Keeping Raymond Davis and Lashkar-e-Taiba in perspective

March 15, 2011

tajmumbaiAccording to the New York Times, Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor arrested in Pakistan for shooting dead two Pakistanis in what he says was an act of self-defence, was working with a CIA team monitoring the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.

The article, by Washington-based Mark Mazzetti, was not the first to make this assertion. The NYT itself had already raised it, while Christine Fair made a similar point in her piece for The AfPak Channel last week (with the intriguing detail that “though the ISI knew of the operation, the agency certainly would not have approved of it.”)

But it was the first article I’ve seen which focused almost exclusively on U.S. anxieties about the Lashkar-e-Taiba — blamed for the 2008 attack on Mumbai — while also linking these explicitly to the furore over the Raymond Davis case:

“The CIA team Mr. Davis worked with, according to American officials, had among its assignments the task of secretly gathering intelligence about Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant ‘Army of the Pure’. Pakistan’s security establishment has nurtured Lashkar for years as a proxy force to attack targets and enemies in India and in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. These and other American officials, all of whom spoke only on condition of anonymity, are now convinced that Lashkar is no longer satisfied being the shadowy foot soldiers in Pakistan’s simmering border conflict with India. It goals have broadened, these officials say, and Lashkar is committed to a campaign of jihad against the United States and Europe, and against American troops in Afghanistan.”

My first reaction to this was that it was not particularly new – we already knew the Americans were worried about the Lashkar-e-Taiba. My follow-up comment is that there is a danger of conflating the very specific row over Raymond Davis with longer-term arguments over the militant group. The two are not one and the same, even though they may overlap. And while rationally everyone knows this, politically such conflation is important, since it feeds all too often into a “pundit consensus” made up of emotion and impression.

 So here is a summary of my understanding of the history of the U.S. view of the Lashkar-e-Taiba based on conversations with officials and analysts (and on which, for fear of falling into pundit consensus traps myself, I am happy to be challenged.)

The United States, much to India’s annoyance, was initially reluctant to take on all militant groups in Pakistan, focusing primarily on seeking Islamabad/Rawalpindi’s help on tackling al Qaeda following the Sept. 11 attacks.  Yet, according to counter-terrorism experts, in adopting this stance Washington had failed to understand the way in which militant groups had changed in the 1990s from those with vertical hierarchies and clear agendas into a much more polymorphous, overlapping and horizontal movement. Among those who stressed this new development was former French investigating magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who complained that even after 9/11.  the Pakistan Army was still running training camps for the Lashkar-e-Taiba with the full knowledge of the CIA.

That attitude began to change after the 2005 bombings in London which highlighted the risks of “home-grown terrorism” in Britain linked to militant groups based in Pakistan’s Punjab province - among them, the Lashkar-e-Taiba. By extension, “home-grown” bombers with British passports and easier access to the United States were increasingly seen in Washington as a much more proximate threat.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks, which included among their victims foreigners and Jews, confirmed in the minds  of the U.S. administration that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had expanded its targets beyond India and had become a cause of serious worry. Then came the arrest of David Headley in Chicago in 2009, for scouting targets in Mumbai for the Lashkar-e-Taiba and helping al Qaeda plot an attack in Denmark. His confession, detailed in an Indian government report, would have left little doubt about how the lines between al Qaeda and the LeT were becoming blurred.

However — and this is why we have to be careful about conflating the Raymond Davis row with the LeT argument – David Headley was arrested in October 2009 and the CIA has since had more than a year to talk to the ISI about its worries about the LeT.

In turn, the ISI is almost certainly aware that an attack on the west traced back to the Lashkar-e-Taiba could have devastating consequences for Pakistan. So we can be fairly sure it is trying to keep the LeT on a tight leash – as I noted above, it is intriguing that Christine Fair says the ISI knew about the CIA monitoring. But Pakistan has also argued that taking on the militant group could make it even more dangerous, by driving it into the arms of al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban.

The LeT has always had a global agenda - at least in ideological terms.  You can trace the origins of the group to the jihad against the Soviets. Or more recently, consider that French police investigated a British-Pakistani living in Paris for allegedly helping “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid, a plot which unfolded as early as December 2001. Police failed to prove the case linking the man with Reid, but he was convicted and jailed for recruiting for the LeT. 

But the Lashkar-e-Taiba has also, unlike al Qaeda’s global view, tended to focus on the “near enemy” – India, Kashmir and, to some extent, Pakistan (there is little evidence of the LeT being involved in attacks on Pakistan itself, but it shares the view of other militant groups that the country should be run according to what it sees as the original ways of the companions of the Prophet Mohammed).

And anyone who thinks the Lashkar-e-Taiba might either seriously compete with al Qaeda globally or merge into it should read Leah Farrall’s brilliant essay on  “How al Qaeda Works” to understand why neither of these are possible.

I’m not saying the Lashkar-e-Taiba is not something we need to think about.   Just that it is a very complicated organisation in terms of motive, history and  state support (its humanitarian wing, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, worked hard to provide relief to the people hit by last summer’s floods.)  Equating the very high emotions running over the Raymond Davis case with the question of what to do about the Lashkar-e-Taiba would be misleading.

49 comments

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This piece of information explains Pakistani hostility towards Raymond Davis. Spying on other militants or other activities would not have triggered as much hostility as spying on Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The motto of Pakistan Army is ”Imaan, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah” which translates to ”Faith, Piety, Holy War in the path of Allah”.

http://www.pakistanarmy.gov.pk/

The Pakistan Army is divided into two main branches: Arms and Services. It has three commands, supervising a number of corps: Northern Command, Central Command, and Southern Command. A corps is an army field formation responsible for a zone within a command theatre. There are 13 Corps in Pakistan Army.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is not listed officially in any of these public classifications, but has duties not assigned to the other units in Pakistan Army. The Lashkar-e-Toiba has training camps (different from regular Pakistan army training camps) spread across Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). LeT has 2,200 offices across Pakistan.

During Kargil war in 1999,Lashkar cadre worked with Northern Light Infantry and occupied mountain peaks on the Indian side of LOC.

During “peace time” Lashkar has other duties. Examples are attack on the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bangalore (December 28, 2005), , serial explosions in New Delhi killing at least 62 persons (October 29, 2005), Varanasi attack (March 7, 2006)…and many more. Biggest successful operation was Mumbai 2008.

Ironically, many Indians, and many in the West take the propaganda of calling this unit “NON-STATE ACTORS” too seriously.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

I would like to make one correction to the above narrative on the Lashkar-e-Taiba unit of Pakistan Army.

LeT unit has consistently and always has vowed that it would plant the ‘flag of Islam’ in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi. Making it sound like this is a more recent development is not true.

Although I said New Delhi, Lashkar unit’s Amir Hafiz Saeed has announced often in public meetings, they will plant the flag of Islam in Red Fort, which is in Old Delhi :-)

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

An interesting subtext that speaks volumes about the West’s concern for humanity:

“Pakistan’s security establishment has nurtured Lashkar for years as a proxy force to attack targets and enemies in India and in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. These and other American officials [...] are now convinced that Lashkar is no longer satisfied being the shadowy foot soldiers in Pakistan’s simmering border conflict with India. It goals have broadened, these officials say, and Lashkar is committed to a campaign of jihad against the United States and Europe, and against American troops in Afghanistan.”

[...]

“The 2008 Mumbai attacks, which included among their victims foreigners and Jews, confirmed in the minds of the U.S. administration that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had expanded its targets beyond India and had become a cause of serious worry.”

In other words, when someone wages a jihad against Indians, it’s not a problem. When they start to wage a jihad against Europeans and Americans, then it becomes a problem and the people involved become “terrorists”.

Distinction noted.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Respected Ganesh Prasad Sir,
I am really proud of your latest post here. We may have differences of opinion on some issues/ approaches, but I like your sincerity.

You may be the pacifist diplomat at the front end, but Indian strategic community has to deal with realities as they are.

Regards.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Sure Myra, sure. The ISI can hold the LeT in a tight leash when it comes to attacks in the West but somehow you find that the ISI is not involved in LeT’s attacks on India including the Mumbai atrocity.

LeT is complicated my foot! Why don’t you come out and say that you inherently sympathize with Pakistani jihadi groups and you don’t mind if it is innocent Indian hotel goers are the ones that slaughtered.

Hey, if they give aid to earthquake and flood victims, it should be okay for them to slit a few Indian throats, right?

Posted by SilverSw0rd | Report as abusive

It appears, the world is taking its time to acknowledge the truth that the Pakistan Army is a terrorist organization creating and running many more terrorist outfits.

Until then…

Posted by freehussaini | Report as abusive

Good try to rescue Davis. Present this evidence to the judge.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive

LeT is complicated my foot! Why don’t you come out and say that you inherently sympathize with Pakistani jihadi groups and you don’t mind if it is innocent Indian hotel goers are the ones that slaughtered.
==

the moderation policy of this blog has changed or what? Previously whenever I posted my honest assessments of this blog and Ms.McDonald I got banned.

Unless reality is catching up with every one.

I hope I don’ t have to sign up for a new nick with this post. …Sigh.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“In other words, when someone wages a jihad against Indians, it’s not a problem. When they start to wage a jihad against Europeans and Americans, then it becomes a problem and the people involved become “terrorists”

You seem surprised! but why? Why would India’s problem with terrorism be US’ problem as well?? If Indian establishment does not have guts and balls to deal with this menace then whose fault is it?? If Indian government is not capable to provide security to its citizens then whose fault is it?? Did US have to take anyone’s permission for drone strikes in Afganistan?? Then why does India look to west for security of its citizens?? Why is it that coast gaurd is put under direct command of Indian navy ONLY AFTER mumbai attacks and not before despite the same being demanded (since long long before Mumbai attacks) repeatedly by Indian Navy from Defence Ministry?? Why is Indian Navy now being given a free hand to deal with coastal security and not before?? Why are we always in a reactive mode and never in proactive mode. I would tend to agree with netizen that a proactive approach is needed but would disagree the end goal he/she specifies. We need proactive approach in upgrading our security systems and modernizing our forces while at same time trying to improve relations with Pakistan and improve situation in Kashmir.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@Matrixx
“Good try to rescue Davis. Present this evidence to the judge”

What’s the use?? When the parallel (the mullah factory laws) Pakistan law states that all the Jihad (read killing and murdering) against ALL non-muslims (irrespective of caste, creed, gender, age or religion) is the duty of every Pakistani Muslim then how can any evidence on earth pursue the judge?? So, your satire in first statement says it all.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

“…it is a very complicated organisation in terms of motive, history and state support (its humanitarian wing, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, worked hard to provide relief to the people hit by last summer’s floods.) ”

Myra,
JuDs charity fronts divert funds towards terrorism, while giving them a humanitarian facade. In this, they are no different from the Palestinian groups. This is a banned terrorist outfit. What’s so complicated about that?

Posted by trickey | Report as abusive

Only when the US and its Western allies stop treating themselves as special, can the world can think of peace. When Islamic insurgents were unleashed into India leading to the deaths of close to 70000 people, none of these countries paid any attention to it. They were giving more money and arms to the Pak army. This did not stop even after 2001. It has taken them a few more years of exposure to the ugly side of this menace and they have begun to sympathize with us and others. Now they are openly criticizing Pakistan for playing the role of the arsonist and the fire fighter. In a way I am glad this Davis episode happened. He will be sacrificed one way or another. But through that experience the US will finally realize how it has pampered and spoiled Pakistan’s military over the years. Let them pay for what they have done to this region.

There is still a lot of sympathy for Pak army in the Western circles. Until that generation of officials in the Pentagon retire, nothing will change.

LeT has become a threat to them only after Mumbai attacks. Before that it was treated like Hezbollah, a local organization fighting a regional conflict that did not affect American interests. ISI failed to train the gunmen in avoiding Westerners during Mumbai attacks. Had they managed to do that, India would not have made even this much progress in the investigation. They grabbed David Coleman Headley before RAW could get to him mainly because a lot of ugly truths would be exposed. It would have shown the American connivance of all the activities of the ISI and its non-state actor departments. They were almost caught red handed. So they arrested the guy before Indians could lay their hands on him. And he is now safely kept in a US jail.

The US has to pay a lot for what it has done to the world just so that its citizens could enjoy freedom. They are beginning to pay for it. I am glad they are getting frustrated at Pakistan’s hands. Let them get a taste of what we have been experiencing.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP Singh said:

> The US has to pay a lot for what it has done to the world just so that its citizens could enjoy freedom.

I’m not even sure about that (American citizens enjoying freedom, I mean). They seem to be fed a constant diet of Matrix-style blue pills to keep them in their comfortable cocoons. I cannot imagine a populace anywhere else that has been so comprehensively screwed over by capitalist thieves that is also so viscerally scared of the word “socialist”. There would have been a communist revolution in any self-respecting country that suffered scandals like Wall Street. No sir, not the US of A. A more docile herd of sheep you will never find.

The American press is also the among the most muzzled in the “free” world. They voluntarily withheld the information that Raymond Davis was a CIA agent until the UK’s Guardian broke the story. Does the press in any other democracy behave in such a lapdog fashion?

[If Pakistan is one dystopia, the US is another. There doesn't seem to be a single decent country on this planet. I used to think Scandinavian countries qualified, but the ease with which they bent over for the US in cases like Julian Assange and Jon Johansen (the kid who broke DVD encryption) shows that they're no better. Free societies are an illusion.]

Western double-standards are well-known. When India mobilised troops (Operation Parakram) in the wake of the Dec 13, 2001 attack on parliament, the US was busy looking for bin Laden in the Afghan wilds with the help (heh!) of their ally Pakistan. One would have thought that a terrorist attack on another democracy so soon after the WTC attacks would have engendered some sympathy for India among the Americans. No such luck. The message from Washington to New Delhi was, “Don’t let your war get in the way of our war.”

Indians are a generally placid bunch, but it shouldn’t be assumed that such treatment will be forgotten. The US government should remember the truth of an essentially American saying, “Be nice to people on your way up, because you may meet them on your way down.”

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

I ask the enthusiastic Indian commentators above to remember that the person killed two persons by firing with a pistol on a busy road, while a third person was killed by consulate vehicle speeding to the scene of crime. The driver and riders of this speeding vehicle have been reported to have escaped to safety. Both cars had false number plates. What would you do if this happen in New Delhi?
This event has nothing to do with religious belives or groups or any thing else. He killed them and must face consequencies as any body wlse would in any other country. When you commented then there are Hindu extremist as well doing their bit in Kashmir. Not long ago Gujrat was in blood bath, Babri mosque was burnt, Churches and Christian were burnt, a train from Inia to Pakistan carrying innoscent Pakistanis including women and children was burnt, burning alive more than 70 Pakistanis and now there is very serious issue of Rivers water, according to American congress report Pakistan will become desert if Rivers flow is constricted many further by India. No wonder it has been widely announced and reported that future wars will be for oil and water.
Let us try to erredicate extremism jointly but in this process we must keep our self human and just to each other.

Posted by Facetruth | Report as abusive

[...] to Host Anti-Terror Training Center (AP via NYT) Philippines Arrests Alleged Militant Bomber (AFP) Keeping Raymond Davis and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Perspective [...]

“But the Lashkar-e-Taiba has also, unlike al Qaeda’s global view, tended to focus on the “near enemy” – India, Kashmir and, to some extent, Pakistan (there is little evidence of the LeT being involved in attacks on Pakistan itself, but it shares the view of other militant groups that the country should be run according to what it sees as the original ways of the companions of the Prophet Mohammed).”

I am afraid LeT views changed a long time ago. I am trying to but cannot locate the reference where Hafeez Sayeed said that Kashmir was only the door to India which in turn would be the stepping stone towards establishing Islamic dominance world wide. That also explains why Davis was trying to penetrate the LeT. Therefore to discuss the LeT along with the Davis episode is certainly relevant to the whole issue and cannot be separated from discussing the LeT threat. Myra’s hypothesis seems to be sweeping the connection under the carpet.

“The 2008 Mumbai attacks, which included among their victims foreigners and Jews, confirmed in the minds of the U.S. administration that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had expanded its targets beyond India and had become a cause of serious worry..”

The cat is truly out of the bag here. Just because foreigners were involved and massacred in Mumbai is the only reason Western analysts now redefine the LeT threat as being serious. Otherwise it was ok to let India fight its lone battle. The fact that people can make such comparisions only highlights the sheer hypocrisy of this so called international war on terror. There is none. There are just individual wars on terror, as and when the shoe pinches.

That is why too, that so little progress is being made. Didn’t Tony Blair recently bemoan the fact ‘that we should have listened to India earlier”. Unfortunately the truth is they are still not listening and are being tied up in their own individual worlds shadow boxing against a very very dangerous enemy. Shadow boxing is good training but nothing like getting into the ring and throwing a few telling punches.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

“Just that it is a very complicated organisation in terms of motive, history and state support (its humanitarian wing, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, worked hard to provide relief to the people hit by last summer’s floods.)”

Just after the devastating earthquake in Gujrat in 2001, the RSS and other right wing irganisations made far more progress in relief work than the government did in the initial stages. They did extra ordinary relief work and provide help to thousands. So does that cleanse them of stigma? This is the kind of logic that people apply to earn brownies.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Myra, your investigating journalism based on crap emanating from the Zionest controlled US press, who feed themselves on purchased info from the insiders within the administration, has upset your Indian admirers. They are just waking up not ever realising before that the west give a damn about what happens to India and Pakistan. For them these countries are a pain in the neck, one with the poorest people on earth living like slaves controlled by few captalists; who are now on a shopping spree to invest money outside India, after taking the blood money from the poorest of the poorest farmers and labourers, condemned by caste system and limited education, and Pakistan a constant liability for everyone from Gulf states to west. Every one is welcome in the country as long as they bring in money. They believe that money grows on trees in the west, hard work, innovation and technology are foreign words in that land of pure. Their western educated or local educated intellectuals and so called journalsts talk about secularism without ever realising what it means; and still claim the country as the Islamic Republic. Money and more money and more aid, military and civil aid so that they can keep their fat military not good enough to fight but in large numbers to keep the country and its neighbours restless and nervous by the sheer size. On top of that the subject always revolv around by the washington intellectuals about the so called terrorst groups. Who are these terrorist groups, a bunch of people, a group of people, o’k a large number of people who sprang up from nowhere one peaceful day with clear skies above them and decided to defend their communities and overall well being before they were about to be annhilated by the powerful state organised terrorist armada. Yes, State terrorism, look at the foot prints of the USA armyand the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army. Follow these footprints and you will come across these so called terrorist groups in their own right. COMPRENDO!! Not yet, o’k, replace the names of these groups in the article with those of US military, French and UK heads of state and add the Indian and Pakistan military chiefs and you would find that the article becomes more spicy, accurate and interesting and even unbiased. google software could do it for you. So stop complaining about the few deads in Bombay and kashmir, Karachi and Peshawar and think of the millions who died at the hands of the western powers in Europe and Japan, korea and vietnam, in Iraq and Afghanistan. And thank your God or Bhagwans or who else you believe in. Enjoy yourself while you can, get rid of your Govts if you can, who are following a policy of inviting terrorism in the country and are then unable to protect their citizens in peace time. Violene against innocents will have cosequences, the terrorist groups are not the vassals of the ISI, CIA or any other state sponsored set up. They do not take orders from no one, let any one prove in the court that a terrorist acted on the orders of some one else. They are like in the west we know the coalition of the willing, they come together and then disappear, they are looking for their intrests, no different than the Indian, Pakistani and the American Govts. Do you guys expect that uncle sam is going to protect you or the Indian Faqir Prime Minister is going to rescue you? You are living in an illusion. The meltdown in Japan is in full swing, let the American troops in Okinawa and those on the aircraft carrear hel the hundres of thousand who have lost their lives. The Japanese Govt. did not want to depend on the black tar most of which is under the desert of Arabia.

The good news for the CIA operative is that he is safe because of his arrest. Poor Kashmiri who got caught in India for doing a loppy mess and made the mistake to include innocent jews in the so called suicide commando action.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Mr. Pakistan,

You are openly expressing anti-Zionist views on this forum. Mortal was condemned severely by Muslims for making comments on your prophet. But you are doing the same thing with impunity. None of your Muslim brothers including Mr. Rehmat has stepped in to tell you that you are crossing the line. Ms. Myra, I think you need to step in an censor this forum for sometime.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

We are preaching to the choir since we don’t see any westerners comment here. The Western Imperialist role in this bloody mess is Ginormous.

Text books were printed at the University of Nebraska press in the USA egging Pashtun children into Holy Jihad against Soviet Union. The American textbooks were filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation. For instance, children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles, and land mines in “Islamic Spirit”.

However Western imperialistic machinations predate American sponsorship of Anti-Soviet Jihad.

Today Western imperialists joining hands with Punjabistanis portray the Pashtuns as savages who are in need of “civilization” from them. Some 70 years ago, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan energized and organized Pashtuns into a progressive peaceful community and managed to reduce their internecine tribal warfare. Members of his organization Khudai Khidmatgar, took oath with the Koran in their hands declaring the unity of humanity and engaged in social welfare activities and promotion of sectarian harmony and religious harmony with non-muslims. He was brutalized by the British Imperialists and was a sworn enemy of the Imperialists.

Whereas, Jinnah who never saw the inside of a jail, was the British stooge who promoted religious hatred. In the last minute the British connived with Jinnah and through a rigged election annexed Pashtun lands into Pakistan.

Again, through British connivance Kalat (Baluchistan) was annexed into Pakistan. Baluchis never had anything to do with Pakistan ideology (muslim vs non-muslim hatred). Not before 1947, not after 1947. To this day, a Baluchi Muslim’s mortal enemy is the Punjabi muslim, while he considers a Baluchi hindu to be his blood brother.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

I agree with most commenters that for a very long time, the US & west did not care about India’s security concerns, while it was the target of Pakistan’s state sponsored terrorism for over 2 decades but looking at the bright side, they certainly do so now. I don’t think that it’s a mere coincidence that Pakistan sponsored terrorism in India has dropped drastically since the Mumbai attacks in 2008. The Pakistani military establishment is definetely being reigned in by the US/west.

@Rex minor: With your rabid ant-Semitsim, you would’ve fit well in nazi Germany. The only problem is that they would’ve also thrown you in a gas cahmber along with the jews.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@KP
“Ms. Myra, I think you need to step in an censor this forum for sometime.”

Myra rarely censors anything. and moreover Dr. Moron cannot be censored for spreading the great wise (and of course, violent and provocative) words and ways of (twisted) Islam where LeT wants to invade India and make it an Islamic republic with the sharp edge of a sword, but crying about Mumbai and Karachi is considered useless by this Moron. Islam is the best you see and rest are kaafirs.

In my opinion it has always been about oil. And whatever we are witnessing is nothing but great grand oil wars. All this talk of dignity and all is nothing but bullshit, truth is the fight for oil is on in middle east. Youth there has realised that national resources are being sold to foreigners at minuscule prices and managed so by suppressing the livelihoods of nationals. What Arab revolution will do is that it will put more pressure on US, Europe, etc to find an alternate sustainable source of energy. Lets hope that we find some good and clean source of energy.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Mortal “The Pakistani military establishment is definetely being reigned in by the US/west.”

I think its not just US pressure. I think it is sinking in that the world now is no longer in any doubt and therefore will not give Pakistan the benefit of doubt in future. Sure there will always be some apologists, but they too are losing an audience very fast. Which does not mean tat it is not going to happen again – it will.

I know I am no one to advise anyone. But I do notice how people are reacting to strawman arguments and the whole discussion invariably gets side tracked responding to them. Before you know it there are pages and pages of Pakistan, Kashmir, Kashmir, Kashmir, Indian fakir, Pashtoons, slaves, blood money, zionists blah blah blah.

These guys are here to side track the whole debate. Not a word or peep on the subject of Davis and the LeT connection.They will not respond to the debate and the points raised there, it is all about godlessness and the like. Have been observing this for the last two years here and now just avoid all these discussions. What was needed to be said on these subjects has been said over and over again till it bores you to sleep.

So lets just keep the discussion on an even keel and ignore the nut cases.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

“So lets just keep the discussion on an even keel and ignore the nut cases.” Posted by DaraIndia

Good idea!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

The USA should only be concerned about its interests, and should conduct policy accordingly. Only if the gov’t of India had any type of conviction to do something real. The attacks in Mumbai demonstrated that the West was also vulnerable to such types of attacks, and thus the alarm bells got louder. India has lucked out because the LeT has gotten more global in its ambitions. However, make no doubt that the primary goal for this organization is still India. Please search for “C SPAN VIDEO Laskhar”, and you’ll get a good idea of what this organization is about. The USA is going to use every tactic in their book to get their man home, as they should. Establishing the LeT and Davis connection will provide legitimacy on the surface to Davis’s operations. Again, I personally believe that a country should do whatever it can to protect its interests. Both the USA, and Pakistan do it. There is nothing to be gained by the complacency that is exhibited by the Indian govt.

Posted by rainydays | Report as abusive

It is interesting how everyone seems to be beating up on Pakistan. While the Pakistani government has a lot to answer in how they have handled themselves over the past few years I do however believe there is enough blame here to go around. The Indians are no babe in the woods they just happen to be better at hiding their shady dealings with various groups within Pakistan and Afghanistan. Indians have plenty of innocent blood on their hands and not just in Kashmir but in Western India. The fears of Pakistan about India’s aims in the region are justified as the Nepalis and the Bangladeshis can attest. The question of Mr. Davis keeps getting wrapped into this ‘bigger’ picture and what should be looked at quite simply is whether he was in fact entitled to diplomatic immunity and did he shoot two men in cold blood (interesting side notes about the men being shot in the back and Mr Davis being armed). During my, albeit peripheral, involvement with the diplomatic corps a real diplomat would not be travelling in a privately registered vehicle on his own with unlicensed firearms. The kicker is when the President of the United States comes on television and brazenly tries to tell the world about his status which makes for some real red faces in the upper echelon’s of the US government. That is in my opinion why the US is now unable to let this case be tried on its merits as the exposure is more than our so-called white hat spooks can bear.

Posted by aqilmund | Report as abusive

KP Singh said:

> You are openly expressing anti-Zionist views on this forum.

To be technically correct, I think that should read “anti-Semitist”.

http://bit.ly/BQxuT
http://bit.ly/6VLKy5

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh: “To be technically correct, I think that should read “anti-Semitist””

You are correct. These guys demand respect and regard for their beliefs, but show absolutely no regard for others. Judaism is a religion too and it predates Islam. I have seen these guys mention derisive words about Sikhism and other religions. At the same time they get ultra sensitive about anything said about their religion. Respect is a two way street.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

About India being “reactive”

This has always been the case. Unfortunately this comes from idealism, pacifist culture of India. I say unfortunately because India has paid price big time because of this lethargy and timidity.

Pakistanis believe in “don’t live and don’t let others live”. Even if they are going down, at a minimum they desperately want to trip India.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/analysis/pa kistans-abysmal-decline-indias-policy-op tions-20012011/

“Pakistan as a stable entity in the comity of nations in South Asia is a desirable policy objective of India. In the last sixty three years India has resorted to a wide variety of initiatives to attain this objective. A stage has been now reached where the garrison state of Pakistan dominated by the Pakistan Army has begun to perceive India’s peace initiatives towards Pakistan as those of appeasement arising from strategic and diplomatic timidity

Consequently, the Pakistan Army has begun to imagine itself as a ‘strategic co-equal of India’, a perception further arising from the balance-of-power policies followed by the United States and China in South Asia.

India can ill-afford such a diminution of its strategic weight either in the domestic context or in the international context as a rising power. Domestically, the Indian Prime Minister is increasingly being perceived as in a state of disconnect with Indian public opinion on Pakistan which desires strong policies against Pakistan’s terrorism.

Internationally, the inability of India to order its South Asian environment, particularly Pakistan, to serve its national security interests, creates doubts about India’s potential as a global power.

On both counts, therefore, India needs to revise its perspectives on Pakistan and recast its policy approaches on Pakistan which diminish India’s strategic and political standing.”

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@KP said to Mr Rex Minor

“You are openly expressing anti-Zionist views on this forum. Mortal was condemned severely by Muslims for making comments on your prophet. But you are doing the same thing with impunity. None of your Muslim brothers including Mr. Rehmat has stepped in to tell you that you are crossing the line. Ms. Myra, I think you need to step in an censor this forum for sometime.”

***you know that I know enough of his views on religions. Discussed enough already. I seriously have no time and patience for a guy who does not listen. When was the last time you saw a decent conversation with this name in there.

plus, he broke his “diplomatic ties” with me for whatever reasons.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

“At the same time they get ultra sensitive about anything said about their religion. Respect is a two way street.” Posted by KPSingh01

Tell that to a Pakistani judge & he’ll throw you in jail for blasphemy!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

“plus, he broke his “diplomatic ties” with me for whatever reasons.” Posted by rehmat

aren’t you the lucky one :)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Netizen has posted a good article:

http://www.eurasiareview.com/analysis/pa kistans-abysmal-decline-indias-policy-op tions-20012011/

It makes a lot of sense, and the only quibble is that the author tends to over-use the word “strategic”.

I have been watching the events in Pakistan as they unfold (as we all have), and it unfortunately looks like a slow-motion train wreck. The attitude of Pakistani commenters on this blog may or may not be representative of mainstream Pakistani opinion, but if it is, then the entire country is in a state of denial.

As individuals and as a country, Indians are willing to be helpful in this crisis, but any assistance is spurned and the rhetoric continues to be angry and hostile. It reminds me of the climax scene in many movies where the villain is hanging over the edge of an abyss, the hero overcomes his animosity and offers his hand to the villain in a spirit of humanitarian generosity (something I’ve never understood, by the way ;-)), but the villain even then refuses such help and attempts one last attack. Predictably, he falls into the abyss while the hero and assorted good folk look on with resignation.

Pakistan today is life imitating art.

I would go one step beyond Dr. Subhash Kapila in his policy recommendations. I think it is urgently required for India to build a wall all along the border that is passively capable of keeping out a mass of humanity. When Pakistan collapses (as it seems highly likely to in the very near future), India will certainly be overwhelmed by millions, perhaps tens of millions, of refugees who will flood the country and spread to Delhi and beyond. From a humanitarian and international image perspective, India will not be able to do anything to push them away. The 1971 refugee crisis will seem like a picnic. And it will be a disaster that India cannot handle when it happens. The solution is a wall – NOW! It may sound cruel, but there is no need for two countries to go down together for the fault of one.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Ganesh: “When Pakistan collapses (as it seems highly likely to in the very near future), India will certainly be overwhelmed by millions, perhaps tens of millions, of refugees who will flood the country and spread to Delhi and beyond. From a humanitarian and international image perspective, India will not be able to do anything to push them away. The 1971 refugee crisis will seem like a picnic. And it will be a disaster that India cannot handle when it happens. The solution is a wall – NOW! It may sound cruel, but there is no need for two countries to go down together for the fault of one.”

It is interesting to see the change in perspective in you. I think reality begins to reveal itself to those who seek the truth. I am sure your exposure to the events in Pakistan have begun to bolster the feeling which points only in one direction. A stable Pakistan has begun to look like an oxymoron.

But building a wall to stem innocent people from seeking a way out is not the right thing to do in my opinion. Many ran into Pakistan in 1947 with hope. Now many of their descendants might want to come back. What can people do? They are like pack of ducks being shepherded by wolves. What would women and children do? I would welcome them and offer them help. Once all the dust settles, it would be possible to rehabilitate them. I can bet 95% of the people there are normal people looking forward to a better life. It is this 5% that has taken them down the path of self destruction. I really feel sorry for them. It is not the choice that is something they made. Somebody else made it for them. By the accident of birth, they are sitting there with their eyes blind folded. They should see for themselves that we are not the monsters they have been told to believe. Humanitarian gesture will always win hearts.

If we can somehow convince these people that they have been manipulated by vested interest groups that would suffice. Any way I am going back on my words by bringing that old topic again.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

KP Singh said:

> It is interesting to see the change in perspective in you.

My perspective hasn’t really changed. I still hope for a tunaround that will result in a stable and *friendly* Pakistan. But as a collapse of the Pakistani nation-state appears more and more likely, I’m forced to think about the unpleasant consequences for India.

> What can people do? [...] I can bet 95% of the people there are normal people looking forward to a better life.

Yes, I agree, and it pained me to suggest a wall. But again, what can Indians do? We are not responsible for their downward spiral. Can we afford to take the brunt of a mammoth refugee influx? We have to think about self-preservation as well.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

There will still be humanitarian options possible, such as airlifting supplies to refugee camps *within Pakistani territory*. I’m only saying it shouldn’t spill over the border and become our problem.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Pakistan Lives and will always Live
If wishes were horses poor will ride them.
Mr. Ganesh & Mr. KP Singh complimenting each other pretty well like ping pong with Netizen on the side line, keeping your self busy these days? What better target than Pakistan. I suggest you look inside your own borders, you will find plenty that needs dressings.

Posted by Facetruth | Report as abusive

Kp
Try to update your knowledge of Zionism. There are zionist christians, Hindus, muslims and Jews. Zionism is a curse and the economic meltdown in the world started by the zionist clique.
Zionism is not a religion, nor a race but a philosophy which came out in your beloved country USA as a direct copetitor to communism, it then got out of control. Try to upgrade your blowing in the wind sermon, or tell us what Zionism represents! Try to be the first sikh to defend it. I am a good listener too.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Myra, please delete my input if zionism has now been given a status of a ‘Religion’, Race or even a sect?
Thank you.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Hey fellows, KP was not the only one who squaked on my mentioning the word zionism! I used the typcal Indian Bloggers source of knowledge ‘Wikipedi’ and guess what it could help you to undrstand what Zionism is all about. Be my guest and you will learn.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Hey fellows, you have been searching in history about Mr Jinnah and his miracle to carve out a chunk of Hindu- stan and made it with help from the Allied powers namely Brits, soviets and the Americans, and created a country of majority muslim population which is called today Pakistan. Now how about the trick of making a country for majorit of jews from the arab land! Zionism claims it as their feat and wants to keep it jewish land. Comprendo, I must say this was a major achievement. I wonder if Mr Jinnah was also a member of the Zionist clique? KP should know about it, he believes in any thing written even before he was born.

Rex Minor

PS
Did you guys know that it was the allied powers who compelled Britain to end the colonisation of India?

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Looks like Mr. Davis is out of jail with “blood money” being paid as per Sharia law. Case closed. Now the next thing will be a book, followed by a Hollywood movie based on this story.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Ganesh: “There will still be humanitarian options possible, such as airlifting supplies to refugee camps *within Pakistani territory*. I’m only saying it shouldn’t spill over the border and become our problem.”

One never knows. We may not see any refugees. These people have been psyched to such an extent that they’d feel like drinking water from the hand of an untouchable if they have to come to India for any help.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Zionism is a curse
Posted by Rex Minor
=

You are an unmitigated blessing for humanity ..heck for the whole Universe :-)

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

@G Prasad

Do you have to correct your contryman? Perhaps you should also tell him that Arabs are also semit.

Now that Mr Davis is free, the Indian Govt. could ask the US Govt. to allow hs interrogation by the Indian Intelligence to find the story about Bombay attack. Why speculate any further.

Myra article was at the right time to see this link.

Rex Minor

Posted by fibs | Report as abusive

I am not aware of any one who demands respect from others for their faith or religion.This monologue and loud thinking of Indians scattered around the world but remaining loyal to their mother land and nil loyalty for the country where they have the domicile is not unknown to the host community.
You keep your faith and I keep mine, this is te principle and should be the princile of a muslim. No lari fari and confuse logic. People must behave and communicate and not enter into a snowball competition. This reminds me of Descartes, the sixteenth century theoligist Philosopher who said that since no one complains about the common sense deficiency, simply proves that the God almighty has given common sense to all humans. In my opinion his thesis was not sound since how should the one with less common sense would know that he is a dumb in comparison to others. Less education, traumatic life experience, I am still researchin to find the answer.

Nevertheless I feel sorry for the millions of Indians who go to sleep having had hardly a single meal during the day and then I note as an observer that most Indians are unconcerned with he fate of their fellow Indians in the community but feel very proud to be doing better than their neighbour Pakistan. Snotty comments and lack of civility is their style and this they are unable to change. We all know that the day of reckoning for the Indians is unavoidable, it s not the Punjabis ad Sindhis who are are goin to bring back the dignity to Pakistan, but the Pashtoons who are out of their bunkers now and have had special trainng with the enemy who has always resorted to cowardy attack on civilian population, or relied on night operations , sneeking into houses and frightening women and children and old people.
2011 is the year when the onslaught in Kashmir is likely to start and it would be interesting to note the reaction of great Indian Armada, how they are going to hold India as a single unt?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

“…… but the Pashtoons who are out of their bunkers now and have had special trainng with the enemy who has always resorted to cowardy attack on civilian population, or relied on night operations , sneeking into houses and frightening women and children and old people.”

***They sure are out. One of the specialties of Taliban is flogging women in their own land, blowing up schools of young kids is also their specialty. They are ready to to die for that. Ah! they must be right since they are following divine order or must be the Western propaganda. Given that, expecting Taliban to protect the dignity of women in foreign lands is unthinkable.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

The Pashtoons were definitely daft in making no difference between Kashmiri muslims and Kashmiri non muslims, however, there were no reports of them being cruel to kashmiri women!
It is a shame that there are those who use this space for spreadng propaganda of others. It is the Americans who are now on show trial in the US for behaving the way they did in Afghanistan with their self made videos. The US army has a rate of several thousands court martials in a year, and the Prisons in the US are the third biggest employer in the country.One needs a bt of acommon sense to understand it.One has it or one does not have it. Complain to God if you will, I can transfer some via mail and I hate to provide references and become a plagiat.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

[...] Keeping Raymond Davis and Lashkar-e-Taiba in perspectiveReuters (blog)Among those who stressed this new development was former French investigating magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who complained that even after 9/11. the Pakistan Army was still running training camps for the Lashkar-e-Taiba with the full knowledge of … [...]

We have no right to celebrate independence because we are still a slave and we take dictations from our lord America for every single issue in the country. As Raymond had allegations of double murdering and his act was strongly condemned by the whole nation, he was set freed. Imagine the intensity of heat and grief on the sad incident that wife of a victim committed suicide out of feelings of helplessness and despair from the justice delivering faction of the society. Religious groups and political parties pushed the families of victim to accept blood money referring it as a shariah law. At last but not least it was proven that money can buy you anything even pardon. It is shame for the whole nation that we have no dignity but compromises in life .we pardoned Raymond Davis for three lives but could not manage a pardon for Aafia for just attempt to attack on Nato officer. Shame, woe and curse many times on all of us for being sold out for dollars and humble slaves of America.
Another victim of Raymond Davis found in a posh area of Lahore
http://www.dunyanews.tv/index.php?key=Q2 F0SUQ9MiNOaWQ9Mjc3Nzg=

Posted by faaizmuhammad | Report as abusive