Comments on: Pakistan’s General Kayani given three-year extension Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: kEiThZ Thu, 29 Jul 2010 13:22:43 +0000 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.

By: Umairpk Thu, 29 Jul 2010 02:24:47 +0000 G-W

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

By: Shuqaib.Bhutto Wed, 28 Jul 2010 18:01:22 +0000 Thank you. May they rest peacefully in God’s loving embrace.

By: G-W Wed, 28 Jul 2010 16:06:21 +0000 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.

By: prasadgc Wed, 28 Jul 2010 15:36:51 +0000 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 ;-).


By: G-W Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:21:24 +0000 @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.

By: G-W Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:19:24 +0000 Bloggers, please see article from huffington post claiming that the Pakistani Generals are behind the Taliban. ons/pakistans-generals-really_b_660262.h tml

By: Shuqaib.Bhutto Wed, 28 Jul 2010 13:30:15 +0000 *** 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.

By: Shuqaib.Bhutto Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:54:03 +0000 @ 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. 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…

By: Mortal1 Tue, 27 Jul 2010 20:44:06 +0000 “Pakistan’s Double Game” – NY Times Editorial n/27tue1.html?_r=1&hpw