Pakistan blew its chance for security

By: David Ignatius

As America begins to pull back its troops from Afghanistan, one consequence gets little notice but is likely to have lasting impact: Pakistan is losing the best chance in its history to gain political control over all of its territory — including the warlike tribal areas along the frontier.

Pakistan has squandered the opportunity presented by having a large U.S.-led army just over the border in Afghanistan. Rather than work with the United States to stabilize a lawless sanctuary full of warlords and terrorists, the Pakistanis decided to play games with these outlaw groups. As a result, Pakistan and its neighbors will be less secure, probably for decades.

This is a catastrophic mistake for Pakistan. Instead of drawing the tribal areas into a nation that finally, for the first time since independence in 1947, could be integrated and unified, the Pakistani military decided to keep the ethnic pot boiling. It was a triumph of short-term thinking over long-term; of scheming over strategy.

America has made many blunders in Afghanistan, which will have their own consequences. But U.S. problems are modest compared with those of Pakistan, which nearly 65 years after independence still doesn’t have existential security as a nation. Like most big mistakes people make in life, this is one that Pakistan’s military leaders made with their eyes wide open.

The Group of Eight and NATO will hold summits in the coming days and announce the exit strategy from Afghanistan. Fortunately, President Obama is planning a gradual transition, with at least 20,000 U.S. troops remaining until 2024, if necessary, to train the Afghan army, hunt al-Qaeda and steady Afghans against the danger of civil war.

But what can Western leaders say when it comes to Pakistan? Basically, the Pakistanis blew it. By playing a hedging game, they missed a moment that’s not likely to return, when a big Western army of well over 100,000 soldiers was prepared to help them. Instead, Islamabad used the inevitability that America would be leaving eventually as an argument for creating a buffer zone that was inhabited by a murderous melange of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and other Pashtun warlords.

Continue reading Pakistan blew its chance for security

Imran Khan launching a campaign against the resumption of Nato supplies, would cause a “financial loss” of $650 million to Pakistan

Imran to launch campaign against resumption of Nato supplies

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he was contacting other political parties for the opposition campaign against expected re-opening of the Nato supply routes to Afghanistan, DawnNews reported.

Talking to media representatives at the press conference at Zaman Park in Lahore, Khan criticised the parliament for its inability to implement the resolution regarding future rules of engagement with the United States.

He asked why Pakistan was compromising on its stand of not allowing the Nato supplies through its land-routes, ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Ancient Jain temples in Tharparker

Temples too discriminated!

By Kapil Dev

You may dislike President Asif Ali Zaradari for his political smartness for he had outwitted many of his opponents and for his failure to deliver to masses. But you may not dislike him for his love for environment. The reason may be he himself held portfolio of Environment Minister in Benazir Bhutto’s first government or his instinctive love for environment.

On Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed concern over the damage to the centuries-old Kataas Raj temple near Choa Saidan Shah, Chakwal, due to the environmental degradation caused by the construction of industrial complexes around the temple and asked for a report from the relevant ministry.

Similar reports were also published some time ago regarding dilapidated conditions of temples in Sindh, particularly ancient Jain temples in Tharparker and an attempt to demolish a Hindu temple in Choorio, Nangarparker, by a Granite lease owner. But the Presidency did not move to instruct authorities for protection.

On Kataas Raj temple located in a small village of Punjab, the President called for a report after taking note of a media report that the building of industrial complexes around the Kataas Raj temple had destroyed its pristine beauty and threatened the natural water pond with complete extinction.

The report was published in Dawn Newspaper on April 22 under the headline “Holy pond at Kataas Raj dying up” and reported by Nabeel Anwar Dhakku.

The natural pond had been in existence for thousands of years attracting pilgrims from far and wide in the South Asian subcontinent. Since ages water flowed from the pond to downstream villages of Wahoola, Tatral and Dulmial without any drop in the pond level that was constantly replenished by the spring waters underneath. However, the industrial units constructed near the site had sucked up groundwater and diverted the flow of the springs resulting in the drying up the pond, the report said. ….

Read more » The Sindh Journal

The Taliban mercenary movement is the major cause of Pakistan’s isolation in the community of nations

Comment by: Manzoor Chandio

The Taliban mercenary movement is the major cause of Pakistan’s isolation in the community of nations … they work like rent-a-car business… rent-a-training camp is Waziristan’s buzzword… their true mercenary face came to fore when they started attacks on the Pakistan military… these Taliban might have been rented in Afghanistan… those carrying out attacks in Afghanistan, like the Haqqani network, are said to be helped by Pakistan… Taliban have nothing to do with Umah… they are based in a barren mountainous area… first time people of this area saw rains of dollars in the 1980s thanks to Dictator General Zia … the people of Waziristan rented out their lands for setting up jihad training camps… many more rented out houses as barracks for Jihadis… one rough estimate is that some 40,000 people from across Muslim countries landed in Fata for jihad… rent-a-training camp business flourished as high as rent-a-commercial suite in Dubai… Jihadis came from across the Umah to get training… again this was not without money… Muslim separatists from Philippines, Chinese and other countries paid money for training their fighters in Fata… Waziristan is like Sandhurst and Fort Hood of Jihadis across Umah… local Mehsuds allowed the training camps in their areas for money… & this is called business by them… they know how to protect their interests… then there was drug business & it flourished along with the killing Jihad business… there is a saying in Pushto ‘Awal Zaar, resto Jahan’… this mean business… the only way to close this jihad & drug industry is to industrialized Fata that provide jobs to the people.

Courtesy: Manzoor Chando’s facebook wall.