China-Pakistan-Afghanistan-building economic ties

April 28, 2011

During a visit to Beijing in late 2009, President Barack Obama asked China to help stabilise Pakistan and Afghanistan. The logic was obvious. China is a long-standing ally of Pakistan with growing investments there and in Afghanistan; it has the money to pay for the economic development and trade both countries need; and with its own worries about its Uighur minority, it is suspicious of militant Islamists.  The challenge was in achieving this without angering India, which fought a border war with China in 1962 and is wary of its alliance with Pakistan.

A year-and-a-half on, efforts to forge that economic cooperation between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan are in full swing – though perhaps not entirely in the way Obama envisaged. The Wall Street quoted Afghan officials as saying that Pakistan was lobbying Afghanistan’s president against building a long-term strategic partnership with the United States, urging him instead to look to Pakistan and China for help.

“The pitch was made at an April 16 meeting in Kabul by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who bluntly told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the Americans had failed them both, according to Afghans familiar with the meeting,” the newspaper said. “Mr. Karzai should forget about allowing a long-term U.S. military presence in his country, Mr. Gilani said, according to the Afghans. Pakistan’s bid to cut the U.S. out of Afghanistan’s future is the clearest sign to date that, as the nearly 10-year war’s endgame begins, tensions between Washington and Islamabad threaten to scuttle America’s prospects of ending the conflict on its own terms.”

The Pakistan government has denied it made this suggestion, as did a spokesman for Karzai quoted by the newspaper.  Neither country is in a position to turn its back on the United States, still the world’s pre-eminent military and economic power. But there is at least a kernel of truth in there, buried under a lot of spin which the Wall Street Journal itself said was probably an attempt by Afghan officials to influence talks on the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan after U.S. combat troops withdraw in 2014.

Indeed a lot of what is included in the Wall Street Journal story has been said in public by Pakistan itself, albeit without the same spin. 

 Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani told a news conference in Kabul that he and Karzai had agreed there was no military solution for Afghanistan. And they had agreed to work together to build economic and trade ties to seek stability through economic development.

“It has become imperative that we join our efforts and take ownership of our affairs so that we can overcome the pressing challenges. We believe that given the enormous resources – both human and natural – of our two countries, our collective economic potential is phenomenal,” he said.

“We have, today, agreed to give high priority and to work together the development track. This means optimally utilizing our natural economic complementarities and that of the region as a whole, for socio-economic development and prosperity. Several important mega projects, including trans-regional projects, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline; building of electricity transmission lines; enhancing physical connectivity by building or upgrading requisite infrastructure, including road and rail transportation and communication links as well as expediting the implementation mechanisms for the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement etc. need to be fast-tracked.”

Any talk of building up trade, oil pipelines and roads, at least from a Pakistan point of view, invariably involves China with its large and growing market. China has several thousand labourers in Pakistan working on infrastructure and building, repairing or expanding roads, which would open up trade routes and also link up with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, giving it access to Gulf oil supplies.

Pakistan, meanwhile, has always said it regards China as an “all weather” friend. Its top officials, including Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, have visited Beijing regularly.  (the Foreign Secretary will be Beijing for talks on April 28-29). And it has never made any secret of its concern that the United States, which abandoned the region after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1989, might do so again. That concern is growing as the United States becomes mired in the Middle East and faces mounting economic difficulties, exacerbated by rising oil prices.

So logically, it would make sense for Pakistan to forge economic partnerships with Afghanistan and China. The question is whether this automatically means a loss for the United States. Arguably, better economic conditions would make it easier to stabilise Afghanistan while also providing jobs to Afghan and Pakistani youths who might otherwise be drawn into Islamist militancy.

Indeed there is even a certain amount of strategic convergence between what Pakistan and the United States say they want in seeking stability in Afghanistan – something of an irony given the current tensions in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Washington has been pushing for years for improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, including an increase in transit trade.

In an article at Foreign Policy, Steve Levine argues there would be nothing wrong with China playing a much bigger role in Afghanistan.  ”… China has a record of actually building what it says it’s going to build, and not waiting for bankers to see a dime to be earned on the interest, or necessarily for a civil war to wind down,” he writes.  “Pakistan’s notion of a favorable outcome would be an Afghanistan open to the return of the Taliban. That should not miff the United States, which did not attack Afghanistan to dethrone the Taliban, but al Qaeda.”

“As for China, the only matter about which it’s more obsessive than its political agnosticism in search of resource riches is its obsessive suppression of anything Uighur, the Turkic Muslim people native to Xinjiang Province. Beijing is absolutely certain that Uighurs are intent on destroying Han Chinese dominance in Xinjiang (they are probably right), and have pursued exile Uighurs throughout Central Asia, and into Afghanistan and Pakistan. China has made it a quid pro quo with these neighbors — suppress local Uighurs, and obtain Chinese goodies. Therefore, a strong China would probably not encourage the revival of dangerous local militancy in Afghanistan. That is the paramount American goal — ensuring that a new big terrorist threat doesn’t emerge there.”

The challenge for Washington is not whether a greater Chinese role would be potentially in its interests — after all Obama asked for it – but whether it can actually manage delicate coordination with Beijing while also juggling a highly charged relationship with Pakistan (and worrying about the Middle East and economic problems at home.)

In testimony to a U.S. commission this week, Andrew Small, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, argued that Washington is indeed getting a measure of how to manage its relationship with China – albeit with many caveats.

“China’s ‘assertiveness’ has become the tagline for international anxiety about Chinese foreign policy behavior, but it is not assertiveness per se that is the
real concern. After all, the United States and other countries have spent many years encouraging China to take a more active leadership role on the
international stage. The disquiet has rather resulted from Beijing’s narrow, nationalistic conception of interests,” he said.

“The upside is that after some initial missteps, the U.S. policy response has been increasingly effective, both regionally and globally, and China has had to
recalibrate its approach accordingly. Moreover, in concert with its friends and allies, the United States has the means to ensure that an unconstructive
approach remains costly for Beijing to pursue. The open question, however, is whether the Chinese leadership is willing, or even fully able, to go through a deeper process of revisiting its strategy as a result. If not, competition and confrontation are likely to become ever more central features in U.S.-China relations, and in Asia more broadly, in the years to come.”

Meanwhile as far as India is concerned, opinion is divided on whether to fear a rising China or work with it and share in its growing economy and increasing global clout. India has managed to build trade ties with China even without resolving its dispute over the two countries’ long Himalayan border.  Going right back to the time of its first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, it argued for the need for an opening of the ancient trade routes into Central Asia — abruptly shut by the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. 

 This week India is holding its first trade negotiations with Pakistan since the November 2008 attack on Mumbai as part of a gradual thaw in ties between New Delhi and Islamabad. Its prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is firmly in the camp of those who focus on economic development rather than strategic rivalry. That leaves him in tune with the Chinese argument that its greater involvement in the region is potentially a win-win, rather than the zero sum game which tends to dominate thinking on Afghanistan.

And we had an indication this month of how the current Indian government is likely to respond to increasing Chinese involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was probably quite  significant in showing which way the cards will fall in the debate between strategic rivalry versus economic development. It had to do with building roads, which can either be seen as a military threat (useful for invading armies) or an economic gain (helpful for trade).

A senior Indian commander was quoted by Indian newspapers as saying that the Chinese “are actually stationed and present” on the Line of Control, the ceasefire line dividing the Pakistani and Indian parts of Kashmir. That sort of development would normally set alarm bells ringing so loudly in Delhi that they would explode or short-circuit. Yet the Indian foreign ministry comment on the subject was relatively muted, arguing for vigilance rather than alarm. 

The government, it said, “closely and regularly monitors all developments along our borders, which can have a bearing on our security. We continuously review and take all measures necessary to ensure the safety and security of our people, as well as, territorial integrity of the nation.”  (It is perhaps no coincidence that India’s top diplomat, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, has played a major role in managing peace talks with Pakistan and is also a former ambassador to China.)

As mentioned above, the Chinese are heavily involved in road-building, and the road to Skardu, opposite Kargil on the Line of Control,  is currently being expanded. India is also building roads on its side. And before the Mumbai attacks soured relations, Prime Minister Singh had talked about opening the road between Skardu and Kargil – the scene of a bitter border war fought between India and Pakistan in 1999 – to improve trade routes to Central Asia and China. 

Roads, and even pipelines, are far less likely to gain media attention than spy rows — and the very public spat between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the CIA triggered by the arrest in Lahore of CIA contractor Raymond Davis has dominated the narrative for months.  Yet economic development is arguably the one that governments care about — in democracies, it is what helps get them re-elected.  Washington has also repeatedly stressed the need for economic development in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.   Seen through that prism, the talk of increasing economic cooperation between Pakistan, Afghanistan and China looks somewhat different.

And after all, if Pakistan’s prime minister can stand up at a press conference in Kabul and talk about electricity transmission lines, maybe the rest of us should pay attention. In the debate between economic development and strategic rivalry, the former – for now – is winning out.

Comments

Just read how angry Pakistani’s are. At their own government for sure. If Imran Khan has this to say, what more do you want to know about Pakistani culpability. Remember he organised protests two weeks ago to block supply routes to Afghanistan. He is no friend of the US.

“”This is the biggest disaster for Pakistan,” onetime cricket champion-turned-politician Imran Khan said Wednesday. Khan, who now leads the nationalist Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told Pakistan’s Geo TV that people “are in a state of shock” over the raid.

“Why did the Pakistani army not act when they had the intelligence?” he asked. “No one believes the government, unfortunately.”

They have every reason to be angry – like the rest of the world.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

DaraIndia said:

> Just read how angry Pakistani’s are. At their own government for sure.

They need to be angry at their military, not their civilian government that they’re so fond of despising. It’s the guys in the smart uniforms who are the real buffoons. All that’s missing from the Pakistani army uniform is the red nose. Everything they’ve done has consistently backfired on them. It looks like they can’t do anything right.

1965, 1971, Islamisation of the army, arming the Afghan mujaheddin, arming and supporting the Taliban, Kargil, Mumbai and now this. Every one of these ended up a fiasco. And to what effect on India? The LoC hasn’t budged since 1948, Kashmir is still part of India, and India is stronger than ever before. Heh.

Every one of these oh-so-smart-and-daring adventures has blown up in their faces. In the process, they have done enormous disservice to the country they are meant to protect. But it will be a cold day in hell before an average citizen like Umair will recognise the military not as patriots but as a bunch of reckless incompetents who are effectively traitors because of the damage they have done to their country. Zardari may take 10%, but Kayani and his predecessors have cost Pakistan 100%.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk posted: A Defense of Pakistan

There is only one thing I can readily believe here. I think the civilian government was really in the dark about this. The hiding of bin Laden was an army-ISI operation all the way, and I cannot imagine them taking civilians like Zardari and Gilani into confidence on this.

If he has the guts, Gilani should announce the sacking of Kayani and Shuja Pasha publicly and see what happens. It is the right moment to wrest control back from the army.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

“Pakistan reacts angrily to tone of U.S. questions”

Posted by Umairpk

Sorry, but its not the tone on which Pakistanis are angry, its the question itself. Pakistan got caught red handed this time, and these questions will haunt you for time to come. I understand your brain is still struggling with you patriot heart, which do not want to trust a single evidence against PA, But I can’t believe you posted a Alex Jones video ?

Take a break, go to Murree on a vacation, and leave your lappy home, let the things cool down, if you keep reading this blog, soon you will be posting comments from world famous analysts like Feeqa Penchar, Meeda kil, Kaalu ustra, Billu mori and god knows who.

There is nothing which goes into Pakistan’s favor. Americans exposed “Men at their best”, and now everybody knows what they are best at.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

Two equally strange reactions here:

The US: In spite of overwhelming evidence of perfidy on the part of a supposed “ally”, the US still thinks it cannot afford to jettison the relationship. Sounds like a bad case of spousal abuse, where the victim just keeps taking it!

Pakistan: In spite of being caught red-handed and pants-down with their hands in the cookie jar (and any other metaphors you care to think of), the official and popular reaction both seem to be anger and outrage rather than embarrassment and contrition. Not a great strategy when the US is looking for a face-saving way to pardon the country and retain the relationship. Sounds like a suicidal maniac trying to cut their only lifeline.

Two opposing forces – an abused partner who refuses to break a relationship that sustains the abuser, and an idiotic abuser who tries their best to force the abused partner into breaking off. Whose bewildering irrationality will outlast the other’s?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

“If he has the guts, Gilani should announce the sacking of Kayani and Shuja Pasha publicly and see what happens. It is the right moment to wrest control back from the army.”

–Ganesh Prasad

How about Pasha and Kayani offer to resign themselves, and Gilani rejects the offer (obviously). In this way they will send a message to world that they are taking moral responsibility as head of the department, ISI failed to gather intelligence on OBL living in their front yard and army failed to shoot American helicopters, so failed to secure the sovereignty of Pakistan . But only god knows why Pakistani are thumping their chest even on this event, Gilani said yesterday its not failure of Pakistani ISI only but failure of intelligence agencies of whole world. But he did not tell if Foreign Intelligence agencies were allowed to roam free in Pakistan and gather intelligence on OBL, If yes then why this Raymond Davis drama, if no, then why blame the world on this.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

punjabiyaar: “How about Pasha and Kayani offer to resign themselves, and Gilani rejects the offer (obviously). ”

In Pakistan they do it through coups and assassinations. Sticking to power is protection from assault. If Kayani resigns, he will have to move to London. Otherwise “brothers” will get him.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@ Ganesh “They need to be angry at their military, not their civilian government that they’re so fond of despising. It’s the guys in the smart uniforms who are the real buffoons. All that’s missing from the Pakistani army uniform is the red nose. Everything they’ve done has consistently backfired on them. It looks like they can’t do anything right.”

The Army is part of the government and no amount of window dressing changes that. If Gillani, Zardari alone were the Govt they would have had the guts to tell the Army where to get off. Does anyopne believe that these two enjoy the unenviable task of having to answer all these questions and be the frontmen?

If the civilians in the governement had guts they would be calling the shots. I have no doubt that a sizeable portion of the general public in Pakistan has seen through the army game plan a long while ago. A glance at some of the english media newspapers makes me believe this. On every issue from the blasphemy law to sponsoring terror there is a lot of criticism of the government ways.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan has shifted focus now to violation of it sovereignty. No one seems to be talking about how Bin Laden was living comfortably in Pakistan. The Navy seals should have taken all remaining people in the building with them. Now that they are in Pakistan’s custody, they will be trained on what to tell the public. Osama’s daughter is supposed to have claimed that her father was taken first and gunned down, execution style. I understand there was not much time to think about further actions, the next mission should make sure no witnesses are left behind. It is unfortunate, but that’s what such missions have to do. When removing malignant cancer, good cells do get removed with it.

Pakistan should not talk about violating national sovereignty. It has violated other nations’ sovereignty on many occasions. Mumbai attacks were launched by the ISI and managed by it. And it led to the murder of many innocent people. All the proxy wars it has launched into India and Afghanistan are nothing but violating national sovereignty of other nations. They are getting paid for what they have done to others.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Asking Kayani& Pasha to resign or expecting them to resign are all non-starters. No one got punished in 1971 for raping and indulging in genocide and surrendering with 90, 000 POWs.

What is more likely is PA/ISI will continue the same as much as they can. War is not conducted in old fashioned way these days. The war is already on. Paks will face more media warfare, financial squeezing and so on. Expect further internal anarchy, economic collapse inside Pakistan. This is not my wish. Neither am I saying others should wish. Just pointing out the reality.

You think Umair is an “ordniary citizen”? I hope you are not serious!

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

“The US: In spite of overwhelming evidence of perfidy on the part of a supposed “ally”, the US still thinks it cannot afford to jettison the relationship.” Posted by prasadgc

The job in Af-Pak is not done yet. The US does not want to leave Afghanistan to a pack of wolves headed by the Pakistani army, only for that country to return to it’s pre-911 condition or probably much worse. Given the above, the US has two choices. The first one, is to diplomatically convince/coerce/pressurize/threaten Pakistan, to sincerely join the fight & the second one, is an open confrontation & war with Pakistan. I don’t think, the second one, is a viable option at this time at all & hence you see the first one being played out right now. You will not hear Obama or Hilary use tough language about Pakistan but behind the scenes, I can assure you, there are a lot of angry words being said to the Pakistani leaders (both military & civilian). The question right now is, after being humiliated & embarrassed in front of the world, which way will the Pakistani military, decide to go? Will it come to it’s senses & mend it’s ways OR continue with it’s suicidal tendencies? The answer to that question will determine the future course of action for the US. IMO, one thing that’s certain, is that Pakistan won’t be allowed to play it’s double game anymore. The patience of the US administration, lawmakers & most importantly, of the american people, has run out. I see a lot of anger towards Pakistan from all quarters.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Having said that it will be very foolish to let Pakistan slip.

In post 1971 in Simla, there was a proposal to demand Pakistan to sign on the dotted line to accept LOC as the internal border. India in the best position possible foolishly listened to ZAB’s pleadings for mercy and let him go. Look what happened.

Media warfare, relentless diplomatic and financial pressure should be heaped on Pakistan. It is also not realistic to assume only PA/ISI are responsible and ordinary paks are just victims. Totaly wrong, paks have a supremacist, entitlement mentality.

If you noticed most of the pak commentary is along the lines of:
1) Big deal, terrorism will continue
2) PA/ISI must have co-operated
3) Pak soverignty has been compromised
4) Warnings to America and India (behind the door begging to USA)

and so on.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

When you guys take a break from monkey dance, consider the following clue:
Why would Obama’s 2nd team rain stones on Obama’s Osama victory parade?
Later this month, I will give you my in depth analysis.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

Now the clowns are beginning to praise and pray for the world famous fish food:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india  /Hurriyat-Conferences-Syed-Ali-Shah-Gee lani-calls-for-funeral-prayers-for-Osama -bin-Laden/articleshow/8169912.cms

This guy, by praising the monster, has shot himself in the foot and his cause. The US will get wind of this and soon he will be in their black list. After that he loses all his “world sympathy.” Adios!

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

“Later this month, I will give you my in depth analysis.”

Nobody cares! Your country has been proved as double dealing, duplicitous, and full of convincing liars. All the way from top to bottom, people are corrupt. Burn as much as you want. This is definitely a celebration for the rest of the world!

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/internation al/article1993590.ece?homepage=true

And that tickles me instead of sending any shivers down the spine! The Americans will do it again and the clowns will be sending a warning to India. Here is a spin on the story for you guys – “RAW told Americans about Bin Laden’s guest house in Pakistan” LOL!

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Here is more:

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/ 2011/05/04/former-cia-officer-bruce-ried el-on-death-of-bin-laden/?hpt=Sbin

I wonder what happened to Myra. We are posting all this in an old articles of her. Nothing new has come out in the past one week. Usually one see two or three articles from her on sensitive topics of this kind. I am sure she is in a shock after what happened to her favorite country and its military. Or she is out on vacation. My sympathies either way.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s lobbyists are on full swing at Washington:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42917213/ns/ world_news-death_of_bin_laden/

Personally speaking, I do not want any aid cut off to Pakistan. They can add more conditions to it, but aid must continue so that democracy can survive and the poor people there will get something for them from the aid.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Kayani has come out from under the table finally and said:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/06/world/ asia/06react.html?_r=1&hp

“If you try another mission like this, I will warn once more! Be careful, we have nukes, we have terrorists hiding in places we do no know or care about, we have no money and you have your drones. If you ever did this again….. We will sob. Yes, we will”

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

And now the investigation has begun:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/world/ asia/05compound.html?hpw

The findings will be at the same level as that of Benazir’s assassination, and Mumbai attacks.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

And now Pakistan is holding on to the 11 witnesses.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/uspakistan-t ensions-increase-20110505-1eae6.html

Sorry guys! Sorry for a flurry of posts. I am just filling in for Myra and others.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KP Singh said:

> Here is a spin on the story for you guys – “RAW told Americans about Bin Laden’s guest house in Pakistan” LOL!

You have demonstrated another difference between India and Pakistan.

In Pakistan, outrageous conspiracy theories are floated by people who probably even believe them, whereas you have just joked about what is probably true: http://bit.ly/iGfLYh

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Personally speaking, I do not want any aid cut off to Pakistan.
Posted by KPSingh01

The “poor people” you are sympathizing are mourning the death of OBL and burning American flags.

You have no other alternative other than cutting aid. Other approaches have been tried.

Public international humiliation doesn’t work as you have seen from the posts of Matrixx and Umair.

Soon after Mumbai 2008, I posted here only complete internal collapse will bring PA to its knees. When the allied forces were on the outskirts of Berlin, it wasn’t like Hitler was writing remorseful aplogetic tomes.

Absolute ideological fanaticism will not cow down to just media warfare. I know some one is going to jump in and say I have “hatred in my heart”. I don’t. Such is the GRIM reality.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

netizen,

I agree with you that there are a bunch of bearded morons in Pakistan praying for OBL and others of that kind. I am not even thinking of them. I am talking about many voiceless, ordinary folks who are aplenty there. Always think of elderly, women and children. They need at least some trickle going towards them. Cutting off aid to Pakistan will in fact punish these people more than anyone else. The generals, contractors, businessmen, politicians and officials will not be affected by any sanctions. Many have one foot in London and one in Pakistan. Pakistan’s military is holding these ordinary people hostage. I’d hate to see starvation or famine in a neighboring country because of geo-politics. We should be compassionate to ordinary people, while we swish our swords at those who wield power and those who support them.

The US cannot and will not cut off aid to Pakistan until it settles Afghanistan. I have a hunch that the demise of OBL is not the end, but the beginning of a much more violent phase of this war. So far Pakistan has pretended to be an ally here. But in due course it is going to be drawn into a real battle with the US for the first time. And it is going to be very ugly. The US is going to get more adventuristic based on its success in this mission.

If they get wind of where some of the other Al Qaeda / Taliban elements are being kept by Pakistan, the US will boldly go after them here on. That seems to be the only way left for them. Relying on Pakistan has led to delay and frustration. But they need Pakistan until they complete their mission in Af-Pak. And they’d like to complete it quickly so that they can restrict Pakistan.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh: “whereas you have just joked about what is probably true”

In Ahmed Rashid’s book, “Descent into chaos,” he mentions that Musharraf survived two assassination attempts because RAW tipped him off. Probably Musharraf changed his attitude towards India after that and worked on the Kashmir resolution with MM Singh.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@KPSingh,
On further thoughts I think the first thing to cut is all military aid. I think the so called military aid- gadgets, helicopters- etc given by USA to “fight terrorists” should be cut.

It will be interesting to see how much China will chip in. My bet is none.

OBL execution is a rare success IMHO. Hard to replicate. What is more likely is media/ diplomatic and economic warfare. The other fgrim reality is internal anarchy is slowly acclerating with or without outside pressure.

Reasons are simple. Decades of war monegering, terrorim has resulted in complete absence of instituitions. Karachi is spinning out of control which causes a huge set back to the economy. The intense negative branding of the name “Pakistan” is brutal when it comes to developing business.

Saudis only use paks as pawns.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan seems determined to cut ties with the US. Gilani blaming the whole world because Pakistan “did not know” about bin Laden’s hiding place, and Kayani’s demand that the US cut its military presence are both unlikely to mollify US outrage. I think they are headed for a showdown.

US aid will have to be cut in spite of the persistent feeling that Pakistani cooperation is essential for the war on terror, because the obvious belligerence of the Pakistanis will force the hand of Congress.

But the best part is yet to come. Once the US abandons Pakistan, Pakistanis will understand the extent of their isolation when China *fails* to step into the breach and help them out. The Chinese have issued statements urging the world to support Pakistan, but that’s what the Chinese always do – talk. Talk is cheap. I predict they will as usual fail to help Pakistan in any real way. Likewise Saudi Arabia. The US has much greater leverage with the Saudis and can ensure that the pressure is unabated.

And when China abandons them yet again in their hour of need, the awakening will occur. You can’t say it wasn’t the Pakistanis’ fault. They’ve brought it on themselves.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

As an american tax payer, I would like to see all aid to Pakistan halted until the Pakistanis can prove that they are sincere in fighting terrorism. I don’t want to pay even a cent of my hard earned money to a country which is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of our soldiers & civilians AND which sponsors terrorism against it’s neighbors. I strongly support the proposal by my local congressman, Gary Ackerman & other lawmakers, to halt aid to Pakistan until it’s army & intelligence agency cuts off all ties with terror groups like LeT, Haqqanis etc. I understand the humanitarian aspect of the aid but I would rather have that money to other poor or poorer countries, who are not hostile towards us & who don’t hate us like the Pakistanis do.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Looks like, the pakistanis are putting our aid money to good use!

“Pakistan pays U.S. lobbyists to deny it helped bin Laden”

http://yhoo.it/mOt6HU

Some good introspection by Dawn’s Cyril Almedia

http://bit.ly/m7u1iV

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Mortal:
“As an american tax payer, I would like to see all aid to Pakistan halted”

-You are speaking as an Indian because you are a naturalized American. US-Pakistan have a strategic alliance and both countries cannot survive without each other. YOU are a traitor to America, don’t call yourself an American. Even in American shoes you echo the Indians who always are on their toes to harm Pakistan. And you American taxpayers can’t even repay a single drop of blood of 3000 officers and men of Pakistan Army, ISI and 30000 civilians. Pakistan have been pushed to the brink, 10 years of war is enough. We have had it enough, and finally Pakistan Army has clarified if there is another raid, Pakistan will hit back.

http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o= t-press_release&id=1736#pr_link1736

The world has played enough with the emotions of the people of Pakistan, a nation in mourning, lost 30000 citizens and 3000 of its brave soldiers in this war. Finally it is coming to an end. If the US continues with its current policies, it will find itself on a collision course with a nation of almost 200 million Muslims and a nuclear power.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

If I’m an american traitor because I want the aid to your rogue country being cut off, than so are an overwhelming majority of americans, lawmakers as well as officials. Besides, I don’t need lessons of patriotism from someone who’s nothing more than a mouthpiece of his security establishment. Amazingly, you still have the audacity to talk the nonsense about “US-Pakistan strategic ties” after the terrorist who killed 3000 of our citizens, was found to be hiding in the bosom of your security establishment. Also, as much as I sympathize with the Pakistanis who have lost their lives due to terrorism, they were the victims of your army’s suicidal policies. So, if you want to point a finger at someone, point it at them but from a little bit that I know about you, you don’t have the moral courage to do that. So, just go & read some more belligerent press releases by the ISPR & soothe yourself.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

“If the US continues with its current policies, it will find itself on a collision course with a nation of almost 200 million Muslims and a nuclear power.”

As a long time visitor to this site and having read your opinions often, believe me, at the moment I sympsthise with you at a personal level. I wish you would take the trouble to re=read what you write, specially in anger, and I am sure you will realise just how insecure Pakistan itself is and your reactions reflect this only too well.

If Pakistan, with its ‘nearly’ 200 mn Muslims and a few hundred odd nuclear weapons is something that makes you feel invincible how do you think 300 mn Americans with 12,000 nuclear weapons feel about taking on your great country? Doesn’t your rhetoric sound a total unnecessary and idle boast even to you?

I sincerely wish that you’ll would at least now realise that what is needed is for some serious introspection and admitting that there is a need for a radical cpurse correction. This is not the time for Tarzan type yahooing, because it shows others just how insecure you are feeling and it tells others that Pakistan has learnt nothing and is bent on slowly following the path of chaos and self destruction it has set itself on. Its time to win friends not shoo them away.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan May Have Been Cheating on the U.S., but Don’t Expect the Marriage to End

Read more: http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/05  /04/pakistan-may-have-been-cheating-on- the-u-s-but-dont-expect-the-relationship -to-end/#ixzz1LZ6eFWZ9

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“Pakistan May Have Been Cheating on the U.S., but Don’t Expect the Marriage to End”

Good news for you ?

Posted by punjabiyar | Report as abusive
 

“Pakistan May Have Been Cheating on the U.S., but Don’t Expect the Marriage to End”

US-Pakistan relationship is very complicated. It is like a tangle where loosening the knot on one end causes another knot to tangle at some other random spot.

The US simply cannot do without Pakistan in this region.
It will be a geo-strategic suicide to go harsh on Pakistan.

The US lost a very strategic position in Iran in 1979. It may not change for decades.

Afghanistan has been a war zone for three decades and there is no semblance of any nation there to set up strategic infrastructure. It is prohibitively expensive to sustain such a system in that place.

Going after Pakistan head on will lead to losing all the advantages – drone bases, intelligence and supply routes. It is like relying on the Middle Eastern countries for oil. A lot things they do are not agreeable to the US. But they have to put up with it for a steady supply of oil.

Pakistan is extremely strategic for the US. So American policy makers will treat it like a boiling pot on bare hands. You can’t toss it, you can’t hold it. So you have to keep shuffling it on the hands.

OBL has been killed. That was one of the primary objectives of this war. One cannot set up a democratic government modeled after the West in Afghanistan. The US is now focused on softening up the terrorists hiding in Af-Pak so that they can weaken them and delay their onslaughts towards Americans. That’s all they can do. They are not going to cover for India’s targets who have safe haven inside Pakistan.

Though many of us say a lot things in anger, practical side of things indicate that Pak-US relationship will be like unwanted paint stuck to the rear end.

But the US can trigger civil wars and a splinter of Pakistan if it has no further use of it. So it is in Pakistan’s interest to keep sticking to the US, no matter how much they try. The moment the paint comes off, Pakistan will be severely damaged.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

I agree that the US needs Pakistan, at least until the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Confrontation & military action against Pakistan is not the answer but then rewarding Pakistan for it’s duplicity is also not the answer. Paying money to someone, who’s out to harm you, is simply ludicrous. IMO, if Pakistan does not change it’s ways, the US will uncomfortably, nudge along Pakistan until the withdrawal and after that, it will penalize Pakistan with economic sanctions & diplomatic isolation. And if there’s an attack on US soil, which can be traced to Pakistan then there could very well be a military action as well. I hope, it does not come to it but if Pakistan keeps harboring terrorists who want to hurt us, it very well could. (Watch for Umair to come out & chest thump about their nukes, now!)

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

One can clearly see a shift in US approach in Af-Pak after Obama became the President. Their effort is beginning to bear fruit. They have started reducing their intelligence reliance on Pakistan. Earlier the ISI controlled everything and the US relied on the ISI to get its targets hit. This made it difficult for the US because the ISI began to use the targets as bargaining chip to make its objectives thrust into the American plans. Bin Laden’s killing is a clear indication of getting away from that reliance. In fact for the past year, the US has strengthened its spy network inside Pakistan which is becoming independent of the ISI. This puts Pakistan in a very uncomfortable position. The US can track the assets that the ISI is trying to protect for its long term strategy in the region. The US has begun to clip all those assets down one by one and it is very agonizing to the ISI and the military. The US will simply keep be the mission at this scale – use its own network to penetrate and catch/kill militants on its list. It may or may not inform Pakistan about it. And it will deal with Pakistan only on the other matters – logistics of supplies through the Khyber pass, and exerting pressure to prevent any escapades towards India, Kashmir etc. They will leave Pakistan to deal with its own militants who are getting frustrated at not being able to do anything.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

They will leave Pakistan to deal with its own militants who are getting frustrated at not being able to do anything.
-

What do the militants want to do? For that matter what do the terrorists, and their masters- PA/ISI want to do anywhere? Anything constructive?

Only thing they are capable of promoting violence and anarchy, destruction. Inside Pakistan same story. PA has taken the country to ruins and will not let any one else (the civvies) rule and improve things either.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s military needs to come to terms with the reality that it cannot go forward with war strategies and proxy war plans. They are desperately trying to twist the settlement in Afghanistan and push the war on terror towards a dead end.

It is time for peace and Pak military has to disband all the terrorist groups and rehabilitate the militants into mainstream. Driven by macho, they have taken their country towards the path of self destruction.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

IMO, going forward, the key to watch is, if Pakistani army starts a (genuine) military operation in North Waziristan. If they do, it would mean that they are ready to redeem themselves & drop the ambiguity regarding terrorism. If not, they are not ready to change.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

With all the Mounting evidence that Pakistan is complicit in harbouring Osama, Many of us here are ignoring the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan.While the duplicity of Pakistan is known all along, strategic policty decisions are seldom made on truth but are made usually on pragmatism and short term goals.There are two possibilities regarding the ongoing war in Afghanistan. One is that Americans would leave Afghanistan completely (with perhaps little or no security forces on the ground). Or they will remain in fortresses with only ceasefire on combat operations.
Let’s look at the two cases respectively.

1. If Americans are to leave Afghanistan completely (though less likely scenario of the two) and not unlike what they did in the past after the soviet withdrawl, the security establishment wont be too bothered about it. Most of the Aid that is given to pakistan anyway goes to buying Arms and funding terror groups that target India and not feed the teeming millions which KP thinks. The real pressure is from the Starvation of Economic assistance that pakistan gets from International funding agencies like IMF and World bank which the Americans can hold it (based on these lones will credit rating agencies set the level of default risk for a nation). But the complete absence of America in Afghan would amount to Taliban takeover and parellelly a resouce hungry chinese ingress into Afghanistan for its natural and mineral resources whose worth could be trillions of dollars. With Pakistan acting as a chinese client state and facilitator for chinese resouce exploitation in Afghanistan, the profits accrued by such friendship would be more than sufficient to supplement for the lost Aid and monetary support from Intenational funding agencies. It will also open the road for further interference in Cental Asian states through their proxy elements. Pakistan can also limit the influence of a regionally strong Iran with its sunni taliban proxies. It can then resume its terror activities against India to the delight of china,which always wants to keep India in low equilibrium and an exporter of resources for its finished good exports to India. This is the best scenario that Pakistani state is hoping for. This would also amount to Isolation of pakistan from west, more radicalisation of the youth and instability for the country. But it gives great moral success of their whisky-sipping generals of this policy and Pakistan state (establishment) wins this round. Pakistani citizens lose securty and econonomic prospects but We are not talking about pakistani citizens are we?

2.Now if Americans were to settle in Afghanistan (which is a more likely scenario), the Americans would desperately need the support of the Pakistani state for the cessation of hostilities against the American dugouts. The influence of Pakistan is more to create the destabilization of a perfectly good state rather than helping stabilization of its neighbour. The pakistan can play up the fears of the Chinese dominance in the region to the Americans and make them pay more Aid, diplomatic support for Loans from internation agencies and better image globally. The presense of American troops would push the Iran in defensive mode. The Pakistan can resume its terror acts against India knowing fully well that Americans with their supply lines from Pakistan cannot ignore them. This would also amount to Perennial war on pakistan on its Eastern front, more radicalisation of the youth and instability for the country. But it gives great moral success of their whisky-sipping generals of this policy and Pakistan state (establishment) wins this round case too. Pakistani citizens lose securty and econonomic prospects but We are not talking about pakistani citizens are we?

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

As for our Interests,My view is that we should continue to focus on Nation building be in economic growth or political reforms with the objective of Accountablility and transperancy(Indeed this decade would possibly be defining one at that for India) and continue to support Northern alliance against those Taliban bigots. whether Americans stay or leave, their influence will wane by the day and so we should open a geographical front with Iran to ensure energy supplies from Central Asia. It is increasingly evident that Afghanistan will once again be culturally broken into Pahstun and non-pashutun lands and we should support any regime which is tolerant and not anti-india. That should be our limited objectives towards Afghanistan.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

I for one don’t believe America would ditch Pakistan, for After the Simmering protests in the Middle East, Pakistan remains the only country in large neighbourhood which can control its population and Even the ever stronger Saudi Arabia looks weaker with Shia revolts believed to be attempted in the Kingdom.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/08/smokers-c orner-not-my-faith-really.html
I always had great respect for Nadeem Paracha and a am a great fan of his writings. In the above article he clearly mentions why Pakistanis behave the way they do. Its almost like a routine formula based emotions that you receive from average pakistani, first delusions of grandeur-chest thumping – victimisation -hope- prophecy which follow with little analysis in their rantings. I assume we are lucky to have people like umair who are atleast a bit more analytical than pakistanis whom I encontered on other forums. I really was pained by the loss of Shoaibo on this forum. we were getting a 2 side perspective of things.

Guys, I Just have an off the topic Question to you guys, if not extremely private Can I know the age of people on this forum. My best guess was we were late 20′s and early 30′s. I am 29. I think umair is much younger though. Sorry for digressing if I am ..!

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Sensiblepatriot said:

> Can I know the age of people on this forum.

As I mentioned once before on this forum, I was 8 years old during the 1971 war, so you can work out my age from that :-).

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

The current USA administration with the clintonian crowd have committed a blunder in handling the intrusion into Pakistan territory in a shabby manner. Is this the way America treats its allies? Pakistan Govt. should have resigned and General Kyaniin my view has no right any longer to appear in the uniform of a chief. Shame on him and his senior commanders.

I could predict two alternative scenarios;

.The civilian and the military leaders have agreed in secret to keep a low key posture and to retaliate against the USA in a more dramatic and sinister manner than one can imagine,(let us recall the episode of the ruthless murder of French engineers in Karachi).

. The junior military officers would start a coup against the civilian Govt and the senior military commanders and throw out( not only reduce, all CIA functionaries and their staff which is spying on Pakistani Govt. and its citizens.

On the other hand the USA gives the impression to have acted with confidence and appear to know the calibre of the people they are dealing with. The next weeks and months could provide the outcome of the episode.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

The current USA administration with the clintonian crowd have committed a blunder in handling the intrusion into Pakistan territory in a shabby manner. Is this the way America treats its allies? Pakistan Govt. should have resigned and General Kyaniin my view has no right any longer to appear in the uniform of a chief. Shame on him and his senior commanders.

I could predict two alternative scenarios;

.The civilian and the military leaders have agreed in secret to keep a low key posture and to retaliate against the USA in a more dramatic and sinister manner than one can imagine,(let us recall the episode of the ruthless murder of French engineers in Karachi).

. The junior military officers would start a coup against the civilian Govt and the senior military commanders and throw out( not only reduce, all CIA functionaries and their staff which is spying on Pakistani Govt. and its citizens.

On the other hand the USA gives the impression to have acted with confidence and appear to know the calibre of the people they are dealing with. The next weeks and months could provide the outcome of the episode.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

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