Tag Archives: Friend

Anwar Memon: A Leader and Friend of Sindhi Community

By: Khalid Hashmani

All those who knew Anwar Memon are truly saddened by his untimely departure from among us. May God rest his soul in peace and give us all enough strength to bear the loss of this great friend of Sindhi community!

I have personally known Anwar Memon for more than 55 years. Being a friend and admirer, I always looked Anwar with respect since our days at the Government High School in Hyderabad. Anwar’s impersonation of SaeeN Bashir Qureshi (who was a great teacher with the high hopes that his lethargic students who would one day become scholars of Persian) was legendary in our school. No matter how much down one felt, hearing Anwar impersonate SaeeN Bashir Qureshi made us forget all your sorrows and filled us with laughter and smiles. As the fate would have it, I followed him to Cadet College Petaro in 1960. There, apart from sharing common bond as having our homes in the same city (Hyderabad), we also became roommates in his final year at Petaro (1963) and came to know a lot of good and some not-so-good things about each other. In Petaro, Anwar belonged to the Jinnah House for first few years and then joined the newly created Shah Abdul Latif House. He was considered by most cadets as a leader without stripes. Although he was not an appointed section/House leader, he commanded more respect of all the cadets than most of other cadets who had formal stripes. After passing the Intermediate Examination from Cadet College Petaro, Anwar joined Sindh University Engineering College [now called Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET)] in Jamshoro. I after passing the same examination from Petaro joined another Engineering college in Karachi, Sindh. But as we were meant to meet again, I transferred to Sindh University Engineering College in late 1965, where Anwar had been elected as the President of Student Union. He was very influential and highly respected by both students and faculty. He was instrumental in helping me in couple of troublesome situations. After receiving Bachelor’s degree, Anwar landed a very prestigious job with one of the leading Petroleum Company and was envy of many of his colleagues and friends.

Continue reading Anwar Memon: A Leader and Friend of Sindhi Community

BBC – Enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

Afghan end game sees Pakistan ‘paralysed’ by US rift

Since US forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan a year ago, relations between the two countries have never recovered. Writer Ahmed Rashid looks at a relationship in crisis as US troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.

The continuing breakdown in co-operation between the US and Pakistan is having a hugely detrimental effect on US and Nato resolve to withdraw from Afghanistan while trying to remain committed to the region’s stability.

Although the US has much to answer for in terms of mistakes made, the refusal of the Pakistani leadership – both military and civilian – to take responsibility and ownership for desperately needed decisions, is leading the country into a terrible sense of drift and despair.

The recent visit to Islamabad by a high-level US delegation, consisting of officials from the defence and state departments, the CIA, the White House, and led by US special envoy Marc Grossman failed to elicit any major breakthrough in resolving any of the major outstanding issues which could lead to improving relations.

Drone attacks

Pakistan insists on a US apology for the killing of 24 of its soldiers last November by US helicopters on the Afghan border – yet when a US apology was on the cards a few months ago, Pakistani officials declined to meet their US counterparts.

Pakistan also insists on an end to drone strikes which the US refuses to agree to.

Both sides have tried to explore different scenarios for co-operation so that drone attacks can continue.

If a co-operation mechanism can be found, the US wants Pakistan to be more transparent about drone attacks because Pakistani interests are also served when drones kill leading members of the Pakistani Taliban.

US officials say their own lack of transparency over drones was dictated by former President Pervez Musharraf who insisted that they never be admitted to, even though drones took off from Pakistani bases until last year.

Also stuck is the reopening of the road that is used to take supplies from the port of Karachi to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The road should have reopened nearly a month ago after approval from Pakistan’s parliament, but threats by Islamic extremist groups to burn trucks and convoys of goods have played a part in the delay.

The US has already indicated that it is willing to pay generously for use of the road.

The talks were made more complicated by the Obama administration now refusing to issue an apology and US charges that Pakistan allowed the Haqqani group to launch the multiple suicide attacks on Kabul and other Afghan cities on 15 April.

‘Window on the West’

There is enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

Many leading Americans consider that Pakistan should cease being important for the US, or should no longer be considered an ally when the US gets over the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pakistan is doing little to stop this drift in negative opinion growing in the US.

Gone are the early days of the Obama administration when major efforts were made to woo Pakistan.

Now what Pakistan may lose as a US ally in the region, India will gain – something that should be worrying for the Pakistani ruling elite.

The failure of Pakistan to rebuild ties with the US is rooted in actual incidents, anger and real disputes.

But it is also down to the inability of the government or the military to make decisions that need to be taken collectively to preserve the state of relations with a powerful country which has acted in the past as Pakistan’s window to the West – especially in terms of loans, aid and business and exports.

Internal conflict

There has been an unprecedented growth in violence from north to south involving sectarian, ethnic, militant Islamic, criminal and other heavily armed groups which the government appears helpless to stop.

Continue reading BBC – Enormous frustration in Washington regarding Pakistan which is now seen by many in the US Congress and the military as an enemy rather than a friend.

How Pakistan Lost Its Top U.S. Friend

Outgoing U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Explains Shift From Confidence in Islamabad to Tougher Tone

BY JULIAN E. BARNES AND ADAM ENTOUS

WASHINGTON—U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has long been seen as Pakistan’s closest friend in Washington.

He visited Islamabad 27 times since 2008 in his role as America’s top uniformed officer, cultivated a bond with the Pakistani army chief of staff and early in his tenure said he believed Pakistan was serious about plans to take on militant groups that the U.S. wanted shut down.

But in recent months, Adm. Mullen said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he concluded that the partnership approach he long had championed had fallen short and would be difficult …

Read more → THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Demanding Answers From Pakistan

By ZALMAY KHALILZAD

Excerpt;

SINCE the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan has behaved toward the United States as both friend and adversary — and gotten away with it. The latest evidence of its duplicity is the revelation that Osama bin Laden lived for years in a house near Pakistan’s national military academy and a local branch of its intelligence service without any evident interference.

Even before the American raid last week on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan had a huge credibility problem. It provides arms and safe haven for Afghan insurgent groups and pays their commanders to carry out attacks, but denies doing so. …

…. The killing of Bin Laden only 60 miles from Islamabad, its capital, has put Pakistan on the defensive, and the nature of our strike capability is not lost on Pakistani leaders and their terrorist and insurgent clients. ….
….

First, the United States should reduce its dependence on supply lines running through Pakistan to Afghanistan. We should expand alternative supply routes through Azerbaijan and other countries in Central Asia. Also, as we draw down forces in Afghanistan, our logistical requirements will diminish; this will give the United States more leeway to consider unilateral attacks against terrorists and insurgents in Pakistan.

Second, the United States should stay on the course set by President Obama to build, train and support Afghan security forces and reduce our own military presence while retaining the capacity to provide air support, intelligence collection and other capabilities that the Afghans currently lack. Such a posture can strengthen Afghanistan against Pakistani interference and help persuade Pakistan to embrace a settlement.

Third, the United States should conclude a longer-term agreement with Afghanistan to maintain a small, enduring military presence that would give us the capability to conduct counterterrorism operations and respond to possibilities like Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of extremists.

Fourth, the United States could consider seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution to authorize an investigation into how Bin Laden managed to hide in plain view. The inquiry should examine the presence of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Pakistan. ….

…. It is in neither America’s interest nor Pakistan’s for relations to become more adversarial. But Pakistan’s strategy of being both friend and adversary is no longer acceptable. ….

To read complete article → THE NEW YORK TIMES

India- Pakistan : Playing little-boy games!

Playing little-boy games – by Kamran Shafi

…. I write this from Kabul where the Fourth Afghanistan-India-Pakistan Trialogue is being held. The loudest message our Afghan friends are sending out is that they be left alone … for both Pakistan and India to stop using their country as a chessboard. That if Pakistan is such a friend why does it not allow freer trade between the three countries so Afghan fruit can find its way to Indian markets before it spoils? And, gentlemen, listen closely: Pakistan is the most hated country in Afghanistan today. So, go figure.

To read full article : DAWN