Comments on: Anyone here been to Pakistan and speaks English? Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: rehmat Tue, 18 Jan 2011 06:57:26 +0000 Myra

” “We want what you want: a strong, stable, democratic Pakistan,” he told a news conference, according to the Washington Post. “We wish your success because it’s in our own interest.”

“It was more in the choice of language — not necessarily Biden’s strong point. It left you wondering which audience he was appealing to when he said, “we want what you want”.

***I think Biden’s handle on language has come handy. I can imagine his big grin after your his analysis of his single sentence. If the guy was serious, he meant USA wants a strong, stable BUT democratic Pakistan. Even if he was clearer, no one would trust him given US support to dictators/PA historically and currently they Kayani gets more respect than a PM or President.

By: Andvari Mon, 17 Jan 2011 23:48:44 +0000 All the politcos and hacks want to shut down Social Security and Medicare, yet no one raises the issue of cutting military spending and getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq (Will, Buchanan and Scarborough notwithstanding).
KPSingh01, we can’t afford nor win the wars we have now. To start one against Iran or North Korea would be economic suicide.
Stop all funds to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Israel and see where that takes us. It couldn’t be any worse than what we have now.
(If Obama doesn’t start troop reductions in 2011, I will vote against him in 2012.)

By: KPSingh01 Mon, 17 Jan 2011 03:03:59 +0000 Umairpk,

I agree that the US could have stuck around and help stabilize the region. This has been their major weakness – dealing with everything in a business like manner – cozy up when needed and ignore when not needed. I wonder if this abandonment was deliberate. It is possible that they might have planned to let the region fall apart so that they can be back o fix things. One never knows what runs in the minds of the lunatics at the Pentagon. Pakistan’s status was elevated until American objectives were achieved. President Reagan lied to his Congress about Pakistan’s nuclear bomb development so that money could be pumped into the conflict without interruption. Once the war was won, there was no more need to lie and sanctions were imposed. Pakistan was no longer needed. They assumed that things will fall into an insignificant hole after that. Little did they realize that Bin Laden would arise and haunt them. They came back again to use Pakistan and will abandon Pakistan once again if their objectives are met. May be your generals know this and want to keep the US here for a while by protecting Bin Laden. There is more to milk the US out of. And then there is Iranian nuclear bomb development. To contain Iran, the US might yet again seek Pakistan’s help. I get the feeling that they will attack Iran. Whoever becomes a President in 2012, will need a war to keep the attention away from local issues in the US. Iran will be the ideal choice and Pakistan will again be propped up. Iraqis may not allow the US to come back in. A lot of interesting developments are about to unfold.

By: Umairpk Mon, 17 Jan 2011 01:14:01 +0000 *Berlin wall to fall.

By: Umairpk Mon, 17 Jan 2011 01:12:43 +0000 PS
and i don’t blame Pakistan Army or ISI, Soviet union was a huge threat then. All parties, Pakistan, Afghan Mujahideen, Saudi arabia, Egypt, USA jointly fought against communism. That was the need of the hour, a job well done which help defeat communism, caused Soviet Union to colllapse, Berlin to fall and Eastern Europe was liberated. Many people got the sense of liberty and freedom for the first time after the end of communist repression.

By: Umairpk Mon, 17 Jan 2011 01:03:04 +0000 KPSingh:”All funding was handled exclusively through the ISI. This means the ISI took the American and Saudi money and channeled it to whichever groups it liked. It was the ISI that set up the Madrasa system across the nation and started breeding Jihadi clones. I am amazed that you are not blaming your own army and the ISI for their significant contribution to the problem that has grown over the years.”

-True, I even know the names of some ISI officers who were involved in those clandestine operations (on public record). Even one of those officers had visited our college as a guest speaker. I know the precise location of the secret base from where in Rawalpindi the entire Afghan operation was ran by ISI (ofcourse not a secret anymore after all these years). The ISI had divided the Afghan political party leaders and field commanders, for each commander on ground had to be assoicated with one of parties to get ammunition and money from ISI. The idea of strategic depth and prevention of encirclement is very old. Pakistan has always sought a friendly government in kabul. In those very days also when CIA director William Casey used to fly directly from Washington to Chaklala Air Force base Rawalpindi, the relationship between CIA and ISI was uneasy. And it continues to be now; 0

Once Soviet Union was defeated by Afghan blood, and Pakistan’s termendous sacrifice, the US left the region. Sanctions were imposed on Pakistan.
Today no one in Pakistan trusts the US intentions, although I do not think US intentions are wrong. They might be acting in good faith and nothing wrong in pursuing legitimate interests. But the sense of betrayal in Pakistan remains. The correct approach by the US should have been to rehabilitate and rebuild Afghanistan, and back Pakistan after Soviet withdrawal. Instead US is now paying the price with blood and treasure, and no end in sight of an honourable end to Afghan war.

By: KPSingh01 Sun, 16 Jan 2011 23:01:21 +0000 Umairpk: “it was the US that funded the Mujahideen in the past and later dumped them.”

You have said in one of the earlier blogs that nothing moves through Pakistan without Pakistan’s approval and intent. This was in the context of delivery trucks being held at the border after US chopper ran over Pak border and killed a few Pak soldiers. You chest thumped at that time that the US cannot get anything done without Pakistan’s help in the region. As a result you had claimed that the US will not mess with Pakistan.

Now under a different context you are squarely blaming the US for funding the Mujahideen and dumping them. All funding was handled exclusively through the ISI. This means the ISI took the American and Saudi money and channeled it to whichever groups it liked. It was the ISI that set up the Madrasa system across the nation and started breeding Jihadi clones. I am amazed that you are not blaming your own army and the ISI for their significant contribution to the problem that has grown over the years. After the Soviets withdrew, the Americans were not obligated to do anything in the region. They came with an objective of defeating the USSR and it was accomplished. There was no further agenda and everyone involved knew this clearly. Pakistani army at that time had to make the right choice – disband the Madrasa system, send in the Afghans back to their country and help rebuild the nation or continue to expand the Jihad in other directions with the experience gained. Pak army chose the latter and it has direct consequence on what we see today.

I only blame the Americans for being short sighted and ignorant. They still are and have been exploited by Pak army to its benefit. Unfortunately Pakistanis did not.

By: Mortal1 Sun, 16 Jan 2011 19:39:11 +0000 @”The fact that overwhelming majority of moderate Pakistanis have historically always elected moderate parties in general elections point out that Pakistan is anything but an extremist state.”

It all depends on your definition of “moderate parties”. Many analysts, both outside & inside Pakistan have started to believe that a political party like PML-N is no longer a moderate party but has moved, dramatically to the right, in recent times. Although the power of the religious right in Pakistan, has not yet manifested itself in an election, their popularity & the support they enjoy is not lost on anyone. I hope such extremists never come to power in Pakistan but unfortunately, trends indicate otherwise.

By: Auroch78 Sun, 16 Jan 2011 12:46:57 +0000 I fail to understand how people expect a rational decision from pakistani leadership in the current situation??

A worrysome past, a troubled present and a bleak future with Pakistan clutching in foreign aid to survive. Tax to GDP is one of the lowest in the world and to add to that most of the revenue goes Defense and debt servicing. Its a slow train wreck

By: pakistan Sun, 16 Jan 2011 10:55:32 +0000 Kingfisher has summarised the article very well. On reflection,is he not the guy who is well know for his gaffe and was brought in by Mr Obama as his running mate to counter any pressures from Hillary Clinton.

Should we take it that the lady secretary of State is no longer effective with men like zardari? What about the mangoes which she promised to import to help Pakistan’s economy?

Rex Minor