Sanjeev's Feed
May 30, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Stirring the hornet’s nest in Pakistan’s northwest

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The United States has a set of expectations  that it wants Pakistan’s government to meet, Secretary of State of  Hillary Clinton said ahead of her short trip to Islamabad  last week, the kind of language Washington has frequently employed to bring its conflicted partner in the war against militant Islam to heel, each time  there has been a crisis. Clinton didn’t elaborate, saying only at the end of her meetings in Islamabad that she expected Pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead.

But on Monday, Pakistan’s The News reported that the military was preparing to launch an air and ground offensive against militants in North Waziristan, a demand that the United States has repeatedly made over the last two years. It said the decision was taken during discussions that Clinton and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of State Admiral Mike Mullen had with Pakistani government and military leaders.

May 26, 2011
via Afghan Journal

In Pakistan’s Gwadar port, Chinese whispers grow

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First, China helped develop Pakistan’s Gwadar port from scratch on the Baluchistan coast to take the pressure off the country’s main port of Karachi, a few hundred miles to the east. Now Pakistan’s defence minister has said that it would like its long-time ally to build a naval base at Gwadar, which sits on the doorstep of Gulf shipping lanes, less than 200 kms from the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz.

China, which provided more than 80 percent of the port’s $248 million development cost, has moved quickly to distance itself from Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar’s remarks about a naval base in Gwadar. The foreign ministry said China was not aware of any such proposal.

May 23, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Pakistan military: the enemy within ?

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The breach of security at a major Pakistani navy base in the southern city of Karachi has, inevitably, raised questions of complicity, which must be the greatest worry once the night-long siege by the militants ends and the military has finished counting its losses.

That a group of 15 or more attackers armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades could gain access to the inner perimeter of the Mehran base and succeed in  blowing up one U.S.-supplied P -3 Orion maritime aircraft and damaging another aircraft, while holding off security forces for more than 12 hours speaks of a large, complex attack that needs some level of help from within.   One former Pakistani navy official told a TV channel that the attack appeared to have been planned from a map of facility.

May 18, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Pakistan : four probes and a killing

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Pakistan has launched four separate investigations into the life and death of Osama bin Laden on its soil, according to U.S. Senator John Kerry. The army, the air force and the intelligence establishment are running a probe each while parliament last week ordered an investigation by an independent commission to be set up for the purpose.

It’s not entirely clear who is investigating what but a common theme running through the probes is to find out how did the United States launch a heliborne  operation so deep in the country, hunt bin Laden down in his compound after a shootout in the outer wing  and fly away with his corpse, without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities. Indeed the military and the government only got to know about it after the Americans told them once they were safely out of Pakistani airspace.

May 15, 2011

Pakistan builds low yield nuclear capability,concern grows

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pakistan’s successful test of a missile able to carry short range nuclear weapons threatens to raise tensions in a region already nervous that the death of Osama bin Laden will create more instability.

Tactical nuclear weapons, as these are called, are often seen as more dangerous than the traditional strategic weapons because their small size and vulnerability to misuse. Theft makes them a risk to global security.

May 15, 2011

Analysis: Pakistan builds low yield nuclear capability

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pakistan’s successful test of a missile able to carry short range nuclear weapons threatens to raise tensions in a region already nervous that the death of Osama bin Laden will create more instability.

Tactical nuclear weapons, as these are called, are often seen as more dangerous than the traditional strategic weapons because their small size and vulnerability to misuse. Theft makes them a risk to global security.

May 15, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and the bin Laden raid

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In conducting a raid deep inside Pakistan to take out Osama bin Laden, the United States pushed the boundaries of military operations,  inter-state ties and international law, all of which are the subject of a raging debate in the region and beyond. 

 One of the less talked-about issues is that the boots-on-ground operation by the U.S. Special Forces also blows a hole in a long-held argument that states which have nuclear weapons, legitimately or otherwise,  face a lower chance of a foreign strike or invasion than those without them. Thus  the United States didn’t think twice before going into Afghanistan within weeks of the September 11 attacks or striking against Libya now because there was no nuclear threat lurking at the back of the mind. Even Iraq was a tempting target because it was not known to have a well-established nuclear arsenal  although the whole point of the invasion was that it had weapons of mass destruction. That only turned out to be untrue.

May 5, 2011
via FaithWorld

Even without bin Laden, Pakistan’s Islamist militants strike fear

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(Supporters of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden shout anti-American slogans, after the news of his death, during a rally in Quetta May 2, 2011/Naseer Ahmed)

The death of Osama bin Laden has robbed Islamist militants of their biggest inspiration and al Qaeda itself has dwindled to a few hundred fighters in the region, but Pakistan remains a haven for militants with both ambition and means to strike overseas. Worse, there are signs that groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure), nurtured by Pakistan’s spy agency to advance strategic interests in India and Afghanistan, are no longer entirely under the agency’s control.

May 5, 2011

Analysis: Even without bin Laden, Pakistan militants strike fear

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The death of Osama bin Laden has robbed Islamist militants of their biggest inspiration and al Qaeda itself has dwindled to a few hundred fighters in the region, but Pakistan remains a haven for militants with both ambition and means to strike overseas.

Worse, there are signs that groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure), nurtured by Pakistan’s spy agency to advance strategic interests in India and Afghanistan, are no longer entirely under the agency’s control.

May 5, 2011

Even without bin Laden, Pakistan militants strike fear

SINGAPORE, May 5 (Reuters) – The death of Osama bin Laden
has robbed Islamist militants of their biggest inspiration and
al Qaeda itself has dwindled to a few hundred fighters in the
region, but Pakistan remains a haven for militants with both
ambition and means to strike overseas.

Worse, there are signs that groups such as the
Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure), nurtured by Pakistan’s spy
agency to advance strategic interests in India and Afghanistan,
are no longer entirely under the agency’s control.