She came, she saw, she confounded: Clinton in Pakistan

October 23, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recently concluded visit to Pakistan has left us none the wiser about how the United States and its allies will end the  Afghan war. In her public comments, she spoke of action ”over the next days and weeks – not months and years, but days and weeks”.  She promised the United States would tackle Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan in response to a long-standing Pakistani complaint that Washington had neglected the region when  it decided to concentrate its forces in population centres in southern Afghanistan in 2010 (remember “government in a box”?).

She called, in return, for cooperation on the Pakistani side of the border to ”squeeze these terrorists so that they cannot attack and kill any Pakistani, any Afghan, any American, or anyone.”  Between the two countries, they would tackle the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Pakistani Taliban.

But squeeze them to what end?  To weaken all but the hard-core leadership of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network so that they agree to lay down arms and rejoin the political process in Afghanistan? Or to entice them into serious negotiations through which they might be offered a share of power in Kabul, or accommodated in a “soft partition” of Afghanistan (an idea deeply unpopular among Afghans) which leaves them in control of the south and the east?

As Pakistani columnist Ejaz Haider wrote in Pakistan Today just before Clinton arrived, the current U.S. policy looks a bit like the dialogue between Alice and the Cheshire Cat. “‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ asked Alice. ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where—’ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.”

True, Clinton stressed the need for a peace process to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.  But that idea has been on the diplomatic agenda  for nearly two years. By the second half of last year, we were hearing that the United States had endorsed talkswith all of Afghanistan’s main insurgent groups, including the Haqqani network. By January this year, western countries said there would be no preconditions set for insurgents entering peace talks – only end-conditions that they sever ties with al Qaeda, renounce violence and agree to respect the Afghan constitution. In February, Clinton stressed the need for negotiations in a landmark speech to the Asia Society which coincided with reports the United States had begun direct talks with the Taliban.

In other words, we have heard a lot about talk about talks without any explanation as to why these have achieved so little so far (some blame U.S. military strategy, others Pakistani interference, others Taliban intransigence, others poor Afghan governance).   And the danger is that as long as these talks about talks continue without  yielding results, all parties to the Afghan conflict arm themselves up in readiness for an escalating civil war.

True,  Clinton admitted in public during her visit to Islamabad that the United States had held a preliminary meeting with representatives of the Haqqani network. But we already knew that.    According to The Washington Post, U.S. officials met Ibrahim Haqqani, the brother of the group’s patriarch, Jalaluddin Haqqani, in a Gulf kingdom in August. The meeting was arranged by the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who also attended, it reported.

But that meeting does not seem to have gone well. It was followed by an attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul which the United States blamed on the Haqqani network and which prompted outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen to describe the group as a “veritable arm” of the ISI.

Clinton has made clear the U.S. strategy will continue. ” We’re going to be fighting, we’re going to be talking and we’re going to be building,” she told reporters in Afghanistan.  And even if that carries a ring of ”if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again”, that is no reason to dismiss it out of hand.

However much the United States and its allies are looking for a way out of the Afghan war, pressure is also mounting on Pakistan. Washington is stepping up efforts to bring supplies to Afghanistan through Central Asia – Clinton flew from Pakistan to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – thereby reducing U.S. dependence on Islamabad/Rawalpindi even as Pakistan’s own deteriorating economic health is making it harder for it to risk losing international and U.S. financial support.

And more importantly India this month signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan – one unlikely to have been reached without U.S. approval — which gives India the capability, if not the intention, to put Pakistan under pressure on both its western and eastern borders.

Yet even as the United States doubles down, do also consider two quite different approaches, both of which have the merit of greater clarity but which are also  diametrically opposed.

One of them I heard presented this month by Amrullah Saleh, the Tajik former head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) and a fierce critic of talks with the Taliban. At a conference organised by the Asia-Pacific Foundation in London,  he argued there was no reason to believe Pakistan would be any more inclined to cooperate with the United States now than it was when Washington sent in more troops to Afghanistan. “With that escalation, Pakistan did not cooperate. Why would Pakistan cooperate with de-escalation?” he said.

Rather than rely on Pakistan, he argued that the Afghan government must implement reforms to restore the trust of the Afghan people so they would at least have a state by 2014, when U.S.-led troops are meant to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan forces. And Kabul should change its policy of talks with the Taliban which had “blurred the narrative” for Afghans about who they were fighting, looking instead at reintegrating all but the 200 or so in the inner circle of the insurgency’s leadership..

But a scenario which led to a ceasefire and a political deal which left Pakistan and what he called its proxies with control over eastern and southern Afghanistan would offer only “a temporary, deceptive, stability”.  The Taliban would remain militant in order to put pressure on Kabul and extort further concessions from the west. Such a deal might provide cover for a withdrawal of western troops, but would also lead to ”massive civil strife”.

The opposite approach is the one advocated by Pakistan, which  – in somewhat unfortunately chosen words - is to “give peace a chance”.  Articulated in detail in a report produced jointly by the Jinnah Institute and the United States Institute of Peace, it aims for a negotiated settlement giving Afghan Pashtun a bigger say in the political process and possibly including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.

According to this version, the U.S. position of fight, talk and build cannot work because the insurgents will not trust the Americans to negotiate sincerely as long as they reserve the right to use their very considerable force.  Only a ceasefire on all sides would pave the way for meaningful talks on a political settlement.

The report, criticised to some extent within Pakistan, also notes what is perhaps one of the trickiest issues in the whole approach to Taliban talks: this is not just about Afghanistan. Whatever Pakistan really wants to happen in Afghanistan, and whatever it support it does or does not give to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, it is also dependent on them to keep control of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP).

According to this excerpt, those who contributed to the Jinnah Institute report questioned “the mis-perception that the Pakistani security establishment is unaware of the growing linkages between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani militant groups.”

“ However, they argue that while the current links remain limited, it is precisely the fear of these growing into full blown operational cooperation and coordination that prevents the Pakistani state from targeting Afghan insurgent groups on its soil. Moreover, the security establishment is able to take advantage of the present linkages between these groups from time to time by persuading the Afghan Taliban to pressure the TTP and other North Waziristan-based militants to curtail their activities.”

Stretch that argument out further and you could make a case that Pakistan needs to get a reasonable deal for the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqanis in Afghanistan if it wants them, in return, to bring the Pakistani Taliban to heel.

So to get back to Clinton and the Afghan settlement. We have three possible approaches, with various permutations.  The one currently favoured by the United States is to keep fighting, to keep the door open for talks, and to keep piling pressure on Pakistan in the hope that it yields results. The second – as expressed by Amrullah Saleh – is to take the idea of talks with insurgent leaders off the table altogether, end the confusion and build up governance within Afghanistan in the years that are left before 2014. The third is to seek a ceasefire, so that in the absence of violence, talks might take place in a more conducive atmosphere.

Any one of those approaches has its merits.  But as long as all these conflicting ideas remain out there, we will see a lot of different groups lining up to argue with the Cheshire Cat.

38 comments

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There’s Grand Bargain being proposed by the Schaffers, former diplomats: http://bit.ly/phRJ6v

While it’s an imaginative proposal, it’s doubtful how successful it will be on the ground. It needs sincerity on the part of everyone concerned to succeed. Given the trust deficit on all sides, that’s a tall order.

Let me make a provocative comment from an Indian POV.

What if India says no to every such proposal? The situation in AfPak and Kashmir is NOT a stalemate from the Indian perspective. Things are moving in India’s favour. Both the US and Pakistan are losing, in different ways. One country is losing the war, or at least visibly failing to achieve even its modest objectives, and the costs are becoming unsustainable. The other country is losing control of itself and sliding into chaos and bankruptcy. India alone is unaffected. So why should India settle early? If India waits, in the end, it will have it all – all of Kashmir on its own terms, a Pakistan on its knees and economically captive to India, world recognition of India’s pre-eminence in South Asia, and a China deprived of its Pakistani lever and forced to cooperate with the unquestioned power to its south. The West will also engage very differently, with a lot more respect and a lot less leverage. Longer-term, India holds all the cards.

The pressure is greatest on the US to settle early and cut their losses while being able to claim victory. That’s why the proposals are flowing thick and fast from the Americans.

The pressure has started mounting cruelly on the Pakistani people but the establishment is still isolated enough to keep up their rhetoric. That’s why Pakistan is still playing the spoiler although many voices there have begun sounding warnings that this is foolishness. Another couple of years and reality will start to bite the establishment as well. Their power is crumbling but they are currently in denial.

India, on the contrary, is under no pressure at all.

Afghanistan is not a problem for India. It was never ‘ours’, but the work India has done there has won the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Afghans the way neither the US nor Pakistan has been able to do. Once Pakistan’s power collapses, it will be possible to earn the dividend on that investment.

Kashmir is not a problem either. In the worst case, India can continue to hold it the way it has done over the last many decades in the face of external aggression, fomented insurgencies and perhaps even some local discontent. In time, the view of Kashmiris will also change. They are already seeing the differences between India and Pakistan. One country is growing and offers opportunities for education and economic advancement. The other is sinking into a morass of violence and economic stagnation. In a couple of years, a plebiscite in Kashmir may end up being extremely embarrassing for Pakistan if Kashmiris on both sides opt for becoming part of India. It’s within the realm of possibility that India can take all of Kashmir with legitimacy.

What about the much feared Pakistani nukes? If Pakistan senses that it is about to lose everything, they (i.e., a few fanatics in the GHQ) might decided it’s better to take India down with it rather than live with Indian ‘hegemony’. I actually think the Pakistani nukes are a chimera because they were supplied by China, and China is smart enough not to part with the codes. In other words, I don’t believe Pakistan can launch its nuclear weapons without a nod from China. The nukes are there as a bargaining chip. They cannot actually be used.

I believe India should not blink now. Its leaders should recognise the strength of its position (strengthening further with time), and hold out for the grand prize.

It’s only under the peace and stability of a Pax Indica that the people of South Asia will benefit and their living standards will begin to improve. How does that sound as a solution?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Myra
She came with her ragtag clintonians, she saw and spoke in american language that very few from the enemy side understood. Too bad that she did not use the diplomatic language to influence the people as a whole who do not spe or understand her language nor do they understand american culture. The reality on the ground is that all the three parties so called allies of some sort namely, the USA, Afghanistan and Pakistan do no longer have any strategic options. The so called enemy Pashtoon resistance grouped together with the label TALIBAN, have all the cards in their hands to play as and when they want. This resistance is known in history not to negotiate with foreigners; exit has always been their demand of foreign force. Pakistan military lost its standing for their intrusion into the independent Pashtoon territory and the Afghan President is no longer effective with the Americans. It is futile to send peace missionaries to the resistance.
Mr Obama is now on the way out with his team of the most powerful office, down graded militarily and economicaly. The dream of keeping the USA forces in Iraq is now a nightmare;a total withdrawl from Iraq by year end is the beginning for the USA exit from the Muslim land. People should have the patience to see the repeat of the decline of Roman Empire.

Afghans seek security for their families as all peace loving people of the world do, and they know how to settle their disputes so that eventualy the independent Afghanistan emerges. All other considerations are secondry and humbug.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Ganesh,
After reading Schaffers post. I couldn’t help being amazed about certain assumptions the writer of the post had made.
For one, The author assumes that India’s influence in Afghanistan must be reduced in order to placate Pakistan. One wonders why the real reason of Pakistan’s anxiety with a stabilizing Afghanistan has not got into Amercian security calculus.
We Know that the real reason for Pakistan’s anxiety over Afghan stability is about the issue of Durand line. This artificial border has never been accepted by Afghans (pushtoons in particular) after being imposed by the british and being a cultural entity and not a nation state, pushtoons are not expected to conform to the idea of a regular border.
The fear of this ethnic nationalism that could probably blow on the pakistan with the consequence of a secession is what gets on their nerves.
Not surprisingly, Pakistan chose to radicalise this movement (away from leftist and/or ethinic nationalism) in the garb of fighting the soviets and not for a imagined caliphate or fighting ultimate kafirs.
Every country is sensitive to losing territory and pakistan is more so given its history (1971). The establishment in pakistan had never given a rationale for an Afghanistan which is dependent to Pakistan.

http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video  /Article.aspx?id=242790
Karzai in his last interview repeatedly emphasized this point saying, Pakistan should not fear of strong and Independent Afghanistan and as a brother it will always support Pakistan and not be a client state to any country. But Pakistan knows that with its weak political structures, a strong and stabilized Afghanistan would pull the large pushtoon population to its side and if the aspirations of the pushtoons to join their brothers along with their territory is conceived, then it will be a real nightmare for them.
Although Afghanistan is confident of its status of being strongly independent and neutral, Pakistan doesn’t believe so and any influence of a foreign country other than Pakistan is an anathema to them.

Lets imagine a case where India is as dysfunctional as Pakistan is now and Pakistan state too is the same kind of quagmire of voilence. If any outside power brings resources and vows to make Pakistan stabilize, as Indians we would be worried because then Kashmiris will probably get attracted to the Pakistani state. The majority of Pakistani strategists come from military (not surprising since political class has outsources foreign policy to them) and so have a very dim view of the political class solving what is essentially a political problem. The Pakistan strategist thinks unless Pakistan itself becomes a strong nation state, Afganistan cannot or should not become a successful nation state, an entity which is envy for them. To put in simply words, Pakistan’s objective of becoming a nation state must precede Afghanistan’s aim to eventually becoming a nation state. This is where the problem lies, because with long history, Afghanistan’s goal of becoming a stable nation state is well defined than Pakistan which is still nebulous and only defined either as a rival to India or as a ideal theocratic state (which is impossible in a diverse socio-cultural south asian cultural mix).

The history of both Turkey and Pakistan are similiar with 2 contrasting features that have defined their discourse.
1)Turkey too, after dismemberment of Ottaman empire had no binding social discourse to unite the country. Kemal Ataturk had to bind alien western oriented secularism to bring modernity to the country. Thankfully he survived long to bring all structures (except political) that define a nation state but alas in case of Pakistan Jinnah died early with the creation of Pakistan.

2)Ataturk did not blame the defeat of the Ottaman empire on Western conspiracy. He sincerely and honestly admitted the reasons of defeat due to Islam’s stagnation on socia-politico-technological front and went into rebuilding of the nation. Jinnah hypocritically raised Islamic rhetoric in getting a state (while atheist himself) and hoped for a muslim majority secularist state!! The founding father’s hypocrisy haunts the nation even today (in various forms and degress).
I will also shortly comment on your post which I think had some gaps.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Ganesh,
Although I generally agree with your post. I have slightly different version of how the scenarios could emerge and some of which Indians may well lose what we already have now.

Firstly, When the Americans leave and constrain their operations to defensive duties, the influence of Pakistan is bound to rise. The Haqqanis know quite well the risk that Pakistanis are taking by guarding them and not going against them. They would return this courtesy by playing as Pakistan proxies when and where their interests meet and/or they have nothing to lose. The Afghan president lives in constant fear of Assassination by the Pakistan’s proxies and the dangers to his life only increases when Americans start leaving. Karzai would surely try to placate Pakistanis by persuading Indians to leave Afghanistan and we lose all investment in there but just for the Goodwill. Pakistan hopes that rather than losing face India would come to some kind of compromise to let Indians stay in order to pretend to the world that India is not running away from Afghan affairs. Seeing the Indian penchant for compromise, I dont think this is an unrealistic scenario.

Secondly,
Most Pakistani strategists believe (and perhaps there is an element of truth in it) that when Americans cease the combat operations, the FATA region will enter a more peaceful period and the rest of the Jihadis can be controlled by giving them a direction towards Kashmir.
This is exactly the same scenario after the Soviet withdrawl and although the conditions are not exactly similiar to what was two decades ago, Pakistan knows that India cannot overcome the Nuclear threshold that is imposed by Pakistan. Sadly enough, Indian establishment had shown that it had no gumption to take on this nuclear blackmail had the Pakistani state more emboldened to its old strategies. India has not decisively taken measures to counter this age old strategy. Perhaps our best bet would be that Pakistan remains in some kind of flux or constant tension on its west side that will relieve pressure on India’s western borders. The Pakistan state has adjusted to some kind of instability of what M.J. Akbar calls a classic Jelly state which is neither stabilizing nor failing and for Pakistan the FATA region without the shadown American drone war is enough to continue its belliegerence against India even if it threatens Pakistan even more. One needs to realize that Pakistan is ready to accept a low threshold of ‘National success’, if it could bind India into this South-Asian Jinx. This is one more area where we could lose it too.

Thirdly,
In the worst case scenario where Pakistan slides into chaos and moves into the direction never to return, It will impose huge costs on India. Remember millions of East Pakistani’s flood into India as refugees. When Pakistan slides even furthur into becoming theocratic state (although unlikely), millions of minorities will be banging the Indian gates for asylum and the consequent social turmoil in India. India’shopes to play bigger role in the world would be severely constrained in the process. This is something to be guarded against.

Ganesh:”either. In the worst case, India can continue to hold it the way it has done over the last many decades in the face of external aggression, fomented insurgencies and perhaps even some local discontent. ”
Finally, Two decades into the future, India will not be judged not on the basis of whether it can physically hold a piece of Geography or not but democratically and socially bring all diverse forces in a cohesive and lasting socio-cultural discourse. World’s expectations of India will rise.

Ganesh:”I actually think the Pakistani nukes are a chimera because they were supplied by China, and China is smart enough not to part with the codes. In other words, I don’t believe Pakistan can launch its nuclear weapons without a nod from China”
I think the above point made by you is amateurish if not entirely naïve. Pakistan might in all likeliness might have the codes along with the weapons. Remember Pakistan is morally right in using against India in case of retaliation (although this is downright unlikely) .
China might have given Pakistan the Weapons in case of retaliation by India or to use them as a “bargaining chip”. But we blinked first and allowed Pakistan to get away with this behaviour and in any case what stops the Terrorists or proxies from using against us.
So as long as the conflict continues there will be less pressure on India but when Amercians leave, we might have to see the pinch on our western borders.
Ganesh, May be you are thinking that India will be in good position in the long term, which is true but it comes with a notion that the conflict on Pakistan’s western borders will continue perpetually which is the weakest part in your argument.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Sensiblepatriot,

Good points. I’m proposing a deliberately provocative counter-strategy because I think the Schaffer bargain is a very poor one for India.

You’re right that it won’t be a return to the nineties when foreign forces leave Afghanistan this time. 2014 is still some time away, and the Pakistani economy is really very fragile now. They may collapse economically before 2014. I don’t believe a return to strategic depth for use against India in Kashmir will even be feasible. They are sinking quite rapidly, and the government and central bank are either paralysed or over-reacting (an increase of 150 basis points at one go??)

India is probably their best lifeline, and that is perhaps what the current trade normalisation is all about. India will probably bring about Pakistan’s soft landing and determine its destiny thereafter. If they grasp the rope that India throws to them, they accept India’s dominance. There’s no escape from that. It’s either destruction or a painful swallowing of pride. I have no doubt which one it will be when the chips are down. Therefore the proposals coming from the West (which only focus on Western interests) should be dismissed and India should forge its own course.

[I agree it may be naive to assume the Pakistanis have no launch capabilities of their own, but to act afraid is very bad strategy.]

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
“I agree it may be naive to assume the Pakistanis have no launch capabilities of their own”

Naive is not the right word here, FOOLISH would be the right word. I will not be surprised at all if Pakistan has intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of delivering nukes. But the point is that wars are not won by weapons but by people with food in their stomachs, intelligence in their brains and courage in their hearts. Pakistanis have intelligence, courage and weapons no doubt, BUT food??? And India?? Well being a student of Economics also (along with engineering) I see a deep state of panic in both India and Pakistan (along with rest of the world INCLUDING China), a very deep panic in next 5 to 8 years. Tough times lie ahead of us. What good is any asset, weapon, army, gold, currency if it cannot get food for its possessor?? Its all about Oil. Humanity needs a renewable and financially sustainable infinite source of energy and need it fast for only then wars will end.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Ganesh,
I do not know how enthusiastically you keep the world’s economic events, but I always think that without digressing a little on to the economic affaris in this largely Geopolitical blog, Indian bloggers will be unable to confront some of the myths which have taken some of the non-indian bloggers by storm. These myths must be nailed in order to compel some bloggers to take more balanced line on the futuristic events on the world in general and South-Asian Geo-political landscape in particular. These so called myths have taken so much centre stage that one can call what we may say “Hyper Truths”, (something I coined seeing their euphoria). One finds these “Hyper Truths” sprouted by some bloggers in order to countenance a well argued theory and it becomes much difficult to continue discussion since these premises are wrong in the first place. These are “truths” which no one must question and much more like a heretic to question.

1. Myth (Hyper Truth): “China is going to take over the world by storm and everybody including Amercia is going to bow and lick its feet”.
Everytime we Indians, try to argue to the Pakistanis how irrational it is to compete and confront India in literal terms, a significant number of Pakistanis (on this and other blogs) seem to bring in China factor in order to strengthen their theories. Economic realities treat China equally just as any other country. Chinese economy may have been growing close to double digit rates for 3 decades, but this long march is now over and the Demographic bulge that it experienced in the early years of reform is effectively coming to an end. The Chinese economic growth model is extreme form of state capitalism that dependes heavily on exports and investment (ghost cities) without a rational thinking on return on investment. One could not imagine how chinese calculate their growth, they calculate growth based on investment and production but not on return on investment and revenues on production. The chinese banks are heavily leveraged to local Government and State owned Enterprises (most of which will go bad) that Chinese need constant foreign investment in order to keep the growth moving. The Chinese consumption is the lowest in comparision to any country (any to any country historically) and without converting their export-investment led growth to a consumption oriented growth it would be impossible to grow furthur, moreso when European and American economies are facing the recession. It is especially a wrong time for china to involve itself in any adventure and so to expect that it comes to pakistan’s rescue is chimera. The chinese problems go deeper than they admit and its not rosy as Pakistanis seems to be thinking (actually hoping). One can understand even being 4 times bigger to Indian economy, it depends more on exports to India than India depends on it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJmtlB0nV SA
http://mpettis.com/2011/08/some-predicti ons-for-the-rest-of-the-decade/
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-04-08  /china-is-on-treadmill-to-hell-as-prope rty-prices-will-burst-chanos-says.html
These are not some conspiracy theorists but well established economists and longterm investers (one who predicted Enron collapse).

2. Myth (Hyper Truth): “America is in rapid decline”. This is one more “Hyper Truth” which has been propagated by the Chinese analysts, but much to their chagrin,when fears of second recession hit the world, guess where the world attempted to store their wealth? Its in dollars!! American economy may have slowed, but its still 2 and half times bigger than the Chinese economy and still by far a bigger military power than any nation. May people think that America lost the Afghan war, a more through understanding will make us learn that Military tactics have limited results and cannot be solution for everything and while Americans can atleast comprehend wars, no other (including china) can even contemplate it. America cleverly created Insitutions after the world war only to its advantage and it would be a long haul before anybody could overtake its various forms of its power. Any nation that tries to compete with America in influence must first start seeing critically in its own institutions(especially china) and without innovating prowess, China will be what it is, world’s cost effective factory but not wealthy nation which can create ideas and influence others. Closed attitude is biggest impediment to china’s future.
http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.co m/Cursor/entry/eclipse-and-other-optical -effects.
Since the blog is already long, I will countenance some “Hyper Truths” later and I believe without some dicussion (not digressing too much though) on the above points will not wholesomely allow a discussion to lead to its logical end.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

pakistan is Toejam and about to implode…giving them money or arms would only increase problems down the road…india looks set to take care of things–step back and watch…
could get very ugly very quick…

Posted by chizzlinsam | Report as abusive

@Mr Patriot
Have you no consideration for Myra, who is keeping all bloggers interested in the region uptodate And you as a skeptic agnostic to your fellow agnostic in another continent are obsessed with truth about the china. Not a word about Hillary the globe trotter, or Paistan?

I am genuinely sorry for your geo strategic mind- What a waste of resouce that you could use to come up with a solution for the have nots. I now it is difficult to comprehend that the USA, the elephant of the capitalist world is going soft( to use Mr Obama’s word).
As an agnostic former hindu you cannot even say God bless America.
Nothing personal. I just thought you needed a break from your very sound logic. Remember logic is far away from truth.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

2001 the US reduced rubble to more rubble to kick out the Taliban.

Today strategists are discussing how to get out and also involve the same rogue taliban in the change over. A scenario which has few parallels.

The bottom line—–So why did the US come to Afghanistan and what was their aim and how far has it been achieved? If those answers are clear maybe the end game will also become clear.

I also liked the way Myra, out of the blue, sneaks in a small para “And more importantly India this month signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan – one unlikely to have been reached without U.S. approval — which gives India the capability, if not the intention, to put Pakistan under pressure on both its western and eastern borders.”

No further comment or clarification merely a statement. What has US ‘approval’ got to do with it? Last I checked, I live in a free, democratic country which has done much in its own interest without looking for brownies or seeking permission from any head master! This is the usual – If we talk Pakistan, lets get India into it somehow or other just to liven up things a little bit.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,

My opinion in my previous post is to displayed the idea that we should avoid claiming the winner even before the last round of boxing match is completed. Thats it.

Just what I was pointing out and what DaraIndia pointed out, Myra too many times unfortunately makes statements or comments without justfying it much. We both know India and Pakistan stood the international pressure in their own ways. While India refused to budge on the issue of kashmir with its steadfast belief that “kashmir is a bilateral issue” to refusing to sign CTBT and join as non-nuclear member. Just as pakistan refused to roll back its nuclear program. So in a sense, Myra at times displays this sort of western superiority complex like for instance here, she thinks “India this month signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan – one unlikely to have been reached without U.S. approval”.

If you remember well, India stood against US and China (of course with the help from USSR) while it broke a much bigger pakistan in half.

Just like these Myra’s statements, the so called “Hyper Truths” is something one must avoid. Similiarly, Indians who believe Pakistan is going to giveup nukes or come under the pressure of US to tame Haqqanis will have to taste sour grapes. It is difficult to untangle the militant industry that it so painfully nurtured that it has become a noose and it will try to come to a deal with Haqqanis rather than fight them. American pressure wont suffice in this matter.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

More fight, little talk & no build strategy is not working very well, it looks more like ” Get Out Quick” & leave the folks in Af-Pak to deal with the mess as usual strategy, its the same old song but this time with a difference that ppl in Af-Pak havn’t forgootten the last time you were gone.

Once i read somewhere,” if you don’t know where you are going you will never get there.”

Posted by thetareens | Report as abusive

@sensible Patriot
I have no real problems with your ananlysis and views of the situation as expressed in the latest post. I do not sense any western superiority complex in Myra’s articles!

In my opinion both Pakistan and India even after going nuclear have not altered their military and political attitudes towards each other. For example both countrys intelligence agencies are actively involved in so called clandastine operations against each other. This is very frightening and some time shocking for outsiders as and when they learn about it. Both country’s are heading towards a nuclear confrontation from the western point of view, though in your views and perhaps of Pakistanis views this could amount to another round of the boxing match. The games which are being played in your part of the world are not only sinister but dangerous for people and have confused the UK and the USA leaders despite their vast intelligence network and ten years alliance with Pakistan. Pakistan military training special forces of the border militias and other groups in the border area of Afghanistan for special operations, was a surprise. Indian Govt knows fully well Pakistan military activities in its territory. It is too late to make a cry of wolf and expect that Pakistan is likely to change its course. ISI has proven that it is a step or two ahead of CIA and other intelligence networks. The USA is going to make a fatal mistake to imagine that Pakistan ICBM’s have a restricted range or as you mentioned are controlled by the chinese codes. A country which as you said was cut in half is no longer a public park for the intruder; Abbotabad incident was a wake up call for Pakistan that the USA is not trust worthy. The country as we all know that it has armed itself to teeth with nuclear arsenal and has provided the knowhow plus to many other countries of the world. India has equaly a very large lethal arsenal of nues and delivery vehicles. This is not good for the people of the subcontinent. Both countries should also learn to settle their political disputes and above all stop clandastine operations against each other. The USA, Soviet Union and the chinese besides others are the examples; no more clandastine operatopns against nuclear countries.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,

I’ve been reading your posts for a long time and I have an appeal for you. It is that, instead of throwing humungous opinions in one post. Why don’t you focus on one issue which we can discuss it threadbare. Just in the previous post, I have some points which I agree with you, some I would be indifferent and some I had points to counter your opinions.

You would have read my posts and though they were generally long and I warn readers that I may be digressing from the topic. I always attempt to provide as much logical reasons or historical narratives to the events, this becomes important moreso because we could start understanding the different world views we have on the issue. The problem is if anybody does not provide adequate reasoning for their views, there is a danger that his words seem to be mere rants and people ignore them.

I also see you providing very little external links to buttress your arguments and I think you should work on this a bit.

While I see your post as mix of correct and incorrect ideas in my view, I have some arguments to counter.
Rex: “For example both countrys intelligence agencies are actively involved in so called clandastine operations against each other. This is very frightening and some time shocking for outsiders as and when they learn about it. Both country’s are heading towards a nuclear confrontation from the western point of view, though in your views and perhaps of Pakistanis views this could amount to another round of the boxing match”.

This is not at all new and right now China plays its own boxing matches in south china sea or pushes its North korean proxy to do its bidding. But thats not the point is it? The point is who has got their odds heavily against it. My point is in this struggle, the odds are heavily against Pakistan and are getting more acute. So in a sense, India would be happy to play along this shadow-boxing while avoiding the same with China. In any case I don’t think RAW or any other Indian external agency is so effective and clandestine enough that the world doesn’t see its hand in Pakistan’s troubles or simply they are more impotent and I think the latter is more correct and Pakistani’s naming RAW for their failures is not new either.

Rex:”Indian Govt knows fully well Pakistan military activities in its territory. It is too late to make a cry of wolf and expect that Pakistan is likely to change its course”.
So you accept Pakistan’s complicity in stoking the fires of terrorism in India?

Rex:”The USA is going to make a fatal mistake to imagine that Pakistan ICBM’s have a restricted range or as you mentioned are controlled by the chinese codes”. This is a big one.

No, I haven’t said that Pakistani nukes are controlled by Chinese nukes. It was somebody and I dont concur with his opinion. But I do not believe that Pakistan possess an ICBM yet,(for its minimum range would be in excess of 5000 kms) its because that if Pakistan had got that much money, it would probably spend it on nuclear submarines that it would deploy (Nuclear submarines can stay underwater for longer periods without rising to breathe) and when fit with a couple of nuclear warheads, can threaten the world (or any enemy of its liking) even more effectively. Why have a stale ICBM complex (which is thoroughly costly) to be attacked by lightning strikes by enemy forces. Remember 1 wont be enough and you need dozens to effectively defeat Anti-ballastic missiles of that range and over time the long range missiles have been moving to the submarines in the uncertainities of the oceans. A sudden enemity with America would not help Pakistan to get ICBMs out of thin air (in order to threaten the Americans). Maintenance of IBM force would atleast require a billion dollars a year and Pakistanis cannot hide this huge splurge on weapons without anybody noticing it, their smaller economy will make it even more difficult to hide bigger expenses.

Rex:”Abbotabad incident was a wake up call for Pakistan that the USA is not trust worthy”, I would slightly put in a different way that, the Discovery of Osama bin laden was a wake up call for Americans that the Pakistani is not trust worthy (and since then slide in their relations have got only faster). what do you think?

Rex:”The USA, Soviet Union and the chinese besides others are the examples; no more clandastine operatopns against nuclear countries”. Depends on how the country behaves, one may get a nuclear deal while the other get a cold shoulder and defacto a pariah state which sells lethal weapons for profit(Terror and Nukes).

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

@Sensible Patriot
I have a choice to ignore your queries or to answer them in a manner that I decide. You have the choice to ignore my opinion and move on. I do not have to provide any reasons nor am I here to lecture other bloggers. You and others are free to consider my views as rants and move on.

. Pakistan Govt has publicly accused India of clandastine operations aginst Pakistan in Baluchistan and in the border area of Afghanstan. India has publicly accused Pakistan involvement in Bombay operations. In my view both Govts are fully aware of each others activities. These incidents are not harmless and must be stopped.
. I am not from east and I was expressing western concerns and have been publicly expressed by the UK and now USA Govts. You appear not to be with it since you are relying too much on respective Govts statements. Both countries are heading towards a confrontation, each thinking that the other party is unlikely to react for fear of a nuclear response.

. You are biased against Pakistan and has said it in your post always giving odds in favour of India in a very logical way. But logic is not truth; people of Pakistan were told to eat grass to become nuclear. In my opinion had Indianot demonstrated the detonation of the nuclear device Pakistan Govt. had no intention to go public and would have kept their nuclear program under cover as followed later by Israel and Iran.

. I believe that Pakistan Govt has been a very loyal ally of the USA and has in the process brought more harm for its people than any tangible benefits. USA has never trusted its allies not in ww 2 and not ever. The abbotabad operation was carried out with ISI cooperation, and the rest of the mama stories are for the babies and wild birds. You can believe them but I do not.
. The USA is going soft militarily and economicaly and I realy feel sorry for the great country it once was. I have many American friends who have since left the country and moved their residence to Australia. You are either a bose mensch or a cynical character and make grand statements about India without realising that it is India which has to feed more mouths than Pakistan and completely ignore the fact that Pakistan nuclear program is financed mostly by muslim countries whose deserts have rivers of black gold beneath them and are the energy provider for the world. Indian nuclear world is costly and could be better spent on food and education. Indian people are exposed to a nuclear disaster if it follows France or Japan to provide nuclear energy for its people, but then it is your house.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex,
I had no intentions on lecturing anyone, but you can go through the my post and I was actually appealing to you to be more specific in your comments. That’s it.
“I’ve been reading your posts for a long time and I have an appeal for you” are the words I put.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

One more extremely good article by Nadeem paracha on PPP party in Pakistan, which in my opinion significantly mirrors Congress party in India. Just read the article by putting Congress in place of PPP!
http://tinyurl.com/5r5xhlk

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Ganesh and patriot you both are right and are rightly defending your points, but wouldnt that be much great if India, Pakistan and Afghanistan all decide and sit together to make a GCC or shengen like international borders, and should work with each other in this developmental process, rather than investing on individual military and warfare technology. I guess the time is coming when Asia will once again see its glory and again can be the “Golden Sparrow” like in the past. The thing that lowers the interest of US in afghanistan is that the total oil reserves in afghanistan are far less as was expected before, so Afghanistan will be in an energy crisis one its a soverign country. So again Afghanistan has to see Irans assistance which is in Pakistans block. I dont have much understanding in it, but i dont see Karzai as the PM of Afghanistan once US retrieve its army. If US is really willing to develop afghanistan they should not be doing the peace talks with talibans now, or they should have done it a decade ago. Some conspiracies also think that it was a plot against US to engage it in such proxy wars, to economically destabilize it. On the other hand former USSR, China and other central asian countries have made joint forces the SCO to pressurize Nato. Here i would repeat the quote of pakistani media that “we are still in the phase of transition”. One never know whats going to happen.
I was talking to one of my teachers who thinks that once the US will retrieve their army, the afghans will overthrow their govt and again the talibans will rule the country, as most of the lords there who own big lands are pro talibans.
Whatever the senario may be, being a Pakistani i would say that we cannot afford another war, because for the last decade Pakistan has achieved nothing, besides the military development and poverty among the civilians, and now the nukes no more fascinates the people like in the past.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

Here the problem is not who is the benificiary of the situation, what we have to focus is to stabilize the regional development, i fear the next war could be b/w Pakistan and Afghanistan. Which in many ways would benefit the west and can create much damage to Pakistan, Afghanist and India.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

Veni Vidi… but not Vici ?? Shame on Mme Clinton, to Confound, but not to Conquer… I’ll tell you what she is good at, having observed first hand in early 2000 in Colombo… buying “genuine corn blue star sapphires”.. and 10+ carat stones, no less…perhaps an exciting diversion in the aftermath of a Kargil and watching (imported) Tigers at Ranthambore (Rajasthan)…That Kargil was brutal, and her husband, then President Clinton leaning away from the Mush/Pakistan, tilting towards India in the first foreign policy WH break since Nixon tirade/covert losing battle against Indira Gandhi (1971 war), earned daughter Chelsea the romp thru Rajasthan..

Posted by Bludde | Report as abusive

@Abdul_Basit
“wouldnt that be much great if India, Pakistan and Afghanistan all decide and sit together to make a GCC or shengen like international borders”

On one hand Pakistanis blame India for all the problems in region and on other hand expect a solution. On one hand you are the PAK Islamic nation and on other hand if India wants to pursue path of secularism then it is termed as hindu kaafir country. On one hand you want solutions and on other hand u send gunmen into Delhi and Mumbai and then expect Indians to just sit and enjoy. On one hand you GROOM people, on YOUR PAK soil, to kill Indians and on other hand you want free trade zones with India. On one hand u keep shouting about your nukes and on other hand u want India to remove its forces from its western border. WAKE UP!! Indians are not all fools. If you guys really want a solution then TAME your military and its warlords first. Shut down the mullah factory, stop your false Islamic propaganda and stop this mad killing of minorities in your country. Your military doesn’t even tries to make people’s lives better and still you guys literally worship them. May be only your Allah knows what is Pak about your land.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@007xxx

well its not only Pak that is engaged in such things, the research and analysis wing (RAW) did the same in baluchistan, they trained the locals and tried to make them the militants. The if india speak about Dawood Ibrahim, they are protecting Ajmal Qasab, they were the ones who said that Pakistanis should walk with their heads down as they have the nuclear bomb, now what, now we have made same bomb, why the whole world is bothered abt it now. And when Pak wants to resolve all the issues and ask to make a regional nuclear treaty, India backs off. India is of no strategic value to Pakistan, thats why we isolate ourselves from them in the last 10 years. But now if they think they are in anyway affected by Pakistan then the only way is through dialogues.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

@Abdul_Basit

“RAW) did the same in baluchistan”
I have my family members in armed forces of India and let me tell you something that RAW is the MOST inefficient arm of Indian security. Had RAW been of any use, Pak army would not have entered Kargil. The very fact that Kargil happened is proof enough that RAW is useless pathetic money eating organisation which should be shut down immediately without wasting any more Indian taxpayer’s money.

“they are protecting Ajmal Qasab”
To NAIL down LIES of Pak Army.

“now we have made same bomb, why the whole world is bothered abt it now”
Because your Army shouts and boasts of its bomb in front of whole world on top of their voices.

“India is of no strategic value to Pakistan, thats why we isolate ourselves from them in the last 10 years”
Then why does your army wants to have “strategic depth” AGAINST India. Why does your army term India as enemy no 1. Why does your army send people to kill Indians.

Your reasoning is amateurish at best, making no sense at all. Looking at your line of reasoning, I guess you are a student and still need to learn a lot. Good Luck and have a peaceful life!!

P.S.
India/Hindustan/Bharat does not claim to be any pure land and yet tries its very best to feed its people. Is it true about the PAK land and Allah’s Islamic forces??

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

A very small (insignificant may be) but positive step from Pakistan:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/internation al/article2591731.ece

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@007XXX

Answers to your questions

Q.Why does your army term India as enemy no 1. Why does your army send people to kill Indians.

You people have 80% of your army on Pakistan borders and yet u say that we consider India hostile, ur army is 10 times bigger than our total army and yet u need 80% of it on Pak borders

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fpuEPjS4 rU

Q.RAW been of any use, Pak army would not have entered Kargil

you are talking about kargil like there were no forces posted at that time, Kargil is such a sensitive place that both forces have infantries posted their since the independence of both the nations, so intelligence role at that point is of no significance, border intelligence is the duty of the infantry posted there, and yes its bitter but its true wikileaks also published a document, that in 1965 Indian army declared that they are out of ammunition whereas they have 35-45% ammo left, whereas it was Pak army that was out of ammo, but both the countries called for a cease fire. Its not RAW that is lazy, its ur troops that are not doing their job.

Q.your Army shouts and boasts of its bomb in front of whole world on top of their voices

So you think this 9/11 is really to kill talibans and to free these afghans, :) it was to get as close to Pakistan to monitor its nuclear activity, why US didnt say a world when Israel bomb the syrian nuclear reactors in 1970s. Why is palestine still not liberated, why US never took interest in kashmir issue. Its because US never wanted a peaceful world. Kashmir issue is not a big deal, that era is gone when the fight was over lands, but US never wanted india and pakistan to have good relations. If Kashmir issue would have resolved earlier then there was no need of this enemosity and making our armies state within the state.

Q.I guess you are a student

I guess you dont have ur own mind, or you dont know how to research internet, thats why you are trusting every news and every article on the internet. Why there is no article on “Why US didnt show the live coverage of OBL or the dead body of OBL”. Media only show one side of the story. US is misleading their countrymen, and spending their $$$$ in war, coz its the best way to do money laundring, they show the war cost them 500 billion whereas they only invested 50-100 and rest are in their senators pockets :), poor Americans will know abt it later like always.

A very small (insignificant may be) but positive step from Pakistan, yes a small step from Pakistan but hopefully a start for the peace in the region.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

“ur army is 10 times bigger than our total army and yet u need 80% of it on Pak borders”

Because your army/government/whatever has not stated a no-first use doctrine for its nukes whereas India HAS done so. And it is PA that sends killers INSIDE INDIA and not other way round.

“you are talking about kargil like there were no forces posted at that time….Its not RAW that is lazy, its ur troops that are not doing their job”

Now who is believing in lies of media and internet. I said I have my family members in Indian armed forces and yet you doubt that RAW is useless organization. The monster of RAW and India as enemy is created by your Army to suck up all resources of Pakistan, just like US created WMD in Iraq to suck up their oil.

“Its because US never wanted a peaceful world. Kashmir issue is not a big deal, that era is gone when the fight was over lands, but US never wanted india and pakistan to have good relations. If Kashmir issue would have resolved earlier then there was no need of this enemosity and making our armies state within the state.”

Everyone knows that, there is nothing new you are telling. But then why did your Mushie kneeled down in front of Bushie?? I don’t care what US does in its house, I only care what it does in my house.

“I guess you dont have ur own mind, or you dont know how to research internet, thats why you are trusting every news and every article on the internet”

What a judgement (rather error of judgement)!! I wished you peaceful life and luck and you throwing stones and bad words at me. You Pakistanis still live in a high ego world. Getting angry will not solve anything. I see a ray of hope on other side of line in you but you must control your emotions and use your head more often as you could become a bright student with practice. Emotions is what has ruined half a century for both countries. Why you can’t see that? US provoked the neighbors is one thing but neighbors acting in childish emotional manner is not justifiable. US gave to Pakistan some weapons is one thing but Pakistan turning those weapons on India is entirely another.

We should not make the same mistakes as our forefathers did. Neither are we responsible for their errors. We have very little left to lose and a lot lot more to gain. History cannot be changed but future can be shaped.

P.S.
“Q.Why does your army term India as enemy no 1. Why does your army send people to kill Indians.

You people have 80% of your army on Pakistan borders and yet u say that we consider India hostile, ur army is 10 times bigger than our total army and yet u need 80% of it on Pak borders”

So you not only agree but also justify that your (Pakistani) Army send people in India to kill Indians. Dangerous thinking.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Whoever says the Indian Army is 10 times the size of the Pak Army and then accuses others of not knowing or researching the internet has really lost the plot badly. Now Im not going to do anyone’s dirty work for them…..go find out for yourself and see how wrong you are and how bad your research is.

The rest is uninformed drivel in the guise of sham knowledge.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Abdul Basit,

RAW is a paper tiger relatively speaking. The ISI has taken training from the CIA and its capability and reach today is an order of magnitude higher. The RAW could not detect the incursions in Kargil. Nor did it do anything to thwart Mumbai attacks. RAW might have helped sabotage things in the sub-continent a couple of decades ago. At that time, things were very different. Those who ruled India in those days also had a very different mindset. The Indira Gandhi clan believed in bullying others into submission and RAW reflected their policy – both domestic and foreign. IG and her descendants triggered unrest inside India itself to control their political rivals. They are dead and gone and India has moved on in a new direction since 1991. RAW is still there. But its functionality is restricted to listening in and spying. If RAW was like the ISI, by now it would have assassinated Dawood Ibrahim in Karachi. May be Dawood Ibrahim has a deal with the RAW to act as its mole. One never knows. Double agents are everywhere in this world.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

007XXX

Well, your approach is more a retro approach, you are going through all the past times, what has done in the past is not changeable, so its useless to discuss that. What we are doing here is to make the future right. We all should accept this fact that whole world is in a transition right now and are trying to settle themselves differently. Such transitions when every country is going though a change is a good time to progress towards development and new good relations. New states are developing, old leaderships are dying. People are more informed. Individual opinions are mattering in this age.

You are asking me to do a research, When you are saying that your nuclear doctrine was pure, I have been reading the defence journal where it clearly states that the 1998 indian atomic explosions were not motiveless, they wanted a hot pursuit in pak-kashmir, and it was taken angrily by washington, on the other hand pakistans explosions were strategic to balance the military power in the region and was taken with sorrow. Now a country many times bigger than Pakistan was threatening a smaller neighbouring country, is this justice. Pakistan never boasted about its nuclear arsenals.

http://www.defencejournal.com/apr99/pak- nuclear-doctrine.htm

This is the real Pakistan nuclear doctrine and you will get the facts.

Daraindia

I also dont want to paste the number of personnels working for Indian army, But its a fact that india ranks b/w 3rd and 4th in terms of biggest armies of the world. 80% of the indian troops are on Pakistan borders, China and India are under pact to reduce the army on their borders, so major part of Indian army is active on India-Pakistan border.

KPSingh01

Well we dont underestimate RAW coz it was as efficient as was the KGB in soviet time. Your parliament is surely restricting them, and it is to inhibit them getting involved in the Indian politics, like the ISI which sure now has a role in Pakistani politics, as far as assasination of Dawood Ibrahim is concerned, i dont know why ur whole state is making an issue of just a local goon, he is no OBL having his personal army. There are already too many killings in Karachi, RAW can just hire any target killer to do this job, they dont have to do it alone. Its just that Indian army didnt want him to get killed. I hope you know that in the past few months, there have been anonymous target killings in Karachi.This is in context to those killings. I agree with you that double agents surely exist in every agency, and now ISI is suffering from this disease, that why there are component who are pro taliban and pro-americans. But somehow pro-americans are loosing their edge with the betrayal of US army. I again repeat that with the extra pressure that US is creating on Pakistan, the middle class educated Pakistani who were with US are now loosing confidence on American policies.

Now the only way to defeat those who are spoiling the name of Islam is to make an alliance, and starts cleaning the mess, or there will always be a reason for the fight.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

@Abdul_Basit

“I have been reading the defence journal where it clearly states that the 1998 indian atomic explosions were not motiveless, they wanted a hot pursuit in pak-kashmir”

A lot of things are said for sake of saying and not doing. When Indian parliament was attacked then Indian government mobilized forces on LOC and operation Prakaram was underway, but only to threaten Pakistan and America and motive was never to intrude in Pakistan. But Pakistan created a monster out of the event. Similar situation was created at time Indian nuke explosion. Diplomacy is a sophisticated game and Indians are pretty good at it.

“Now the only way to defeat those who are spoiling the name of Islam is to make an alliance, and starts cleaning the mess, or there will always be a reason for the fight.”

And how do you propose to do that? By murdering minorities in name of Allah and Prophet?? Heroic status of Mumtaz Qadri in Pakistan, is known to all world. Because someone throws a newspaper, that has Mohammad word in it, into a dustbin; he becomes eligible for capital punishment. Is that how your Islam works? And that is how you build an Islamic Republic of Pakistan and by murdering the people of other/no faith you want to spread Islam?

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Abdul Basit,

Of course India has a bigger army, it is a much much bigger country. My point was that you blame others for poor rersearch and then go forth and come up with blatantly wrong information.

One reason why Indiua keeps a big army, and so much on the Pak border is because of Pakistan – think about what Pakistan has been doing all along. And if India really wanted to harrass your country, they would have taken advantage of your current problems and created mischief. The army is there to prevent Pakistanis from committing moe blunders against India. If you get over your India mania you may see things prtoperly.

“China and India are under pact to reduce the army on their borders, so major part of Indian army is active on India-Pakistan border.”

I think this quote of yours simply proves either you are an innocent child or a totally ignorant adult. Good luck

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Abdul Basit:

” I have been reading the defence journal where it clearly states that the 1998 indian atomic explosions were not motiveless, they wanted a hot pursuit in pak-kashmir, and it was taken angrily by washington,”

I’d strongly recommend the book, “Nuclear Deception by Adrian Levy and Catherine Clark”. India has used baits to gauge Pakistan’s nuclear capability and avoid rumors. In the 1980, India had a vague assessment of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb development and launch capability. If Pakistan’s bomb could be exposed, Pressler act would have come into effect and thwarted all the American efforts in Afghanistan. Reagan was lying to the Congress about Pakistan’s bomb and delivery capability in order to get funds approved for the American Jihad in Afghanistan. So India launched Operation Brass Tacks, knowing well Pakistan would react emotionally. The goal was to see if Pakistan would chest thump about it nuclear delivery systems that Reagan had denied. Sure enough, Pakistan took the bait and launched Zarb-e-Momin and the blind generals got so emotionally carried away that they demonstrated the retrofits on the F16s to carry the nukes. In 1998, there was again the question of yield of the Islamic bomb and capability. The only way to expose and get that information was to throw the bait again. In addition, India had its experimental verification on its bombs which had been optimized using computer simulations. They knew of the risk in doing it. They knew sanctions would be imposed. But they went ahead with it because they knew Pakistanis were foolish enough to fall into the trap, show off their capabilities and face sanctions at the same time. Sanctions were badly needed on Pakistan because it would affect their mission in Kashmir which was at its peak around that time. India also sent a message to the Jihadi groups that were housed in Eastern Afghanistan. A nuke there would have eliminated them if a war broke out. Several equations had to be balanced and India went ahead with this risky adventure. And it worked. Pakistan took the bait and exploded its bombs and India/Israel and other curious nations took notes of the yield and capabilities. Sanctions did not hurt India much. But Pakistan has been on the receiving end ever since.

Sometimes things are not done to thump chests. They are done with cunning plans to bring about the confirmation of hidden truths. The smartest people are in Israel. From what I have read, this idea was hatched by Israel and worked through Indians. Both countries are on alert about the Islamic bomb.

“on the other hand pakistans explosions were strategic to balance the military power in the region and was taken with sorrow.”

Pakistanis are extremely emotional and can be manipulated into exposing their foolishness. This was clearly evident by the way they responded to Indian nukes. Had they maintained silence, it would have scared India a lot more than chest thumping to prove their capabilities. It is always important to keep your enemy guessing. Look at what Israel has done. Everyone knows they have the bombs and missiles. But they will not take the bait. But they will use it if they have to.

“Now a country many times bigger than Pakistan was threatening a smaller neighbouring country, is this justice. Pakistan never boasted about its nuclear arsenals.”

See above. It was not a threat. It was a bait and Pakistan took it.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

In a poker game the identity of the one who took the bait becomes known once the game is over. THE GAME IS NOT OVER YET!!
Iran is the real example not Israel. Everyone knows that it has the nukes and the delivery systems and yet its adversaries keep insisting that it has a program but not the real weapon. Who is taking the bait? Certainly not Iran?

Rex Minor

PS India and Pakistan affair was a game for nursery students. Two renowned wizards coming from an Indian village, one living in Pakistan and the other in India were responsible for and remained in touch with each other, concerning their inputs for the program.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Afghanistan persists in confounding US objectives, in particular the US intent to exit Afghanistan. The three Cheshire-Cat choices Ms. MacDonald sketches are thus dead & decomposing on arrival.

Posted by SkepticReader | Report as abusive

@007xxx @daraindia and @KPsingh

It is plain what world thinks about India going nuclear, you had a motive now u are covering it calling it a bait to check Pakistans capabilities or whatever, Pakistan would never have become nuclear , it was just because of Indian atomic explosions, that give us the reason, without the world saying a word. The clear example is Iran, why the world didnt want iran to go nuclear its because israel is still an unofficial nuclear country.
India has been doing the military training in the tribal areas of Baluchistan and was having old relations with Iran to back its illegitimate operations, why are you people speaking of the one side story. Indians always objected US for the F-16s it gave to PAF, saying there is no need for air superiority b/w the two countries, yet keeps on buying the russian aircrafts and other military stuff. Which no-first use policy are you talking about, i think you are asking this because you still have loop holes in your nuclear technology and you want to fix it in the mean time. The Pakistan nuclear doctrine is plain and simple, i have even posted the link in my previous post. If indian nuclear doctrine is so clear why india is not signing the CTBT or NPT. This will ease up the tension between the two countries.

Its not that Pakistan has always done stuff on the borders, its just that we are having bad times and people are pointing fingers at us.

On the other side American people who were our allies have such a gold fish memory that they are now blaming Pakistan. They forgot that it was Pakistan who stands by them in this decade long war and slowed it down, yes i agree the results are not as were desired but this does not mean that we didnt help them. There were some faction of talibans still loyal to Pak govt created by the assistance of CIA and ISI back in 80s, and eliminating them without a reason is not Pak armies policy, they are waiting for them to take some harsh action after which they will be cleaned. Not like the american wagging the dog, and creating dramas like OBLs videos to win elections and then the second drama to knock him down in the heart of military HQs. We Pakistanis need evidence we dont just play by the news.

Thirdly in the past decade Pakistan has cleaned most of its Northern area including hundreds of villages and 23 major cities, whereas USAF or Nato cant even control Kabul and accusing Pakistan to assist those killings. We have thousands of military men and civillians killed in the war and US is crying on its 1800 casualties.

Where is the equality in the relations? The aid of which they are talking, it was not for the people, it was for their own purpose, it did not even helped our economy instead we cant develop ourselves in this whole period, i think now its the time we should take our nose out of this war game and let the americans handle the war like they want.

What Pak army need now is to seal its Af-Pak border, and take care of the inside themselves and let american do whats on the other side.

Despite spending 150 billion US accomplished nothing and yet asking for the 10 billion they paid to Paksitan.

Soon Pakistan will be out of this drama war and will start its Gawadar port and will start focusing on its trade and development.

because we dont want more war that is turning our youth into militants and we dont want sides to swing into.

Posted by Abdul_Basit | Report as abusive

@Abdul_Basit

“Pakistan would never have become nuclear , it was just because of Indian atomic explosions,”

Replace Pakistan with India and India with China in above statement of yours and you will see validity of India’s nuclear tests.

“because we dont want more war that is turning our youth into militants and we dont want sides to swing into.”

Well said and its good to see Pakistan opening up trade opportunities with India by allowing more goods to be imported from India into Pakistan. That will certainly help.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

The choices here are indeed moribund. What can another year or two of “fighting” accomplish that over ten years of fighting could not? When have America’s staggeringly unpopular tactics–tactics it deems very successful, such as murderously indiscriminate drone strikes and violent late-night home invasions–produced a sustained & sincere presence of its adversaries at the negotiating table?
Who but an extremely imaginative fantasy writer could credit any plausibility to the notion of a successful nation-building effort in Afghanistan, to be completed in 36 months, no less? The US would face far greater prospects of success if it initiated such a project in Antarctica, or on the Atlantic seafloor, or upon the moon.
And what of the ISI’s cordial invitation to the US to assist it in reconstructing the status quo ante–i.e., the installation of a viciously backward Pashtun puppet force to rule Afghanistan? Can the US mollify its own domestic audience with the prospect of pouring 12 years of blood and money into dethroning–and then rethroning–the Taliban?

Posted by SkepticReader | Report as abusive

Hillary Clinton concludes a visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan promising to fight the militants to the end but also keeps the door open for new talks after preliminary contacts are fruitless. Pakistan News

Posted by RaziaMalik | Report as abusive