Comments on: Pakistan searches for a response to Lahore shrine bombing Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: pakistan Sun, 11 Jul 2010 09:45:17 +0000 Those who originate from the east and study in the west should try to understand the language and the culture of the western countries. It is not difficult to acquire university education, PHD and assemble enormous knowledge. But very complex to understand the knowledge. Let me hasten to state that there are no terrorists in the world. State terrorism yes and the resistance from the individuals and groups of people we have been witnessing in the past several decades. Have I made the world events transparent. Now please tell me who are the terrorists you are talking about all the time, repeating the propaganda from one side who believe to have the patent for labelling individuals and groups as insurgents and terrorists. We as individuals do not have the patent on terrorism! We should simply regard them as criminals if need be. Both peaceful and violent resistance has always been the part of the history of mankind. Have a nice day.
Rex Minor

By: RajeevK Sun, 11 Jul 2010 05:25:41 +0000 that previous post was mainly for Keith. G-W is welcome though.

Can be discussed under different entry since this is not relevant here. But I saw Keth-KP Singh posts and thought to add my 2 cents.

Thank you

By: RajeevK Sun, 11 Jul 2010 05:22:59 +0000 Keith and G-W:

You doubt posters who do not trust the West or USA over their policies.

I think one should not trust anyone blindly–be that West or not. Cold war is an old thing according to you. Agreed. Could you then explain how Bush Admn handled as serious an issue as global terrorism by attacking Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with A-Q and WOT and WTC attack? Even a street vendor knew that there is no WMD in there. Shrugging it off as “distraction” is not an explanation when so many Iraqis died and the WOT was forgotten, hurting the region with Taliban NOW out of control and whole area a big mess and back to pre-9/11 days. With that iraq war alone, I doubt the USA policy in general–notwithstanding change in admn. Either the USA is stupid or cooking something. We often blame Pakistan that they do not label all terrorists as terrorists. USA is not far behind than Pak. We have seen how well the USA is willing to label terrorists as terrorist. Pakistan-based anti-India terrorism is at least 20yr old and India is saying which to this blog writers is a news. It is a sad fact that the USA needs to feel the heat or fear the terrorists attack before they label anyone thus. Have we not seen already? There is a need to befriend the USA but not close eyes on stupid policies. I always doubt the USA using economic sanctions to arm twist Pakistan. That is just not going to happen with so many factors. Now we see US-Pak civil nuclear deal is being thrown around as new thing to reward Pak. This cannot get anymore stupid.

So yes, what other explanation than “distraction” has been given for the unnecessary Iraq war.

By: pakistan Fri, 09 Jul 2010 19:04:35 +0000 Pakistan leaders should not suppress its citizens and wage a war like the Brits did in the colonial times. The myth of the Punjabi army superiority is being smashed by the Pashtoons tribesmen and there is still time to save the country from the army brinkmanship. The military in the country must be nationalised and the use of military against the civil population should be legislated as illegal. The history of Pakistan has seen many military rulers since the civilian Govt. time and again called for the army to suppress the civilian population. Let the civilian Govt. not repeat the mistakes of former civilian Govzs.
Rex Minor

By: KPSingh01 Thu, 08 Jul 2010 22:30:37 +0000 KeithZ: I agree with your view that one does not have to be paranoic about the West based on the past. Being cautious is not tantamount to being paranoic. Sure Pakistan is being slowly isolated and cornered and one can tell its effects very clearly in the form of increased violence there. The last time Pakistan faced the pariah status was when Zia Ul Haq took over power. The nation managed to turn the whole thing around and became a frontline nation in the war against the Soviets. Ahmed Rashid, in his work, “Descent into chaos” writes that the Soviets were lured into a “bear trap” by the Pakistani military with CIA. Things to trigger Soviet invasion were set off months in advance. Once the Soviets got in, Zia’s dream of a nuclear armed, fundamentalist Pakistan began to emerge. The US made sure that no country could come on the way of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb development (“Nuclear Deception” by Adrian Levy and Catherine Clark). The CIA and state department removed all evidence of Pakistani transactions for Maraging Steel and other critical hivac components. And they tipped off Pakistanis of a potential Indian/Israeli joint strike on Kahuta. Reagan lied to Congress repeatedly that Pakistan did not have a bomb. The lie was exposed the hard way by India using a military exercise named Brass Tacks. Pakistan took the bait and began to arm its fighter jets with nukes. The situation became grave and AQ Khan was fooled into proclaiming Pakistan’s nuke capability, delivery systems and what it would do to India. Reagan had been certifying that Pakistan did not have the capability to redesign the carriers on F16 to deliver nukes. Anyway that is old story. The jist of this story is that if another exigency arises, all bets are off. Pakistan has managed to trigger a global level conflict in its vicinity and place itself in a strategic position to win all its favors. I am sure 9/11 was another such trigger in which Pakistan willfully co-ordinated with Al Qaeda. They probbably planned everything out on what the reaction would be, where to hide the assets, how to lay low and how to drag the whole thing. In the bargain, Pakistan got to take billions of dollars which found its way to the same elements, strengthening them. This, I’d call as the “Eagle Trap.” Pakistan has managed to milk the US for about a decade and this plan has run out. Who knows what the next trick would be. All the elements it bred and sustained are still there. Saudis are backing everything at the same time. We Indians can see this, and it will not be obvious to the Westerners. Kashmir cage is being kept deliberately rattled to keep the elements aligned with Pakistan’s objectives. We are sitting next this criminal state which is manipulating the West at its will. Though it appears to be at the receiving end, the reality is the other way around. We are surprised that the sophisticated West is unable to realize this. We do not think Westerners are dumb. If they are dancing to Pakistan’s tunes, then there is some purpose that fits their agenda as well. Otherwise why would they be stretching it this far? That is why when I saw the Guardian article on what the UK intelligence was doing in Kosovo and Chechnya using Al Qaeda elements after 9/11, I sat up and took note. It fits into my reasoning. There is an ulterior reason and its objectives are being manipulated by Pakistan so that it can derive maximum gain out of it for its own regional goals. We are trying to see how this trickery can be exposed and untangled. If the West can turn straight once in for all, and be sincere in its efforts, then it will encourage people like us to trust them more (not that it matters, but there are many like me in India).

By: kEiThZ Thu, 08 Jul 2010 21:21:18 +0000 KP,

I understand your reticence. However, I really don’t think it’s warranted. What does the US have to gain from India being insecure? Answer me that. Western governments aren’t allowing their multi-nationals to pour in billions into India only to see their investments and citizens get blown up by cross-border terrorists.

That said, the West also has to cover its own behind. Undoubtedly, mistakes were made in the past. One big one was not compelling Pakistan to dismantle the Jihadist infrastructure post-Cold War. But we are where we are. If you were sitting in London or Washington, what would you have your government do? Not co-operate with Pakistan at all? Unfortunately, we have to co-operate with them and so we do. That said, nothing is static. And you can bet that relations with Pakistan will be cast in a new light as soon the last Western soldier leaves Afghanistan.

As for India and the West, understand that it’s awkward for us to be in the middle. What you see as the US backing down from Pakistan, is really an effort to avoid being in the middle. Put yourself in the shoes of the US President for a second. You have Pakistan on one side complaining about Kashmir and India agression. And India on the other hand complaining about Pakistani terrorism. And then there’s their own interests, which are overwhelmingly security concerns emanating from the region. Whatever they do, someone maligns them. So their choice always tends to be the one that minimizes conflict immediately.

This is why pressure was applied on India following the Parliament attacks. But ultimately the choice was India’s. You talk as though the US prevented India from attacking Pakistan. Care to explain how they did that? India could have easily pursued military action. It risked a few sanctions but nothing much. It could have done so after Mumbai as well. But didn’t. That India hasn’t gone to war with Pakistan isn’t because of US (or anybody else’s) pressure. It’s because your government has rightly calculated that nothing much is to be gained from war with Pakistan. If anything, India would be cast and confirmed as the aggressor.

Heck, I once had an Indian official himself tell me that India can absorb a hundred Mumbais. It’s just a matter of public opinion. He’s right. Look at the economic fall-out from 9/11 versus the Mumbai attacks. 9/11 caused billions in damages and contributed to a recession. The Mumbai attacks didn’t have any material impact on the Indian economy. But the consequences for Pakistan on the other hand were worse. With every attack in India, they are significantly maligned globally. Their reputation as a source of terrorism is being cemented. And as that happens, things like foreign investment and tourism are taking their leave from the country. So that Indian official was right. Please don’t assume that it’s automatically the West that’s constraining India’s actions. Sometimes, you just have some smart fellows in Delhi who’ve calculated that Indian restraint is worth far more than risking nuclear war with Pakistan.

As for my perspective, as someone who still has family in the region, I assure you that my perspective is more than academic.

By: KPSingh01 Thu, 08 Jul 2010 18:46:40 +0000 G-W: “I agree with keithz, nothing will be furthered and no gain made, if you continually reminisce of the cold war days and how the U.S. treated India. India is so much more of a global grade player and can’t be poked and proded like some animal. ”

I am not anti-West. I criticize where things are not right as I see it. Just because India and the West are getting closer, I do not want to drop any caution. The West has been unreliable before and it can happen again. With the events that are unfolding, one cannot be certain which way things would go. When Pak trained militants attacked the Indian parliament, India was ready to go to war with Pakistan. Nuclear destruction or not, India was willing to go ahead with the risk. It was sat down by the US with the threat of pulling back all business out of the country. This is because US efforts in Afghanistan would be affected by this war. And the Pak military establishment is exploiting this weakness to the hilt. Any time it is pressurized, it turns around and tells the US about Indian threat. To prove its point it provokes India with a militant attack. And the US backs down. This has been going on and on. Tomorrow, if it suits them, the West can tell India to take a royal hike if they see any big resolution for their efforts that might need sacrificing India. One cannot forget history in order not to make the same mistake twice. We have to learn from our experience. I’d be cautious no matter what. Keith can say whatever he wants. He lacks our experience and perspective.

By: KPSingh01 Thu, 08 Jul 2010 18:38:16 +0000 KeithZ: I am not a civil servent. I am an ordinary citizen of India. You seem to draw major conclusions with very little sampling. India is huge and diverse. Most Indians are ignorant of what is going on. I’d say about 95 percent of the population lives in its own world. The rest 5% is the one that has interest in global issues. And there is a vast diversity in that population ranging from staunch Communists to socialists to liberals to anti-Indian to pro-West and neutral. I know of people living in India, who hate India. And they are not Muslims by the way. My community has been affected severely by the policies of the Congress Party. There are members of my community who hate India for what has happened to their kin. We’d like good relations with all countries. That’s what Nehru wanted to do. But cold war polarized the world and its effects have not disappeared entirely. I’d say the worst villains today are the Saudis and guess where they are sitting comfortably. No one even has the audacity to call a spade a spade. Saudis are protected by the West at all costs. We know Iraq war happened because of the Saudis. GWB sent his troops back into Iraq to topple Saddam not because of WMDs but he became a threat to the Saudis. The US is still nice to Pakistan for the same reason. Taliban cannot be crushed because Saudis are behind it. Saudi Arabia is the real villain and Pakistani military is its hitman. That is why the West is simply dancing around.

By: KPSingh01 Thu, 08 Jul 2010 18:27:00 +0000 KeithZ: “I am guessing kpsingh is just old.”

I have always tried understand the geo-political situation from various angles. There are two sets of issues involved in South Asia – India versus Pakistan is one. Then there is a super set that involves the Western powers. In the past there was the USSR. It is gone, leaving behind the remaining two sets. For Indians, the first set is the most critical one. Unfortunately events and decisions related to the super set have direct consequences to the subset. As Indians, we’d like to be confined to our subset and be independent of the superset. We have always tried to understand why the situation with Pakistan has been so complicated and what has helped this rogue nation wriggle out every time it has been cornered. In the past, people from the West just did not understand or care about India’s woes. This was true prior to the arrival of Obama and even continued to a lesser degree. India still is perceived as a thorn in the flesh as far as decisions and actions regarding Af-Pak is concerned. Pakistan has managed to slip out of the grip by pointing at India. In order to get Pakistan to co-operate, the West has chosen to ignore India’s position. I have seen comments even from you that India should think of getting out of Afghanistan. I see comments from Western authors asking India to resolve Kashmir issue, just so that Pakistan can be made to co-operate to solve Western issues. Soon Pakistan might demand that India pay them a yearly tribute and the West might accede to that as well. Look at it from our stand point. Until 2009, Pakistan mostly got away with most of its evil acts and it was due to Western connivance. To me, only the sub-set matters and the superset is merely dragging things away.

India doing business with the West is a totally different regime that involves businessmen, chambers of commerce, diplomats etc. Geo-politics is a different ball game. The West has been using Pakistan and its terrorist machinery to achieve its goals in other parts of the world as the Guardian article points out. It makes a mockery out of the global war on terrorism. I am now wondering if Bin Laden search was abandoned by the neocons because he had other uses for them. May be the ISI knows this and the CIA knows this too. So they are merely dancing around the bush instead of burning it off.

The West has its evil side. Though you may not like to admit it, we have directly suffered from it. We also see double standards – Terrorism is only that directed at America and its allies. The others seem to be children of a lesser God. Headley could not be accessed by Indian interrogators for a long time and lot of diplomatic efforts were needed. This is when both the US and India were affected by the Mumbai attacks.

It is interesting to note that my initial reference points at UK intelligence using Al Qaeda for its activities in the Caspian sea region and Yugoslavia. And some of it went beyond 9/11. While Blair preached staunch support for the war on terror, his intelligence department was still going hand in glove with the same elements that were being chased. I can connect the dots. Looks like you have assumed to be the sole representative of the West and are not able to put things together. And you are calling me a cold war residue.

Respect and reliance have to be mutual. It should not place one party at a high pedestal and the other submitting at its feet. Looks like that’s the kind of vision you still have. That, in my opinion, is the colonialist and cold war mindset. You need to come out of it. I wonder why a Canadian citizen is so upset when I am bringing in a reference about UK. Canada might be a great place. But why are you defending UK? We Indians do not trust the British much. They have been quite severe towards India compared even to the US. The US has warmed up with India. UK is still sitting on the wall.

One gets cautious after touching a boiling vessel. That memory will always be there because one does not know clearly what is brewing inside.

By: kEiThZ Thu, 08 Jul 2010 15:32:01 +0000 I am guessing kpsingh is just old. He reminds me of a conversation I had with a US diplomat posted at the US embassy in India. He said you come across two types of bureaucrats in the Indian Foreign and Civil services.

The first is a cold war relic. He (and it’s usually a he) is usually an upper caste Hindu who loves all the trappings of status (that come with caste and position), barely does a lick of work, is happy with being in middle management, and utterly despises the West because he hasn’t moved past Nehruvian anti-colonial rhetoric.

The other (usually the subordinate of the first) is likely to be far more educated, has exposure to the West and Western values (either through formal education, or travel or friendships with Westerners), has a modern and forward looking and confident outlook, doesn’t give a hoot about the cold war (being raised after it), is far less concerned with caste and status issues, works twice as hard, is twice as smart and is fully aware of global geopolitics and how and where India fits in.

Sadly, the American observed, you usually have to deal with the former to get to the latter….and it’s the first kind that’s still in charge. He wasn’t wrong. My experience, and those of almost everybody I know who’s dealt with India in any official capacity relates the same story.

The first kind like kpsingh, harbour Cold War grudges two decades after the fact. The latter bunch as signing global treaties adressing global issues (like nuclear proliferation and climate change), gamed out India’s IT boom, and are confidently taking India forward.

To bring this back to Pakistan….this is an area where Pakistan can learn a lot from India. Despite the frustrations mentioned above, India is slowly developing a mature and capable civil service, something Pakistan is sorely lacking (perhaps through design on the part of the PA). Pakistan’s civil service is competent but very small (particularly in the core policy making functions). Good administrators are rare. And that severely impedes progress.

Myra…excuse the diversion. Thanks.