On WikiLeaks, Pakistan and Afghanistan; the tip of an old iceberg

July 28, 2010

arghandabI’ve been resisting diving into the WikiLeaks controversy, in part because the information contained in the documents – including allegations of Pakistani complicity with the Taliban - is not new. Yet at the same time you can’t entirely dismiss as old news something which has generated such a media feeding frenzy. So here are a few pointers to add to the discussion.

U.S. POLICY TOWARDS PAKISTAN

On the likely implications (or non-implications) for U.S. policy towards Pakistan,  go back to 2009, and this piece in the National Interest by Bruce Riedel who conducted the first review of Afghan strategy for President Barack Obama. Having assessed all the evidence, including well-known American misgivings about the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, he concluded that Washington had no option but to stay the course in trying to build a long-term partnership with Pakistan.

American policy for the last 60 years, wrote Riedel, had oscillated wildly between love and hate.  “What the U.S.-Pakistan relationship needs is constancy and consistency. We need to recognize that change in Pakistan will come when we engage reliably with the Pakistani people, support the democratic process and address Pakistan’s legitimate security concerns. Candor needs to be the hallmark of an enduring commitment to civilian rule in Pakistan.

“U.S.-aid levels should not be the product of temper tantrums on Capitol Hill … Our goal should be to convince Pakistanis that the existential threat to their liberty comes not from the CIA or India, but from al Qaeda.

“We also need to engage India constructively on how to reduce and then end the tensions, including in Kashmir, that have resulted from partition. Ironically, the Pakistanis and Indians have made great progress on this issue behind the scenes in the last decade … Quiet and subtle American diplomacy should now try to advance this further.”

“None of this will be easy. Pakistan is a complex and combustible society undergoing a severe crisis. America helped create that crisis over a long period of time. If we don’t help Pakistan now, we may have to deal with a jihadist Pakistan later. That should focus our attention.”

That message of U.S. commitment to Pakistan was reinforced in a statement released this week by the U.S. embassy in Islamabad and as my colleague Chris Allbritton writes in this analysis, there is little reason to believe the WikiLeaks uproar will change Washington’s approach of trying to build a long-term relationship with Pakistan while also leaning on it to “do more” to tackle Islamist militants

The danger of course – and that is one reason why the WikiLeaks uproar cannot be dismissed as old news –  is that allegations will stoke already strong anti-American feeling in Pakistan, making it all the harder for Washington to persuade Pakistan to do more. As Chris quotes Pakistani political analyst Hasan-Askari Rizvi as saying: “The Islamic parties and the extreme political right in Pakistan already view the U.S. as a major threat to Pakistan. They don’t view the Taliban as a threat. Now these reports have given them a lot of ammunition.”

PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS

In one of the more thoughtful reactions to the WikiLeaks reports, Michael Semple, the former deputy EU representative to Afghanistan, writes in this article in The Guardian that it had become an article of faith in Afghanistan to blame the ISI for conflict in the country (many of the WikiLeaks reports came from Afghan intelligence). This he says was based not on empirical findings but on the assumption that Pakistan would never tolerate stability in its neighbour. That is not to say there is no interference, nor that the Taliban do not benefit from safe havens in Pakistan, but rather that in the Afghan war all information/disinformation needs to be treated with caution.

“… the most popular way of establishing credentials as an Afghan nationalist has long been to denounce Pakistan as the enemy,” he writes. ”Among the 180 (WikiLeaks) reports of ISI interference, most are drawn from informants or briefings from the Afghan intelligence service, who describe in lurid detail direct involvement of ISI officers in trying to wreak havoc inside Afghanistan.”

“Most Taliban I have talked to regarding the role of Pakistan make three broad points. They say that they require some degree of official blessing to be able to operate from Pakistan. They say that this blessing is never assured – it is an uncomfortable relationship. And they say that any solution to the insurgency must have Pakistan’s blessing.

“The conclusion I draw from the intelligence controversy is that anyone charged with negotiating an end to the conflict in Afghanistan will have to guard that process from exactly the kind of disinformation we have all been studying. They will need to keep Pakistan, the insurgents and the various parts of today’s Afghan establishment on board, and overcome a high degree of distrust which years of disinformation have contributed to.”

Pakistan and Afghanistan have been trying to improve their relationship in recent months, with President Hamid Karzai in March describing the relationship between the two as that of “conjoined twins”. That does not mean that suspicions of heavy ISI involvement in the insurgency have disappeared - on the contrary they continue to play a strong role in the perceptions of Taliban commanders in the field, as outlined in a report released by the London School of Economics in June. Nor does it suggest that Pakistan’s own approach to the many militant groups based on its territory is any less opaque.  But it did help open up the possibility of an eventual negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan.

Will the WikiLeaks uproar now sour those ties again?  The allegations do not come as any more of a surprise to the Afghans than to the Americans, but they have given Afghanistan an opportunity to reassert its long-standing complaint about ISI interference.

WHAT DOES PAKISTAN WANT IN AFGHANISTAN?

This to me is a far more interesting question than whether Pakistan has a role in Afghanistan. You can be fairly sure the U.S. administration has a shrewd idea of the answer and has been working for months to narrow its differences with a country which has a powerful role either as ally or adversary. 

It says it wants a stable and neutral Afghanistan, and a rollback in Indian influence there. While “neutrality” is hard to define given Pakistan’s deep distrust of India, and while it would be expected to push for a friendly government in Kabul, this does not imply that it wants the Taliban back in power in Kabul (although it would probably expect them to be part of any political settlement.)

Pakistan found the Taliban hard enough to control when they were in power from 1996 to 2001 – it was not, for example, able to persuade them to recognise the Durand Line, the colonial era border dividing the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. A resurgent Taliban, fresh from any victory against the Americans, would be even harder for Pakistan to manage. So it would be against its interests for the movement to have too much power, particularly since this might embolden Taliban allies on the Pakistan side of the border, who have already unleashed a wave of bombings across the country.

On top of that, there is little love lost between the Taliban and Pakistan, and certainly no liking for the ISI, if  you go by comments made by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the last Taliban ambassador to Islamabad. “In my dealings with them (the ISI) I tried not to be so sweet that I would be eaten whole, and not so bitter that I would be spat out,” Zaeef writes in his book “My Life with the Taliban”.  

Pakistan has also been pushing for a political settlement which it says should include all Afghanistan’s different ethnic groups (a Pashtun/Taliban only settlement would likely lead to renewed civil war and de facto partition, both of  which would leave Pakistan still struggling with an unstable neighbour).  But I’ve not heard anyone suggest that Pakistan wants U.S. troops out of Afghanistan within a year – rather the talk is more of a three to five-year 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 Parvez Kayani.) 

So far the U.S. administration has said it needs more time to weaken the insurgency and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table;  but acknowledges there will eventually have to be a political settlement (a propos of which, it’s interesting to note that David Ignatius, writing in the Washington Post, quotes General James Jones as saying that elements of the Taliban might be willing to meet one U.S. condition for talks, which is to disavow al Qaeda. “The Taliban generally as a group has never signed on to the global jihad business and doesn’t seem to have ambitions beyond its region,” it quotes him as saying.)  It’s not entirely clear, therefore, that there is such a huge gulf between the United States and Pakistan on the need for a political settlement, except on the timing.

Where it does get impossibly murky, is in managing the tortuous relationship between India and Pakistan. Pakistan accuses India of using its large presence in Afghanistan to destabilise its border areas, including by backing separatists in Baluchistan – an allegation India denies. India fears Pakistan wants to use Afghanistan as a base for anti-India militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir – as happened before 2001.  With the kind of “quiet and subtle” diplomacy advocated by Riedel in 2009, Washington has been pushing the two countries to talk, although so far progress has been limited. So while Pakistan might eventually be able to lean on the Taliban to negotiate, and may not be that far apart from Washington on the kind of settlement it wants to see in Afghanistan, it is unlikely to want to give much ground until it has some reassurances about India (that India, in turn, still angry about the 2008 attack on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants, is unwilling to give.)

Add into that all the uncertainties of the region, including a potential showdown over Iran’s nuclear programme, the practical difficulties of persuading the Taliban to sever ties with al Qaeda (something it is unlikely to want to do as long as it needs it as an ally), the difficulties of persuading Pakistan’s population to turn against Islamist militancy, and a 60-year-old conflict over Kashmir, among many other things,  and you have a situation that is incredibly hard to manage.

Compared to that, the WikiLeaks reports are only the tip of an iceberg that everyone has always known is there. 

Or as Andrew Exum argues in this op-ed in the New York Times: “I can confirm that the situation in Afghanistan is complex, and defies any attempt to graft it onto easy-to-discern lessons or policy conclusions. Yet the release of the documents has led to a stampede of commentators and politicians doing exactly that.”

105 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Media warfare and economic warfare are likely to be lot more effective in tackling Pakistan army/ISI aggression.

The vulnerabilities of Pakistan are deteriorating internal security situation (ethnic religious strife all across) and feeble, very weak economy on life support.

Despite the adulation displayed publicly and in blogs by paks towards China, it is the US which is footing the bill for the survival of Pakistan. If purse strings are tightened North Koreanizaton of Pakistan will ensue in no time.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

the author says it is unlikely to want to give much ground until it has some reassurances about India (that India, in turn, still angry about the 2008 attack on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants, is unwilling to give.)
==

Is Pakistan the only one entitled to have reassurances? Reassurances on what? That they should be allowed to maintain anti-India jihadi terrorist infrastructure?

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

.

And rightly so, who is to say this leak is not the doing of the CIA and the US-Admin. All the leaks pertain to AF-PAK. It relates to 80% Bush era, the Obama admin is softening the US constituency towards its failings in Af-Pak at the same time building Intl support against a Pak offensive.

One can clearly see here that all the anti Af-Pak forces are being banded together. Each under the delusion of being CLEVER BY HALF.
For moderate pashtuns (Awami et al) to come to the fore, the present Karzai regime and the Haqqani-Taliban-Hekmateyar combine alongwith the ISI has to be maligned. The pak citizens will realise the folly of the army in falling into this trap, the army will see dissension with support from the pak people (PPP, MQM & PML) and the Haq-Talib-Hekmet combine will see similar revolt and exodus once the fighters realise they have been waylaid into a death trap.
As far as the Al-Qaeda is concerned, once Iran is ensnared into a Gulf war, your guess is as good as mine as to where the Sunni Al-Qaeda fighters are headed.
Kayani will dread every minute of whatever part of the 3yrs he manages to live.
Nice one AMERICA.
Regards KASHMIR the idiots will soon realise, its better to get back to life.

As far as India is concerned in all this. It has taken the brunt of what is known in popular jargon ‘’COLLATERAL DAMAGE’’. Be it Bombay’93 (where i had a narrow escape) or Bombay’08. Though it might sound callous. It makes a lot of sense when i take into account Bangladesh war ’71. I still remember paying for it by surcharge on tiks on the BEST buses in 1993, probably is still on. An all out war would have seen India where Pak is economically and probably my great grand children paying a surcharge for Pakhtoonkhawa, Sindhustan and Baluchistan.

Countdown to Armageddon , USS WASHINGTON is in the Korean waters. Next it will sail to the Gulf. If US wants to default on chinese debt, war could be a good reason.

Posted by Buddhaissmiling | Report as abusive

[...] is the original: On WikiLeaks, Pakistan and Afghanistan; the tip of an old iceberg … Share and [...]

> We need to recognize that change in Pakistan will come when we engage reliably with the Pakistani people, support the democratic process

Nice to see this realisation at last! For too many decades, the US has supported right-wing dictators over left-wing democratic governments, and the Pakistani people have suffered as a result of this policy (like those of Iran (under the Shah), the Philippines (Marcos), Nicaragua (Somoza), Cuba (Batista), Chile (Pinochet), etc.) That’s a great policy to lose friends and p*ss off people, to paraphrase Dale Carnegie. But will the US act on this realisation and be mature enough in future to tolerate dissent from friendly democracies, or will it continue to expect unconditional support from its “allies” (who have to be “with us or they’re against us”)?

This is not to make the US the sole scapegoat for what has happened with Pakistan, but it carries an awful lot of the responsibility.

> Ironically, the Pakistanis and Indians have made great progress on this issue behind the scenes in the last decade … Quiet and subtle American diplomacy should now try to advance this further.

One shudders at the thought. Not for nothing is it said that it is dangerous to be a foe of the US, but fatal to be a friend. I think the best thing the US can do for the Pakistan-India peace process is to stay away from it, far away.

> It says it wants a stable and neutral Afghanistan, and a rollback in Indian influence there. [...] “neutrality” is hard to define given Pakistan’s deep distrust of India

Aye, there’s the rub. I believe the topic we need to address most seriously is Pakistan’s fear of an “existential threat” from India, which would remain even if the “core issue” of Kashmir was resolved. This fear is what informs all the actions of the Pakistani state and colours the perceptions of its citizens.

As an Indian, I find this fear irrational, but perhaps I’m missing something. To my thinking, Pakistan is the second most powerful country in South Asia, perhaps more powerful than the remaining countries put together, and yet it alone has this fear of India! None of the smaller countries has been known to talk about an “existential threat” from India the way Pakistan does.

Is there any truth to this fear, or is it merely paranoia? If this can be successfully addressed, we could begin to make progress on the so-called issues between the two countries. All of them are just symptoms. The visceral distrust of India within Pakistan is perhaps the real problem.

I have asked this question in the past, but Pakistani posters on this blog have so far not responded. It may be time to devote a special topic to this “existential threat”.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Wikileaks are an indication of the rift that is developing between Pakistan and the Western powers. Their patience has run out. Now British PM Cameron has openly accused Pakistan of duplicity and double games in addition to mentioning Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorist groups. Cold war alliance and mutual reliance is gone. This means, Pakistan will begin to face harsher measures – its citizens will find it difficult to get visas to Western countries. Business will not be allowed to trade with Pakistan. Slow isloation will start. Media will be unleashed to expose more secrets about Pakistan and blow up negative publicity. Pakistan will be forced to act in a blind rage as a result. This reason will be used to take on Pakistan itself. All this talk of a nuclear armed nation with 160 million people will not hold. Once the country will be put on the brink, Pakistan will be forced to give up its grip on the negotiation settlement in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s attempts to hijack the settlement efforts are being countered. That’s all. If China starts cutting in the middle, the West might start trade restrictions on Chinese products. I think we are heading towards World War III. Things are spiraling inwards towards that.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Ganesh

India is still paying the price of what Indira Gandhi did in 1971. East Pakistan is remembered by all Pakistanis including those who were born decades after that event. In Pakistan we say we will never let another East Pakistan happen. Even if nuclear weapons are to be built and eating grass to save money for the nukes.
Got the point?

on wikileaks, least bothered. I support America, they are following the right policy. When you are a doctor and treating a cancer, though a minor cold should be treated urgently, the longer therapy is needed to treat the cancer. US planted the seeds of this cancer of terrorism (SovietAfghan war), there are no quick fixes. Pakistan can and will act as a partner of US to root out this cancer.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

But Ganesh just wanted to add this to what I stated above:

With foreign forces leaving Afghanistan (If and when) that happens, things should only get better. Taliban are not bad guys, they are compelled to fight, its an insurgency against occupation. With Al-Qaeda out of the picture, a more wise Taliban, a stable Pakistan gives India the opportunity to engage and redefine its policy. If Pakistan and US can work on strategic dialouge and improving the bilateral relationship. Why not India and Pakistan? In a matter of 5 years India and Pakistan can greatly transform their relationship. There can be some compromise on Kashmir, concrete action by Pakistan on terrorism, trade between Indo-Pak, tourism, sports etc.
India needs to be pro-active and take initiative.
Just couple of years back Pakistan was facing extremes of terrorist attacks, future looked dark. But with consistent efforts, Swat and South Waziristan was rescued from millitants, an Afghan policy started to work, lot of things made sense and things started going our way. Today, suicide bombings have stopped, the worst seems to be over. We need some good news on economic affairs, otherwise in other areas things look relaxed. I am giving you perspective of a common Pakistani.
Why India is being left out in current situation in the region? It is because of short sighted policies of Indian leaders. You are so near to Pakistan yet so far. You have never tried to reach out sincerely and then you are unable to understand the concept of existential threat. Actually existential threat is a misperception in many Pakistanis mind about India (since Pak nukes, my opinion India is no threat).
In India you find many idiots who think Pakistan is root cause of terrorism in the world while in reality maybe Pakistan is single most important country in the entire world which can ensure terrorism in the world as a whole can be defeated. Its all about clearing these misperceptions.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

In response to Ganesh Prasad existential issue:
Historically, in its initial days India did try to force Pakistan to merge back with India – economic levers were pulled as most of industry were in India. So every year that Pakistan existed as a standalone country it is a matter of pride for them. While we might have forgotten this, they have not – good for them.

In my Dad’s and Grandad’s generation there is a lot of mixed feelings – love and hate towards Pakistan. Older north Indians especially tend to be all sentimental and emotional towards the country. They constantly call them ” our Pakistani brothers” and feel some kind of emotional attachment to the people.

In my generation on the other hand, most of us do not like Pakistan. On a personal note, let me make this clear – we have no intention of merger or acqusition :) Please stay on your side of the boundry/LOC and away from us. We are no longer the same kind of people. We have evolved in very different ways and it is better for both of us if we stay apart.

Posted by nvrforgetmbai | Report as abusive

@Ganesh, Umair,

You guys, I can guarantee you this, with 1,000% assurance, if Pakistan divorces China and stops all asymmetrical warfare against India, and both parties sit down and talk and work out the differences, there is no reason why Pakistan cannot come out of this as a huge winner, because India would be more than willing to have a long term partnership with Pakistan, that will make it prosper, grow and modernize.

India and Pakistan can face all problems in a regionalized fashion, build the trust to do all that and militantism will not have a home in either Pakistan or India.

The only hurdle and biggest roadblock to regional peace and stopping of militantism is the Pakistani Army itself.

Just think how much Pakistan and India would gain from co-operation on everything. Kashmir would not even be an issue. A more comprehensive water treaty would also go a long way to build trust.

India is willing to share, but pakistan has to unclench its fist and realize that it is in bed with the devil.

This enmity must end at some point. The issues are bigger than any religion or movement, this has to do with the health and welfare of almost 1.4 billion peoples.

Pakistan must divorce China and the Pak Army must divorce militantism.

These are the two biggest roadblocks. India is now in a position to be sharing and giving and would do so, but there has to be a willingness to want true neighbourship and peace with India and there must be a willingness to abandon hate, abandon friendships with the Atheist Chinese and most of all, the Pak military and ISI must reform and mend its ways.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

“In India you find many idiots who think Pakistan is root cause of terrorism in the world while in reality maybe Pakistan is single most important country in the entire world which can ensure terrorism in the world as a whole can be defeated.” Umair

Umair let me start off by saying that in that case I am IDIOT no. 1 followed of course by the rest of the world other than Pakistanis.

While I disagree with the first part I agree with the second bit of the above quoted text. Umair, the only reason why Pakistan is the only country in the world which can curb terrorism is because it is the epicenter. In case you wish that I provide instances please let me know, also how many examples will suffice?

The second part of your premise contradicts the first. One of them has to be wrong.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

@Umair,

BTW….that notorious “Section S” of the ISI would have to be disbanded….it would not be needed anymore, in peace time.

Pakistan is too pre-occupied in maintaining militant strategic depth against India and using any outside enemy against india, that being china adn all of this is becoming extremely counter productive, because despite best efforts of Pakistan, India has continued to become prosperous and grow and modernize, while Pakistan has remained mostly static.

There must be a paradigm shift in pakistan, as you Pakistani’s are too busy wasting so much energy managing perceptions, finding ways to hurt India and not spending enough energy on actually fixing problems at their core.

There is no wisdom in the way that Pakistan has been conducting itself. Wisdom must come.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott

Shoot the messenger is the most common refrain, or spin if you like, for those trying to discredit the leaks. Why not instead try to disprove what the reports say? All that the leaks have done is reconfirm what has been the world’s worst kept secret. The discussion discrediting the leaks will be the same stale repetition, the reports are false, to defame Pakistan, defame the ISI, it happened before Obama, threat to security, its all old hat (thereby implying it isn’t happening now) etc etc; no one, but no one, will attempt to disprove them.

Undoubtedly, the US is not going to change its approach, with Jun 2011 in its sights, followed by second term electionioneering looming a few months thereafter, Obama needs to show his countrymen that he is exiting. The only thing that will change, in my opinion, is that it will become harder now for the US to justify to its citizens payments/aid to Pakistan. Hillary is not going to be coming waving trust deficit checques any longer. The see no eveil, hear no evil, say no evil, (tho; Holbrooke did say evil) days are gone.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

[...] more: On WikiLeaks, Pakistan and Afghanistan; the tip of an old iceberg … Share and [...]

G-W:

@You guys, I can guarantee you this, with 1,000% assurance, if Pakistan divorces China and stops all asymmetrical warfare against India, and both parties sit down and talk and work out the differences, there is no reason why Pakistan cannot come out of this as a huge winner, because India would be more than willing to have a long term partnership with Pakistan, that will make it prosper, grow and modernize.”

—G-W: Sorry to jump in but your 1000% assurance i based upon the big “if” (rather impossible) one that Pakistan divorces China. That too at a time when China is one of the most powerful country and influential as far as permanent member of UNSC. That is not to say they cannot marry India.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

Out of these 91 or 92 thousand reports a very few point towards ISI and even they are not up to date. So these reports are not a cause of concern for Pakistani authorities.

Posted by SZaman88 | Report as abusive

Myra,

As you know these were pulls from JWICS and SIPRnet. These are systems that the US intelligence community uses on a daily basis. It’s the box that sits on their desks.

That means a couple of things. For starters a lot of the reports are just one-off hits. They could immediate after-action reports, or just some preliminary analysis. This stuff can often be wrong. The valuable stuff in the trove is the stuff that’s actually finished product. I am guessing not much of it (if at all) is finished analysis.

Another thing that strikes me about these leaks is how old the stuff is. There’s hundreds of hits on the AfPak region on any high side system everyday. The best they got was 90k from years ago? I assure you that this leak is by far, not a full picture of what the US intelligence community is seeing on the AfPak region.

As for the ISI’s involvement, let’s just say there’s a lot more than 180 piddling reports derived from NDS reports. This isn’t even SIGINT. And I can see at least some of this driving US policy towards Pakistan in the years to come, especially after the US pulls out from Afghanistan. If the US feel that the ISI is both compelling failure in Afghanistan and threatening US national security at home (and after the Shahzad incident that question has entered the discussion), you can bet that US policy towards Pakistan will be redrawn.

That said. If you go through the stash, you’ll also see concerns about Karzai and his pack.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

As long as AFPAK carry on the long spook tradition introduced to fight the USSR, and gross inequalities remain in scociety, the problem would fester and explode in part or as a whole as in India with the Maoist guerilla movement and other communists.

Some cynics may even suggest that Islamic funcdamentalism has been a ‘useful’ antidote introduced by ‘third’ parties (by the usual suspects and proxies as extreme as Israel’s Mossad) as far as Turkey to fight the secularist PKK.

That’s why David Cameron’s born again ‘imoral foreign folicy’ pronouncements such as the “Facing Both Ways” extract sound so hollow if not downright ridiculous.

The entire sharade seems like a ‘Carry On Disastrously’ saga of totally meaningless, short term regional advantages by the No.1 World Power and its accolytes.

Posted by Greque | Report as abusive

India is still paying the price of what Indira Gandhi did in 1971.

==

http://www.genocidebangladesh.org/

What price is India paying??! We would like to know!

25 years of Pak strategy of “bleeding India through thousand cuts” led to Pakistan bleeding with thousand cuts and India getting stronger economically and in diplomatic stature. None of the perceived strategic chess games and perceived “victories” of Pak army/ISI will help in nation building. There are no institutions, educational, technological, industrial infrastructure in Pakistan to build a progressive, viable state. No change in mindset either.

China will keep aiding Pakistan as long as it can to undermine India. But the communists are dictated by ruthless self-interest only, and did not come to Pakistan’s help in 65, 71, 99…Burgeoning economic relationship, trade between India and China will make Pakistan less and less relevant.

This leaves Pakistan the options of printing fake Indian currency and terrorism. But then….read above…

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Umairpk: “In Pakistan we say we will never let another East Pakistan happen. Even if nuclear weapons are to be built and eating grass to save money for the nukes.”

East Pakistan is done. Probably what will happen is not East Pakistan, but Balochistan, Pashtonistan, Sindhu Desh etc. Pakistan has got the nukes. But it has come to the stage of eating grass. Without money to run the country, one cannot keep it cohesive. David Cameron’s remarks should send shivers down the spine of Pakistani dreamers. It is the beginning of the tide turning in a direction opposite to Pakistan. When that happens, your establishments should make a serious decision on cleansing your system entirely off radicals and jihadists. If they do not, your country is going to face more economic hurdles. China card will not help. Expecting China to come in and bail Pakistan out is like expecting Jesus to reappear soon. Your country is burning because of bad choices. The world is turning against your country. If I were you, I’ll be worried about it.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Umair,

Don’t you get tired of repeating the same rhetoric over & over? I’ve been a participant of this blog for over a year and it seems like we’re still stuck in an endless cycle of 1971, nukes, US responsible for all problems etc. I really think that it would serve you well to do some much needed introspection about your nation.
It’s easy to squarely blame India for the creation of Bangladesh but it will take courage to accept that it was your establishment, which was 100% responsible for the conditions which led to Bangladesh. It’s easy to blame the US for the creation of extremism in the region but it will take courage to realize & accept that your establishment deserves a big chunk of that blame. Unless Pakistanis like you accept these truths, you will keep creating more Bangladeshs & won’t be able to eliminate the extremism which is the only “existential threat” to your country. It’s upto you, whether you want to seriously reform your nation or keep engaging in empty & hollow rhetoric. I say the above, not as an Indian or American but just as a fellow-blogger.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Getting back to the topic, in the aftermath of the wikipeaks episode, it’s interesting to see the Republicans starting to adopt a tough stance on Pakistan & calling for the Obama administration to do so as well. Many senior republicans like McCain & Steele have also been critisizing Obama for setting the Afghanistan withdrawal time-line & want it to be rolled back. The Obama admn was already under a lot of pressure vis-a-vis AfPak & wikileaks seem to have accentauted it further.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@”David Cameron’s remarks should send shivers down the spine of Pakistani dreamers”

Classic ‘good cop-bad cop’ routine. US admn is currently the good cop but when it decides to become bad, watch out!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Umair:

@Actually existential threat is a misperception in many Pakistanis mind about India (since Pak nukes, my opinion India is no threat).”

–you also had this mispreception a week ago when I asked you India as not an existential threat question. Good Now you agree that India is not a threat and more importantly you should stick to it.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

“We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.”
David Cameron.

-Come on David, many of our lads in the Army of ‘this country’ have sacrificed their lives in the fight against terror. You are such a hypocrite liar to accuse ‘this country’ of double dealing. And you are part of the British government that flew in a Boeing 747 straight into Kuwait airport during the Gulf war because you wanted to plant an MI5 intelligence team to collect intelligence on Saddam. All those passengers were used as human shields by Iraqi Army, shame on British government. You politicians are such liars you can go to any length. Next time keep your mouth shut. Pakistan must cease all cooperation with Britain on terrorism issues. Your lads are fighting in Afghanistan they must keep it up. We have nothing to do with it, we need to secure Pakistan first.
Lastly, ‘this country’ is called Pakistan, very different from Saddam’s Iraq or helpless Afghanistan. I hope you have no nefarious designs against Pakistan. Because if you do, you will be surprised how Pakistanis will defend Pakistan.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“It should be a relationship based on a very clear message: that it is not right to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror,” Mr Cameron said.

“Democratic states that want to be part of the developed world cannot do that. The message to Pakistan from the US and the UK is very clear on that point.”
David Cameron

-Poor David Cameron, can you tell that to Obama? Can you account for CIA involvement with corrupt dictators around the world over the years? CIA overthrow of foreign governments, drugs? secret black sites? interrogation/rendition centres? prison abuses? I guess all part of practices in the developed world, your standards of developed world are very low according to human standards? Certainly Pakistan does not want to be part of that developed world of Abu Ghraib prison abuse.

FYI CIA and ISI were buddies in Soviet-Afghan war and ISI feels pretty confident what it does and how it does. So while Pakistan might not have relationship with certain terror groups, ISI might have that relationship. And if you think ISI is a force to be reckoned with, send your MI5 and CIA to counter that and don’t maon about it.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Umair,

I don’t think Mr. Cameron will visit Reuters blog to check out your humorous rant directed towards him & nor do I think that it will be forwarded to him, courtesy Reuters. So, I suggest you try emailing to his office directly at: petitions@number10.gov.uk

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

“So while Pakistan might not have relationship with certain terror groups, ISI might have that relationship.” Umair

Do we now have another non-state actor?

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Umair, Myra :

1. firstly in rebuttal to Umairs’s remark about idiot Indians, perhaps Umair has failed to appreciate that majority Indians are of the view that like sun is the source of all the energy in this world, similarly Pakistan is the source of all the terrorists acts in this globe. As per Umair, India is a land of idiots because majority think so.
2. Majority of Indians are also of the view that the reconciliation with Pakistan should be possible only on the condition the Pakistan should shun the terrorism as state policy , they should punish all those involved in various terror acts in India . If Pakistan is victim of terrorism, it is their own creation .
3. There should be referendum in on both sides of Kashmir , under an independent international agency to consider the freedom for people of Kashmir whether they want to join Pakistan or remain independent or want an autonomy under Indian federation . This should be acceptable to POK as well.
4. India should be allowed to continue the development work in Afghanistan , because people of Afghanistan wants it , Pakistan should be refrained from striking Indian targets inside Afghanistan.
5. Pakistan must be refrained to indulge in anti -India bashing, and anti-india references should be eliminated from textbooks.

Posted by manishindia | Report as abusive

Dara:

I was going to write this when I noticed ur post. Hilarious!

“So while Pakistan might not have relationship with certain terror groups, ISI might have that relationship.”
-posted by Umair

Do we now have another non-state actor
-posted by Dara

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

-Do we have another non-state actor?

Probably not, intelligence agencies are very much part of the state, so is the military, bureaucracy, establishment etc. By Pakistan or America I mean the common people or the country as a whole. By ISI or CIA I mean the intelligence agency of the particular country. Intelligence agencies operate in an hierarchical way, national interests are defined by policy makers, those with stake in decision making process devise plans how to achieve the national interests.
Do you idiots think an average tax paying American is not fooled by politicians? Or for that matter an average Pakistani’s rights are not exercised because the government is too corrupt and inefficent. And for you guys if anyone is interested read the recent series “Top Secret America” by Washington Post on the growth of intelligence community in US after 9-11. It looks America is no more a land of liberty and freedom, everytime a CCTV camera is watching you, your cell phone is bugged, your apartment is under surviellence, your name is searched through databases before you board that plane. What is the fuss about if ISI is doing some counter-intelligence work to safeguard Pakistan’s interest? Its not just the CIA having authority to do what it likes.

-@ Mortal: I never wrote with an intention that Cameroon will read my remarks, I addressed him to let it be known how a common Pakistani like me thinks about this (dont give a sh*t about what he said). I am entitled to express my opinion in any way I like. FrEEdom :)f expression!

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Umair,

You’re all over the place with your last comment; corruption, politicians, CIA, ISI, civil liberties in the US etc.

But I gather, what you’re trying to say is that if CIA has a right to install surveillance cameras in public places, wiretap phones of terror suspects & mark airplane passanger lists for terror suspects, all in order to prevent terrorists from blowing up our cities & killing our civilians then ISI has every right to sponsor terrorism against the soldiers of it’s “allies” as well as to target civilians of it’s neighbours.
Great analogy!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

“So while Pakistan might not have relationship with certain terror groups, ISI might have that relationship”
-posted by Umairpk

“Probably not, intelligence agencies are very much part of the state, so is the military, bureaucracy, establishment etc”

Posted by Umairpk

So, which one is it? Are they state actors or non-state actors?

It seems, like your establishment, you’re also having a problem figuring that out :)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

I have never understood the Pakistan affection for China. How has China helped other than basically prevent utter collapse in Pakistan?

They don’t give any real aid to Pakistan. Where was the Chinese chequebook been in all the recent turmoil? And while they might share some technology, most of the time they sell weapons to Pakistan (and that too at full prices). Invariably, the quality is usually so poor that the weapons platforms they do sell are then completely re-kitted with Western gear.

Make no mistake about it. This is not some US-Israel or US-Japan or US-Korea type of special relationship. If you go to Beijing, the Chinese will almost never want to discuss Pakistan. All they care about these days is Africa. Pakistan for them is just something that has to be “managed”.

If ever US aid dollars dry up, and Pakistanis can’t shop at the giant Chinese arms bazaar, they’ll quickly discover how much of an all-weather ally the Chinese really are.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

Do you idiots think an average tax paying American is not fooled by politicians?-UmairPK

Don’t assume that the rest of the world is as cynical about democracy as you and your countrymen are.

Our politicians are by and large quite honest (despite all the various complaints about them…see Churchill’s quotes on the matter) and if they do lie they are usually called out by all the various independent audit groups/agencies in government or various civil society groups.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

And for you guys if anyone is interested read the recent series “Top Secret America” by Washington Post on the growth of intelligence community in US after 9-11. It looks America is no more a land of liberty and freedom, everytime a CCTV camera is watching you, your cell phone is bugged, your apartment is under surviellence, your name is searched through databases before you board that plane. What is the fuss about if ISI is doing some counter-intelligence work to safeguard Pakistan’s interest? Its not just the CIA having authority to do what it likes.
-UmairPK

Is it just you or is the Pakistani education system terrible at reading comprehension?

Go read the article again. There was no privacy concerns expressed in the article. The phones of average citizens aren’t being tapped, nor are they being followed or put under surveillance and theres no CCTV anywhere (London maybe, but certainly not common in North America at all).

The primary complaint of that article was that the growth of intelligence “industry” creates bloat and waste and unjustifiable government expenditures all in the name of fighting terror.

But I guess you just read into the article what you wanted to right?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@Mortal1

Obama will pull out US troops pretty close to the timetable. As soon as they can negotiate something half decent.

But you can bet that his administration is also crafting a new grand strategy to deal with terrorism emanating from Pakistan. And this will address every aspect of that problem, from AQ operating in the region to trans-national criminal organizations to even the ISI’s supposed duplicity.

The key to implementing such a plan, though, is to get the troops home. That opens up other policy tools like diplomatic or economic levers.

Heck, they don’t even need anything covert in the region. Unless the Chinese want to carry 160 million Pakistanis on their backs (which they’ve shown no inclination to), Pakistan is very, very susceptible to economic pressure.

The Pakistanis know this is coming. Just look at the rate their elites are buying up residences and moving assets overseas. They gotta get it done before the inevitable sanctions start.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

And rightly so, who is to say this leak is not the doing of the CIA and the US-Admin. – Buddhaissmiling

It’s not. Usually leaks consist of finished products consisting of briefs and analysis.

Never before has hits from SIPRNet (secret level network) and JWICS (top secret level network) been leaked before. These are unanalyzed hits mostly. It’s kinda like the news that a wire service puts out. Raw reporting.

That stuff is almost never leaked and certainly not intentionally, because if it does contain names and places, lives could be put at risk.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@”I have never understood the Pakistan affection for China. How has China helped other than basically prevent utter collapse in Pakistan?”
Posted by kEiThZ

What drives Pakistan’s affection for China is what drives Pakistan towards pretty much everything else: Their hatred for India. Pakistanis love China primarily due to past Indo-China hostilities & conflict and they can’t get enough of the fact that the Indians were humbled by the Chinese in the 62′ war. If India & China had very good relations today (similar to India-US relations), you can bet the Pakistanis wouldn’t be thumping as hard on the chests of the Chinese, as they do.

@”The key to implementing such a plan, though, is to get the troops home. That opens up other policy tools like diplomatic or economic levers.”

I agree. Once the last US/NATO soldier is air lifted from Afghanistan, the attitude of US & allies towards Pakistan will dramatically change, resulting in severe economic & diplomatic consequences for Pakistan.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Keithz, Mortal,

There has been too much focus on Afghanistan. If there is one true fact that must be accepted as reality is that the condition and political landscape of Afghanistan is a direct tie to Pakistan. Afghanistan, what happens there and what goes on there, is actually a “threat meter” showing what is actually going on in Pakistan.

All along, the U.S. and the West have been in the wrong country. They should be in Pakistan, that is where the real war on terror actually is and that is where the fight against Al-Qaeda and the militants and Rogue agents from Pakistan must be won on the ground.

That said, the real mission in Afghanistan, as it has shown time and again, is not really Afghanistan, the real mission is actually in Pakistan.

You can pour gold on to the streets of Kabul and nothing will change there without fixing Pakistan.

It is time that the West gets out of Afghanistan and actually goes where the real mission is:Pakistan.

All this talk about face saving exit out of Afghanistan is perfectly bonafied, as long as the west targets Pakistan’s regions that harbour terrorists.

A deal must be struck with the Pak Army to allow foreign troops on Pakistani soil to root out all militant factions and all strategic depth miscreants that threaten the stability of Afghanistan and India.

Since the Pak Army is unable or can’t do it, or won’t, the talk must be hard and direct with Pakistan, “move out of the way…..we are coming in and here to stay”……..

Pakistani’s are too deluded and warped to face reality and too screwed up to fix pakistan themself.

58% of Pakistani’s believe that India is a threat as opposed to 25% who think the Taliban are the enemy, the same Taliban that killed 1000 Pakistani’s and Ahmadis and other Shia sects this year.

I forsee with time, with regards to the war on terror, war theatre will be significantly opened up to include all of Pakistan, once the west draws down in July 2011 from Afghanistan. Pakistan will be forced to comply.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Further to my comment, nuclear blackmail won’t work on the hand that feeds Pakistan.

Once Islamabad is bent over a barrel, they will bend and fold and then Islamabad will start to dismantle its home made Frankenstein and the west will be there to see the last militant taken out.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Pakistani Army is truly playing with fire.

Oddly enough, the closest thing Pakistan will have to a friend, once the Americans are on Pakistani soil, is India.

China cares damn about Pakistan and will do little to get in the way of the west, if the west opens the war on terror to extend over Pakistan.

Event the Chinese will be vetoed at the UN security council by the other members. They will not be able to stop the west, if the west chooses to finish the war on terror in Pakistan.

Things will continue to get uglier and uglier and Pakistan’s future will become shakier than ever as continued ties to the Taliban and undermining of the Afghan missions continues by Pakistan.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@keithz, others,

Do you agree with the assertion, that NATO is in the wrong country? Should NATO be on Pakistani soil to root out militant ism and terror groups, since Pakistani Army is incapable or unwilling to do so?

You could pump trillions into Pakistan and terror would not stop being produced in Pakistan, it would become a business motto with different groups vying for power to make extorting aid monies and turning it into a financially lucrative business venture.

With regards to the Chinese, they don’t care less on the war on terror, as long as the Uighers are quiet, that is all they care.

I think David Cameron has been saying what most in the political think tank community have been saying quietly all along and the same thing that alot of NATO military Generals know to be true.

Pakistan is willing to sacrifice its soldiers on a continual basis, in small numbers, as long as the war on terror can be maintained and drawn out, that is what draws the largest amount of cash for Pakistan, while at the same time, this half assed war they keep drawing out, keeps breeding more militantism and more innocent Pakistani’s dying.

With such a large army, so inept at policing their own territory. I can understand that if Pak Army cannot beat militants, the though of India, must strike terror into their hearts.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (1979- 1988)USSR defeat
US invasion of Afghanistan (2001-2011) USA & NATO defeated

After US suffers the defeat and leaves on July 2011, I dont see they will have the stomach to face Pakistan. So far super powers have been given a tough time in this region. Message is clear, don’t mess with us, otherwise you will be in trouble. All this talk of foreign forces on Pakistani soil is complete rubbish. No one can set foot here, the rules of engagement are clear. Give us actionable intelligence and we will conduct counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan ourselves. Otherwise if you try to enter forcefully into our home as an intruder, you will be roasted like a chicken in a radioactive oven. Becoz this country happens to be a new clear power. :) Peace

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Let me narrate a story interesting one, maybe it would make sense and feel free to add.

Once upon a time there were two friends Pakistan and America. In an uneven relationship, one rich and a super power, otherone quite not so. Both worked together on some joint projects. After which America left its friend Pakistan, imposed sanctions on it, undermined its security, blocked F-16 jets and said you can have wheat for the amount of millions of dollars paid for the jets but you won’t get those expensive toys. good enough. Life went on. The friendship deteriorated. Suddenly changes happened. america once again needed its frined. This time around Pakistan’s mood was different, skeptical, there was a clear sense of betrayal. Lack of trust. Pakistan was hurt, paranoid, went on to build some dangerous toys to make sure no one mess with it. America this time told Pakistan, look we were friends and always remain the same. Lets forget the past, but Pakistan was one intelligent guy. It said ok, fair enough lets get down to business. Pakistan this time played the game opposite, America now started to feel betrayed, complaining and moaning. So be it, Pakistan does not care, because:

AMERICA HAS NO FRIENDS OR ENEMIES Maybe so does Pakistan.

Golden words of Henry Kissinger.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

*AMERICA HAS NO FRIENDS OR ENEMIES **(only interests)** Maybe so does Pakistan.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

……crazy story part-2
Fast forward July 2011, America is furios, tells its friend I always helped you gave you money for home improvements, that nice lawn, that driveway, that garrage is all of my money. You have betrayed me and worked against me. If I can give you money, i can stop it as well, infact take back and further beat you. I have some nasty friends real bullies. We will assault you and later you will be responsible for it. Pakistan said look, i always asked my children to respect you. Many of my sons lost their lives fighting in your cause. Is this the way to treat friends then get lost, i had bought some guns I will take them out and oil them to ensure they work properly. And remember, I have all the right of self defense if you ever attack me. choice is yours, we can still make things work, otherwise the fighting option is always there. I have many other friends besides you, we can do without you. America was really angry now, and said ok, finally now you will have to face great consequences. Pakistan told its friend china and China said dont worry I am already looking for some ass to kick. Both Pakistan and china are now looking for some ass to kick, the American and Indian ones remain priority no. 1
to be continued……..

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

NOTE: The above story is just based on fiction, any characters, names or places bearing resemblence to real life are purely coincidental.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@I have never understood the Pakistan affection for China. How has China helped other than basically prevent utter collapse in Pakistan?”
-Posted by kEiThZ

– Pakistan affection for China is driven by “enemy’s enemy is my friend”.

Building the “Islamic bomb”, cheap quality weapons, China’s bad suggestion to Pakistan (“yes, you can”) to attack India in 1965, China a permanent memmber of UNSC and Kashmir issue in UN—is all India-centric relationship.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

@Umair,

Good luck with that fantasy. If the Chinese didn’t give you aid recently and didn’t back you in any of the wars with India, what makes you think they’ll suddenly have a change of heart?

To the Chinese, Pakistan has zero strategic value beyond being a stick with which to beat the Indians. If ever India decides its going to start playing that game and tieing up with the South-East Asian countries to counter China, you’ll quickly see the Chinese strike a bargain with India to stay out of each other’s sphere of influence (translation: abandon Pakistan). Luckily for you guys, the Indians aren’t used to playing great power politics yet.

Do you really think Pakistan is more important to the Chinese than Taiwan or stability on the Korean peninsula or relations with Japan or Vietnam? You obviously have very little understanding of the Chinese mindset.

As for feeling betrayed. You look at it as a game. How disgusting. So harbouring terror groups that kill our citizens is just part of a some grand game to you right? Don’t worry, we’re now entering the second match of the game. Just like the Americans learned during the Cold War that it would take economic to defeat the Soviets, not military might, they’ll now take their lessons from Afghanistan and recalibrate their strategy. And if Pakistan refuses to act as allies should, then it will be dealt with accordingly.

For all your bravado about the ISI, I’d say its pretty embarassing that they really can’t hide their activities as well as they say. The Wikileaks shows that. And this isn’t even the juicy stuff. If you think the US intelligence community (and it’s not just the CIA…HUMINT is such a small part of the intelligence picture) hasn’t figured out the ISID completely, you’re sorely mistaken.

The challenge for them is to figure out how to use that information to turn the ISID around. They have no interest in destroying the ISID or damaging Pakistan. Just in turning around your state institutions that support terrorists.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@G-W

Such simplistic notions don’t do anybody any good. NATO isn’t going to go to war with Pakistan. Let’s set aside that notion already.

That’s not to say covert ops aren’t being undertaken in Pakistan to deal with terrorists. I would find it surprising if there weren’t special forces running around the FATA. Sometimes with the knowledge of Pakistanis, sometimes without.

But more long term, the only people who can eliminate terrorism emanating from Pakistan is Pakistanis. There is now an active discussion on about what should happen after the US/NATO pullout from Afghanistan.

And it’s not as simplistic or easy or as black and white as you make it. Economic sanctions could be applied to Pakistan, but then would they really tackle terrorism? And what if economic sanctions end up hurting and impoverishing the Pakistani populace, further radicalizing them.

In reality, efforts will be made to target sanctions well enough that they impact the institutions that support the terrorists. For example, allow PA officers to continue training in the west (we don’t want to radicalize them like before), but then don’t grant visas to them or their families later (they might be more motivated to fix terrorism if they have to live in a terrorist infested country). Target all the Army’s businesses with sanctions. But leave their truly civilian counterparts untouched. Seek the detention of officials like Hamid Gul. Etc.

Some policies are already happening. Visas and immigration to other countries for Pakistani nationals is already getting tougher and tougher. And if you’ve spent anything more than a few minutes in Southern Punjab (outside Lahore), the FATA or the NWFP, you can expect a thorough grilling for any visa application. And this is not just the West. A Pashtun applying for a visa to China from his home in Dir, will find himself under similar scrutiny. The Chinese are equally worried about Islamist terrorist operating from Pakistan or Afghanistan into Xinjiang. Such are the times.

Nobody who works this file wishes to see all this happen. We do not wish harm for this country and its beautiful people. But security interests dictate that terrorism emanating from Pakistan must be contained. And doing that may well require policies that might adversely impact all Pakistanis. One would hope that the Pakistani government understands this and can show a sincere effort to turn the ship around so this outcome does not come to pass.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@keithz,

I didn’t think that NATO was going to fight the official state Army or anything like that.

Rather, a harder more in your face approach to send a message to an ally that is lacking the motivation to stay coherent, to be honest and quit using U.S. taxpayer money, which is inadvertantly getting rerouting to train Taliban to kill American Soldiers, at least that is what the intel is telling us.

My view is that if NATO had a presence on Pak soil and actually used a sledgehammer to surgically root and meet out militant like the Hekmatyar and Haqqani’s, it is a sure fire way to directly and physically dismantle all Militant strategic depth in Pakistan against India and Afghanistan.

Since Pakistan is not willing to do it, or can’t, let NATO take care of it. Many deals have been struck with the PA, I see this as just another deal to make, but one that will have more direct action on the Militant networks.

The current situation allows all the militant king makers to keep residing in Pakistan and Pakistan continues to be the sanctuary.

This is not a simple notion, but real true solutions have to result from simple ideas, although their implementation and execution maybe complex.

Pakistani’s have suffered enough at the hands of militants, and extremists and mismanagement of their country by the elites.

A big brother in the backyard, maybe just enough stick to motivate the Pakistani’s to make true change. But sadly, this would require co-operation of the Army, as well as some arm bending.

It is frustrating to see points of view in Pakistan, where people like Umair never acknowledge the Punjabi Mafia’s economic grip on the country and unfair distribution of wealth. In the after breath, Umair talks about sacrifices against militantism and in the same breath he continues to say it is Pakistan’s right to use militantism or such measures to protect itself, out of National security. Well, I am sorry, you can’t have it both ways, man.

All I am saying at the end of the day, is that NATO needs to quit outsourcing army work to countries that deliver half heartedly and turn outsourcing work into a life-time job.

When I say the war theatre must be expanded, I do not mean that civilians or civilian institutions or Pak Army institutions should be harmed in any way.

All I am saying is that perhaps the Army needs to take a step aside, watch, take some rest and let NATO come in a cleanup the terrorist training camps, the militant networks and suicide madrasas that pervert the mind of the youth.

Currently, we are sending young soldiers, the children of U.S. taxpayers to die in Afghanistan and giving billions of Aid from U.S. taxpayers, which ends up paying to train the Taliban, who are killing those young soldiers.

I am sorry Keithz, creating tougher VISA restrictions and targeting businesses is not going to get things done. It is not going to stop NATO soldiers from getting killed, nor is it going to curb militantism.

You need to goto the top of the food chain, if this problem is to get truly fixed and that level of engagement is completely lacking. We are busy picking up the peanut shells from the ground, when in fact we should be at the front door of the peanut factory.

Nobody has a sincere desire to fix this problem, only to sustain it, draw it out as long as possible, befuddle and obfuscate.

At times Keithz, the ridiculouslessness of this all, it seems not all wars are meant to ever be won, but merely sustained, drawn out with a half-azzed effort.

My salute as always will goto the poor soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan who always follow orders faithfully.

Pakistan has no desire to fix things with India, but would rather draw out militantism and assymetric war with India as long as it possibly can, because it suits their business model and this mindset must change. Innocents will always suffer. Nobody has the political or military will to say the things that need to be said, nor do the things that need to be done.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Keith:
“As for feeling betrayed. You look at it as a game. How disgusting. So harbouring terror groups that kill our citizens is just part of a some grand game to you right?”

-I didnt mean to be insensitive here, is Pakistan harboring Al-Qaeda? No. Haqqani network? maybe yes. Reason: retain influence in Afghanistan, because it is vital for Pakistan’s security interests. Think as a Pakistani, what are we supposed to do. Many of our soldiers, ISI officers, civilians died in terrorist attacks. Indirectly US pushed us towards a civil war, Pakistan faces unprecedented challenges. And tell me one thing, US can come from thousands of miles afar and protect its interests in the region, why is Pakistan not allowed to pursue its interests in the immediate neighbourhood? Is it because US is a super power? If there is no humility, mark my words American empire’s end is near.
As for the sacrifices of Canadian Forces and support of public for the effort in Afghanistan. We look at it with respect, but you guys need to ask the difficult questions and look for answers. Is the war in Afghanistan worth it? And is the destablization of Pakistan worth it? Your own people acknowledge Pakistan’s critical help in successful counter-terror ops against Al-Qaeda. But Pakistan has limitation on what help can be provided.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Keithz,

I can appreciate your assertion to use indirect methods such as sanctions, visa restrictions and business restrictions to create a paradigm shift in Pakistan, but these things will not work.

Only a direct type of method will work. I don’t have any love for the Bush_Dick_Colon team and Richard Armitage, but look how quick Mushie jumped on the U.S. bandwagon, as soon as Richard Armitage did direct talking with Mushie, it generated results.

We need more direct talking and more direct results. The status quo is becoming ineffective and merely allowing the militants to retreat into deep storage for future use.

Pakistan has to realize that it can’t claim to be fighting the war on terror on one end, while training Taliban on the other end to undermine NATO.

Why are we permitting this type of nefarious behavior from an ally, while our children are getting butchered in Afghanistan and Pakistani soldiers are getting butchered?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Umair, so you acknowledge that Haqqani is being Harboured, that is the problem.

You just don’t get it…do you? There is no difference between the Taliban that is killing the precious Pak soldiers and the Taliban that kill NATO soldiers…that is the whole fxxken problem here.

You Pakistani’s don’t own Afghanistan, what right do you have meddling in the affairs of Afghanistan?

You keep harping about Pakistani sacrifices, you Pakistani’s created these terrorists for God’s sake, how can you claim to Fighting one type of terrorist, while creating another type? Do you get it yet? Terrorism in any form is unnacceptable.

Yes, we in the west still call the Haqqani’s terrorists and you must divorce yourself from this and this type of thinking, otherwise Pakistan will be called out at one point and directly labelled as a state sponsor of terrorism.

There is no distinction between good or bad Taliban, they both serve the same master. How can you be made to understand this simple concept?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Umair,

You can’t keep talking about the destablization of pakistan and keep harbouring terrorists…what one moral basis is there for harbouring evil people like the Haqqani’s and Hekmatyar’s.

These pakistani trainied militants have been involved in the Killing of NATO soldiers. Please provide me a bonafied reason for pakistan being allowed to train militants that endanger NATO soldiers.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Umairpk,
Your incessant posting makes me wonder. Clearly your world-view has no supporters outside of Pakistani forum members. What exactly do you hope to achieve by posting opinions which only conform with the negative stereotypes of Pakistanis?

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

BTW Umair,

I often hear many Pakistani politicians call terrorism a cancer that is tearing through Pakistan.

Why is that Pakistan is comfortable spreading the same type of cancer against India and Afghanistan?

This is unacceptable to the civilized world, do you finally understand who the problem is here and why NATO is in Afghanistan and why India has to spend billions on defending itself from militants crossing the LOC?

The cancer has its source from your country.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@”Is Pakistan harboring Al-Qaeda? No. Haqqani network? maybe yes. Reason: retain influence in Afghanistan”
Posted by Umairpk

That kind of thinking is the biggest problem with Pakistan. “It’s OK to support Haqqani, Afghan Taliban etc because it’s for ‘strategic depth’”. “It’s OK to support LeT, JeM etc because it’s for ‘strategic depth’”. It seems, you guys still haven’t realized that this ‘strategic depth’ will be the cause of a ‘stratigic death’ of your country. If you guys truly want to rid your country of terrorism & radicalism, you can not support any terrorist and/or militant outfit PERIOD.

BTW, your lame li’l “story” would be a lot more amusing if you present it as a joke, which it actually is.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

What I just commented above, is reiterated in this Dawn editorial:

“However, Pakistan must look inwards and see why it lends itself to such criticism and epithets (reffering to comments by David Cameron). To wit, the establishment must not give the impression that it makes a difference between good militants and bad ones. All terrorists kill without mercy and must face justice. The war on terror is Pakistan’s own war, but there is a general impression that Pakistan still supports groups like the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-i-Taiba. Pakistan needs to dispel this impression by taking necessary action, and not by resorting to platitudes. We must not only come clean, we must appear to be so in our dealings.”

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mortal
In return of Pakistan giving up support of Haqqani’s and LeT, is India also willing to some sort of compromise and resolution of Kashmir dispute? Oh, I am sorry there is no dispute in Kashmir, it is already an integral part of India. I am sorry.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

A hostile India percieved as a significant threat on the eastern front leaves Pakistan with no option but to have a friendly or atleast neutral Afghanistan on the western front and minimizing the possibility of strategic encirclement.
And lets accept one ground reality, Taliban are a major player in Afghanistan. They cannot be ignored, can there be engagement with them? nudge them from militancy, give them a role in rebuilding the war-torn country. We all need a happy ending, problem is everyone is working for its own interests. Pakistan has come under a lot of scrutiny, questions are asked on whose side Pakistan is? Pakistan is on its own side, nothing more, nothing less. There should be nothing wrong with it.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

GW:
“what one moral basis is there for harbouring evil people like the Haqqani’s and Hekmatyar’s.”

-you need a serious history lesson, Jalalud Din Haqqani visited white house and met President Ronald Reagen. surprise isn’t it? So was Ronald Reagen also evil, because he hailed Haqqani as a freedom fighter. Those who you are calling evil people are one time friends of America. But times have changed now and people like you don’t know the history ironically. Then put the blame on Pakistan and move on. How stupid?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“The Pakistan army under Gen. Kayani is sponsoring a large-scale, covert guerrilla war through Afghan proxies – whose strongholds in Baluchistan and Waziristan are flourishing. Their mission in Afghanistan is to keep Pashtun nationalism down, India out and Mr. Karzai weak.”

See article by globe and mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/worl d/the-huge-scale-of-pakistans-complicity  /article1657931/

–>@Umair, it may have been at one time the haqqani’s served to thwart the Godless communists, but then again, Pakistan is working hand in claw with the Chinese.

But those Haqqani’s and others like them are not pursuing their own agenda of power building, corrupt to the core subverting the leaders of Afghanistan, while at one time the Haqqani’s fought for the Afghans, now they strive to enslave Afghans under oppressive 7th century Islam.

Umair, “Strategic Depth” is a code word for “militantism” or “terrorism”.

If what the article says above is true, your Pak Army leaders are advocating terrorism.

You Pakistani’s may have helped the west keep the Soviets out, but as you Pak’s existed Afghanistan, you left them with something much worse, that being the Taliban.

Strategic depth is unacceptable. Put all the chips out on the table. Historic reasons to maintain militantism against India is not bonafied anymore, nor needed.

India is no threat. The biggest killer of Pakistani’s is Taliban, Militants and natural disasters and plane crashes. Pakistani’s despise the Taliban and call them a cancer, yet refuse to acknowledge the LeT, Haqqani, Hekmatyar, JeM and such groups as terrorists, but in fact sees them as “assets”.

Well those “assets” are terrorists to India, NATO, Afghanistan, the United States and the world.

Call it “strategic depth”, the excuses and historic reason scapegoats are running out, as Pakistan desperate to keep its militant toys, creates all sorts of elaborate and creative descriptive words to describe their sanitized version and use of the word terrorism.

Strategic depth blackmail and nuclear blackmail?….after taking billions of USD taxpayer dollars, India has not lifted a finger against pakistan and still Billions of USD taxpayers dollars getting funneled to maintain war against India and subvert the Afghan mission.

Punjabistani’s from Pakistan have made it a business to never finish wars, but to keep them going on for ever and forever, as I said earlier, the whole purpose of that, is to keep the roti, meat and dal moving on the dinner tables in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Rest of the pakistani’s can goto hell, for all they care, as long as their financial core interests are prolonged and maintained, any fictitious lie or reason to scare people into keeping them in power will do.

The excuses are running out and Pakistan is running out of places to hide.

The stories and truth Umair, are all coming out one by one.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

India was always open to a peaceful diplomatic resolution on Kashmir & this was proven by the near-resolution reached on Kashmir, between Manmohan Singh & Musharraf. But unfortunately, the political climate in Pakistan changed, resulting in regime change & that deal fell through. One thing that Pakistan & Pakistanis like you need to realize is that the only way Kashmir will ever get resolved, will be diplomatically. India will not be forced into resolving Kashmir by means of intimidation, force or terrorism. You have tried doing that for over 20 yrs & it has resulted in nothing except bleeding & self-destruction of Pakistan, itself. Maybe, it’s time for you to try something else.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Mirzausman, get your deranged militant head out of your azz.

–>What part of my statement is untrue? I was trying to make a point that indians are not killers of pakistan’s that there are much more dangerous enemies of Pakistan, within Pakistan, killing Pakistani’s.

What part of my statement indicated joy at the death of Pakistani’s, you brain dead paranoid, fool?

For the official record, I salute every Pakistani Soldier lost in the line of duty for serving their nation and may God(allah) bless and give comfort to every Ahmadi Victim, every suicide attack victim and any other innocent Pakistan who has lost their life in a needless and painful manner may God give them peace.

In a previous posting I also gave my condolences to the victims of the Air accident near Islamabad. I felt deep sorrow for the poor grieving families and the victims, nobody should have to go through that.

Countless thousands of Pakistani soldiers and citizens have died since 911 and India was not responsible for those deaths, but actually militants inside Pakistan.

My question, who is gaining here, by keeping India the bad guy, when India itself is a victim of Pakistani terrorism? Why do you hate Indians when your own state agencies created the terrorism that is killing Pakistani’s?

What blame does India have in any of this?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Your concern is a charade. In a thousand other posts, you fantasize about suffocating pakistanis with economic blockades, sanctions etc.

you defend wholesale murder of kashmiris by your precious indian government.

your deceptive condolences mean nothing.

Posted by mirzausman1 | Report as abusive

My question, who is gaining here, by keeping India the bad guy, when India itself is a victim of Pakistani terrorism? Why do you hate Indians when your own state agencies created the terrorism that is killing Pakistani’s?

— Get it out of your head that India is an innocent victim. you stole our land, you deprived us of our territory, you murder our family in kashmir… you refuse to have meaningful negotation yet you still claim the upper moral ground. having been decimated by might throughout your history, you now understanding nothing but violence with your mughal/british-gifted slumdia.

Posted by mirzausman1 | Report as abusive

[...] all the noise about the war in Afghanistan over the last week, including the WikiLeaks uproar and a spat between Pakistan and Britain over remarks made by Prime Minister David Cameron about [...]

Mortal1 makes some very valid points, and my sense is that the current deadlock is because many parties believe that time is on their side and there is no need to negotiate. This is a fallacy and a real pity.

The Pakistanis believe that the Americans are going to leave the region soon and even in the worst case, the southern part of Afghanistan is going to be ruled by their friends the Taliban, so they’ll get the strategic depth they need against India. The grievances they list are very legitimate from their point of view – that violence came to the AfPak region as a result of US support for an anti-Soviet insurgency, that Pakistan is paying the price for the humanitarian crisis caused by that conflict and has not been adequately compensated for it even by the billions that it receives in US aid, that India is the oppressor of fellow Muslims in Kashmir and an existential threat to Pakistan, therefore what choice do they have but to play both sides of the game? The world must understand their position, and in any case, what can the world do when Pakistan holds all the cards?

Paradoxically, India also believes that things are moving in its direction, even if Pakistan gains in the short term from an American withdrawal. India’s economy is growing much faster than Pakistan’s, widening the gap between the two countries and raising hopes that India can do to Pakistan what Reagan’s US did to the Soviet Union (i.e., bankrupt them through increased defence spending that the other side cannot match). More importantly, the rest of the world now seems to be coming around to India’s point of view regarding Pakistan’s support for terror and its basic untrustworthiness.

So it looks like we are in for a period of confrontation and uncertainty caused by intransigent participants who believe things are moving their way and seem unwilling to recognise their own blind spots.

I think Pakistan is in a worse pickle. They should not ignore the very real change in sentiment among ordinary people in Western countries. As TV host Jon Stewart said recently about American money being channelled back through the ISI to their Afghan opponents, “We seem to have put a hit out on ourselves.” This sentiment is reflected in the many online comments that we can read. Pakistan has lost the popular argument in the West. Government action may now follow because of a new-found popular support. True, it will not take the form of a sudden military about-face and an invasion of Pakistan, but the screws will start tightening in a number of ways. Pakistanis should not be complacent about this.

India’s blind spot is perhaps Kashmir. It is becoming increasingly clear that India cannot hold Kashmir indefinitely without continuing escalation in violence, Pakistan or no Pakistan. There is a genuine separatist movement raging there, and India will have to do the unpalatable and get out at some stage. It will not be an easy decision for a number of reasons, the chief being the perception of defeat and the emboldening of India’s enemies.

So while attitudes harden and both sides dig in for a war of attrition, a human tragedy is starting to play out, and many thousands of people will suffer in the months and years to come. Can we think about possible solutions to this tragic situation, without locking ourselves into belligerent positions?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Mirza:

“Your concern is a charade. In a thousand other posts, you fantasize about suffocating pakistanis with economic blockades, sanctions etc.

you defend wholesale murder of kashmiris by your precious indian government.

your deceptive condolences mean nothing.”

–>People like you are the problem. You eternally hate and think everybody hates you. Your psychology is warped and deranged and you feel nothing for non-muslims…so much so in fact not one Pakistani here acknowledging the murder of Bengali Hindus..do you care to be different?

BTW I wholeheartedly condemned dozens of times, any violence by Indian soldiers against Kashmiris who do not engage in violence or terrorism.

Your selective memory is showing your collective desire to maintain one sided view.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

“Ganesh Prasad”

Taqiyya ?? ???

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Two good articles that appeared recently:

http://nyti.ms/cdaX6O
http://bit.ly/d5v6Nw

They are both by respected Pakistani intellectuals/journalists who make good arguments about what needs to be done now. I get the sense that the ball is the court of the Pakistani military establishment. They need to somehow rid themselves of the India fixation as it is not in their own best interests. Sometimes, one needs to take a step back in order to move several steps forward, but this requires boldness and imagination.

Kashmir is not Pakistan’s problem anymore. It has become a self-sustaining movement and Pakistan is only delaying a solution by remaining an involved party. India will not soften on Kashmir as long as Pakistan remains an active player.

The only way out is for the Pakistani establishment to come to a border agreement and reduce tensions with India. Kashmir will be solved when India sees it as a problem of its own, not as a Pakistani weapon.

Putting in place a virtuous circle of reducing suspicion and increased trust will get us out of our regional quagmire. Otherwise, we are condemned to a long period of violence, mutual recriminations and a miserable life for ordinary citizens throughout the region. Only the Pakistani military can break this deadlock (if they have the vision).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

(Post failed, retrying.)

Two good articles that appeared recently:

http://nyti.ms/cdaX6O
http://bit.ly/d5v6Nw

They are both by respected Pakistani intellectuals/journalists who make good arguments about what needs to be done now. I get the sense that the ball is the court of the Pakistani military establishment. They need to somehow rid themselves of the India fixation as it is not in their own best interests. Sometimes, one needs to take a step back in order to move several steps forward, but this requires boldness and imagination.

Kashmir is not Pakistan’s problem anymore. It has become a self-sustaining movement and Pakistan is only delaying a solution by remaining an involved party. India will not soften on Kashmir as long as Pakistan remains an active player.

The only way out is for the Pakistani establishment to come to a border agreement and reduce tensions with India. Kashmir will be solved when India sees it as a problem of its own, not as a Pakistani weapon.

Putting in place a virtuous circle of reducing suspicion and increased trust will get us out of our regional quagmire. Otherwise, we are condemned to a long period of violence, mutual recriminations and a miserable life for ordinary citizens throughout the region. Only the Pakistani military can break this deadlock (if they have the vision).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Seekeroftruth,

Your comment is too cryptic. What did you mean by it?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

[...] all the noise about the war in Afghanistan over the last week, including the WikiLeaks uproar and a spat between Pakistan and Britain over remarks made by Prime Minister David Cameron about [...]

Ganesh Ji,

“It is becoming increasingly clear that India cannot hold Kashmir indefinitely without continuing escalation in violence, Pakistan or no Pakistan.”

Really? How did you arrive at the conclusion that separatist movement will be same w/o Pakistani complicity?

No offense but can I request you to try to visit the make-shift camps for Kashmiri Pundits for once and may be then talk about the “genuine separatist movement”?

I wonder how people like you would react to similar freedom movements in future for Hyderabads and Aligarhs and then may be Lucknow’s Hazratganjs. All those future separatist movements will be as “genuine” as something can get in your books, I can assure! Will it suffice for moral satisfaction of your kind when Indian map starts to look like swiss cheese?

…and I had thought I could stay away from this repetitive stuff. :(

PS: Human tragedy is not STARTING to play out now, it started long long time back and the reasons are too obvious to mention here.

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

Seth said:

> How did you arrive at the conclusion that separatist movement will be same w/o Pakistani complicity?

I don’t know for sure, but from the extreme youth of the people getting killed in Kashmir in police firing, I sense that we have lost the “hearts and minds” of yet another generation. Kashmir is beginning to look like a lost cause, and it shouldn’t be considered unpatriotic to say it. Many thinking Indians have begun to think this way. It’s also a bit self-deceiving to think that only Pakistani support is causing the Kashmiri agitation. Their weapons are stones, not guns. Sounds like a popular uprising to me. Why doesn’t India save the billions of dollars that it pours into Kashmir every year and improve conditions in other states and regions?

I also don’t buy the domino theory that if Kashmir goes, other regions will follow. It’s a bogeyman without any evidence to support it.

For a democracy, we don’t seem to have an open enough discussion on our role in Kashmir. There is definitely a serious terror problem emanating from Pakistan, and quite predictably, that country is now reaping the fruits of its ill-considered policies. That should not detract from the real problems that India is facing with Kashmir. Let’s try to be open-minded on this.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh,

I agree with you about the domino theory – it won’t happen.

The problem in Kashmir is not due solely to Pakistani intervention and its fueling of militancy. It is also due to gross mismanagement and horrible political governance over decades. Indian political thinking haas only reacted when things have got violent, otherwise as long as Kashmir was peaceful they really did not bother with governance. Corruption, like elsewhere in India, was and is still rampant and no one cares a hoot.

Unfortunately, mismanagement actually serves the purpose of separatists and militants to fan the fires. That is the major difference between Kashmir and the other states.

As for stone throwing, this form of protest has been in vogue in Kashmir, albeit not on the same scale as now, since the early 1900s. The separatists have used the discontentment and frustrations of the local populace to their own advantage. Today there are reports of weekly programmes and time tables being made out and distributed by them from their underground havens. This is not to deny the discontentment of the youth, this is to show how it is being marshalled and the youth are being used as pawns in a larger game plan. There have been intercepts of phone calls between the organisers asking for more martyrs and questions being raised where all the money that is being given is going.

The problems of ordinary Kashmiris are also the problems of the average citizen of this country. Unfortunately, in Kashmir there are provocateurs who have cleverly turned this frustration and discont into violence and a secessionist movement.

But underlying it all, there is no denying that a slumbering political class has brought Kashmir, like many other parts of the country, to a precarious situation.

Personally I am convinced that better economic conditions, good governance and above all an all out war on corruption will do more to settle and counter the designs of the separatists and militants. Unfortunately it seems a very tall order at the moment.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Ten years ago, India was the typical banana state goverened by a extreme-right Hindu Nationalist party(as the international media saw it) with a taste for exploding nuclear weapons. Pakistani was considered a progressive Islamic democracy. Wrap your head around that if you can.
All I can say is, thank you General Musharraf! I am sure I will have a chance to express my gratitude towards Gen. Kayani as well. Everytime I see Pakistani posters hyperventilate on an Internet forum, I have the quiet satisfaction of knowing that Pakistan is on the “correct” path.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

What I saw at Moba Khan : by Noah Shachtman

http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB  :SB100014240527487039770045753935233496 48264.html

Quote ” The vast difference between what actually happened at the Moba Khan compound in Helmand province and what the report says happened there should give caution to those who think they can discover the capital-T truth about the Afghanistan conflict through the Wikileaks war logs.” End Quote

Posted by Shuqaib.Bhutto | Report as abusive

@Daraindia

“Personally I am convinced that better economic conditions, good governance and above all an all out war on corruption will do more to settle and counter the designs of the separatists and militants. Unfortunately it seems a very tall order at the moment.”

–>Good point, more needs to be done to address grievances of Kashmiri’s. India has the ability to satisfy their concerns and still keep Kashmiri’s as a part of India.

It is difficult to manage the situation in Kashmir, because Pakistan has been steadily fomenting and stoking militantism and extremism there and trying radically hard to transform the Kashmiri Indian culture into an extremist one. Pakistani have done nothing to encourage Kashmiri Indians to become educated and intelligent in any way, but instead used them as pawns.

Pakistan is conducting clandestine war against the United States and NATO in Afghanistan and Indian in Kashmir.

Kashmir cannot ever be settled, nor can Afghanistan ever develop, as long as Pakistan keeps its proxy war upon its neighbours.

Today, I saw Pakistan Ambassador to US on Fareed Zakaria GPS and he is a nice soft spoken sort of fellow, but at the end of the day the words, promises and assurances useless as a used handkerchief.

Haqqani said today that Pakistan wants to stop all terrorists including the Afghan Taliban and even the LeT.

This seems to be contrary to what most Pakistani’s on this blog hold true to what they want.

So is Haqqani just lying and saying what he is supposed to say for TV?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

The kashmiris can’t be ‘separatists’ since they never joined you. The can’t ‘secede’ since they never joined your union.

get out of kashmir and pakistan will be a good neighbor.

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive

Very good points Ganesh. If all was well, India should have conducted the plebiscite and let all Kashmiris decided their destiny. The inability of Pakistani generals to have patience and their weakness for muscling their way into solving every issue has ruined everything.

This is what must be done by both India and Pakistan if the people of Kashmir need to have a peaceful life:

Pakistan should withdraw all its military and militants from all of Kashmir. To do this, India needs to provide an assurance that when Pakistan withdraws its forces, there will be no backtracking by India or any violation of the agreement. This is a condition laid out by the 1948 UN resolutions. Since Pakistanis keep drumming up about UN resolutions, they have to read it first and agree to a unilateral withdrawal from all of Kashmir.

Once that is done, India should withdraw its military from Kashmir with a guarantee that Pakistan will not backtrack on its words.

Here is where a third party needs to come in. I am not very impressed with UN forces. I’d like to see troops from a country far removed from this conflict to enter Kashmir – May be Japanese or Brazilian ones with an assured guarantee that they will not be under any fire from either India or Pakistan. Now this force should set up security across the state. Both India and Pakistan should cover the costs for the expense. They are spending money in fighting each other. The same money can be spent on paying this neutral military to maintain order.

Both India and Pakistan should agree supply food and other materials for the people of Kashmir. A neutral administrator must be brought in to govern Kashmir.
For five years Kashmir must be under the rule of this neutral party. Pundits must be offered their due return to the valley and repossess their properties if they wish to return.

Once Kashmir is under a neutral party for a prolonged period of time without any interference from India or Pakistan, the UN should hold a plebiscite across all of Kashmir can be run. I am sure Kashmir will vote for full independence, seeing what has become of Pakistan as well as their alienation from India. If the people in Jammu and Ladakh vote for joining India, it must be honored.

Like Ganesh says, it is not worth fighting over this region when people’s lives are put in jeopardy.

The unfortunate part of all this is that the local geo-politics has not disappeared. Pakistan’s military generals would want to seize Kashmir at all costs. They had never accepted it as a separate country. And the Indus water treaty that has become an issue between India and Pakistan will come to the fore again. For India, Kashmir is not going to be a friendly nation. The new generation there has grown up hostile towards India. They will live off the memories of the bitter experience with the Indian army. Instead of one hostile nation, India will now face two hostile nations in addition to China.

Or both India and Pakistan can declare the LoC as an international border and be done with it. But that will make the current status to continue.

As I see it, Kashmir, as an independent state will not last for long, knowing the macho tendencies of Pakistani generals. They will gobble it up and Kashmir will become safe haven for Pakistan’s assets against India. The Jihadists are not going to disappear into thin air. Pakistan might control Kashmir like it did in the case of Afghanistan, using radical elements.

When trying to settle matters, we must discuss the pros and cons of major decisions made and their long term effects. I have no problem with Kashmir going. But what comes after that is a big question. There is no one who can assure me that things will become peaceful again. Pakistani generals do not know anything other than to engage in conflicts. Being emotional people, they can lose their minds very quickly and start the next operation in Khalistan and other areas. Ganesh, you must be rather naive to discount all these scenarios.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan should declare war on India again, so that it can conquer Kashmir. Clearly, all diplomatic options are closed for Pakistan.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

By anyones yardstick, Pakistan is undergoing a severe crisis at the moment. Pakistan is facing it’s worst floods. Ever. Thousand plus have perished. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

You’d think that their largest English daily would have the good sense to focus on covering the floods. You would be wrong. The Dawn’s editorial has chosen to distract the Pakistanis from the troubles at home by focusing on 20 civilian deaths in Kashmir over a period of one month.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

I hope there is enough water in the Indus now to satisfy Hafiz Saeed.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t put it past him and his jihadi brethren to blame India for deliberately causing a monsoon low pressure over Rajasthan.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

KPSingh1,
Chill! Kashmir was free in 1947 when Pakistan and India got their independence. We know what followed.
India has a lot to thank Pakistan for. Without it’s “tribal invasion”, India wouldn’t even have a fig leaf in Kashmir. Without it’s jihadi infusion, Kashmiri separatists would have had at least some legitimacy. So, thank you Pakistan!

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

@trickey,

That is a very astute assertion, just think, Kashmiri’s would have been free, if Pakistan had not fueled thuggery and tribal invasion into India.

Kashmir, that being PoK AND Indian admininstered Kashmir will never be free as long as Pakistan lives in Kashmir.

Kashmiri’s should blame the Pakistani’s for using them for 60 years as puppets and Afghans should tell the Pakistani’s to quit interfering in Afghanistan.

Hamid Karzai wants Indian in Afghanistan as India is willing to build and spend billions, but Pakistan has not spent a red cent, rupee or penny on Afghanistan, except money to undermine a cohesive central governance in Afghanistan. Pakistan continues to undermine stable governance in Afghanistan, something which all Afghans want.

Indians are strong advocates for good governance for Afghanistan. Indians and Pakistani’s alike have no place interfereing in Governance of Afghans and most Afghans know that India’s role is one of assisting nation building, not interfering in the tribal politics of the land like Pakistan, through its ISI.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Ganesh,

You don’t seem to be giving Pakistan it’s due for the turbulance in Kashmir over the last 20+ yrs. J&K was as peaceful as any other Indian state prior to 1989. I don’t think that it’s a mere coincidence that the agitation & “uprising” in Kashmir commenced around the same time when the Soviet-Afghan war was ending, resulting in the unemplyment of thousands of mujahadeen, who were at Pakistan’s disposal. Do you think that Kashmiris would have gone through, what they have in the past 20 yrs, had Pakistan not started it’s proxy war in Kashmir?

I agree that mis-governance by India certainly had a role to play as well but the primary cause of the kashmiri suffering for over 2 decades, is Pakistan’s blind ambition to forcibly take kashmir away from India.
Going forward, I agree with you & Dara that good governance, economic prosperity & speedy justice will go a long way towards a peaceful Kashmir but peace will never fully return to the valley unless Pakistan definitively ends it’s proxy war.

Also, I do not think that an independant Kashmir is either realistic or advisable, given it’s size, location & the fact that it won’t be acceptable to India or Pakistan (no matter what the Pakistanis say, they will not give up an inch of the land under their control). The way I see it, the only solution which would be ultimately acceptable to all parties (India, Pak & Kashmiris) would be the Manmohan-Musharraf plan to make borders irrelevant. But for that to actually materialize, India & Pakistan need to build trust & mend fences. So, the sooner they do that, the better it will be for all.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Trickey, you said:

“Pakistan should declare war on India again, so that it can conquer Kashmir. Clearly, all diplomatic options are closed for Pakistan.”

–>Not an option, if Pakistan ever declares war on India again, it would be further dismembered and India would send the Punjabistani back into their hole with limbs severed.

The choice is really for Pakistan to make. If Pakistan fully vacates Pakistan occupied Kashmir and complies with 1948 UN resolutions, there is no reason why India cannot do the same tit for tat and give kashmiri’s on both sides a chance to be on their own if they wish, pending a properly monitored plebescite by an independent third party.

Pakistani elites have plundered and wrecked the futures of the citizens of their country by wasting so much money time and lives and energy on destablizing Afghanistan and Kashmir.

Just imagine where Pakistan would be, if they didn’t waste so much on Army, fighting, militantism and attempting to destablize neighbours, Pakistan would be a different kind of country with more people having a much higher standard of living and much higher literacy rate.

But no thanks to Punjabi’s they have done a great job looking after themselves first and everybody else in Pakistan can get leftovers and scraps for all they care.

Unfortunately, many Paksitani’s feel that ethnic partition will preclude all Kashmiri’s to some higher standard of existence and this is a myth they perpetuate to Kashmiri’s , some of who are buying into. The fact is, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is far below India Kashmir in terms of everything.

The conclusion is that muslims joining with muslims does not necessarily mean a higher form of existence for Kashmiri’s. The point here is that at the end of the day, you have to give people more than a Koran and more than just ethnic purity to fill their bellies and pay their bills.

While religion and Koran may spiritually fill them, that is a good thing, but it will not give them jobs, a standard of good life, nor will it give them a true education about the world.

It is a 1000% certainty that if Pakistan complies with UN resolutions from 1948 and fully vacates PoK, india would do the same and then Kashmir can have a proper Plebescite and Kashmiri’s can self determine. As long as Pakistan maintains status quo, Afghans and Kashmiris will continue to suffer and be under proxy wars and occupations.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“I also don’t buy the domino theory that if Kashmir goes, other regions will follow. It’s a bogeyman without any evidence to support it.”

Other factors considered, isn’t partition of India is the prominent cause behind separatist movement in Kashmir? And how can domino theory can be discounted when you saw separatist movements in Assam, Nagaland, Punjab shortly after 1947? What more evidences you think you want to consider that scenario?

IMO, Pundit Nehru promised them an expensive toy that he (India) could not afford (not in 2010, for sure) and now they are throwing temper-tantrums which are just from a certain perspective.

Yes, there has been improper management in Kashmir. But it needs to be fixed rather than “amputating” that part. So it has been in UP, Bihar and many other states. Shouldn’t government be asked to fix it rather than take the easy route?

Moreover, the security-related scenarios from post independence Kashmir – Pakistanis are not going to stop at Kashmir, at least not for the long run.

Plus, don’t discount the scenario of a backlash towards Muslims in rest of the India. 20 people per month in Kashmir versus 100s in weeks? If Police can’t manage them in Kashmir, how would they manage countrywide? After all, mobs can be emotional an unruly anywhere. And then, in reaction to those almost certainly possible backlashes, domino theory will come in picture again.

Giving up on Kashmir is breaking the secular structure of India. What so ever problems our country is facing, their is still a delicate balance in society and it can only be maintained by pro-active governance and managing this hugely diverse nation tactfully.

PS: And a little dose of the most essential life ingredient which perhaps defines one aspect of Kashmiri situation…

http://celticcountries.com/magazine/humo ur/what-have-the-romans-ever-done-for-us  /

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

G-W,
Read the rest of my comments to understand how serious I was about war.
But more seriously, all these silly posts about “get out of kashmir and pakistan will be a good neighbor.” are beginning to annoy everyone. It’s an argument of a 5-year old: “Buy me candy and I will be a good girl”

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

Seth,
Good one. Staying true to spirit of Monty Python, some Kashmiri muslims attacked a police station on Friday and set off a blaze which caused stored explosives to go off. Four morons were duly martyred and dozens were injured. This so angered rest of the Kashmiri muslims that they went on a rioting spree destroying government buildings such as railway stations, hospitals.
At least the Judeam Peoples Front had the good sense to understand the importance of infrastructure even if created by the ‘enemies’. Not so, the average valley muslim.

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

Ganesh,

I think I must clarify that you are neither unpatriotic nor traitor in my books. I’m no Pakistani for that matter! We just happen to look at an issue from different perspectives at this moment of time and by virtue of having different perspectives we can notice each others’ blind spots which is great.

Regards,
Seth

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

That is a very astute assertion, just think, Kashmiri’s would have been free, if Pakistan had not fueled thuggery and tribal invasion into India.

– yeah right, slumdogs were swallowing land everywhere and turning it into slums. maybe you should’ve left hyderabad and junagarh alone. hypocrites. also, kashmiris had asked for tribals assistance. kashmiris wanted nothing to do with slumdia.

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive

Seth,
Good one. Staying true to spirit of Monty Python, some Kashmiri muslims attacked a police station on Friday and set off a blaze which caused stored explosives to go off. Four morons were duly martyred and dozens were injured. This so angered rest of the Kashmiri muslims that they went on a rioting spree destroying government buildings such as railway stations, hospitals.
At least the Judeam Peoples Front had the good sense to understand the importance of infrastructure even if created by the ‘enemies’. Not so, the average valley muslim.

– you are the slumdog clowns for not taking a ‘hint’ and getting your ugly a$$e$ out of kashmir and back to your slums.

LEAVE. KASHMIRIS HATE YOU.

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive

tupak_shakir,

Let’s accept the Kashmiri people’s desire to be free. Why are *Pakistanis* so interested in the freedom of a third country? What do you get out of Kashmiri independence anyway? Wouldn’t you have to give up Azad Kashmir if Kashmiri freedom was so important to you?

Or is it a smokescreen to swallow Kashmir up into Pakistan instead? I don’t see much in that for the Kashmiris. It’s more like “from the frying pan into the fire”.

Sorry to sound provocative but I don’t understand the extreme emotions I’m hearing.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

KP Singh,

I note what you have to say but we need to consider all angles in a forum like this, and a little naivete doesn’t hurt because we aren’t at an actual negotiating table playing with territory and human lives :-). We had a pretty good discussion with saif_1980 on another topic. He seemed to be a new generation Pakistani who was genuinely trying to understand the Indian point of view, and that discussion resulted in some real gains of perspective as well as a more positive atmosphere. I would like to see more of that.

I get the feeling that India and Pakistan have a very narrow window of opportunity to come to a settlement. In two years, Pakistan will be flush with the victory of an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, and will be busy trying to establish a completely pro-Pakistan regime there. Any concessions to India will be completely out of the question in that frame of mind.

Similarly, after another five years of 10% GDP growth, India may no longer be interested in any peace talks, since not just the British PM but the American President will probably be willing to make anti-Pakistani comments from Indian soil just to get more business for American companies!

For those who profess concern for Kashmiri aspirations, both events would be very bad news.

I think the most practical way forward would be to formalise the LoC as the international border as early as possible, and work towards an “irrelevant borders” situation through recognition of appropriate visas, etc. That should reduce tensions and allow more links between the two countries, which will strengthen peace further. If true Kashmiri independence is still a desire after a decade of this arrangement, it will probably not cause as much emotion in either India and Pakistan and can be more calmly discussed between two (by then) friendly neighbours.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

“Or is it a smokescreen to swallow Kashmir up into Pakistan instead? I don’t see much in that for the Kashmiris. It’s more like “from the frying pan into the fire”.”
Posted by prasadgc

I wasn’t aware of this until Rajeev informed me on this blog: Pakistan requires all elected officials from “Azad Kashmir” to pledge their allegience to Pakistan before they take office. If they refuse to do so, they are not allowed to take office. That tells a lot about Pakistan’s idea of “Azadi” (independence) for Kashmir.

PS: Don’t waste your time reasoning with trolls, it’s a waste of time & energy.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Umair:

@In return of Pakistan giving up support of Haqqani’s and LeT, is India also willing to some sort of compromise and resolution of Kashmir dispute? Oh, I am sorry there is no dispute in Kashmir, it is already an integral part of India. I am sorry.”

— Then that indirectly means you support Mumbai 26/11 terrorism by LeT. Good job!!!

The day you get enlightened that LeT is a terrorist organization and must not be used as a tool to solve an issue will be the beginning of the solution. Pakistani journalists (not talking about most e-journalists/bloggers) try to say just what Indians say that Pakistan need to get rid of all sorts of terrorism for the best interest of Pakistan.

How long can you hold a burning matchstick in hand, the delay will burn your hand? Nukes have made it sure that Pakistan does not get into old acts of waging war against India and LeT cannot bring India down. Status quo makes sense if GOI taking care of Kashmir and the problems of Kashmiris without worrying about Pakistan.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

“The kashmiris can’t be ’separatists’ since they never joined you. The can’t ’secede’ since they never joined your union.

get out of kashmir and pakistan will be a good neighbor.” Shakir

Kashmir never joined India?????? Which fairy tales did you read in your history books?

It is tripe like this which makes it impossible to hold a discussion with ignorance.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

G-W my contention really is hat lack of a clean and effeicient administration in Kashmir has helped the militants garner support for their cause. That is where the politicl class has failed this country.

Pakistan’s overt and covert designs in Kashmir are simply not in doubt. But my feeling is that sitting on our butts and moaning over Pakistan’s clandestine activities is not the only solution. We need to see development and clean governance. This is true for the whole country but specially so in the state of J&K. That will blunt the edges of the separatist arguments. Today thy are manipulating the grievances of the local [population.

Haqqani has been in the US for long and seems a reasonable chap, but being an out and out Bhutto man, he has been singing a different tune of late than during the Mush days. There are quite a few contradictions in what he spouts today and his interviews a few years ago.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

For the record, I choose not to waste time with the trolls who park their head up their rear and thus can only talk sh*t when they come out and open their mouth.

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

“Pakistan’s overt and covert designs in Kashmir are simply not in doubt. But my feeling is that sitting on our butts and moaning over Pakistan’s clandestine activities is not the only solution. We need to see development and clean governance. This is true for the whole country but specially so in the state of J&K. That will blunt the edges of the separatist arguments. Today thy are manipulating the grievances of the local population.”
Posted by DaraIndia

I completely agree with that statement!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Pakistan requires all elected officials from “Azad Kashmir” to pledge their allegience to Pakistan before they take office. If they refuse to do so, they are not allowed to take office. That tells a lot about Pakistan’s idea of “Azadi” (independence) for Kashmir.

– Maybe if we raped and murdered them by the thousands they could be considered azad by world-best indian standards.

Posted by tupak_shakir | Report as abusive

Pakistan requires all elected officials from “Azad Kashmir” to pledge their allegience to Pakistan before they take office. If they refuse to do so, they are not allowed to take office. That tells a lot about Pakistan’s idea of “Azadi” (independence) for Kashmir.
Posted by Mortal1

Maybe if we raped and murdered them by the thousands they could be considered azad by world-best indian standards.
Posted by tupak_shakir

–Do you think by saying so, you have refuted Mortal’s point?

BTW, these shenanigans of “azad Kashmir” are in Pakistan, in India we call Kashmir as integral part of India.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

@Myra,

Time for a fair and open discussion on the Kashmir issue. But this time, we would like to see an essay on Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Rajeev and others like Keithz have repeatedly brought up some significant points of mention, namely:

1)Pakistan has not complied with 1948 UN resolutions
2)Pakistan requires all elected officials in PoK to pledge allegiance to Pakistan

The list goes on. Kashmir can be solved, but Pakistan occupied Kashmir MUST be given its time under the sunshine Myra.

Indian administered Kashmir has been microscoped to death here as well as by other Reuters Writer.

Let’s be fair here and equally scrutinize to the same depth Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

That is what we owe Kashmiri’s, a fair discussion of their future from both sides of the LOC.

Let’s give them that openness and fairness. Is that not the purpose of Journalists, to disseminate the truth.

Please avoid this topic no further and address it.

Thanks

Myra

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

typo:

“Please avoid this topic no further and address it.”

should read

“Please do not avoid this top any longer and address it”

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

[...] a war going badly in neighbouring Afghanistan, a spate of allegations against the role played there by its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, and a wave of bombings at home which [...]

[...] a war going badly in neighbouring Afghanistan, a spate of allegations against the role played there by its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, and a wave of bombings at home which [...]