Pakistan’s General Kayani given three-year extension

July 22, 2010

kayani profilePakistan army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez  Kayani, is to be given a a three-year extension to his term of office to maintain continuity in the country’s battle against Islamist militants. 

Kayani, arguably Pakistan’s most powerful man, had been due to retire in November. His future had been the subject of intense speculation for months, with opinion divided between the those who argued he should be given an extension for the sake of continuity, and those who said that Pakistan needed to build its institutions rather than rely on individuals – as it had done with powerful army rulers in the past.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who announced the extension, said the decision to extend Kayani’s term reflected “his effective role in the war against terrorism and in the enforcement of rule of law in the country.”

Kayani is considered to have built a good working relationship with the United States - which needs the Pakistan Army’s help in fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan – prompting speculation, denied by the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, that Washington had pressed for his term of office to be extended.

He has also been the subject of intense speculation in India, where the views of the army – which controls foreign and security policy even under a civilian government – are seen as crucial to determining the fate of the faltering India-Pakistan peace process.

A former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Kayani has been credited with keeping the army out of politics on the whole.  Military analysts also say he has redefined “strategic depth” – an old policy under which Pakistan aimed to use Afghanistan as a rear base in the event of war with India – to suggest instead that the country’s strength should come from a strong economy at home. Yet under his tenure – both as the head of the ISI until 2007 and then as army chief – Pakistan has also been criticised for failing to take strong enough action against Islamist and Taliban militants.

Otherwise, relatively little is known about the thinking of the inscrutable general, who never gives public interviews. Pakistan, its neighbours and the United States and its allies fighting in Afghanistan, will now have another three years to find out.

96 comments

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A lot depends upon how the war efforts in Afghanistan will go. Taliban does not seem to be interested in coming to talks unless all foreign forces leave Afghanistan. Having come to defeat the Taliban, it will be a huge egg on the face of the Super power and its allies to follow the dictat of the Taliban. The US still has not given up its pursuit of weakening the Taliban. And it wants the Pak army to give up its protection for the Haqqani group. Things are hanging in a delicate balance now.

Pakistan’s goal would be to tough it out somehow and protect its long term assets hidden in the lawless lands of FATA and in Balochistan. Hillary Clinton has already said openly that some people in the ISI know where Bin Laden is and are protecting him. If the Americans manage to untie some of the knots, that can offset this delicate balance.

And that will bring pressure on the militants who might intensify their attacks on the Pak military and civilian establishments. A lot will depend upon how Kayani can hold his grip and manage to navigate through those difficult times. And such moments will bring in clashes. I will not be surprised if Kayani is forced to take over power at the center if things get out of control.

In all I’d say, Kayani is the best guy to be in charge of Pak military during this time period. All parties involved should be happy. Everyone hopes sincerely that a peaceful solution is found to the Afghan conflict soon so that chaos does not intensify. At the end, people need peace and normal life. Let us hope for the best.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

It is delicately balanced indeed.However, the deteriorating economic situation and internal security situation will limit pakistan’s plans for maneuvering. Purse strings controlled by US.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Men at their best! Pakistan Army

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“Men at their best! Pakistan Army”

Sure, why not!

Men at their best in conducting genocides!

Men at their best in conducting mass rapes!

Men at their best in creating & nurturing terrorism!

Men at their best in masking their own terrorists as ‘non-state actors’!

Men at their best in cheating, double-crossing & back-stabbing!

Men at their best in appearing to be your friend, while sleeping with your enemy!

Men at their best in losing wars & targeting civilians!

Men at their best in blackmailing the world with terrorism!

Men at their best in ruining a perfectly good country & making it a terrorist, beggar nation!

Men at their best, indeed!

Posted by Biohazard | Report as abusive

@ Umair. Salaam.

Isn’t it amazing how a perfectly civilized thread can get ruined with the appearance of just one single flamer with ‘daddy-never-hugged-me’ issues? Such people are like a ‘biohazard’ to the health of those sane individuals, who prefer posting their points of view in a rationale manner (rather then succumbing to hatred).

These sad, lonely virgins can only look forward to flaming the object of their ‘obsession’ (Pakistan) in order to derive a bit of self gratification in their dull call center lives. They believe they are doing a service to their own country by spreading disinformation about ours. They never realize for a minute how much damage they are actually causing their own country with their ‘obsessive compulsive’ behavior.

What amazes me most is the fact that these pathetic souls rarely ever post with their real names or even names which sound remotely like their own ethno-religious group. Perhaps, they do this because they have a massive inferiority complex about themselves and their country of origin. It is also quiet possible that they are very much ashamed of the religion that they adhere to (whatever that may be). They are actually a disgrace to their country and their co-religionists.

I hope you do not respond to their hatred with any hatred of your own. It is not the Pakistani way, nor is it the Muslim way. The best way to make trolls disappear is to ignore them completely. Pakistan Zindabad.

Salaam alaikum

PS – I am now waiting for one particular Islamophobe to come and announce that you, me, Shakir and some dude named Mirza are actually one individual. Come out, come out wherever you are ;)

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

The only that I noticed is the coincidence of Hillary’s visit and Kayani’s extension. I guess she had a major say in that decision. The US would like someone like Kayani in charge of Pak military as they are working on a face saving exit from the region. Imagine someone like Hamid Zaid in charge.

Pak military does report the civilian government and it is encouraging to see this. But this civilian government happens to be that of the US and not Pakistan. At least they are taking orders from somewhere. I prefer the American civilian government to the Saudi Sheikhs or Bin Laden as far as running the Pak military is concerned.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

If Pakistan’s civilian Govt is starting to make important decisions regarding the PA, it’s a good sign for that country & it’s democracy. If Pakistan has to successfully navigate out of the rough waters, it is currently in & transform itself into a moderate & progressive society, it’s people will need to be patient, have faith in democracy & stick with it, no matter how corrupt & untrustworthy, the elected officials might be.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

I do not agree fully with you biohazard, we in India know & believe that if pakistan’s Jawan & India’s officer join they become one of the best army in the world. I know it as a beutifull country, powerfull but god fearing people. They are not all terrorists. pak is always “PAK”. Yes, I am a Indian a strong Hindu.

Posted by RameshSopan | Report as abusive

As for Kayani’s extension, I think there is more to it than meets the eye. Some understanding between PA and government, pressure from US, keeping competitors for the post away, plenty of money to be made in coming future for everybody, management of non-state actors in Af – many undercurrents at play here. But hopefully this will be the right decision for the stability in Pakistan and peace in the region.

@Biohazard (and fifty_cent?)
Never argue with an idiot! He’ll drag you down to his level and then beat you by experience.

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

@ biohazard: So TRUE….the pakistani army is the root cause of all the problems in the region….a rogue & terrorist institution.

Posted by sweedishmeatbal | Report as abusive

@ Biohazard
Your your declarations about Pakistan Army are very truthful and spot on. Although, you have a boisterous/ humorous way of announcing them. Keep it up!!
 
 
Using terrorism as a negotiating tool has reached a dead end for pak. Options for retaliation are always there. We can do lot of things to protect ourselves and reduce damage such as through dramatic boosting of special forces, improving technological infrastructure and so on.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Extensions and prisons
By Kamran Shafi
Tuesday, 20 Jul, 2010

http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/daw n-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/col umnists/kamran-shafi-extensions-and-pris ons-070

Quote “The Pakistan Army, we are told ad nauseam, is one of the best fighting forces in the world, commanded by some of the finest strategists in the universe. Is there no one who can replace Kayani then, when his tenure is over and he goes home like many generals before him, even some graceful Pakistani generals?”

“One might point out here that while Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar was a good man in many ways, the thing he stood out most for is the fact that he turned down an extension offered to him by none other than the late and much-lamented Benazir Bhutto (RIP, Bibi). It is great running into him now and again and to see the old soldier surrounded by people wanting to shake his hand and give him respect.

“Likewise Gen Jehangir Karamat who resigned gracefully when asked to by the government of the day. He too is a much sought-after gentleman.

“More importantly, our generals should see how Indian army chiefs quietly go home every three years, handing over command to their replacements. (Of course, without the unseemly and undignified tamasha that the Commando choreographed himself — the ridiculous handing over of the ‘command baton’ whatever in the world that was, for there is no such thing). We should remember too that if we have 100,000 men fighting the war on terror, India has nearly 500,000 men stationed in Indian-held Kashmir. Yet, if memory serves, no Indian army chief has either asked for, or was given, an extension.

“This proves the point that India has a reserve of capable generals to take over command whenever the need arises: retirement of the incumbent, or, God forbid, his departure from this world over which no human being has any control. Well, so do we. Take the most tragic; most untimely and shocking death of Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua (RIP). While his young death was traumatic in the extreme to his family and friends, the sky did not fall on the Pakistan Army, or on Pakistan.”

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Walikum Salam to Shuqaib Bhutto. Thanks brother.

Men at their best! Pakistan Army

Men at their best in signals!
Men at their best in Artrillery!
Men at their best in Medical corps!
Men at their best in Intelligence!
Men at their best in Armoured Corps!
Men at their best in Infantry!
Men at their best in Aviation!
Men at their best in Air Defense!
Men at their best in Engineers!
Men at their best in Ordnance!
Men at their best in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering!
Men at their best in Frontier Force Regiment (FF)!
Men at their best in Punjab Regiment !
Men at their best in Sindh Regiment!
Men at their best in Baloch Regiment!
Men at their best in Azad Kashmir Regiment (AK)!
Men at their best in Northern Light Infantry (NLI)!
Men at their best in Defense and strategic studies!
Men at their best in International Relations!
Men at their best in Diplomacy!
Men at their best in UN Peacekeeping operations!
Men at their best in nuclear command and control!
Men at their best in ballistic missile technology!
Men at their best in special operations!
Men at their best in nation building!
Men at their best in humanitarian relief operations!

Be a Man among Men! Pakistan Army.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Surprised to see Kamran Shafi has toned down the usual lie of 700,000 Indian soldiers to 500,000 in Kashmir.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

@”Men at their best in signals!
Men at their best in Artrillery!
Men at their best in Medical corps!”

Yes! After all, they have all the wars which they “won”, to show for it! :)

Posted by BlackSabbath6 | Report as abusive

BlackSabbath6 wrote:
“Yes! After all, they have all the wars which they “won”, to show for it!”

-The winning streak has just begun for Pakistan Army, its all happening, civil nuclear deals, military sales, strengthening economy, strategic parity with India, tilt in balance of power. etc Who do you think conducts all the strategy? Wars are not always fought through guns, sometimes they are won off the battlefield. Pakistan’s quest for influence in Afghanistan is succeeding, Pakistan Army’s strategic patience and persistence is paying off. It is one tough Army to face much less defeat.

Pakistan Army victories:
1979 covert war started in Af-Pak against USSR = VICTORY
1988/89 Zarb-e-Momin war games,Kashmir uprising= ASSERTIVE
1998 Nuclear tests, later command and control = ASSERTIVE
1999 Kargil war,infiltration military operation= BOLD MOVE
2001/02 standoff didnt,Indian Army didnt attack= VICTORY
2007/09 Counterinsurgency operation internally = VICTORY
2010 Post American Afghanistan transition = VICTORY

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Seekeroftruth:

@Surprised to see Kamran Shafi has toned down the usual lie of 700,000 Indian soldiers to 500,000 in Kashmir.
Posted by Seekeroftruth

Seekeroftruth: if you read archive of Mr Shafi;s articles you will find that he kicks PA’s ass more than Indians do and he does from Pakistan POV, importantly and brings in to compare with Pakistan’s enemy#1.

For this he has been threatened and physically attacked by someone from Pakistan’ establishment, as he suspects.

I like the way he writes….No BS.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

typo:

“and he does from Pakistan POV, importantly and brings in INDIA to compare with Pakistan’s enemy#1″

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Umair:

if PA is best and u got nukes, why India is an existential threat to you? With such doubts about PA, it does not remain the best. yeah i saw that list.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Rajeev

The point to note is that Pakistan Army has termed India as an existential threat because of historical reasons. Though with Pakistan now a nuclear power, India is unable to pose an existential threat, but still Pakistan Army has no intentions to lower its guard given India’s devious nature. Though your intentions are not bad right now, but certainly nothing can be said about the future because the capability exists to pose a threat.
What you are unable to comprehend here is the concept of preparadeness, military planners hate the element of surprise and like to catch the enemy unaware.

Peace.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

99 Kargil war,infiltration military operation= BOLD MOVEPosted by Umairpk

==

Is this the official version of Pakistan Army now? Not the one floated in 1999 and which miserably failed?
GHQ moved Northern Light Infantry men to occupy mountains in Kargil? They were not “Kashmiri” “freedom fighters”?

If this is the official position, how is one supposed to interpret the current official positions of PA?

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

“its all happening, civil nuclear deals, military sales, strengthening economy, strategic parity with India, tilt in balance of power”

Facts: You signed the deal with China, as a last resort, after being rejected by the US, France, Canada & others, who all lined up to sign a deal with India though. Your economy is still in the doledrums while inflation & unemployment keep rising. Balance of power is more in India’s favor than it has ever been.

“Pakistan’s quest for influence in Afghanistan is succeeding, Pakistan Army’s strategic patience and persistence is paying off”

Not so fast, the game is not over yet. Maybe, you missed the news but your buddies & ‘startegic depth’, the Haqqanis, are about to be ofifcially named a terrorist group by the US & your army will be forced to take them on. Things will get a lot more interesting than you think, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

“Pakistan Army victories:
1979 covert war started in Af-Pak against USSR = VICTORY”

Facts: The Soviet-Afghan war was fought in Afghanistan by the Afghans with american money, weapons & explicit assistance. Pakistan had a very limited involvement, limited to training facilities, funneling of american resources & intelligence, for which it milked plenty of $$ from the US.
I know you guys are taught so in school but please STOP taking credit for the bravery of others & calling their victories as your’s.

“1988/89 Zarb-e-Momin war games,Kashmir uprising= ASSERTIVE”

And what did the PA gain out of that “Assertiveness”? 20 yrs of abolute failure. Gained NOTHING while bleeding itself to death.

“1998 Nuclear tests, later command and control = ASSERTIVE”

“Assertiveness” in making nukes from stolen blueprints & with a great deal of help from China. Later, proliferating nuke tech to rogue nations & proving to everyone, how untrustworthy & irresponsible you are.

“1999 Kargil war,infiltration military operation= BOLD MOVE”

More like a VERY VERY BAD MOVE. Any military or political startegist, including Pakistani, will tell you that Kargill was one of the biggest blunders & failures of an army in moders times. End result: The PA had more caualties, did not gain an inch of territory and made the world realize that it was indeed a terrorist organization. Overall, very very bad for Pakistan.

“2007/09 Counterinsurgency operation internally = VICTORY”

Not so soon. Last time I checked, TTP & others are still very much alive, kicking, regrouping and blowing up your cities. Declare “Victory” when you’ve elminated them all from your soil.

“2010 Post American Afghanistan transition = VICTORY”

Again, it’s quite immature to declare “Victory” when the game is still being played.

Posted by BlackSabbath8 | Report as abusive

Umair, you are such an ardent fanboy & zealot of the PA! how come, you never joined it?

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Excerpt from a Dawn article regarding PA’s stance on India:

“Enter the fiendish complexity. When articulated it can come across as terribly naïve and simplistic: that the Pakistan Army is institutionally averse to peace with India because it would undermine its power inside Pakistan.

Yet, some of Pakistan’s most articulate, intelligent and informed members of its foreign policy elite with decades of experience under their belts often make precisely this argument, in private and with some grimness.

The army’s response is fierce and predictable. Nonsense, the generals say, India is Enemy No 1 for a reason. And then they go on to list those reasons, many of which are genuine. It has nothing to do with internal power dynamics, according to the army.

It is not about us dominating Pakistan, army officers swear, it’s about us defending Pakistan. To be fair, most of them are so focused on the latter, they don’t see its connection with the former. But what most in the army can’t see and what some choose not to see still has real effects.”

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Umair:

@The point to note is that Pakistan Army has termed India as an existential threat because of historical reasons.”

—What you said does not explain the tag “existential threat”. May be PA can tell common Pakistanis that we can take care of India you worry about civil stuff.

Nukes have taken care of everything. Indians despite Pakistan’s history of aggression do not think it as a problem. Common Indian believes that Armed forced, as it has done in the past, will take care of Pakistan’s aggression—including conventional. Nukes are not talked about in India when we talk about Pakistan. we know crackers are there on either side of the border.

@t still Pakistan Army has no intentions to lower its guard given India’s devious nature.

– @India devious– History says otherwise.
In any case, the point again is a common man can lower the guard. Let Armed forces do what they are supposed to do.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

I believe true peace will take a few more years. Right now, the hawks in Pakistan believe that things are moving in their favour. The US is planning as graceful a withdrawal as possible from Afghanistan, and this is the big game-changer in the short term.

India has been operating in Afghanistan under cover of American protection, in a sense. When the Americans leave, the Indians will be driven out and Afghanistan will revert to coming under Pakistani influence. And I believe that will be the immediate effect.

Reality may begin to bite after that in two ways.

First, the Afghans are their own people and nobody’s stooges. When they’re rid of the Americans, there’s no reason why they should accommodate the Pakistanis, much less take orders from them. So while Pakistani hawks may do the equivalent of posing for joint photographs with the new Afghan leadership, they would in reality gain nothing substantial from them.

Second (and much more important), once the Americans disengage from the region, they would no longer feel obliged to pump vast amounts of money into Pakistan to prop up its economy. Right now, all the money is intended to encourage Pakistan to cooperate in the “war against terror”. Getting out of Afghanistan effectively admits defeat in that war. We won’t see Hillary Clinton in Islamabad anymore handing over cheques of $500 million or so.

That’s when reality may finally bite. The ultimate guarantee of Pakistan’s security is not the army or nuclear weapons, nor even “strategic depth” as it is variously defined. Even a strong economy (which Gen Kayani believes offers true strategic depth) is not the best guarantee. The best guarantee of Pakistani security is normalised relations with all neighbours. The “existential threat” is just a bogey. A few years of peace and normalised relations, and even the most hawkish may begin to see it.

Unfortunately, the path to true peace and normal inter-state relations has to run through a few years of belligerence and assumptions of victory in Afghanistan. We will just have to wait for sense to return.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

“50 Cent”, “Bio-Hazard” :)

I love how these slumdogs have never fired a pistol, yet they act like AK-47 toting gangstas from the safe security of their call-center keyboards. 50-cent burray aye…

Pak from the left, kashmir & china from the top, SIMI from the south, naxals from the right… bharat mata in the middle.

— The legendary Mirza

Posted by usm_mrz | Report as abusive

I see that the jihadi maggot (shuquaib.bhutto) has transformed himself into the full-blown cockroach (mirza usman) that he is. Perhaps his search for ‘daddy’ is still on, between regular duties of blowing the mullahs in his madrasaa. In any event, the 72 fnocchios still seem to be eluding this pathetic excuse for a human :)

50% of napakistan, Bangladesh….liberated in 1971.

Pakhtunistan & Balochistan – full blown uprisings underway….will be liberated.

Sindh – internal strife & civil war like conditions created….will be liberated.

PoK – want independence from napakistan…will eventually beg India to take it back.

Bakistan – a filthy pathetic colony of maggots & cockroaches….will be used as a dumping ground of waste matter by India & other neighbors :)

In the meanwhile, napakistan trying to ‘liberate’ kashmir for 20 + yrs – Result: A stronger India & a failed bankrupt napakistan.

Posted by Bio_hazard | Report as abusive

shuqaib, whoever you are, aren’t you entertained by the paranoia of the australoids?

One little remark and it puts them in an uncontrollable downward pyshotic spiral.

once again, i have the same message. stop obsessing over pak.

Posted by usm_mrz | Report as abusive

The sad li’l degenerate is back to playing his charade & making a fool of himself again. He likes to f-art at others but when he gets a pile of c**rap dumped on his head, he squeals like a little pig. tsk tsk :)

Once again, I have the same message: Keep your jihadi terrorist maggots within the boundaries of your rogue failed nation & no one will want to even s**hit on your ugly piggy faces!

Posted by B_hazard | Report as abusive

Bio_hazard wrote:
“Bakistan – a filthy pathetic colony of maggots & cockroaches….will be used as a dumping ground of waste matter by India & other neighbors.”

-Pakistan, a country of 170 million Muslims and a nuclear power is fully capable to carbonize India in a matter of minutes. Your thoughts of Pakistan’s disintegration could take 5 minutes or more, Pakistan’s nuclear tipped long range ballistic missiles can destroy major Indian cities less in about 3 minutes. So Just shut the f*ck up, and think before you type. You think Baluchistan and Sindh can be seperated from Pakistan. Tell me how? through Indian support? Are you going to arm insurgents here? And if you will what if ISI does the same with Maoists in India. On top of that what if India is nuked?

F*CK YOU.
F*CK YOUR SH*T HOLE INDIA.

I Like freedom of expression.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Usman

Let’s ignore this psychopath b*stard, son of a b*tch motherf*cker blacksabbath/bio_hazard who ever he is. If we stoop down to their level, there will be no difference between us and them. These are typical people who never accepted Pakistan’s existence since its inception.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

LMFAO…Another f-g-0t maggot from the g-ay jihadi paki brigade. Only this c*-hu-thiya likes to suck off mullahs as well as paki generals. Kayani probably gives this li’l tramp a mouthful everyday :)

Listen u c-u-nt, India is very close to getting a defense shield, which will detect movement of your chinese nukes (if they work). Worse case scenario, India loses a city or 2 & 100 mil people or so but your maggot & cockroach infested colony of 170 mill low life filthy worms will be reduced to ashes forever. So talk sense before u beat your breasts, u moron!

Posted by B_hazard | Report as abusive

Umair,

Don’t pay attention to the nonsense of trolls like bhazard or usmmrz & stoop to their levels. You’re better than that.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Mortal1: I’m not a troll but if someone throws bricks my way, I won’t take it sitting down. You can scroll up & see who’s the real troll, who started this.

Posted by B_hazard | Report as abusive

It appears like Kayani gave extension to HIMSELF, otherwise why would Pak Prime minister had to come on TV and announce the extension at 2:00 AM in the Night, Gilani was so much in pressure he forgot his neck tie which he never does on any normal day.

Punjabiyaar

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “Be a Man among Men! Pakistan Army.”

Umair, you are ridiculing your own armed forces. Your statement above means every commander in PA is a man and the rest are “his women.” I understand, it must be pretty dry up there in Waziristan. And PA has to make do with what they have – use jawans when the commander feels hot. Between the Taliban and the PA commander, the latter must be a choice for your soldiers.

You forgot LeT, Afghan Taliban, Arabs, Chechens, HuJI, JuD, HuM, Al Qaeda, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Egyptians, Indonesians etc who form the extension of your military. There is no need to hide the facts.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

The following news must be sending shivers down the spines of the corrupt ISI commanders:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/ asia/26isi.html?_r=1&hp

Truth is being unveiled and it seems rather coincidental when Pakistan is trying to divert the Afghanistan peace initiatives.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

About the NY times article posted by KPSingh:

Does it have to take this long for Americans/NATO to figure it out? After wasting 100s of billions of dollars and thousands of lives?

Why is US still spending so much money on Pakistan? Giving money that doesn’t exist, by printing more and adding to deficit. Looks crazy. The only reason could be collapse of Pakistan would be worse. Still it seems waste of money for Americans.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

With reference to the NY times article above, As I said before, regarding the PA:

Men at their best in creating & nurturing terrorism!

Men at their best in masking their own terrorists as ‘non-state actors’!

Men at their best in cheating, double-crossing & back-stabbing!

Men at their best in appearing to be your friend, while sleeping with your enemy!

Men at their best in blackmailing the world with terrorism!

It’s great that the world is finally being exposed to the true face of the rogue terrorist nation of napakistan.

Posted by B_hazard | Report as abusive

@”The following news must be sending shivers down the spines of the corrupt ISI commanders:”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/ asia/26isi.html?_r=1&hp

This thing is all over the main stream american media & the PA/ISI are being slammed hard. I believe, it will have some reppercussions for Pakistan.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@ RameshSopan

Salaam and thank you for your kind words about my country. I hope there are more people like you and Ganesh in India.

@ Umair, Mirza and other fellow Pakistanis

Salaam. I’m glad that you are proud of your religion and nationality and are therefore not hiding behind ‘western’ sounding names to make your comments.

Your emotions run high when defending Pakistan, as do mine. But just because someone resorts to ‘obsessively hateful’ behavior regarding our country does not mean that we should follow their example. There is only one person in history whose example you should be following. Now think about how he responded to hatred. I hope you understand my point.

There are quite a few reasonable and well mannered people from their side and I urge you to focus solely on those people. Try to counter their misunderstanding with facts and logic rather than emotions. I wish I had more time so I could participate more often.

Regarding the hateful trolls, they do not represent all the Indians. As a matter of fact these people are a downright disgrace to decent Indians everywhere. Please ignore these flamers completely because if you engage them they will take you down to their ‘paleet’ level.

Remember that we represent Pakistan every time we interact with others. Agar hum apnee tameez aur tahzeeb bhool jaa-en gay to nuksaan humaray mulk ka hoga.

I hope you will listen to me. Pakistan Zindabad.

Salaam alaikum.

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

@”The following news must be sending shivers down the spines of the corrupt ISI commanders:”
Posted by Mortal1
==

That looks very doubtful, unless you are saying PA/ISI are divided amongst themselves.

What is the idea behind donating enormous amount of money to prop up a population that hates your guts?

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

@ Ganesh. Salaam.

———-

You wrote: “First, the Afghans are their own people and nobody’s stooges. When they’re rid of the Americans, there’s no reason why they should accommodate the Pakistanis, much less take orders from them. So while Pakistani hawks may do the equivalent of posing for joint photographs with the new Afghan leadership, they would in reality gain nothing substantial from them.”

….

Thats very perceptive of you. So far, you are one of the few people who seem to have realized this little fact. Pakistanis are bonded by blood and culture with the Afghans, but that does not mean they are Pakistani slaves or stooges. It is true that they listen to us more than anybody else, but that’s because we understand their psyche and needs. Being their closest neighbors, we also have a convergence of interest with them in certain areas.

Secondly, Pakistan is as much Afghanistan’s backyard as they are ours. For example, starting from 1979, we have given them more ‘strategic depth’ for their national defense then they can possibly ever give us. Nobody has picked up on this important little detail as yet.

———-

You wrote: “Second (and much more important), once the Americans disengage from the region, they would no longer feel obliged to pump vast amounts of money into Pakistan to prop up its economy. Right now, all the money is intended to encourage Pakistan to cooperate in the “war against terror”. Getting out of Afghanistan effectively admits defeat in that war. We won’t see Hillary Clinton in Islamabad anymore handing over cheques of $500 million or so.”

….

So far, Pakistan’s economy has suffered somewhere between 34-40 billion dollars in losses due to the ‘War of terror’ starting in 2001 (flight of capital, economic disruption etc). These are conservative estimates I’ve read and heard from our economists. Compare that with the pittance America has given us to compensate for our economic losses. During the Bush administration, half this ‘aid’ money (5 billion dollars) was actually payment earned by Pakistan for rent on military bases, logistics support etc, so it cannot be counted as aid.

If we go back a little further we see Pakistan hosting approximately three to five million refugees from Afghanistan during the war against the Soviets (who are still present in Pakistan). The Americans suspended their aid and imposed harsh sanctions on Pakistan starting in the early 1990s leaving us to take care of the refugees which exacerbated our economic situation. If I use the benchmark of a dollar a day per person for refugee sustenance, it would come to well over a billion dollars per year (using the conservative figure of three million refugees). That’s approximately twenty billion dollars from the early nineties till the present and this figure is unadjusted for inflation and does not count the interest lost. Had it not been for the Saudis and the Chinese, Pakistan would have been economically wrecked during the 1990′s.

Taking an overall view of Pak-US relations, its pretty safe to say that America has been a source of economic and political instability in Pakistan. Once (and if) they leave Afghanistan, they may very well withdraw all aid and re-impose sanctions on Pakistan using one excuse or another. But that would be an unbelievably foolish thing to do in terms of ‘realpolitiks’. And here’s the reason why.

Right now, the strategic interests of two rival powers are colliding in my country. Whereas the American impact on Pakistan has been more or less destructive (economically and politically), the Chinese impact over the years has been the complete opposite. Our government likes to keep good relations with both the powers but it is undoubtedly the Chinese who are closest to us in terms of overall interests. Moreover, they have the unabated love of the people of Pakistan due to their sincerity towards us over the years. Go to any Pakistani forum and read the opinions regarding the Chinese, then compare that with the opinions regarding American policies.

We peacefully resolved our territorial dispute with them through bilateral talks and that one act of generosity on Pakistan’s part did more to cement our relationship with them then anything else. I see more and more Pakistani students who are going to China instead of the US or UK (some of my own friends have gone there recently for their grad studies). More importantly, I’m starting to notice an increasing number of married Sino-Pak couples which basically means that with the passage of time, China and Pakistan will bind each other with the same ties that bind Pakistan with the Afghans.

Therefore, whereas the Chinese influence in Pakistan has grown exponentially, the American influence is at its lowest today and they have no one to blame for that except their own ‘drunken sailor’ diplomacy. US-Pakistan relations have come to a point where ‘they need us’ more than ‘we need them’. The Americans have realized this a little belatedly and have recently tried to correct the imbalance with aid, scholarships etc. If they have any common sense (and I believe they do), then they will not take a hostile view of Pakistan after this little ‘drama’ in Af-Pak is over. If they do that, then they risk being permanently sidelined from Central Asia down to the Persian Gulf and possibly beyond.

One last point. Pakistan has secured most of its strategic interests in Afghanistan and therefore it really is irrelevant to us whether it is the West or the Talibs who come out on top. There is only one real victor in this war.

Salaam alaikum (Peace be with you)

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

Regarding the leaked report by US on Pakistan’s support of the Taliban, I have nothing much to say. CIA was the agency that worked very closely with ISI during Soviet-Afghan war. Americans can be proud of one thing, they never compromise on National interest. CIA will never hesitate to fund drugs, and use illicit money, overthrow foreign government, support corrupt military dictators etc.
Problem is some of those traits were picked up by ISI and Pakistani establishment. Defining the national interest in narrow terms and throwing everything to protect the national interest.
If CIA could fund nicaraguan insurgents, induldge in Iran contra affair and use drug money to fund Iranian opposition, overthrow unfriendly regimes in South America and elsewhere.
ISI has all the right to play dirty little games in its own neighbourhood.
America will now find itself between a rock and a hard place.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

This only tells me, ISI is a force to be reckoned with. Before when you entered Islamabad, you could drive through the main road right infront of the ISI headquarters. Today, it is the most guarded place, barricaded, locked down and simply out of reach. ISI HQ has more security than even the President House or PM secretariat. This agency is really upto something. I hope its Pakistan’s best national interest, otherwise we a screwed.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

No one is surprised anout the “leaks” certainly not the Afghans.

http://blogs.wsj.com/dispatch/2010/07/26  /afghans-react-to-leaks-with-jubilation  /

.Afghans React to Leaks With Jubilation

By Maria Abi-Habib

The mood among Afghans over leaked U.S. documents outlining Pakistan’s collaboration with the Taliban wasn’t one of surprise Monday but jubilation.

For many Afghans, it was an “I told you so” moment after lawmakers have to Pakistan for nearly a decade as a main source of support for the Taliban.

But the leaked documents, which show the U.S. is aware of Pakistan’s support to the Taliban, may see Mr. Karzai return to his hard-line approach by bolstering his past claims of Pakistani interference, lawmakers say.

The documents, lawmakers and cabinet ministers hope, will also publicly embarrass the U.S. and force them to take a tougher approach with Pakistan after donating billions of dollars in exchange for Pakistan’s help in the war on terror.

“Everyone here knows that a lot of U.S. aid money for Pakistan to build schools or hospitals never gets delivered, but goes to work against the U.S. in Afghanistan,” Mrs. Barakzai said.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

@Umair, Paks, Bloggers,

With regards to these leaked documents, it makes all sides look really bad.

Umair keeps telling all of us how the ISI was trained by the CIA and how intelligence agencies do all sorts of things for the greater good.

But Umair, you fail to realize that whatever the case maybe, the CIA will not let the president and the United States Army get blamed or embarassed for anything.

The ISI and the Pak Army will be the fall guy here. Once things come out, it will be revealed, as I accurately predicted, American National interests or not, the CIA built the ISI and they can also take it apart.

Pakistan has been extorting 1Billion USD a year, while US taxpayers fund all this, their loved ones in uniforms are dying in Afghanistan because Pakistan is conducting assymetrical warfare against NATO.

The IMF gives Pakistan’s failed economy, another bailout for the second time in history and Pakistan continues to build nukes against India for “historical reasons”, while Pakistani’s are suffering, getting blown up and starving, with the exception of Umair, his family and direct friends.

As political fallout from these wiki documents increases, and why the U.S. has been so easy on Pakistan, full well knowing that the Afghan mission is being subverted by the ISI, it will not take much to intimidate and bend Mr. Kayani’s Arm to turn over so-called “rogue ISI” elements, because if it doesn’t Pakistan is on the verge of being called a rogue state.

Let that echo in every Pakistani’s head. These documents prove without a doubt, that Pakistan, a so-called ally has been lying all along and conducting clandestine asymmetrical war against the United States and its allies, at least, that is how the U.S. taxpayer will view it.

A thinking person would ask, why if the U.S has known of this for so long, has the U.S. continued giving Billions of USD to Pakistan and handling Pakistan with kid gloves, as American soldiers keep dying, for what?

Mr. Holbrooke has either been wasting his time, or he an his clique are also up to something and have been busy building empire.

Rogue states don’t fend very well against the might of the United States Military. You can bet, if this issue is acted on in the most judicious manner, it will be the start of the end of Pakistan as we know it, in its current form.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Biohazard,

Pakistan cannot exist without IMF and U.S. bailouts, it has no real source of income.

Once the money stops, if sense ever comes to foreign policy makers in Washington, the financial aid will stop to Pakistan. What little money is left for interest payments and food in Pakistan will quickly be burned up by the overbloated budgets of the Pak Army and ISI.

It will not be long before Pakistan starts to collapse into a Somalia and those nukes will not be forgotten, I am sure there is a plan to confiscate rogue nukes.

Pakistan’s ISI has been help the same Taliban that has been killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. It is all over the world news now.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

The news around the world is absolutely lit up against the ISI and Pak Army support of the Taliban against America, Pakistan’s sole financial supporter.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Something to think about: Why are all of China’s best friends, rogue/failed states?

North Korea, Iran, Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan!

Posted by B_hazard | Report as abusive

@Umair,

You have to be stupid to not realize the timing of this leak of the documents.

Political opinion of the Afghan mission is at an all time low. I have accurately time and again predicted this all along….Pak Army and ISI will be scapegoated for the Afghan NATO mission failure.

There is too much evidence against Pakistan to not make such an assertion.

The question is, how long is Obama and the Whitehouse going to keep calling Pakistan an ally, while U.S. taxpayers keep giving the Pakistani’s aid monies, U.S. soldiers are dying in Afghanistan, while Pakistani agencies work against the Afghan war effort and the U.S. is saying or doing little to stop Pakistan to carrying out these nefarious ventures against the west?

There is an old saying”

“You can fool some people some time….but you can’t fool all the people all the time”.

It is quite disturbing and staggering that Washington has known of this for so long and taken no military action as of yet.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

I agree with G-W. The timing of the news about ISI-Militant nexus seems to coincide with the recent meeting of many nations in Kabul where the future plans were laid out. It has already been assumed that the US is on its way out. There was supposed to be a major push into Kandahar and it has not materialized yet. They have just a couple of months to accomplish that before cold season sets in again.

On top of the ISI-militant link issue, the US has been severely embarrassed by the Wikileaks (close to 90000 documents). It is possible that some anti-American counter strategists have timed these leaks as well. This issue is bigger than the ISI related news. So Pakistan’s luck might help them here. The US has way too much embarrassment to face – “defeat” in Afghanistan, Wikileaks, and appearing like an idiot by pumping money into Pakistan when it was being betrayed by the ISI and Pak military, truce with the Taliban against the American interests. Obama also has to face the house elections where things might tilt against the democrats.

ISI might get away with a slap in the wrist due to the above pressing issues facing the US. The outcome of this will be much more dangerous – it will encourage the ISI to take more “bold steps” which can lead to more chaos in the region and probably the world. The US is losing its grip as I can see it. Its European allies are simply waiting to get the nod from the US to get out as quickly as they can from this region. They might end up bribing the Taliban, Pak military etc in order to keep trouble in their homelands. And Pak military might become blood thirsty for blackmailing in the future.

Or the US can lose its mind and engage in a massive war in the region that would make the Afghan/Iraq missions look like picnics.

I am only interested in how this plays out for my country. India should try to stay out of this whole mess. The Americans and Pakistanis created this mess. Let them deal with it and choke each others’ necks. But we will be under threat and attacks because of our proximity to this god-foresaken region. They have never done anything other than destroying others all through history. They are not going to learn anything new.
Unfortunately our system is grossly underprepared and has been on a reactive mode rather than a pro-active mode. Are there any ways by which we can alert these sleeping beauties? We have too much business that can be jeopardized by criminal states in the neighborhood.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Here is another article that directly points at the ISI:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/ asia/26isi.html?_r=1&hp

Interestingly the Wikileak information refers to a time period about the ISI when Mr. Kayani was in charge of it. Another name that appears prominent is that of Hamid Gul. This guys is a terrorist in offical clothing. It is surprising that the CIA has not knocked this guy out yet.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

As Henry Kissinger once said; ‘America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.

-Maybe Pakistan also has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests. What is good for America maybe good for Pakistan as well. America supported Mujahideen against Soviets, why should any one be surpried if Pakistan might be supporting Taliban against the Americans?
The larger dilemma is, US has worked to bring a strategic shift in Pakistan Military and Intelligence services. US-Pakistan strategic dialogue has been opened up in all fields. Their best hope is to nudge the Pakistani military and intelligence against the millitant groups. Pakistan itself has suffered a blow back from certain policies.
I don’t think America has any other choice, if it becomes hostile to Pakistan it enters into unchartered waters. America has so far invaded countries like Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. But Pakistan being a large country, with a fairly well trained Army and efficient intelligence service is a different game altogether.
Pakistan and US will have to find common ground, Admiral Mullen called for Pakistan to keep in mind US interests during his recent visit to Islamabad. Maybe he was told to keep Pakistan’s interets in mind as well in private.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

G-W:
” the CIA built the ISI and they can also take it apart.”

-There in lies the problem, despite the best of their efforts, the CIA is coming to terms with the reality that ISI is not an easy game after all. They have tried to bribe, coerce, threaten, blackmail, harrass, cajole Pakistan. But in the end the reality can’t be changed.

From the nYTimes article:
“American officials have described Pakistan’s spy service as a rigidly hierarchical organization that has little tolerance for “rogue” activity. But Pakistani military officials give the spy service’s “S Wing” — which runs external operations against the Afghan government and India — broad autonomy, a buffer that allows top military officials deniability. ”

-What is the “S Wing” of the ISI. These are higly classified things. There might be an ISI within the ISI.
Just as we found about the JSOC-Joint Special Operations Command in the US, whose very existence was denied until recently.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Umair,

It does not matter that you think your ISI is untouchable, that is a myth that you are perpetuating and the most arrogant ones like the ISI, are also them most scared and most vulnerable.

You just basically stated that Pakistan’s leaders have the right to “plausible denial”. Those little smug self-comforting statements won’t mean much, once the Foreign Policy suits and Military Brass from Washington show up in Islamabad and make Kayani, Pasha and his friends wet their trousers.

It will be fun to see your PA and ISI bend, just like Mushie did when Richard Armitage and the “suits” showed up in Pakistan with their fingers pointed.

I suspect that you will change your tune with the shifting sands in Islamabad.

Don’t kid yourself Umair, you are dealing with the greatest superpower on earth, with the most powerful army and you got nothing, at the end of the day. Easy game or not, it is a game the west will always win in the end.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “What is good for America maybe good for Pakistan as well”

The only difference is that Pakistan is not USA. It has nukes and a military that is reasonably better than that of any Middle Eastern military. But that’s it. But Pakistanis behave as though they are a super power like the USA. Therein lies the problem. That is why on four occasions your small military tried to take on the Indian military. You people still cannot digest the reality that there is no match. Proxy war with the Soviet Union has opened up another avenue for your military to engage India. But look at the repercussions of it. Look at the loss in terms of resources, lives and economy for your country. Life is not meant for war at all times. This is something most of your countrymen do not understand. You guys think everything only in terms of wars and strategies. Americans wage wars. But at the same time they have built an enormous infrastructure to run their country and keep their economic system going. Your country has nothing other than a military. There is no nation. There is a big hole there. Surely you have millions of people living in that hole. But there is nothing else. How long do you think you can go on like this? Conflicts are needed to keep your military going. It is engaging from one conflict to another, while it has trained its people to blame others for all the ills.

ISI will be corrected, if not by Pakistanis, definitely by the Americans. Do not underestimate them. They are slowly changing from the 6 decade old policy of seeing Pakistan as an ally to an enemy. Of course engaging Pakistan militarily will not be practical. But there are other ways of doing it. And the US is very good at those means. An economically weakened and isolated system can be made to crumble internally. Pakistan has become extremely fragile. Do not forget this fact. Just making emotional chest thumping will not help. How long can you survive by licking the uranium and missiles?

Your country has been working hard to go against the Americans. They remembered Vietnam. Having lost the battle there to the Soviets, they won the war against them in Afghanistan. Now they are losing a battle to Pakistan. The war is not over yet. And your country will become that enemy that they will fight the final war. Sense and wisdom should prevail at this time.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@”As Henry Kissinger once said; ‘America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.
-Maybe Pakistan also has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests. What is good for America maybe good for Pakistan as well” Posted by Umairpk

A superpower can afford to say something like that & put it’s money where it’s mouth is but a country like Pakistan which is very much dependant on the US/West for it’s survival can not. It’s easy to say that you can survive without US/western aid & can withstand harsh economic sanctions imposed on you but when push comes to shove, it will be extremely hard for Pakistan to recover. Besides aid, a major chunk of Pakistan’s revenues come from exports to the US/west (since your tax collection rate is extremely low) & It will be very hard for you to replace that income with another source. Don’t expect much from your chinese friends because they are only interested in selling their weapons & products to you & not in buying anything from you. Look at the trade figures & you’ll know what I’m talking about.

@”I don’t think America has any other choice, if it becomes hostile to Pakistan it enters into unchartered waters”

The US does not have many good options at this time since our troops are in the line of fire but once they are out of there, it will be a very different ball game vis-a-vis Pakistan & the US/allies can do a lot of damage, economically & diplomatically, which could bring Pakistan to it’s knees & destabalize it further.

@ Reuters: How about a thread about the hottest topic on the planet right now?

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Umair, I predicted this over a year ago. I told you that if the Pakistani’s don’t quit aiding and abetting the Taliban that NATO is trying to defeat, that once the Afghan mission starts to falter, Pakistan will be blamed and scapegoated.

The way this ISI helping Taliban news is tearing across the USA right now, it looks like the polarizing and scapegoating of Pakistan has already begun. The U.S. news is liberally blaming the ISI and Pakistan for the potential failure of the Afghan mission.

This is what billions of USD in aid has given America, an ally called Pakistan that has been plotting the defeat of the U.S.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

“The Afghan government is shocked with the report that has opened the reality of the Afghan war,” said Siamak Herawi, a government spokesman.

Herawi charged that Washington needed to deal with Pakistani intelligence, known as the ISI.

“There should be serious action taken against the ISI, who has a direct connection with the terrorists,” he said. “These reports show that the U.S. was already aware of the ISI connection with the al Qaeda terrorist network. The United States is overdue on the ISI issue and now the United States should answer.”

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

I think after this report, US efforts to have Hamid Gul declared an ‘international terrorist’, will intensify dramatically.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

The impotent, clueless and powerless civilian government has to keep taking punch after punch to the gut and to the head, in attempting to deflect the recent finger pointing at pakistan aiding and abetting the Taliban.

This maybe just a simple case of the secret covert Army Punjabi government seeking its own goals of Sunni Empire expansion, at any cost, even training Taliban to kill American soldiers.

Talking to Gilani and Zardari is a waste of time.

It is time that Obama, and his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, get together with Gen. Kayani and Pasha and directly discuss face to face the certain consequences and repercussions of continued undermining of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

But look at the repercussions of it. Look at the loss in terms of resources, lives and economy for your country. Life is not meant for war at all times.
Posted by KPSingh01

==

As far as Pakistan is considered LIFE IS MEANT FOR WAR AT ALL TIMES. The warrior state if you will. 1948-65 was the only period of relative peace, even though military coup had already taken place.   Because the society was less militant, and resembled India in that post partition era.

Pakistan doesn’t have oil like Iran. It doesn’t have service industry (if it does it is only terror service). The puny textile, and football export industry badly depends on the West.  Pak economy is literally on life support kept afloat by US aid money. But if you read braggadocio by paks, they would like to convey an impression they are on their feet.

However, chickens are coming to the roost for Pakistan. Still with militaristic mindset, and no interest in nation building, they are pursuing policies that will lead to internal collapse and anarchy which are around the corner.

This is where all of PA/ISI efforts will come to naught. Ensuring NATO’s defeat in Afghanistan may accomplish the strategic game of the warrior state, but it will do nothing for nation building.

Imagine the tarnishing of the brand name Pakistan, that PA/ISI have accomplished and how much this would contribute to undermining any chances of Pakistan joining rest of the global economy.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Umair:

@America supported Mujahideen against Soviets, why should any one be surpried if Pakistan might be supporting Taliban against the Americans?”

–Surprised because their cousins in Pakistan with same ideology will be working against your country. Americans packed and went away, you do not have that choice. You are playing with fire. It can be so long you can avoid getting burnt.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

@Seekeroftruth

You’re forgetting Pakistan’s ‘all-weather Chinese friends’. The chinese will single-handedly ressurect Pakistan’s economy & turn it into a global power. Heck, I even read some Pakistani on this blog talk about the various intra-racial marriages taking place between Pakistanis & Chinese :)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Rajeev,

Umair is right, America cannot control nor can it contain the personal directives that Islamabad is pursuing in Afghanistan, not at least under the current situation.

America can however sever ties with Pakistan and declare the ISI and all past and current employees to be a part of a rogue terrorist organization.

At that point a whole range of more flexible options will be at the disposal of the U.S. The leverage that the U.S. can exert is huge, economic, but most of all military.

Last I remember, Pakistan has not more than a week or two of fuel to sustain a military conflict.

Countries that double cross America have a track record of collapsing or getting invaded.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Rajeev:
“You are playing with fire. It can be so long you can avoid getting burnt.”

-Certainly, I agree with you absolutely, we are definitely playing with fire. And we have no choice, what you Indians don’t understand is Pakistan’s historical record of playing with fire. Be it Gary Powers flying out of Peshawar airbase with his U-2 back in the cold war to conduct reconnaissance over Soviet airspace , or the biggest operation Cyclone by the CIA to arm the Mujahideen against the Soviets. We have had experts of guirella warfare, we had helped establish diplomatic relations between US and China. What is all the uproar about this report? Wait for a day when some day Wikileak will make public documents related to CIA and its involvement in clandestine activities, drugs and overthrowing foreign governments.
The USSR entered into Afghanistan by its own choice and Pakistan had to deal with the fallout. Later the US entered into Afghanistan and Pakistan had to deal with the fallout again. Now Pakistan, its Armed Forces, intelligence services have to first look after Pakistan’s national interest and after that think of someone else.
We cannot serve our country on a platter to outsiders, we are willing to work with allies but not at the expense of our homeland. We are if Pakistan is, we will have to safeguard the country and nation first. So sit tight, relax, Mullen, Holbrook, Clinton, Obama, Petraus, Biden all already know what has been made public.
As I said with Pakistan, choices are limited, and don’t look good either. If Pakistan is playing with fire, I am sure we have enough firefighting capacity in case of a major inferno.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umair,

The issue here isn’t about whether your army sides with the US or with the insurgent militant groups, whom it considers ‘stretegic assets’ important for Pakistan’s national security. The real issue here, is the slimy double game being by your military establishment, of signing up to be a sincere ‘ally’ of the US/allies (& milking $$ in the process), while plotting the defeat of it’s allies with their enemies, behind their backs. If your army is indeed the brave & proud outfit that you claim (a zillion times) it is, why does it not have the guts to say to the Ameicans: We’re going with the other side as it is in our national interest to do so, so take your aid & money & take a hike!
The truth is that despite all the nationalistic rah rah & chest thumping that it propagandizes, it does not have the guts to say so. The only thing it’s beome really good at, is double-crossing & playing it both ways but others aren’t stupid & it looks like the gig is up and it will pay for it.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mortal,

Remember I told you, the US can never repay for the lives of many brave soldiers and officers of Pakistan Army. The son of Pakistan Army’s surgeon general and I were in same matriculation class in College. Lt. Gen Mushtaq was a top opthalmologist in Pakistan, in Feb 2008 his staff car was hit by a suicide bomber in Rawalpindi and he was martyred in uniform. This is just one example, you cannot imagine of the sacrifices and casualties of Pakistan Army which has been taken during these three years or so.
If the US is so brave why don’t they call it a day and say it publicly. They are free to stop cooperating and working with Pakistan and tell from here on there will be no CSF-Coalition support funds and Pakistan would stop COIN-counter insurgency ops in tribal areas and pull back our forces. US must then publicly announce hostilities. But as you know they tried that with sept 2008 Angoor Adda attack. After which orders were clear from the GHQ, open fire on intruding NATO and US forces if they cross into Pakistan. And even on some occasions Pakistani troops fired warning shots on NATO helicopters.
Before you accuse Pakistan of double dealing, I should tell you we are playing a very complex and difficult situation which is not of our choosing, into our advantage. Thats it. As I quoted Henry Kissinger, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. Our interests is no more than to safeguard our homeland from all enemies; foreign and domestic, properity for the nation, stable economy and better future. On top of that, super powers must just quit our neighbourhood. simple.
Stop the rant of paying for it. Pay for what? what did we do? double dealing. Not that big crime. Why do you put us in that position in first place. Get out of Afghanistan, and quick. There will be no double dealing. Drag your feet in our neighbourhood, and we will sit together and decide how to deal with the situation.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

I have nothing but respect for the soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, be it Pakistani, American or other but I also have nothing but contempt & disgust for the policy makers of your military establishment, who have blind-folded your nation & beaten it like a pinata, for a good part of it’s existence. It’s the very same short-sighted & selfish people, whose suicidal & self destructive policies have cost the lives of many of your soldiers, including your friend but perhaps you are just too brain-washed to see the truth or simply put, you just don’t want to see it.

Your refference to the PA challanging US/NATO forces seems like a joke, when drones are being operated in your country with impunity. The only reason that US soldiers are not operating inside Pakistan right now, is because they simply don’t have the numbers to do so. If the Iraq blunder would not have happened & tied our forces & resources there, I can assure you, your town would’ve been swarming with American soldiers right now.

The situation in Afghanistan is certainly a mess right now & the blame game has already started. I’ve seen about 2 dozen commentators today across various channels, who are squarely blaming the mess on the double-dealing of the PA/ISI. Weather fair or unfair, that looks like the trend going forward and if your Generals were smart, they would actually become a sincere ally, while they still have a chance & take on the groups which they have been sheilding so far. If not, I can assure you that there will be serious consequences for Pakistan in the future, maybe not militarily but economically & diplomatically, for sure.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

the above comment is directed @ Umair.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

If! ;)

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

Testing – I cannot seem to post comments to this article!

Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(Let me try posting this in parts – part 1 of 2)

Shuqaib,

With respect, this is precisely the attitude of complacency that I was trying to warn against.

> One last point. Pakistan has secured most of its strategic interests in Afghanistan and therefore it really is irrelevant to us whether it is the West or the Talibs who come out on top. There is only one real victor in this war.

One can be a true victor only in a win-win situation. Every other situation is suboptimal. You may realise at a later stage that no party can be ignored.

This is not about a “threat” (because we don’t have to think in those terms all the time!), just about the loss of opportunity.
Let not the prospect of a short-term “victory” blind you to greater possibilities that come from a bold embrace of normalised relations with India.

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(OK, part 2 of 2 didn’t work. Let me try drip-feeding this.)

> it is undoubtedly the Chinese who are closest to us in terms of overall interests.

I have no doubt about the sincerity of Chinese support for Pakistan, but I would invite you to consider a possible reason for it.

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(Not working again – what is wrong with Reuters?)

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(This is ridiculous. I’m trying to post single sentences now and failing)

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(Skipped a sentence that I think is causing something on Reuters to choke.)

However, once Pakistan and India bury the hatchet, China is relegated to number two.
South Asia as a group becomes the number one Asian power in terms of population, economic opportunity, a powerful trade bloc, etc.

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(Woohoo! Here’s the rest, except for that missing sentence.)

Wouldn’t self-interest then be a strong reason why China would like to provide reliable support to Pakistan?
India-Pak friendship may be viewed as a strategic threat in Beijing.

But again, we don’t have to think in win-lose terms. South Asia as a bloc could treat China as Most Favoured Nation in economic deals.
Nobody loses, and it’s an arguably better world than the one you’re describing.

My argument is an invitation to break with old-style thinking and consider bold possibilities.

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(This is the sentence that causes Reuters to choke –
A s l o n g a s P a k i s t a n a n d I n d i a s t a y s u s p i c i o u s o f e a c h o t h e r, C h i n a r e m a i n s t h e n u m b e r o n e p o w e r i n A s i a.)

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

OK, after 20-odd attempts in two days, I finally managed to respond to Shuqaib’s mail, albeit piecemeal. And in the interim, Wikileaks happened, making my entire post seem outdated. Thanks, Reuters!

Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “Certainly, I agree with you absolutely, we are definitely playing with fire.”

Playing too much with fire can be dangerous. Your country is not only playing with fire on one side, but also walking on a tight rope, blind folded, over a pit filled with venomous snakes. The tight rope that helped you cross the pit each time was the US. The blind fold is your country’s parnoia and hatred towards India. The snakes in the pit are your Jihadi elements that have multiplied over time. And the fire your country is playing with is not really the US, but the situation in Afghanistan. Americans are holding the tight rope your country is walking on.

Pakistan can no longer control the situation in Afghanistan as it did in the mid-1990s. It is broke and is surviving on foreign aid. Taliban will need continous supply of oxygen from Pak military to control Afghanistan. They are not going to share power with others. Pak military might try to avert a collapse there by re-directing the fire towards Kashmir. But a lot depends upon assumptions. India has a larger foot print inside Afghanistan compared to the post-Soviet time period. And it is not going to allow that to be erased easily. Pakistan cannot do a sword fight while walking on a rope about to be cut off, with venomous snakes hungry for food. The fall will be hard and recovery may not happen.

One cannot run the show on pride alone. Even pride is all right. But false pride and bravado will tighten the blind fold that you already have around your eyes.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Mortal, prasad, Umair, Shaqaib,

It is a myth that the U.S. cannot pursue militantism without Pakistan’s help.

While it is true that the U.S. has outsourced the war on terror to Pakistan and Pakistan has cheated, lied, back-stabbed and made the problem worse for the U.S., all the while extorting Billions USD to line their own pockets and fuel more terrorism against NATO and India, it is becoming ever more true that Pakistan is reaching true irrelevancy.

By this I mean, the U.S. needs to more fully open and declare its war theatre as stretching all the way from the far side of Afghanistan to the eastern border of Pakistan, that being the edge of PoK, at the LOC.

Pakistan has pushed itself into a corner and really has no way out, except to be scapegoated for the failure of the NATO mission.

This is becoming more and more apparent as ally(Pak) that has extorted billions, used that to defeat an ally(US) that it professes to support and help, Pakistan has been quietly engineering the defeat of NATO in Afghanistan to reclaim Afghanistan as a militant recruitment colony to be used against India and use the Pathans, Uzbeks, Chechens and any other outsider muslim as military fodder in a future war with India.

The basis for all of these wars is that Punjabi Pakistani’s are wimps, can’t fight their own battles and don’t want to work for an honest living. This apparent in the Army’s use of proxy armys, use of foreign fighters and the punjabi’s unequal sharing of wealth in Pakistan, while the poor starve.

Once the dust settles in Af-Pak and the U.S. leaves, it is not unconceivable that the U.S. expands the war theatre in a more comprehensive manner to extend over Pakistani territory. After all, pakistani’s are useless to close training camps and madrassas, maybe the U.S. needs to put boots on Pakistani soil and do the job for them.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

“Pakistan’s Double Game” – NY Times Editorial

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/opinio n/27tue1.html?_r=1&hpw

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@ Ganesh. Salaam. You were apparently having some problems in posting your comments, so I have re-arranged some of your arguments for better clarity and focus without changing its meaning. I hope that’s alright with you.

Before reading my comments please go through this video (if you haven’t done so already). Its pretty interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaaJPKoq4 vU

You wrote: “ Shuqaib, with respect, this is precisely the attitude of complacency that I was trying to warn against. One can be a true victor only in a win-win situation. Every other situation is suboptimal. You may realise at a later stage that no party can be ignored.”

……….

That is true Ganesh. But I wonder if you see what I see, because what I’m seeing is essentially a sub-optimal win-win situation for Pakistan in Afghanistan at least in the immediate term. Let me explain that a little more.

Pakistan’s primary objective in Afghanistan was NOT to bring the Talibs to power. That is a misconception. Pakistan’s primary objective in Afghanistan was to bring that party to power which could provide the most Pakistan friendly government in Kabul and take our interests into consideration when making its decisions

NATO made a horrendous mistake in 2001-2002, when it completely sidelined Pakistani concerns regarding the post Taliban setup in Afghanistan. They then compounded that mistake by letting Karzai re-open the Durand Line issue and openly criticize Pakistan almost from day one. I can give you an entire list of other mistakes they made but it will make this post too lengthy. Suffice to say that ‘Bush and company’ did everything humanly possible to mess up a good situation in Afghanistan primarily by antagonizing Pakistan. It was precisely this ‘drunken cowboy’ approach that caused the hawks within our establishment to support the ‘pro-Pakistan’ groups in Afghanistan in order to balance the equation in our favor.

Lately, NATO seems to have realized the error of its ways. Ever since General Kayani gave his speech at the NATO commanders’ conference, the decision makers in the West have started to recognize the mistake of not factoring Pakistani concerns into the Afghan equation. Karzai has also dropped his antagonistic approach to Pakistan. A host of other Pakistani interests are also being addressed (e.g. removing Saleh from his position etc).

So now we have a situation in which NATO (and Karzai) are marching more or less to Pakistan’s tune and at the same time Pakistan has considerable leverage with certain other ‘factions’ within Afghanistan. From the Pakistani establishment’s point of view this is a win-win situation.

There is no doubt that the game is still being played as evidenced by that amateurish LSE report and the ongoing wikileaks episode. But think carefully about who it is that is actually setting the ‘rules on the ground’. Once you realize who it is, then you will understand that what I wrote in my previous post was not a complacent boast. It was a rationale statement based on a very cold, ruthless and logical analysis of the realities on the ground (not just in the media).

Pakistan is dominant in Afghanistan not because we have outmanouvered any particular country. Pakistan is dominant in Afghanistan because as I’ve said before, both sides in the conflict are taking Pakistani interests into consideration when making their decisions. We have therefore secured our primary objective in Afghanistan and have also secured most of our strategic objectives in that country. Compared to 2007, the turnaround in Afghanistan in favour of Pakistan is nothing short of spectacular.

Now why is this situation still sub-optimal? The simple reason is that, IMHO (and I believe yours as well), the optimal solution would involve all the parties coming to the negotiating table and ending this conflict in a way in which everybody’s interests are secured. Pakistan has been trying to make this happen for a while now but progress has been slow.

I hope I have explained my POV better this time.

More to come…

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

*** continued from above ***

You wrote: “This is not about a “threat” (because we don’t have to think in those terms all the time!), just about the loss of opportunity. Let not the prospect of a short-term “victory” blind you to greater possibilities that come from a bold embrace of normalised relations with India.”

……….

Nothing blinds me to the greater possibilities of normalization of relations with India. As a matter of fact, the situation in Afghanistan creates new possibilities for a resolution of the core Indo-Pak dispute. Whether Indo-Pak leaders have the wisdom to capitalize on these possibilities is a separate issue.

——————–

You wrote: “I have no doubt about the sincerity of Chinese support for Pakistan, but I would invite you to consider a possible reason for it. (Skipped a sentence that I think is causing something on Reuters to choke). India-Pak friendship may be viewed as a strategic threat in Beijing. Wouldn’t self-interest then be a strong reason why China would like to provide reliable support to Pakistan?”

” However, once Pakistan and India bury the hatchet, China is relegated to number two. South Asia as a group becomes the number one Asian power in terms of population, economic opportunity, a powerful trade bloc, etc. India-Pak friendship may be viewed as a strategic threat in Beijing. But again, we don’t have to think in win-lose terms. South Asia as a bloc could treat China as Most Favoured Nation in economic deals. Nobody loses, and it’s an arguably better world than the one you’re describing. My argument is an invitation to break with old-style thinking and consider bold possibilities.”

……….

Do you know that one of the original ideas for Pakistan was actually a federation of autonomous Muslim states within the greater Indian federation? Interesting….yes?

In the late 1950s, Pakistan offered a joint military alliance to India in return for a settlement on the ‘core issue’. Nehru rejected the offer by asking the remarkably silly question “Alliance against whom?” He learnt the answer the hard way in 1962.

I have no doubt that self interest was initially the primary reason for the Sino-Pak alliance. However, this self interest was not necessarily because of concerns regarding India. As a matter of fact, the bedrock of Sino-Pak relationship was formed well before the Sino-Indian hostilities started. We peacefully settled our disputes with the Chinese through bilateral talks, which were held without preconditions and as equals. The mutual benefits of that settlement are evident today and are only getting stronger with time.

Nowadays, Pakistan and China have started to take their alliance beyond the narrow gamut of self interest. Sino-Pak alliance is strengthening along a wide range of issues. This was the reason why I wrote about the students and the family ties in my last post. Almost the same points were highlighted by Hillary Clinton (in the video I have posted above) when she was talking about Pak-US relations.

Blood and cultural ties definitely shape the behavior of civilizations towards one another. These are the bonds that can take nations beyond ‘self interest’ and into long-term alliances in which each party genuinely looks out for the interests of the other without wanting much in return.

India and Pakistan already have these ties and much, much more in common. So the next logical question is, why aren’t we looking after each other’s interests? It always comes down to one single issue. ALWAYS.

If our ‘babus’ and ‘lotas’ can resolve that one issue, then not even the sky is the limit for Indo-Pak relations. The status quo however, is definitely not an optimal win-win solution because it favors one party and threatens another.

One third of the entire human race lives in the region stretching from Afghanistan and Iran, through to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and then north to China. If South East Asia is included then the figure goes up to one half.

China, India and Pakistan are undoubtedly the most powerful players in the area. For the greater good of the region, it is imperative that peaceful solutions be found for the disputes that set us against each other. I think you and I are on the same idealistic wavelength regarding these issues and that’s good to know ;)

Peace be with you.

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

Bloggers, please see article from huffington post claiming that the Pakistani Generals are behind the Taliban.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-clem ons/pakistans-generals-really_b_660262.h tml

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@reuters, I do not know what is wrong with the posting server over there, I try to post something, and hit resend, just to make sure that it can get posted, but it does not get posted, then I send a link and right away it gets posted on the blog?? is there censorship of information and filtering of somekind going on here?

Myra, please clarify.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

G-W said:
> is there censorship of information and filtering of somekind going on here?

In another context, it is said, “Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

In Reuters’ context, never ascribe to censorship what can be adequately explained by a software bug ;-).

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Umair, Bhutto, other Pakistani’s here,

Please accept our dearest and sincerest sorrows and condolences on the air disaster near Islamabad today.

My god provide maximum comfort and warmth to the victims and their families at this time of profound loss and time of need.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Thank you. May they rest peacefully in God’s loving embrace.

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

[...] time horizon (coincidentally or not, the three-year timetable matches the unexpectedly-long three-year extension in the term of office just given to Pakistan Army chief, General Ashfaq [...]

G-W

May Allah bless those who perished in the air crash.
Thank you

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

He’s the best of the bunch. Have a look at his potential replacements to see why he should stay.

He’s also been remarkably committed to strenghthening Pakistan’s democracy….that’s a rare trait for a Pakistan Army general.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive