO is pulling out. Countries like Canada have perservered even if the war wasn’t popular at home. And might have gone longer if the Army wasn’t so worn out (we after all got the roughest bit of Afghanistan).

But I will suggest that it’s unlikely that the US will be looking for close co-operation with Pakistan. This is not the end. Look at this as the end of the beginning. The US now understands that Pakistan does not care about harbouring terrorist who kill US citizens and jihadis who kill US troops. It took them the Afghan war to learn that lesson. Now that they’ve absorbed that lesson, watch what happens after the US and NATO forces get out of reach of Pakistani hands.

At this point the only thing that will get Pakistan in the good books, is enough of a sincere effort to make life difficult for the Afghan Taliban. If Pakistanis decide that they are going to co-operate with the Taliban at the expense of Western interest and US loss of face, they’ll pay for it after the conflict.

Just look at the picture painted and questions asked by Ahmed Rashid above. Ditto the RAND article by Christine Fair. Those questions were being asked behind closed doors years ago.

It’s a clear trade-off from the US perspective. A loss in Afghanistan (especially one cause by Pakistani collusion with the enemy) results in increased insecurity to the US homeland. Since Pakistani economic and national security depends on the US (Pakistan can’t afford its military without US aid), undoubtedly that’s how the US will exact its penalty for Pakistan. Simply cutting off military aid for example, would force Pakistan to dramatically curtail military spending, hope that China decides to give Pakistan billions every year in military aid (has never happened in Pakistan’s history) or accept a strategically inferior position vis-a-vis India. And that’s just military aid. Wait till they call in their votes at the IMF and the IAEA.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@Umair,Keithz,

I find it odd and troubling that some Pakistani’s especially those who are related to military families would brag that their military is not handcuffed by the civilian obstacles.

That is not democracy. Democracy is where the civilian government is in absolute full control on the direction of the army’s actions. The army also has to respect the will of the people to have a government that is recognized to have the power and authority to respond to the people’s needs and an army that responds to the government’s needs.

Right now, the civilian government acts like a puppet in Pakistan, sort of like a cushioning barrier from the blows and criticisms of democratic nations.

McChrystal is a fine officer, I respect his experience and him as a person, but he undermined the respect of the chain of command, with his loose lipped rant. Loose lips sink ships as the saying goes.

Now…with regards to the PA’s ownership of Pakistan I have many coworkers and friends who emigrated from pakistan and when they live in Canada, seeing the democratic process work here…let me tell you…some of them cannot find the words to describe how ripped off, let down and cheated they feel by their own Pak Institutions, ie the Army and secondly the Govt.

Armies in Canada and the U.S. are not allowed to pursue their political agendas and conduct operations without the authority, consent and knowledge of the commander in chief, otherwise, it opens huge channels for backdoor corruption, lawlessness and allows a filthy few to pursue their political agenda….that being the agenda of the Punjabi Mafia.

Once the rest of the Pakistani’s have a taste of true democratic rule, they will fire the PA. That is what the punjabi’s are afraid of…you punjabi’s are downright terrified of civilian tribunals and down right terrified of being fired and put away, that is why you Army types will continually deny the average pakistani’s from obtaining democracy.

I think the best way for Pakistan to get in the good books, is for Pak Army to disassemble the entire militant infrastructure, madrassas and training camps and then step aside and let the democratic forces prevail and let Pakistani’s progress.

With so much militantism, the Army will always be needed to maintain law and order, until Pakistani society moderates. Pakistani Army should redefine itself to serve the people of Pakistan, rather than serve itself.

At some point the west is going to single out the PA, and they will point the finger right at the top rungs of the PA and challenge them head-on to eradicate militantism head on, or face the brunt of western military power. it is time that the PA changes its strategy, reforms itself, moderates to serve Pakistani’s and do something noble for a change. Until something honest comes from PA, there is no way for the PA or Pakistan to get in the good books.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@”From the rest of your comments, it’s pretty clear that Pakistanis don’t really understand the concept of civilian control of the armed forces. That’s something we take very seriously in the West” Posted by kEiThZ

You are talking to a guy, who thinks that democratically elected civilian govts should exist under the watchful eyes of the military. Like Umair, most Pakistanis delusionally believe that the withdrawal of the US/NATO troops is the end game in AfPak. They think that once that happens, they can just get back to the pre-9/11 scenario where the Taliban (supported by the PA) can get back to ruling Afghanistan & the PA can freely get back to supporting terrorism against it’s neoghbours. What they sem to completely ignore, is that once US/NATO withdraw from Afghanistan, there’ll be a sea of change in the US/west’s attitude owards Pakistan than what it used to be before 9/11. After getting bitten by Pakistan’s duplicity & double-crossing, they will make sure to pay back Pakistan for the loss in Afghanistan & god forbid, if there’s another terror attack in the US/west with ties to Pakistan (which IMO will be inevitable after the withdrawal), all guns of the US/west will be pointed towards Pakistan. The Pakistanis will also quickly realize a change in the attitude of the Taliban towards them as they will be much more emboldened by their ‘victory’ in Afghanistan than they ever were before 9/11.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Keithz,others,

Pakistan’s Army mafia continues to suck cash from the Pakistanis, this parasitic arrangement has made Pakistan fall below Yemen in the UNDP’s ranking of human-development indicators, making it 151st in the world. Also school enrollment ranks below even Sudan, as the government spends twice as much on the military, as it does on education.

Source: Economist June 19-25 Edition, p 46.

Just imagine that…how much lost potential. Punjabi Army is a 20billion USD yearly GDP business, as the Army folks own the best land all over Pakistan and own entire industries. Apparently 1 in 10 civil servants, must be hired from the Army.

It seems that the Army is a country and political movement all its own, while they all get to eat steak as often as they want, the rest of the Pakistani’s can eat roti and dal, that is, if they can afford it.

One wonders how long the parasitic punjabi will be allowed to carry on, owning all the resources, industries and positions of privilege and prestige.

One day, most of the rest of the Pakistani’s will wake up with uncontainable anger for having their futures washed away before they are even born. It looks like Pakistan has the largest caste system of all.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@From the rest of your comments, it’s pretty clear that Pakistanis don’t really understand the concept of civilian control of the armed forces. That’s something we take very seriously in the West, and so do some of your neighbours for that matter.”
Posted by kEiThZ

–”"Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar vs A.K. Antony” article by Kamran Shafi, who himself has served in PA, is crying for civilian control of PA.

http://criticalppp.com/archives/5300

He says:
“Prasad was military secretary at the army HQ and was therefore close to the army chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor. It is to be noted that whilst the inquiry officer, Lt Gen P.K. Singh (who is also India’s next COAS), had recommended that Prasad face a court martial for his part in the scam, Kapoor had disagreed with him. In stepped their boss, the defence minister.

By golly, can we even begin to imagine that Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar would have the nerve to do likewise? Or that our Rommels and Guderians would submit to the will of the elected leadership made up of ‘bloody civilians’? Not in a month of Sundays. Indeed, if our government had taken any such step, the ‘media Taliban’ (how I love this term!) would have gone into overdrive screaming blue murder against the elected government, shouting: ‘security risks’, ‘traitors’, ‘Indian-Israeli-American agents’ and so on.

“The Prasad case has not damaged the Indian army; to the contrary, it has shown the world that India is a practising democracy in which the mighty too are subject to the law. It has shown that whilst there may be a few rotten eggs in the army, its high command still has people like Gen P.K. Singh who will stand up for principles. It has shown that India has people like A.K. Antony who are not afraid of doing the right thing. What we have to ask ourselves is this: is it possible that our government and its generals will draw some lessons from what is happening in India? Will they see and appreciate the openness with which this case has been handled, and the resultant good press that the process has received not only in India but across the world? Or will they continue to remain in their hull-down positions, a law unto themselves?”

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Pakistani double dealing and duplicity. Gen. Kayani and ISI’s Pasha vying for power with Karzai in hopes of a forced failure of the NATO Afghan mission and return of Afghan control in Pakistan’s hands.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Pak-Army-t rying-to-get-Haqqani-s-postwar-Afghan-se tup/Article1-563129.aspx

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

How a negotiated peace could leave Afghanistan looking like Lebanon

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2010/06/24/AR2010062405070. html

“The Pakistani intelligence service would act as a surrogate (and guarantor) for the Taliban, as Slobodan Milosevic did for the Bosnian Serbs 15 years ago. The Americans would deliver Kabul. The deal might leave the Taliban in control of large parts of Afghanistan but keep al-Qaeda in Pakistan, where Islamabad would agree to deal harshly with its fighters.”

“If the Taliban does come to power in part of Afghanistan — say, controlling the south and sharing power in Kabul — Afghanistan could start to look like Lebanon: Hezbollah controls large portions of the country, operates its own military forces and delivers services to large parts of the population”

——–
_In my own opinion post-American Afghanistan will pretty much look like Lebanon, where all neighbouring countries have a stake. Just like Syria backed Hezbollah is a major force in Lebanon, Pakistan backed Taliban might become a major player in Afghanistan in the future. Good thing is Afghan government and Hamid Karzai are contend with it.

In simple words, we can term this as a “Strategic Victory” for Pakistan.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2010/06/18/AR2010061805638. html?waporef=obinsite

Pakistan, Afghanistan begin talks about dealing with insurgents

A very good news, last time when Soviets withdrew, leaving behind Mujahideen factions who resorted to infighting. This time around Pakistan has done its home work and arrangements for a post-war setup are well underway.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “The Pakistani intelligence service would act as a surrogate (and guarantor) for the Taliban, as Slobodan Milosevic did for the Bosnian Serbs 15 years ago. The Americans would deliver Kabul. The deal might leave the Taliban in control of large parts of Afghanistan but keep al-Qaeda in Pakistan, where Islamabad would agree to deal harshly with its fighters.”

There is no problem with Pak military doing its own thing to settle the affairs in Afghanistan. After all, Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan and Pakistan has Afghan refugees.

What matters is that there should be a sincerity towards permanent settlement in Afghanistan. Afghan settlement should not be done with an India-centric strategy in mind. The last time Pakistan settled Afghanistan by creating the Taliban, it was really not for settling anything there. It was done to create a “strategic depth” against India, shift all terrorist training camps in the lawless lands of Afghanistan and stage operations from there. If Pakistan is going to repeat this again, it would spell doom for both Pakistan and Afghanistan. No one seems to know what exactly is the plan by the Pakistani planners. Are they really interested in a peaceful settlement where Afghans get to run their own affairs or are they going back to the old ways of digging trenches for a near future proxy war with India? That is all we Indians are interested in. If Pakistan truly wants to commit itself for peace in the region, then it would well include India in the plans and make deals with India regarding peaceful co-existence. Pakistan should not object to India’s constructive missions in Afghanistan and learn to work with the neighbors. If Pakistan treats everything Indian as an anti-Pakistan sabotage effort, then peace will not return this region. Pakistan might help settle the matters with Taliban and Karzai in the region. Remember that the Americans are about to dump Pakistan and leave the region to fend for itself. They definitely will swallow this “defeat” hard and their reaction would be to distance themselves from Pakistan and Karzai. Pakistan will need to turn towards China which may not help much if chaos is what it would face in the region. If Pakistan wants to blackmail the world with nuclear proliferation, terrorism etc, they may not be treated in kindness this time. Pakistanis will face isolation and economic sanctions. Everything depends upon how sincere Pakistan is really rooting out terrorism and wants to work towards peace in the region. If they believe that they have defeated the West and start losing their minds with arrogance, it will be the biggest mistake they will be making. The US can turn against Pakistan, the way it did against Saddam’s Iraq and might return here at a latter time to settle the scores. You guys should thinking in the long run in a mature fashion. This is no time for celebration. The burden is falling on to your lap. Hope wisdom prevails. Looking at the growth of radicalism in Pakistan, I am not hopeful it will.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KPSingh:
“The US can turn against Pakistan, the way it did against Saddam’s Iraq and might return here at a latter time to settle the scores. You guys should thinking in the long run in a mature fashion. This is no time for celebration. The burden is falling on to your lap. Hope wisdom prevails.”

-The main difference between Saddam’s Iraq and Pakistan is that Saddam’s Iraq was suspected to have Weapons of Mass Destruction, while Pakistan is KNOWN to have WMDs as well as nuclear capable ballistic missiles. I am sure anyone from outside while dealing with Pakistan will keep in mind that the country is a nuclear power.
As regards, the celebreation, yes definitely they should begin. Victory is all but confirmed. Once we bring peace to FATA and Afghanistan and secure our western flank, the focus will be on just resolution of Kashmir. We should be talking about a resolution of Kashmir dispute now. With all happening in Pakistan for last few years, don’t think we have forgotten Kashmir.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “The main difference between Saddam’s Iraq and Pakistan is that Saddam’s Iraq was suspected to have Weapons of Mass Destruction, while Pakistan is KNOWN to have WMDs as well as nuclear capable ballistic missiles. I am sure anyone from outside while dealing with Pakistan will keep in mind that the country is a nuclear power.”

It does not matter. Soviet Union was one of the largest nuclear powers in the world. The US managed to bring it down. You should not forget that history because of blind emotions. The US is still a big power and it can play games. Pakistan is already on an economic brink much worse than what the USSR faced before it collapsed. And Pakistan is a much smaller country without the international influence and clout that the USSR enjoyed. Pakistan’s nuclear prowess might matter in the region, considering the madness involved in the country. For the US it will not matter. It has its ways of creating more problems against those who its sees as a threat. It is beginning to see Pakistan as one, especially after this “victory” of sorts for Pakistan. The fact that you guys have started firing shots in the air for celebration tells clearly that it has been your country that has been the main villain, that has managed to cover itself and hide behind Afghanistan. But do not assume that people do not know this outside of Pakistan. There will be books written about Pakistan’s duplicity and double dealing in the whole conflict that has stretched it this far. I sincerely wish your country does not face the barrel of the American gun. They are capable of reducing Pakistan to rubble, just like Afghanistan.

“As regards, the celebration, yes definitely they should begin. Victory is all but confirmed.”

Yes indeed. It also confirms that your country has been behind the whole thing. It is the real villain. Bin Laden and Mullah Omar have evaded the US search efforts because of your country. That will not be forgotten by the departing Americans. The US will distance itself from Pakistan and will not rely on it for strategic purposes in this region anymore. That will be a big problem for your military. All this talk of relying on China may not work completely. China can still be arm twisted by the US into isolating Pakistan. Once the US does not need Pakistan, it will treat it very harshly. Any terrorist problem arising from Pakistan will be dealt with severely by the US. Pakistan will need to play its cards very carefully from here on. Celebrate well. Because as I see it, this might be the last one you will be celebrating.

“Once we bring peace to FATA and Afghanistan and secure our western flank, the focus will be on just resolution of Kashmir. We should be talking about a resolution of Kashmir dispute now. With all happening in Pakistan for last few years, don’t think we have forgotten Kashmir.”

That blackmail will not work anymore. You are basically saying that Pakistan will use Afghanistan as the strategic depth once again for its proxy war operations inside Kashmir. India has learned from the previous experience. So instead of bringing peace to Afghanistan, Pakistan, because of its wrong attitude, will face another proxy war inside Afghanistan. It may not be able to handle two battles on both sides of its borders. I know your Jihadi clones are limbering up right now to launch into India. We are well aware of all the moves. It will be brutal proxy war, compared to before. There will be severe loss of lives. But Pakistan will face economic collapse being unable to sustain such wars. The US will not support Pakistan like it did before. Kerry Lugar bill might look like a free dole compared to what the US will do.

The key player in the future will not be India. It will be the US. A “defeated” US is much more dangerous. So enjoy your celebrations. We are your brothers. So we know how to handle “Kashmir” issues.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@”The main difference between Saddam’s Iraq and Pakistan is that Saddam’s Iraq was suspected to have Weapons of Mass Destruction, while Pakistan is KNOWN to have WMDs as well as nuclear capable ballistic missiles”
Posted by Umairpk

In other words, you will continue to be a reckless, irresponsible, terror abetting & nuclear blackmailing nation. You can celebrate all you want, but if you guys don’t change your ways, I assure you that you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

In my own opinion post-American Afghanistan will pretty much look like Lebanon…In simple words, we can term this as a “Strategic Victory” for Pakistan.
-Posted by Umair

I fail to see how having a fractitious state as much in turmoil as Lebanon on your doorstep is a strategic victory.

Or are you simply defying victory as the removal of Western forces from the region? In that case, what does that say about Pakistan as a reliable ally?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

-The main difference between Saddam’s Iraq and Pakistan is that Saddam’s Iraq was suspected to have Weapons of Mass Destruction, while Pakistan is KNOWN to have WMDs as well as nuclear capable ballistic missiles. I am sure anyone from outside while dealing with Pakistan will keep in mind that the country is a nuclear power.
-Posted by Umair

Didn’t save the Soviet Union. Won’t save you guys. Can’t really use nukes to reverse an American decision to cease economic aid to Pakistan, which would effectively cripple Pakistan within weeks. Pakistan can be crippled by anybody without them ever firing a single shot. Your weakness is not in arms. It’s in virtually everything else. No secure resource base. No industrial base to support a war. Insufficient reserves of food and oil to get through a war. Insufficient refining capacity to sustain the PA for more than a few weeks and the PAF for more than a week. But most importantly, such a shaky economy that some overzealous import inspections at a few Western ports, would probably start rattling the cage in Pakistan.

Heck, I am willing to bet that if India enacted the type of sanctions Americans have on Cuba, that alone would cripple Pakistan. All they have to say is that anybody who does business in Pakistan is not eligible to trade with India. Then what? Which market do you think investors and multinationals will choose? 160 million or 1.2 billion? You are lucky the Indians are a rather patient and forgiving bunch. Ditto for the Americans. But that’ll change.

=========
As regards, the celebreation, yes definitely they should begin. Victory is all but confirmed. Once we bring peace to FATA and Afghanistan and secure our western flank, the focus will be on just resolution of Kashmir. We should be talking about a resolution of Kashmir dispute now. With all happening in Pakistan for last few years, don’t think we have forgotten Kashmir.
-Posted by Umair

It’s cute that you think you’ll be able to control the Taliban and Afghanistan when the West leaves. You think they’ll forget that the ISID arrested high ranking guys like Baradar whenever the Americans cranked up the heat?

And do you really think the half of the population in Afghanistan that is not Pashtun will sit back and watch the Taliban take over? Do you really think the West and the Iranians and Caucasian countries will stand back and not support the Tajiks, the Uzbeks, the Hazaras and the other minorities? That everybody would just step aside and allow another Rwanda by the Taliban?

Forget peace on the West and a return to Kashmiri barricades. Pakistan will have at least a decade or more of turmoil on its Western border. And you guys will be stunningly lucky, if by some miracle it does not infect Pakistan itself (through increased militancy at home for example).

And this time around, unless the West is really worried, there won’t be billions in aid dollars keeping you afloat either.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

I sincerely hope Gilani gets a chance to put Pakistan back on track towards peace and co-existence. He is the only hope for Pakistan and the region as well. Karzai should meet with him and lay out plans for a peaceful co-existence between all the neighbors. This is not the time to start yet another conflict in the region. Kashmir conflict was triggered in 1989 after the Soviets left. It led to the formation of radical militancy the region had not seen before. It culminated in 9/11 and for the past two decades, things have become worse for Pakistan itself. Hope they have learned a lesson from it. Breeding venomous monsters is a dangerous game. It can go out of control and kill the breeder himself. Pakistan was on the brink of losing out to this monster recently. With the Americans leaving by 2011, Pakistan must learn from the past and simply work towards rehabilitating the homeless refugees back in Afghanistan, use its influence over the many tribes to help rebuild the region and invite India to participate. That would build all the needed trust and a better future. Hope wisdom prevails. Kashmir needs peace first before any settlement can be reached. If it is set on fire, it will burn both Pakistan and Afghanistan in the bargain.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

[...] the increasingly frenetic debate about what to do about Afghanistan, Antonio Giustozzi has a must-read report on prospects for [...]

@keithz,

Why is Obama letting Pakistan play double dealing games with him? At what point do you see the patience running out and if it does, what will be consequences for Pakistan, if the west runs out of options for Afghanistan?

One thing I guarantee you….the political landscape will change and greatly harden and toughen towards Pakistan in almost every country that has troops in Afghanistan.

Billions of USD in aid and nothing to show for it, except a so called ally that has personally benefitted to suit its longer term regional goals.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

[...] the increasingly frenetic debate about what to do about Afghanistan, Antonio Giustozzi has a must-read report on prospects for [...]

A prediction from a few months back from our Indian sages:

Mortal Stated:
“I know, you guys want the US troops to withdraw from AfPak so that the PA can start playing it’s vile games again but that won’t happen. You can be rest assured that Obama will finish the job in AfPak because he knows that withdrawing from the region would be a return of pre-9/11 conditions & there’s no way, he’ll let that happen. In fact, mark my words, once troops start withdrawing from Iraq, they’ll be moved to AfPak. So, get ready for more action in your neck of the woods”

– Yes, mark your words indeed.

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive

[...] the deadline fixed by President Barack Obama for starting to draw down U.S. troops. Second, few believe the war will end in an outright victory; but rather in a negotiated settlement, including with the Taliban.  Third, when people talk about [...]

[...] the deadline fixed by President Barack Obama for starting to draw down U.S. troops. Second, few believe the war will end in an outright victory; but rather in a negotiated settlement, including with the Taliban.  Third, when people talk about [...]

[...] the deadline fixed by President Barack Obama for starting to draw down U.S. troops. Second, few believe the war will end in an outright victory; but rather in a negotiated settlement, including with the Taliban.  Third, when people talk about [...]