Pakistan:the unintended consequences of U.S. pressure

December 21, 2010

petraeus kayaniU.S. pressure on Pakistan has always led to deep resentment within the Pakistan Army, which has taken heavy casualties of its own fighting Pakistani Taliban militants on its side of the border with Afghanistan. But there are signs that this resentment is now spiralling in dangerously unpredictable ways.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency has denied  it was responsible for revealing the name of a senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official in Pakistan, forcing him to flee the country after threats to his life. But the suspicion lingers that the ISI, which falls under the control of the Pakistan Army, is flexing its muscles in response to U.S. pressure.

In an article for Time magazine, former CIA officer Robert Baer said that even if you accepted the ISI denial, “what can’t be dismissed is a lawsuit filed by a Pakistani tribesman in which he accuses the CIA of murdering his brother and his son in a drone attack. According to press reports, none of which have been confirmed by the CIA, it was the appearance of the station chief’s name in a filing in this suit, along with unspecified threats, that caused him to be pulled. Regardless, the suit itself could be an ominous sign that the Pakistanis may be coming to the end of their rope in the ‘war on terror’.”

His assumption was that the ISI, which until now is believed to have given tacit support to the U.S. drone strikes, had supported the case by the Pakistani tribesman.

Even more alarming are Pakistani press reports suggesting that fake WikiLeaks cables planted in the Pakistan media were deliberately designed by Pakistani intelligence to whip up public opinion against U.S. pressure to “do more”. (h/t Five Rupees).

“The fake story is not an isolated incident,” Azhar Abbas, the managing director of GEO News, wrote. “Political and security observers believe a concerted effort is once again being made to encourage and promote a typical extremist mindset. Some analysts-cum-anchors have re-emerged from quasi-oblivion. Many journalists and analysts are briefed and encouraged to take an aggressively anti-West, especially anti-US, stance. Experts, who ‘preach’ extremism in disguise, are encouraged to participate in talk shows.”

Maintaining the support of the Pakistani people has been essential in Pakistan’s own battle against the Pakistani Taliban - a widely circulated video of a girl being flogged in the Swat valley rallied public opinion behind the army when it launched a military operation there last year to drive out militants from the region.  The authenticity of that video is a subject of much debate in Pakistan. But be that as it may, if public opinion were to turn decisively against military operations, no amount of American pressure would be able to convince the Pakistan Army to launch a new ground assault to assert control of areas now held by militants, including North Waziristan.

“All true enough — until you stop to ponder how exactly ‘public opinion’ decides it is in favour of something or against it,” wrote Dawn columnist Cyril Almeida. “The fake WikiLeaks cables give the first public hint about how opinion is being shaped in this country right now.”

Such suspicions will never be confirmed, and Pakistani officials themselves say they have no control over a vibrant media which has exploded since the sector was freed up by former President Pervez Musharraf.   But given Pakistan’s own battle against domestic militants – not just on the border with Afghanistan but also in its heartland Punjab province - any shift in the media towards greater sympathy with violent Islamists would be playing with fire.

Lest anyone finds the Pakistani approach completely irrational, do remember that from Pakistan’s point of view, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is also looking irrational. “Some people in the establishment are of the view since the Americans are losing the war in Afghanistan, they are trying to shift the blame on Pakistan in order to use it as a scapegoat,” Abbas wrote. He quoted a senior security official as saying that,  “It is quite obvious now that the US is fast losing its grip in Afghanistan. It is easy for them to sell the story back home that they are losing the war because of Pakistan.”

“The fundamental division in U.S. foreign policy is between use of force and use of diplomacy. Some foreign policy analysts believe that in the post-Holbrooke scenario, the balance may shift towards use of force rather than diplomacy. If the US President Obama decides to move in that direction, things may get out of control. ”

He said that Pakistan Army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, had written a 14-page letter to President Barack Obama, in which he “apparently tried hard to convey the ground realities of Pak-Afghan situation. Senior diplomats who have seen the letter say that the letter gives the U.S. president some new and better options to resolve the Afghan conflict, as compared to the ones provided by his own military commanders.”

Pakistan has been increasingly talking up the need for a political settlement in Afghanistan which would force al Qaeda to leave the region. A senior Pakistani security official said Washington needed to identify “end conditions” in Afghanistan, rather than sticking to its current preconditions for talks with insurgents that they renounce al Qaeda, give up violence and respect the Afghan constitution. He suggested instead a process in which violence was brought down, insurgents renounced al Qaeda, and a consensus then negotiated on a future Afghan constitution.

That suggestion is born not just out of a desire to limit Indian influence in Afghanistan — though that has long been a lynchpin of Pakistan’s strategy. It also  comes from a fear that the aggressive military U.S. approach will so radicalise the insurgents,  promoting younger fighters at the expense of the older (and Pakistan-influenced) leadership – that there will no longer be a peace settlement to be had. That would leave Pakistan with a dangerously unstable Afghanistan on its border once the Americans leave in 2014.

The argument has support from academics and experts on Afghanistan, who have appealed to Obama to back talks with the Taliban . That’s interesting since the distrust between Pakistan and Afghanistan is such that it is rare to see such concordant views between those looking at the war mainly from the Afghan perspective and those of the Pakistan Army.  (for more on views by those Afghan experts, see Joshua Foust at Registan.net on A Call to Reason For Afghanistan, and Matt Waldman writing in the RUSI Journal. Also see Anatol Lieven’s  How the Afghan Counterinsurgency Threatens Pakistan.)

For now though, the military has been given its head on the grounds that more military pressure needs to be applied to force the Taliban into a settlement that the United States and its allies would find acceptable (ie one in which they might be co-opted into the political process but would not be treated as equal partners with the Afghan government and the United States and its allies in any negotiated settlement.) 

And as one western diplomat said to me it would be very hard politically for Obama to go against the advice of General David Petraeus, his commander on the ground.  If the war is going badly for the United States, the diplomat said, Obama could not back down; equally if it going well, he could not back out. 

And with that military campaign, are likely to come more and more unintended consequences in Pakistan. One has to hope that those setting strategy know what they are doing and have taken what they presumably see as a well-calculated risk. For as Holbrooke appeared to have understood, that there is no point in achieving success in Afghanistan (however that is defined) if Pakistan — a much bigger country, population 180 million, with nuclear weapons — is allowed to slip out of control.

(Reuters file photo of General Petraeus and General Kayani)

Comments

The truth is that there is no solution to problem of Afghanistan, and as situation becomes dire, more and more blame is put on Pakistan. Many countries in the world have a weak central government, it is non-existent in Afghanistan. Every village, every town, every city, every province in on its own. It will take quite some time before this feeling develops; there is no way USA can stay in Afghanistan till then. So, the easier solution is blame Pakistan for all of our own failures.

Posted by tosheeb | Report as abusive
 

The core goal should not be driven entirely by Pakistan’s self interest alone. Everyone understands the Pakistani perspective, but they have to realize that other have their own equal concerns – the Americans theirs, the Afghans theirs and the Indians theirs. Pakistan should not become rigid and bone headed in demanding that everything be done its way. And such an approach will antagonize the US even more, especially when it appears as though it is losing its grip on this war. For Pakistanis their concerns might be genuine. But whether those concerns are reasonable or not for others is a question for debate.

India can launch its trouble makers from its shared borders with Pakistan as well. It does not need to sit in Afghanistan and launch its operatives from its embassies. India has a long border with Pakistan spanning from the Rann of Kutch all the way into Line of control. Most of the border is unmanned along the deserts of Rajasthan. India can send in as many operatives as it wants from this porous border. So Pakistan’s concerns about Indian presence in Afghanistan is not so much about an alleged support for anti-Pakistan elements. Pakistan wants to have complete clout in all of Afghanistan at all times. It sees this from a strategic depth perspective, which is unnecessary. Its military has been operating on war syndrome at all times. It does not realize that countries have other things to do.

As far as the Americans are concerned, they no longer trust the Pakistanis. There is some talk about making aggressive incursions into Pakistan:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/world/ asia/21intel.html?_r=1&hp

They are realizing that Pakistan is playing hide and seek game with them to delay their efforts and cause them frustration. Obama is losing ground on every front at home. Losing this war will be the biggest upset for him. And he is not going to let that happen. He might end up escalating the war into Pakistan, which might help him get the public support he is seeking.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@Myra
You are one of many journalists who have not yet expressed fully in your articles that US foreign policy is in tatters and its military force is on the retreat, after having been defeated on the battle ground in Afghanistan.

Afghan Pashtoons with or without Taliban labels are made up of the metal which can not be bend, nor have they ever negotiated with the enemy.
Bill Richardson, the arch rival of Hillary Clinton has just managed to avoid the North Korean military action against the 20,0000 odd US troops in Korea.

Sooner than later Pakistan military would come to senses by ordering the arrest of all CIA operatives in Pakistan who are creating discontent among various communities and declaring several diplomats with spy mission as person non grata! ISI has more knowledge of the Region than those of the foreign intelligence agencies.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

PS
Merry Christmas!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

PS
correction, 20,000 not 200,000!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

on 20 Dec US hints it would push for deeper raids into Pakistani territory, on Dec 21 Pakistan test fires a nuclear capable missile demonstrating its defense capability;
http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoI d=170516085

It is about time ISI must also demonstrate some of its offensive covert capabilities. Pakistan must not remain the must bullied ally. I am not sure how long the US wished to bleed before the realization sets in that there is no military solution to this. The Taliban are too stubborn, ultimately they will force their way into the Afghan scene as equal partners. Atleast on paper this is a likely scenario, only time will tell.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Umairpk
Is kyani the right one to confront the USA, which is now being run by the very strong Zionist Group and their policy of open war against all muslim countries? He gives me the impression of a technocrat who plays with numbers and write long stories. What would be his reponse if the USA adminstration were to covince him that India has more nukes in number than those of Pakistan and that he should better denuclearise the country and rely on USA protection?
Is he going to buy the proposal or consider it a joke and rely on the efficiency of its Nuke Force. The number of nukes do not decide the outcome, but the first strike initiative could save half of Pakistan!!

Rex Minor

Ps
I say this, since in one of the combats Pakistan most advanced American Tanks were not successful against the Indian old British Tanks! The british Tanks were mechanically operated and simple to handle.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

Sorry but since when do we just assume that supporting the US is a good thing??

I’m willing to say the majority of the world thinks its a terrible thing.. and there is so much information available to back those opinions up that it’s almost impossible to see it any other way.

Why do reporters all want us to submit to the US as our benevolent leader when they get caught red-handed EVERY DAY!!???

If you’re a journalist it seems you see the situation through a filter where if you were to be honest you’d be “taking an aggressive position” against the US.. But the ‘position’ you take seems to be more important to you than the truth..

Come on, we know reuters is owned by a multi-billionaire, will you lose your job if you’re too honest?

Would you lose your job if you answered me honestly?

At what point does for you does fact become opinion? When you cross the line of what’s socially ‘acceptable’?

Posted by brian-decree | Report as abusive
 

RexGen. Kayani is a thinker and good decision maker, he is known as a man of few words. He would listen more and when he talks he is very brief and to the point. I get an impression he has a no non-sense approach. Leaked embassy cables descrbe Gen. Pasha the DG ISI as more emotional. This means ISI is more dangerous than military high command. India is a fast growing nation and Pakistan needs to avoid a war with it at all cost. As for denuclearization, the Army is aware its the nuclear capability which gives it the edge. There is notrust in a security alliance with US. Pakistan has learnt to fight itsown battle. In the words of a retired CIA officer and author of “In search of enemies” John Stocwesays that US will never attack a nation that has the capability to retaliate with long range missile, Army and Air Force.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

I think the US has been battling Pakistan since Obama came to power. It is not a direct war. But Pakistan has begun to burn from within. The US knows that Pakistan is a nuclear armed nation and the Islamic world looks up to Pakistan for military might. The US has begun to weaken Pakistan, especially its military. One sees more negative news and paranoia about Pakistan’s intelligence and military in the world media. This was not the case when Pakistan was a US ally. Now Pakistan knows that its alliance with the US is flimsy.

The US is not only a military power, it is a power in many fronts – economic, political and media. It could keep the USSR on the defensive through out cold war as a result of that. Pakistan is no match to the USSR in terms of money, power and resources.

If the US does not succeed in its mission in Afghanistan, it is not going to swallow the feeling of defeat. It has the global clout to weaken Pakistan further and isolate it. This is something you people should begin to worry about.

Your military has made enemies out of neighboring countries. Deceptive methods will only help so far. Beyond a certain point, there is always the danger of things going out of control inside Pakistan. Even though the US pretends to be concerned about it, in reality that seems to be its goal – to make Pakistan implode from within.

I think your country is in a very dire situation. Chest thumping to the US will not work. China will never step in to help. Your countrymen should learn that first. China only takes and never gives. Not an inch.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

PSingh
The picture you paint, one of misery and dark future for Pakistan is incorrect. Infact US is very much ever more dependent on Pakistan if it needs victory in Afghan war. Pakistan too has its security alliance with US which is under strain. Pakistan defense capability is defensive in nature to ensure national security. In principal we have no enmity with India or US. Nor is there any similarity between Pakistan and USSR since Pakistan harbours no expansionist designs like the Soviet regime. In past US-Pak relations have endured a lot of ups and downs but still shown resilience. This time surely Pakistan faces a serious situation in its borderlands. But to say that Pakistan is going to implode or that the US wants Pakistan to implode is far from reality. If cool heads prevail, everything should be ok in the end. And on both sides (US-Pak) there are very competent military commanders in charge, with coordination and correct policy they can fix the puzzle.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

US is very much dependent on Pakistan?

Let’s see. Pakistan’s economy cannot last 1 week without US aid and the generous IMF loans that keep increasing by the day. IMF and the World Bank don’t give loans to anyone that the US does not approve.

Also, Pakistan harbors no expansive designs other than to install a barbaric, medieval puppet regime in Afghanistan.

Posted by SilverSw0rd | Report as abusive
 

The US has no choice but to start conducting raids in Pakistan. As the NY times article (referenced by KP) points out, this will be happening really soon & as a top US official said “We’ve never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across”. It’s quite clear that the Pakistani army/ISI can not be trusted & the US will have to take matters in it’s own hands. The Pakistani leaders will thump their chests for a while, extort some extra moolah & then give in eventually.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

some might say that if the isi/pak army truly feared radicalisation of the jihadis and their slipping out of control then thats the only scenario in which they will confront them;and possibly end their policy of reliance on such elements;
the taliban were involved in complicity with and faciltating at least 1 terrorist incident (if not more) their safe haven to the hijackers of the indian airlines plane 10 years ago; at least 1 of the terrorists released by india had al qaeda links and has been involved in terror attacks on the west

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

pakistan slipping out of control is a phantom risk peddled by its apologists as a final reason for appeasement; in fact, while pakistan may continue to slip into chaos and backwardness the pakistan army will never let it become a failed state. thats why its a phantom rather than real risk; in case this threat is ever truly imminent the pakistani army will finally confront the radicals- indeed its the only scenario in which it would do so

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

Mortal:” The Pakistani leaders will thump their chests for a while, extort some extra moolah & then give in eventually.”

-Not quite so, not when the cover of CIA station chief in Islamabad is blown and he has to leave Pakistan after recieving death threats. As in the past Pakistan has resorted to suspension of supply routes and firing on intruding forces as a way to stop any US cross border incursions. It is all to clear things are heading towards a final show down.

Silversword:
“Pakistan harbors no expansive designs other than to install a barbaric, medieval puppet regime in Afghanistan.”

-Not again, see below and what Gen. Kayani’s 14 page letter to President Obama details:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0  ,8599,2039321,00.html

Pakistan Sees An Alternative Endgame in Afghanistan


On a visit to Washington shortly before the strategy review was released, Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani gave President Obama a 14-page document detailing Pakistan’s concerns in the region. “It was the clearest enunciation in writing of Pakistan’s core national security interests,” says politician Hussain, who has seen the classified document. “It laid out Pakistan’s interests in Afghanistan,” he adds, “saying that we seek a stable and peaceful Afghanistan — not necessarily a friendly Afghanistan.” The suggestion is that Islamabad will settle for less than the restoration of a Taliban-dominated proxy government in Kabul.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0  ,8599,2039321,00.html#ixzz18qG2G7qO“

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Mortal
“The US has no choice but to start conducting raids in Pakistan”
This is bad bad bad for India. Indians dont have intelligence capabilities to match that of ISI and on top of that getting into any conflict now will make indian economy nosedive into hell. Please note that India has been through and through a capitalist country since time immemorial with business people that can give the west a real run for their money given the RIGHT CONDITIONS and war is definitely NOT the right condition. I believe that these unintended consequences on Pakistan will lead to more instability in region. A lot is at stake for India right now. As for Pakistan it is not going anywhere. All it can do from time to time is blackmail (if not already blackmailing) US of handing over nukes to US’ enemies.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777,

The US strategy would be to go after groups which have been sheilded by Pakistan (Haqqani network, Quetta Shura etc). These groups are not only a threat to the US & the west but also to India & eliminating/weakening them would be beneficial to India in the long run as they provide strategic depth to Pakistan against India & have been involved in terror attacks against India & Indian interests (Kabul embassy bombing, IA plane hijacking etc). I also believe that if this strategy succeeds in the NW Pakistan, the US will also go after other groups like LeT & we all know about LeT’s anti-India agenda. So, overall I think this would be a good development for India BUT having said that, the Indian security establishment has to be extremely vigilant in order to prevent mischeif by ISI.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

See this conversation with Ahmed Rashid. This was done prior to Obama becoming the President. Most of what he says still hold good today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWsmJIwe9 Q4

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Here is another one that belongs to a time around 2002. It is interesting to see the developments that have led to today’s situation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDbGn4jTT GI&feature=fvw

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@Mortal
I dont think that strategy will work. In fact no strategy will work with a nation of people with false sense of fear and enmity and religious hatred being the binding force and top of that it being nuke state and whose people want nukes more than wheat and rice. Think it like this: A moster with heavy nuke power but with a brain seriously underdeveloped and who is suffering from extreme inferiority complex. Do you think wiping out a few groups will help?? Sorry friend but I dont think so.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777xxx777: “I dont think that strategy will work. In fact no strategy will work with a nation of people with false sense of fear and enmity and religious hatred being the binding force and top of that it being nuke state and whose people want nukes more than wheat and rice. Think it like this: A moster with heavy nuke power but with a brain seriously underdeveloped and who is suffering from extreme inferiority complex. Do you think wiping out a few groups will help?? Sorry friend but I dont think so.”

While your fears are somewhat justified, you have to realize that Pakistan has a historical weakness. They survive by ducking under the table, switching sides and slipping out of grip. In 2001, Pakistan under Musharraf was much more powerful than it is today – economically and otherwise. It had the same nukes it has now. It had all radical groups honed and directed at India. Yet when Richard Armitage posed the famous question to this “mighty” nuclear armed nation, Musharraf dropped his pants without batting an eye lid and jumped ship. He could have threatened the US then too. Al Qaeda was much stronger then and Pakistan’s terrorist infrastructure was bigger. No suicide bombs were going off inside Pakistan and there was no Pakistani Taliban.

If the US really threatens Pakistan, do not assume that these guys will stand up to them. All their chest thumping is only towards India, who they consider to be inferior to them in all aspects. They have lost four wars to India because of that attitude. With America, they know where they stand. If the US firmly places a condition on Pakistan, they will do exactly what Musharraf did – drop the pants again and pretend to go into North Waziristan and fight shadows. They did this in South Waziristan and Swat already. No one knows if they really killed off terrorists or some innocent villagers who look just like the tribal terrorists. No one knows exactly what was done. And then one day they took Western journalists on their payroll to visit some selected area so that they could write it looked scarier in Indian Kashmir.

They are broke and they know that any resistance with Americans can place their country on the verge of utter collapse. When I say collapse, it is about their military and not the country. The country had collapsed long ago.

Sorry for butting into your discussion with Mortal.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@777xxx777

I agree with KP’s comments above. Pakistanis are known to thump their chests frequently but when push comes to shove, they fall hard & start praying. All their empty bravado won’t help them once the US decides to eliminate all terrorism from their soil. You can’t fight wars with empty rhetoric, you need resources & Pakistan simply doesn’t have much. We’ll see how it goes.
Also, I don’t think that a majority of Pakistanis care about their nuclear weapons. People like Umair, who live a life of comfort & luxury, don’t represent the common Pakistani, who has trouble feeding his family twice a day. All those folks only care about, is to be able to afford the basic amenities of life and not about enimity with India.

@KP: It’s not a one-on-one, anyone can butt in (as long as they make sense).

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

777″ In fact no strategy will work with a nation of people with false sense of fear and enmity and religious hatred being the binding force and top of that it being nuke state and whose people want nukes more than wheat and rice. Think it like this: A moster with heavy nuke power but with a brain seriously underdeveloped and who is suffering from extreme inferiority complex.”

-What you term as a false sense of fear are the legitimate security concerns of Pakistan. I think will all its share of problems and challenges we still manage to hang in and be it natural catastrophe or anything people of Pakistan have been resilient. You must rather acknowledge the average people in India or Pakistan are good folks. Peace and development is something that great nations have achieved after centuries, India has its own place in the world. Pakistan too has a long way to go, so we must remain positive all the time and believe in the best.

KPSingh:
“Pakistan has a historical weakness. They survive by ducking under the table, switching sides and slipping out of grip.”

-Really? are you sure what you are talking about? I rather see a constant pattern and policy of Pakistan on Kashmir and Afghanistan. One event of 9-11 forced Pakistan to take a position which was done under best national interest. Its advantages or otherwise is debateable issue though, lets leave it one side for now.

” when Richard Armitage posed the famous question to this “mighty” nuclear armed nation, Musharraf dropped his pants without batting an eye lid and jumped ship.”

-When Defense Robert Gates came to National Defense University Islamabad in 2010 a Pakistan Army officer asked him bluntly “are you with us or against us?”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2010/01/24/AR2010012402890. html
I think tables are turned, in the past Pakistan offered the US logistical support and intelligence sharing so that India does not step in and fill that role for the US. It was Pakistan’s way of keeping India out from its backyard. Not to imply that it was something coward to do, I think policy decisions taken can be right or wrong on the basis of judgement by individuals. You think about it in a way that makes you feel better.

“If the US really threatens Pakistan, do not assume that these guys will stand up to them. All their chest thumping is only towards India, who they consider to be inferior to them in all aspects.”

-When US helicopters crossed into Pakistan and attacked a couple of times, do I need to remind you that Pakistan shut down NATO supply lines for 10 days, hundereds of cargo containers were set on fire and the Army on one occasion (2008 angoor adda raid) was under clear orders to open fire on intruding forces. An official US apology by secretary of state and from NATO secretary general helped to cool down the situation. To stand up to any agressor we will,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z9OcVqdg 3M&feature=fvw

“They are broke and they know that any resistance with Americans can place their country on the verge of utter collapse. When I say collapse, it is about their military and not the country. The country had collapsed long ago.”

-We signed multi-billion dollar agreements with China recently, the ECO summit is under way in Turkey and Pakistan is pursuing gas pipelines mega projects, looking to become a energy trade and transit hub and corridor. Not only the Army remains cohesive, also the country is capable to deal with any challenge. So instead worry about India, we are doing pretty good over here.

” If the US firmly places a condition on Pakistan, they will do exactly what Musharraf did – drop the pants again and pretend to go into North Waziristan and fight shadows. They did this in South Waziristan and Swat already. No one knows if they really killed off terrorists or some innocent villagers who look just like the tribal terrorists. No one knows exactly what was done.”
-Prime minister has already clearly stated no military op in N. Waziristan for now. As someone who lost a friend in the Army fighting in Northwest, I can tell you really fierce fighting took place on the frontlines. The villagers have supported the Army and together a plan to rehabilitate the IDPs meant the situation was turned around in a very short time. While It is expected that US will resort to arm-twisting, still Pakistan is able to pursue its interests.

Mortal:
“Pakistanis are known to thump their chests frequently but when push comes to shove, they fall hard & start praying. All their empty bravado won’t help them once the US decides to eliminate all terrorism”

-http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/23/govt-wil l-take-no-dictation-on-north-waziristan- says-pm.html
Pakistan will brook no dictation, says PM

And US must sure decide soon decide to eliminate all terrorists (President Ronald Reagen’s freedom fighters) it once created, funded, armed and trained (to fight Soviets).

” People like Umair, who live a life of comfort & luxury, don’t represent the common Pakistani”
-I am a hardworking tax paying citizen and work my as* off and am as much an ordinary Pakistani as anyone else. Yes sure I was pevileged enough to recieve a good education and decent job, I am part of Pakistan’s future and we will not let our country down. You are correct that an avg. Indian or Pakistani doesnt care much about other than their situation. If economic prosperity becomes the goal than all unnecessary wars can be eliminated. Think of the developed nations of Northern Europe for examples, India and Pakistan etc still have a long way to go. Before we can overcome conflict, corruption etc and become truly welfare states for the people.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Mortal1,
“Also, I don’t think that a majority of Pakistanis care about their nuclear weapons.”
What is the basis of your thinking? Stop speaking for Pakistani people.
Indians have way to put their wishes as opinion of others and I see it all the time.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

Mortal:”Pakistanis are known to thump their chests frequently but when push comes to shove, they fall hard & start praying. All their empty bravado won’t help them”

-http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/world  /asia/24pstan.html?_r=1&hpw
Pakistan Spy Chief Will Not Appear in U.S. Court

‘Mr. Gilani made the announcement while addressing lawmakers in the National Assembly. “ISI being an extremely sensitive and important organization would not be asked to appear before a U.S. court,” Mr. Gilani said.’
‘The ISI said through a spokesman that it bound to follow the directives of the Prime Minister’s government. “It has made clear that nothing of the sort will happen, the spokesman said. “Nobody can force anything on us. We are a sovereign nation.” ‘

” I don’t think that a majority of Pakistanis care about their nuclear weapons”
-Actually they do, this nation is proud of its achievement in this field. Across the country the monuments of missiles and the nuclear test site are a tribute to the scientists and patriots. Pakistan’s nuclear quest was a great journey of a nation to attain the status of ‘credible nuclear deterence’ ability to thwart the designs of any outside agressor.

KPSingh: “The country had collapsed long ago”.
-No, Pakistan did not collapse in 1971, instead it was reborn and this time we are here to remain. Much to the discomfort of our enemies, we are fully capable to defend our freedom. We emerged as a nuclear power on the world map.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair

“” I don’t think that a majority of Pakistanis care about their nuclear weapons”
-Actually they do, this nation is proud of its achievement in this field. Across the country the monuments of missiles and the nuclear test site are a tribute to the scientists and patriots. Pakistan’s nuclear quest was a great journey of a nation to attain the status of ‘credible nuclear deterence’ ability to thwart the designs of any outside agressor.”

***Umair, I am not trying to hurt your feelings. Making a nuclear bomb is just an ordinary thing to do. Actually there is nothing “great” about it, especially the way it was acquired. Indians are not angels on this issue either but then they do not think it is something extraordinary. I would love if Pakistan can begin a “constructive journey” and something really great for the welfare of people in any area of science. So far from my discussions with Pakistani friends, Pakistan is thinking about survival all the time and placing all the energy in so called “legitimate security concerns”. $$$ goes there, so rest all becomes an empty talk. To me, what is extra ordinary and mind boggling is that a nation, just 60 years old, initiated at least 3 of the 4 wars it fought and is not ready to change the mindset.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@”Pakistan will brook no dictation, says PM” Posted by Umairpk

Is that the same PM, who as per recent disclosures, said “The Govt will protest the drones in the NA and then look the other way”?

Umair, there’s no point in debating the outcome of developments, which are yet to commence. We’ll see how it plays out & slug it out as & when.

@”we are doing pretty good over here”

There’s a saying “people lie, statistics don’t”. Most of Pakistan’s socio-economic indicators & statistics don’t say that Pakistan is doing pretty good but rather paint a bleak picture. I sincerely hope that you guys are able to turn it around with the help of the chinese (as I feel it’s in everyone’s best interest) but I’m merely stating what the figures tell me.

@”What is the basis of your thinking? Stop speaking for Pakistani people” Posted by Matrixx

The basis of my thinking is ‘common sense’ & no I was not speaking for Pakistanis because if I was, my sentence would not have begun with “I don’t think…”.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Umair, my friend, you get flustered very easily. Don’t take mine (or anybody else’s) comments here too seriously or personally. Nobody knows what will actually happen & we’re all just a bunch of ordinary folks thinking out loud & speculating. Take it easy!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

They were probably mad when our CIA officers would not smoke the peace water pipe at the local Bacca Boy party.

Posted by ROWnine | Report as abusive
 

Mortal:
“my friend, you get flustered very easily. Don’t take mine (or anybody else’s) comments here too seriously or personally. Nobody knows what will actually happen & we’re all just a bunch of ordinary folks thinking out loud & speculating. Take it easy!”

-Mortal, while some comments here can be casually written specially about Pakistani Army. I take exception to such comments, I have personally known some of the families who lost wonderful sons, fathers etc. Though the Army is taking very good care of the families of the martyrs, but still those loved ones are at a loss. I cannot let anyone discredit these sacrifices and state that what is going in Swat and Waziristan is a fight with shadows. With around 2500 causalties, the most officers/soldiers Killed in action it is pretty much a fight for Pakistan’s soul, even more than combined losses of coalition forces in Afghanistan.

As for the future, least concerned. Everything will be fine, right now having fun and on christmas holiday. Merry snowy christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

See the youtube linke I posted above on Ahmed Rashid’s discussion. It goes for an hour. He is as much a Pakistani as you are, but has his head in complete balance. What he says about your wonderful military is not positive. I am glad that Pakistan still has men of wisdom like him. Pakistan does have talented people. No one questions that. They all know what went wrong and why. The video link I posted pretty much spells it all out. It is not coming from Indians. We give credit where it is due. We check each other out when one of us goes of tangentially. Pakistan is where it is today because of its military. It is not protecting anyone other than its self interests. It is the driving force behind keeping India as an enemy. There is a lot of ego and macho involved in your military circles. If these men learn to stop thinking with their dicks, a lot of good can be done. They are the ones preventing any peace between the people of India and Pakistan. They have derailed every peace initiative. Ahmed Rashid talks about how the military has been siphoning aid money off to keep its ranks well off. In every country, the military is always saluted and respected. It is not unique to Pakistan. But in Pakistan, your military has derailed a lot of things that could have helped the nation grow and survive with respect in the international circles.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KPSingh:”Pakistan is where it is today because of its military. It is not protecting anyone other than its self interests. It is the driving force behind keeping India as an enemy. There is a lot of ego and macho involved in your military circles. If these men learn to stop thinking with their dicks, a lot of good can be done.”

-KPSingh, though you have used some very low level language, which is unfortunate. Let me tell you, I am really not interested in the views of some coconut liberal who writes books and give lectures to make a living. Ahmed Rashid is a govt. critic and you like his views. Good enough. I am from a family with a history of service to the country. My father is a veteran of Indo-Pak wars and service to the country, the reality of Pakistan is that the Army is widely respected. It is strong, it is professional, it cares for the people. This much I would state and leave it here.
Remember two things, ISI is preventing many terrorists who are out to attack India. Pakistan Army guarantees the safety of Pakistan’s nukes. Without the Pakistan Army and ISI, India will be screwed big time. You owe it to the Pak Army and ISI without them India is screwed.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Umair

” Without the Pakistan Army and ISI, India will be screwed big time. You owe it to the Pak Army and ISI without them India is screwed.”

***Thank you so much! I am indebted.

Now tell me about the other part how much has ISI screwed up India using the terrorists you indicated. Don’t be coy about it.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

@Indian love for PA/ISI

***Indians, despite everything I do see there is a room for toning down the rhetoric against holy cows PA and ISI.

It is a known fact that PA/ISI has fucke$ up Pakistan big time as well as saved Lahore getting into Indian Army’s hands. But if Pakistanis cannot understand that latter became a possibility because of them initiating aggression and also if they cannot get it that going overboard with their strategic depth is what brought terrorists like termites into Waziristan and elsewhere, and if they cannot understand that PA is just a part of Pakistan and has grown bigger for their role which has not allowed room for political system to take shape, then do you think they would worry about PA keeping India as an enemy.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@Umairpk
You are outnumbered but doing great just great! if most of your fellow countrymen are as cool as you are, no army in the world could defeat Pakistan. The majority of the Indian people do not wish to live in peace with its neighbours as equal. Their civilian leaders are not bright either, otherwise they would have prioratised to have a peace treaty with Pakistan.

India is relying on the simple logic that Pakistan nuclear weapons would sleep as long as India does not provoke Pakistan. I have different views on this…. no peace treaty and continued built up of Indian military, with support of USA, Russia and Israel (the grand plan of Henry Kissinger, current adviser to Obama & co.) would provoke Pakistan military to strike Indian power centres. This would cripple India for generations and cause heavy destruction in Pakistan. The remainder of Pakistan could at least breathe freely fo another 50years!

Have a nice holiday and a prosperous new year. We are off to more snow and long walks in the woods!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

I must say there has been a radical shift in your comments here from around a year ago. For whatever reason, gone is the anger/defensiveness which was there earlier and your comments are now far more constructive. Its a long time since I have heard you say “Indian idiots” and the like.

However, not unsurprisingly, there are times when you give the impression that you dont care to understand or accept facts and the sensitivity of most Indians who write here.

I say this because of your statement that Indians would be screwed were it not for the Pak Army or ISI. May I ask, by whom then will they be screwed? Would you care to expand on this? The renegade terror outfits that exist in Pakistan and have a free hand is only because the Army lets them have a free hand to suit its own purpose.

I think you have decided to keep a closed mind on anything that is any way critical of the PA. More so if it is said by an Indian, even if it be done just by way of furthering understanding of the topic and not as criticism.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

First of all, all of us Indians in the forum commend you for your participation in the discussions. We are all ordinary people who do not run establishments and guide their policies. What is important is an understanding at the people level in both countries. A lot of misinformation and propaganda have been injected to keep the people divided. Human beings have fought countless wars. If one were to get justice for each one of them by means of further wars, the world will cease to exist.

I understand that PA is sacred in your heart. You are not alone. There are people in every nation who worship their military. I have relatives who believe that India should be under a military rule. They negate every argument against that and keep repeating the same thing. Interestingly they live in Canada (I am actually staying with one of them right now).

Then there are Hindus who believe that India should have had Vallabhai Patel as the PM and not Nehru. There are people who still worship Indira Gandhi.
I have given up arguing with such people.

I wish more Pakistanis participated in this forum. Many lack the exposure to the outside world and are unable to observe global perspectives on the events in South Asia. Everything looks like a propaganda of forces out to destroy Pakistan.

You know in your heart that the image of India as an evil monster is perpetuated by your military. Everything done by India is twisted and projected as an evil act against Pakistan. Most of what India has done is in retaliation to the prodding arising out of this unnecessary paranoia that has been sustained to keep the unity of Pakistan.

Think about it. India could have gobbled up East Pakistan in 1971. It could have invaded Nepal and taken it over, because Nepal is all Hindu. It could have used the same logic that the Chinese used in the case of Tibet. Nepal is an extremely geo-strategic location. India could have taken over Sri Lanka as well. If India is really such an expansionist evil nation, that is what would have happened and nations would have had a reason to be defensive against India. None of that has happened. There are always politicians inside these countries who sustain that fear psychosis all the time. There is nothing we can do about it.

If you look at China, they do not care for international opinion or approval. They walk in and take what they think is theirs. South East nations bordering China know this attitude and hate the Chinese. No one can read what the Chinese are up to. Short sighted and emotional act by the Americans during the Vietnam war has resulted in China becoming the next super power. They did this to separate China from the USSR. And now they have end up facing the Chinese sooner or later.

Militaries, if let go, will always be preparing everything for a war. That’s all they know. They will talk of strategic moves, depths, intercepts and what not. They are not accountable to anyone if they are in charge. And of course, they only act in “national interest.” Soldiers are expendable. They’d love to have an enemy at all times. If not for an enemy, what is the need for the military?

If Pakistani military’s paranoia is justified about India, by now Bangladesh should have exploded a nuclear device. According to this perspective, India would gobble up Bangladesh. India has not. And they are grateful to India on one side, but they are not going to ally themselves with India on all matters. They still are a Muslim nation and would like to be on their own with their own policies.

The danger of close minded approach is that, it can be manipulated. Ahmed Rashid is not some selfish journalist trying to get name and fame for himself. He already has that. He is highly respected everywhere. His views carry a lot of weight than yours or mine. And his works do show a lot of care and concern for the people of Pakistan and South Asia as a whole. He is one of the proponents of ending this war by including the Taliban. You are willing to respect Myra’s views here because her views align with that of your military. I have never seen her criticize one problem or another that points at Pakistan. Ahmed Rashid is more neutral and speaks his mind with valid data.

There is enough history to learn from. If ignored, one will have to learn from direct experience and start all over again. Hope you educated Pakistanis wake up and expand your overall vision so that at at least some of you can come out of the spell cast by your power brokers. That is extremely important for the future of your country. It is you who can help your people and if you choose to ignore overall knowledge of the events, it is your people who will be at the receiving end.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Since you come from a military family, I understand your sentiments & loyalty towards the PA and I also understand your impulsive urge to defend the PA, everytime someone critisizes it. But you are an educated & intelligent person & all I ask is that you don’t accept things on face value or on what you are told. There’s plenty of neutral information out there & if you are really interested in the truth, it’s there for you to find it. You might not like what it is & you’ll need courage to accept it but nevertheless, it can be found, if you want to. I have come across many Pakistanis, who feel that the PA is responsible for most of the mess, Pakistan is in today & no they are not coconut liberals but rather individuals who refused to blindly follow what they were told & had the guts to uncover the truth.

Merry X’Mas & happy holidays to you as well!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: “I am from a family with a history of service to the country. My father is a veteran of Indo-Pak wars and service to the country, the reality of Pakistan is that the Army is widely respected. It is strong, it is professional, it cares for the people. This much I would state and leave it here.”

My whole lineage has veterans, right from who knows when. There has always been someone from my relatives in the armed forces. They have been part of every war the sub-continent has faced. My cousin was a part of the IPKF in Sri Lanka. My community underwent excruciating pain when Indian army was unleashed on our holy shrine in Amritsar. We have seen both sides of the equation. I have lost relatives when goons killed some of my relatives in Delhi after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

This does not mean I should take a view that is always sides with that of our military. Nations and their boundaries are never permanent. World history can show the changes in the boundaries era after era. Nations have come and disappeared over time. When that is the case, sometimes I wonder why people get emotional about such entities which never are permanent and why humans have to kill each other for them. You have seen in the recent history East Pakistan becoming a nation by itself. Who knows, some day in the future Kashmir might be on its own. All possibilities exists. India itself may disappear or Pakistan might. Didn’t we see the disappearance of the USSR? How many died for the USSR? For what purpose?

People have remained despite all the changes in geography and history. If they start carrying the memories of old scars and seek revenge decades later, they will never get anywhere. A lot countries that we take for granted today and are willing die for, did not exist a hundred years ago. Where is the guarantee that they will remain the same a hundred years from now? Nations are only temporary set ups to help administration run the rule of law based on various local beliefs and customs. They are all artificial barriers.

Therefore think about why people get so emotional when talking about what power mongers are doing to exploit people. You might want to think hard about your loyalty to a department in your government.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KP Singh said:

> Militaries, if let go, will always be preparing everything for a war. That’s all they know. They will talk of strategic moves, depths, intercepts and what not. They are not accountable to anyone if they are in charge. And of course, they only act in “national interest.” Soldiers are expendable. They’d love to have an enemy at all times. If not for an enemy, what is the need for the military?

Everyone here should see the movie “Small Soldiers” to really understand what KP Singh is talking about. It brings out the military psychology very well through the actions of robot toy soldiers. The “enemy” is a group of ugly-looking toy monsters who are actually peaceful.

http://bit.ly/BGtz

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Over the years, the Pakistani army seems to have firmly impressed upon most Pakistanis that critisizing the army equates to being a traitor. Pakistanis need to realize that army & country are 2 different entities & speaking against the army does not mean disloyalty towards their country. Looking from an Indian perspective, if Pakistan would have had a real democracy from the begining without constant intervention from the army, there’s a very good chance that there would be peace & good relations between India & Pakistan, today.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Dara:” there are times when you give the impression that you dont care to understand or accept facts and the sensitivity of most Indians who write here.I say this because of your statement that Indians would be screwed were it not for the Pak Army or ISI. May I ask, by whom then will they be screwed? Would you care to expand on this?”

-I have engaged here in interaction for some time now and it should be clear I am not insensitive to Indian friends. Now let me elaborate on what I mean by if it was not upto Pak Army and ISI India is screwed. Go back to history and see how many Al Qaeda operatives ISI has arrested. The role this agency plays to safeguard the country. And it is clear to everyone that Pak Army is a source of stability to the counbtry providing much needed capacity to civil govt. Without Army Pakistan is nothing, if Pakistan is severely destablized or it is pushed to civil war, India will be the first to suffer. This is a globalized world. When there was civil war in Afghanistan, it was Pakistan that suffered, this is how neighbours get sucked into unintended conflicts.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: Without Army Pakistan is nothing, if Pakistan is severely destablized or it is pushed to civil war, India will be the first to suffer. This is a globalized world. When there was civil war in Afghanistan, it was Pakistan that suffered, this is how neighbours get sucked into unintended conflicts.”

You must know clearly that PA is not there to save India from Al Qaeda. PA considers India as the number one enemy, not even Al Qaeda. India has faced terrorism for more than two decades now. And none of it was from Al Qaeda. Therefore there was nothing to protect India from other than the PA sponsored militants. Now you are portraying it as a great buffer between India and Al Qaeda. Mumbai attacks were not staged by Bin Laden and his men.

Pakistan did not suffer much from the events in Afghanistan. War against the Soviets was extremely benevolent to Pakistan in a number of ways. The most important of them all was the cover provided by the US for making the Islamic bomb. Pakistan got a lot of goodies from the US in the bargain – training in all forms, weapons, money and what not. In addition the US and its lackeys turned a blind eye to PA’s jihad against India.

PA could have allowed the Afghans to slit each other’s throat and settle down. But it decided to control Afghanistan by creating and launching the Taliban for its own strategic depth against India. Al Qaeda was allowed to breed and grow in Afghanistan, under the watchful eyes of PA.

PA under Musharraf figured out that AQ can be sacrificed in order to deflect the intense pressure from the US after 9/11. There was nothing unselfish in this regard. It was a calculated move. PA preserved the Taliban because in the long run, Taliban would be needed. AQ is expendable. And the US is only after AQ.

Because of the above mentioned reason, I am unable to buy your logic that PA is somehow protecting India from AQ. India can defend itself well. We don’t need PA to save us.

If Pakistan falls into a civil war, trust me, India is not going to get involved and take sides. We will let the various groups go after each others’ throats and settle down. But a civil war in Pakistan will bring the world focus on Pakistan’s nukes for sure. And India will be very co-operative in getting them removed and taken to a safe place. This is to save India, Pakistani citizens and the world from the dangerous elements that are going out of control in Pakistan. If India steps in, we know that, it unites all elements. Therefore, we will not step in and let the brothers go at each other.

If PA gets to run the affairs any longer, trust me, Pakistan will plunge into civil war. PA is able to keep Pakistan united only by pointing at India as an enemy. While doing so, it is not realizing the enemy within that is growing by the day.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

My friend Umair, I think intentionally, sees the world differently.

1. If stats show India is still considered a bigger enemy than Al-Qaida by Pakistan establishment and people, how can ISI save India from Al-Qaida.

2. At the end of the day, Al-qaida is not the primary concern for India. A-Q wants to attack the West and Pakistan for helping the West.

3. The primary terrorists which India want taken care off live in Umair’s neighbourhood–the LeT brand and they are perhaps a short drive from his home and hand in glove with very people Umair worships—the PA. If JuD=LeT and Saeed is the leader, then Pakistanis leaders/PA/ISI/judiciary all are helping LeT grow. From what he writes, Umair is smart enough to knowv that LeT is promoted by ISI. Remember that war by “thousand cuts?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

KPsingh:” But a civil war in Pakistan will bring the world focus on Pakistan’s nukes for sure. And India will be very co-operative in getting them removed and taken to a safe place. This is to save India, Pakistani citizens and the world from the dangerous elements that are going out of control in Pakistan. If India steps in, we know that, it unites all elements. Therefore, we will not step in and let the brothers go at each other. ”

-Thank you, for letting me know the true intentions. And I think the Army fully knows India will gang up to take out Pakistan’s nukes. But here is some bad news for you, for all intelligence estimates made by outside intelligence agencies no one could predict correctly where are all of Pakistan’s nukes are concealed. And any operation to take them is fraught with risks, with no guarantee of success. With greater command and control, PALs (Permissive action links) Army strategic force command, Strategic plans division and clear nuclear doctrine (first strike) it is evident that Pakistan nuclear arsenal is safe and secure. And to prevent a civil war, the country is strong enough. As I stated the resurgence after 1971, Pakistan is capable to deal with every challenge.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Rehmat:”At the end of the day, Al-qaida is not the primary concern for India. A-Q wants to attack the West and Pakistan for helping the West.”

-Really? are you sure about this? Let me tell you the Mumbai attackers were greatly influenced by AQ and that is why the targets like Chabbad house jews and western nationals were singled out and target. All other groups are greatly influenced by A-Q. You can safely assume that A-Q will be more than willing to have a go at India as much as they would like to attack the west. And with a huge country like India with western business interests, A-Q would find many convenient reachable targets in India nearby instead of them planning trans-atlantic operations. It is evident you do not think from a counter-terrorism perspective.

” If JuD=LeT and Saeed is the leader, then Pakistanis leaders/PA/ISI/judiciary all are helping LeT grow. From what he writes, Umair is smart enough to knowv that LeT is promoted by ISI.”

-that was in the past, today due to crackdown by ISI many factions of LeT have emerged and fierce splinter groups like the LeJ have attacked everywhere. But I do not expect you to understand a complicated situation. You simply are not able to understand exactly what is going on. Just remember, ISI has taken direct hits will personnell lost, its offices bombed. It is at the forefront of the battle against these very groups. In your case i think ignorance is a blessing.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Strange the article and the comments apparently are all discussed in Pakistani barber shops and among taxi drivers. Excuse my language and no offence but this is the truth.

Posted by shahzadBlah | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

AlQaeda has never been involved in any terrorist attack in India whereas Pakistani army sponsored groups (LeT, JeM etc) have been involved in at least 2 dozen terrorist attcks in India in which thousands of innocent Indian civilians have been killed or injured. AlQaeda’s agenda, since it’s conception & creation, has been against the US & western presence in the middle east & it has nothing to do with India. People like Ajmal Kasab & Mumbai attackers might be inspired by Bin Laden (he’s an inspiration to most terrorists) but at the end of the day, they were recruited & trained by groups which are supported by your army EVEN TODAY. Your army has apprehended AlQaeda operatives in order to tone down the US pressure & claim the prizes on the heads of those guys. As Musharraf disclosed a couple of years ago, the Pakistani army has recieved $100 mns + as bounties on the heads of the apprehended AlQaeda operatives. Please do not insult our intelligence by claiming that Pakistani army/ISI are defenders of India. It almost sounds comedic.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

I understand the pride in you. However, I’d suggest not holding on to an argument point for the sake of it. Nukes will not protect Pakistan. Pretty soon Iran will have its nukes. Whether Pakistan aided them or not, they will start thumping their chests. And they are a Shia country. Any further attacks on Shia minorities in Pakistan will not be dealt with by friendly admonitions. One thing with the people of this region is high emotions. No one really thinks hard before taking an action. Israel might play the card of triggering Shia versus Sunni divide to save itself from an Iranian offensive. And Pakistan will be directly in line. Before your mighty military takes on India, it might end up facing a hostile Iran.

How are your militant groups going to understand the above? They are already attacking the defenseless minorities. And there is the CIA around. This agency is the mother of subterfuge. It can exploit the Shia vs Sunni divide to turn Pakistan’s attention away from PA’s valuable assets in North Waziristan.

If Iran demonstrates a nuclear device, a lot of new variables will add to the equation. The first aim of the US will be to protect Saudi Arabia and Israel. Going to war with Iran is out of question because of the already dragged down war in Afghanistan and half the troops staged in Iraq, South Korea etc. With economy still recovering, the US will not try to confront Iran. If they had not attacked Saddam Hussein in 2003, they could have unleashed him towards Iran. In this scenario, Israel will have to do a desperate act for its own survival. Taking the nukes out of either Pakistan or Iran will not be possible.

Therefore the only option left would be to turn the two countries towards each other. Mossad and the CIA will stage attacks against Shias in Pakistan or have Balochi Sunni rebels create havoc inside Iran. And they will prevent Iran from mediating with Pakistan. Shia vs Sunni animosity is more than a thousand years old and the bitter enmity and rivalry are much worse than that between the recent India versus Pakistan animosity.

An already stretched PA will be pushed to the brink by staging divisive plans in the region. Removing nukes from Pakistan is not only India’s interest, but also that of Russia, US, and Israel. The reason is simple. Pakistanis have not hidden their emotions. They have time and again openly proclaimed nuclear retaliation for every little thing, unlike other nuclear armed nations. Any emotional exhibition is dangerous and neither Pakistan nor Iran have controlled them. This is what brings the concern from the international community. PA has become arrogant and belligerent due to the presence of nukes. The US probably regrets having to support PA’s nuclear ambitions. But it has placed Israel under risk. And they will defend Israel with their blood.

Whether you like it or not, the propaganda of Pakistan’s nukes falling into the hands of militants will be a major campaign in the US. No matter what assurance is given, the American media and public will prompt their policy makers to do something about it. In the Pakistan was an ally. Now in both countries the people have begun to hate each other. People like Shahzad have brought more paranoia about Pakistan in American public. All this will have to culminate in a major catastrophe. There is no maturity around to diffuse this tension. And Israel will make sure that no amicable solution is found until the nukes are gone from Pakistan and Iran is neutralized.

From an overall perspective, Afghanistan settlement is a precursor to a much bigger conflict in the region. This is not a wish. A lot of unnecessary things have happened and they need correction. If you see the overall picture, India is not even in it. India will figure only when PA tries to drag it into the picture. We have the nukes. But no one fears them like they do about Pakistan’s. That must tell something.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

One more thing. LeT and its splinter groups might have been getting closer to Al Qaeda. But AQ is on the defensive now. It has no time to think of India. It might be trying to reach more into Pakistan’s militant groups to gain control inside the hinterlands. That way, it can set up a much bigger hide out and control over its objectives. Hiding in the caves can help only so much. AQ knows that stepping into Pakistan today can lead to the PA capturing them and handing them over to the Americans. So the only way they will try to get in will be to gain support and control in the hinterlands of Punjab. I think it is already beginning to happen. Then the plan will be to slowly take Pakistan over through its militant supporters. This influence will reach deep into the ISI and the PA itself. If PA can be run by an AQ influenced cartel, then the whole of Pakistan will belong to AQ. And it will be sort of a bloodless coup. At that time, PA will divide between supporters of AQ and America. That will be the starting point of the civil war. And Israel would love to see that divide. That will be the time when the US will try to undo its mistake of allowing Pak to have nukes. It will try to wrest the nukes. if nukes are removed, Pakistan can be subdued and Afghanistan will be assured of peace. It is the presence of nukes that has given all the resistance and confidence to the various militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

There are lot of scenarios developing. How far PA can duck, slip and skim away from all this is another question. But it won’t be able to do it forever. This is something we, sitting outside on the stands can see. Unfortunately you are inside the arena and as a result lack that eye view. Therefore I can understand your perspective. Our view will become clear as you go through them.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

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