Tag Archives: NATO

Is Pakistan falling apart?

It has suffered disaster after disaster. Its people have lived through crisis upon crisis. Its leaders are unwilling or unable to act. But is it really the failed state that many believe?

By Patrick Cockburn

Is Pakistan disintegrating? Are the state and society coming apart under the impact of successive political and natural disasters? The country swirls with rumours about the fall of the civilian government or even a military coup. The great Indus flood has disappeared from the headlines at home and abroad, though millions of farmers are squatting in the ruins of their villages. The US is launching its heaviest-ever drone attacks on targets in the west of the country, and Pakistan closed the main US and Nato supply route through the Khyber Pass after US helicopters crossed the border and killed Pakistani soldiers.

Pakistan is undoubtedly in a bad way, but it is also a country with more than 170 million people, a population greater than Russia’s, and is capable of absorbing a lot of punishment. It is a place of lop-sided development. It possesses nuclear weapons but children were suffering from malnutrition even before the floods. Electricity supply is intermittent so industrialists owning textile mills in Punjab complain that they have to use their own generators to stay in business. Highways linking cities are impressive, but the driver who turns off the road may soon find himself bumping along a farmer’s track. The 617,000-strong army is one of the strongest in the world, but the government has failed to eliminate polio or malaria. Everybody agrees that higher education must be improved if Pakistan is to compete in the modern world, but the universities have been on strike because their budgets had been cut and they could not pay their staff.

The problem for Pakistan is not that the country is going to implode or sink into anarchy, but that successive crises do not produce revolutionary or radical change. A dysfunctional and corrupt state, part-controlled by the army, staggers on and continues to misgovern the country. The merry-go-round of open or veiled military rule alternates with feeble civilian governments. But power stays in the hands of an English-speaking élite that inherited from the British rulers of the Raj a sense of superiority over the rest of the population.

The present government might just squeak through the post-flood crisis because of its weakness rather than its strength. The military has no reason to replace it formally since the generals already control security policy at home and abroad, as well as foreign policy and anything else they deem important to their interests. …

Read more : The Independent

The World According to Jamaat

Extraordinary Rendition – By: Hakim Hazik

Praise be to Allah who created the universe. Praise be to Apostle Brzezinski who created Afghan jihad. A thousand prayers for Al-Sheikh Casey who ran it. May Allah shower his blessings on the soul of the mujaddid of the last century, Hazrat Zia ul Haq shahed (RA). May his jawbone rest in everlasting peace, along with the dentures of  Shaheed Robert Raphel in the Bawahalpur desert. …

Read more : JusticeDenied

The Pressures of the End Game in Afghanistan and Leverages of US and Pakistan

The supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan, passing through Khyber Pass and border town of Torkham, remains closed. Two increasingly reluctant countries of the Afghan coalition and NATO, France and Germany, are on an alert for possible Mumbai style terror events. The attackers are reported to have trained in FATA. However, on October 6th came the word of Afghan peace talks, which are well underway, and the associated debate about the key positions of various stakeholders. This article looks at pressures of the end game in Afghanistan. The outcome of the present US and Pakistan showdown will determine who has the upper hand at this stage. …
Read more >> Politact

Smokescreen of sovereignty —Dr Mohammad Taqi

The world’s patience with Pakistan is running thin and the establishment’s gimmicks will come under increasing scrutiny, followed potentially by retribution. The ISAF action in the Kurram Agency then was not a surprise.


“Son, do you not know who I am?” said in Urdu the man with a henna-dyed beard and the Holy Quran on his lap. Reading the perplexed expression on the young man’s face, he then answered his own question, “I am Jalaluddin Haqqani — Commander Haqqani.”
It was 1994 and this young sub-inspector of the Punjab Police had stopped a convoy of double-cabin vehicles on Peshawar Road, just outside Rawalpindi. With tens of armed jihadists seated in the trucks, the officer who led a small posse faced the dilemma of whether to insist on the checking that he had originally planned or not. After a short standoff, his problem was solved by a wireless message from ‘higher authorities’ to clear the cavalcade without inspection! The officer later confided that he still did not know who Haqqani was. …

Read more >> Daily Times

We are not religious extremists

Sindh – Hyderabad : October 03, 2010-  Tens of Sindhis held peaceful protests on October 03, 2010 in different cities of Sindh against terrorist acts of religious right on NATO supplies. By condemning these acts of violence we are separating the people of Sindh from those who thrive on religious & ethnic hatred in Pakistan. We are sending a clear message to the world that the land of Bhittai believes in tolerance, peaceful co-existence and respect of all religions of the world. We are working on G.M. Syed’s true & real message of brother hood & humanity. These are the teachings of G.M. Syed that are giving us courage to stand up against religious right in Pakistan. ….

Read more in Sindhi >> wesindhi

Gen. Beg urges Pakistan military to shoot down American Drones and Helicopters Now

Beg for shooting down intruding ISAF copters, drones – By: Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE – Former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg on Tuesday bitterly criticised the government for involving Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the conflict between the executive and the judiciary, and demanded that the Pakistan Air Force should be tasked to shoot down the helicopters and drones …

Read more >> The Nation

Via >> Siasat

Obama’s Wars: implications for Pakistan

The US is not about to handover the keys to Kabul. Hopefully, the Pakistani establishment will reconsider its strategic calculus; living lies is incongruent with the geopolitical realities.

by Dr Mohammad Taqi

While NATO may have softened its position from its earlier stance of using the ‘right’ of hot pursuit, Pakistani authorities will find it increasingly difficult to defend their untenable position in the face of intense pressure and scrutiny from the US. ….

Read more >> Daily Times

Pak-Afghan Border – Hot Pursuit, Boots on the Ground, and Drone Attacks

Pak-Afghan Border and Asymmetric Warfare – Hot Pursuit, Boots on the Ground, and Drone Attacks

…. An additional factor that complicates these tactics is the idiom that ‘all is fair in love and war’. In the age of Internet, people have come to believe the stated intents and positions of international players to be true. The real intent and policies of global players are the most highly guarded secrets and are not meant for public consumption. Publicly disclosing the nations real intent, strength and vulnerabilities would be tantamount to surrendering. Nonetheless, when the statements and actions of stakeholders repeatedly don’t match, it creates many conspiracy theories as well as mistrust amongst allies.

To read full article >> Politact

Afghan errors spill into Pakistan – By Haroon Siddiqui

……. All this is at odds with the bilateral goal of cooperating over Afghanistan. And it has convinced Pakistan to look after its interests in post-NATO Afghanistan.

It is thus pushing its own “Taliban” — two warlords, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani. The names are familiar because they were part of the seven pro-American, CIA-backed mujahideen groups that overturned the 1980-88 Soviet occupation.

Both these Pakistani “assets” live in North Waziristan under Pakistani protection. That Haqqani’s son, Sirajuddin, is on America’s most wanted list is a matter of minor inconvenience. Thus this response from Obama to Pakistan’s overtures: “I think we have to view these efforts with skepticism but also with openness.”

Afghanistan’s war is being lost in Pakistan, says Shuja Nawaz of the Washington-based Atlantic Council, who has just released a thoughtful analysis of the American-Pakistani relationship. He argues for attending to all the above irritants.

Nawaz also notes that America’s NATO allies “have been missing in action in Pakistan.”

Canada could have a carved out a special diplomatic role for itself, leading to our departure from Afghanistan next year. But Harper has taken a pass.

To Read full article >> TORONTO STAR

Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert

By MARK MAZZETTI, JANE PERLEZ, ERIC SCHMITT and ANDREW W. LEHREN

Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.

The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders. …

Read more >> The New York Times

Now Populous Punjab Province in danger of terrorists takeover?

Hiding In Plain Sight

Combating terrorists in Pakistan’s borderlands was hard enough. Just wait until they take over the country’s most populous province.

BY AHMAD MAJIDYAR

Pakistan’s Punjab province is not usually cited among the areas in danger of imminent takeover by terrorists, but that will likely soon change. On July 1, suicide bombers had no problem launching a triple attack on a famous Sufi shrine in Lahore, its bustling capital city. At least 35 were killed and over 175 injured in the assault. In fact, it was only the latest in a string of terrorist attacks that have rocked Pakistan’s densely populated heartland over the past year. Last month, Taliban gunmen torched 50 U.S. and NATO supply trucks headed for Afghanistan just outside Islamabad in northern Punjab. And the problems are likely to get worse in Punjab before they get better.

While U.S. and Pakistani military strategists focus on the terrorist threat in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the Taliban and al Qaeda are expanding into Punjab and teaming up with local terrorist organizations such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, the alleged recruiter of Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

Read more >>- ForeignPolicy

Pakistan : Rs220 billion custom fraud

Rs220b embezzlement unearthed in NATO containers transport

Dunya News unearthed country’s biggest custom embezzlement on Monday. According to the documents received by Dunya News, a Rs 220billion irregularities have been unearthed in the transportation of legal and illegal stuff to Afghanistan for ISAF forces.

Read more >>- DunyaNews

Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems.

Land of the impure

Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems. Just most of them

The Economist/blogs/banyan

THREE score years and a bit after its founding, Pakistan—which means land of the pure—still struggles to look like a nation. Economically backward, politically stunted and terrorised by religious extremists, it would be enough to make anyone nervous, even if it did not have nuclear weapons. For these shortcomings, most of the blame should be laid at the door of the army, which claims, more than any other institution, to embody nationhood. Grossly unfair? If the army stood before one of its own tribunals, the charge sheet would surely run as follows:

Continue reading Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems.

Taking on the Taliban – Globe Editorial

Get tough with Pakistan’s [….]

Boston.com

THE UNITED States and NATO cannot endure an open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan. But they know — or should know — that there can be no hope of ending the war unless Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency stops arming, funding, and training Afghan insurgent groups.

President Obama must recognize the necessity of persuading Pakistan’s military leaders, who control the ISI, to stop playing a double game with America. This can be done. Washington has valuable carrots to offer and credible threats to make. To succeed, however, Obama must be willing to play hardball.

Continue reading Taking on the Taliban – Globe Editorial

Why Pakistan keeps exporting jihad

By Fareed Zakaria

Washington Post

Faisal Shahzad, the would-be terrorist of Times Square, seems to have followed a familiar path. Like many recruits to jihad, he was middle-class, educated, seemingly assimilated — and then something happened that radicalized him. We may never be sure what made him want to kill innocent men, women and children. But his story shares another important detail with those of many of his predecessors: a connection to Pakistan.

Continue reading Why Pakistan keeps exporting jihad

Pakistan – India : Patron and Proxy

by: Omar Ali

I have been busy with other work, but from a distance it seems to me that:

1. Pakistan has accepted that there will be a NATO supported regime in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, not a jihadi regime.

2. NATO has accepted that Pakistan will be given a “share” in this regime and as long as it fights the hardcore jihadis, will be accomodated in many ways. First and foremost, it will be allowed and even enouraged to present every U-turn as a great victory for the ISI. Secondly the army will not be forced to take too many orders from bloody civilians. Other goodies will probably flow. And India-specific jihadis will not be frontally attacked and no one will have to admit any mistakes or face any public humiliation.

3. Kiyani sahib, thanks to his sensible background (he is the son of a JCO) AND natural intelligence (IQ clearly 20-30 points higher than Musharraf, which means about 60 points higher than the average general) will probably keep his balance, but COAS is a position that is hazardous for mental health. who knows…..

4. The jihadis will not go quietly into the good night. Kiyani sahib probably knows that, but I have the feeling most people will be surprised at how long and hard they will fight.

5. Indian defence analysts (who are really no smarter than Shireen Mazari and company, just playing with a better hand that many of them dont even know they are holding…meaning they think they have a stronger hand because they have more tanks or more people, while in reality, the real superiority lies in being a SHADE better aligned with modern historical trends) will whine and kick and scream…. but Sundeep Dougal tells us that most Indians think less about Pakistan than Pakistanis imagine and THAT may be the thing that saves India. The ones paying attention to this game will frequently draw the wrong conclusions. But most of India will not pay attention and in this fit of absent-mindedness, may find themselves better off than they imagined possible…. Sardarji will make India a real power even though most power fanatics (my apologies to Brahma Chellaney) will think he is selling India cheap and letting Pakistan get away with murder and whatnot..

Courtesy: crdp@yahoogroups.com, Thu Mar 11, 2010

U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan & India – Things are going to go!

by: Omar Ali

In my opinion it is very likely that the Pak army will actually get some of what it is asking for in the short term but their victory will be a Pyrrhic one. The US needs ISI help in Afghanistan and will pressurise India to keep a lower profile. If prime minister, Manmohan Singh is as smart as he seems, he will get whatever he can in other areas and go along with this in spite of whining from the Hindu right and orthodox Indian security hawks. These are not the nineties and ISI may find “victory” harder to manage than defeat. After spending valuable political capital buying this “concession” in Afghanistan, they will find themselves fighting the jihadis and still with no serious influence in the afghan regime. Hikmatyar will sell out his own mother if he has to. “Reconcilable Taliban” are more upset at Pakistan than they are at America. Even Haqqani saheb will not “ride into the valley of death, theirs not to question why”…In the long run, things are going to go where economics and population pressure are driving them. But sardarji has to be patient…If the nuttier factions of the Indian security establishment stick to their tunnel vision, things could become harder than they have to be.

Courtesy: Omar Ali & crdp@yahoogroups.com, Feb 1, 2010

Obama’s speech!

by: Omar Ali

..I think it was a very good speech. The “withdrawal date” is a joke, but I dont think it will have any serious impact on affairs on the ground. IF the US/NATO forces are seen to be taking the initiative and going after the Taliban and have a plan for all aspects of the problem, people will see that and react accordingly. If they seem to be just treading water, people will see that too and react accordingly. If a deal is being made to allow Pakistan to reinsert its proxies into Afghanistan in exchange for an orderly withdrawal, we will see evidence soon enough. If no deal has been made and Pakistan is pressured to drop its proxies and help NATO pummel them before 2011, people will see that too. There is only so much you can do with PR, the rest is actual work (and kinetics?)

The salafist/jihadist insurgency will continue and nation states will have to fight against it because it is not compatible with the existing international system. Some states will take a while to figure this out. If this works, Pakistan will have chosen to dump these people and will be getting help in its fight. If this does not work, the US will suffer a setback, but will be able to cut its losses and move on, but Pakistan will be at the center of a much bigger mess than what exists now and will have to figure things out after dragging its people through unnecessarily bitter experiences. But what the hell, that wont be the first time history takes the roundabout way…

Courtesy; Omar Ali and crdp@yahoogroups.com

If wishes were horses…

by: Omar Ali

I think they are hunting for a way out, but there is no easy way out. In the end, its likely to be a messy exit, not a brilliant victory for any side. Those of us who are a safe distance away will have the satisfaction of gloating over the defeat of the great satan, but within Afghanistan and Pakistan, the defeat will be followed by some very nasty “re-balancing” .

In the end, the “West” will suffer much less than the victorious tribes. And I don’t just mean Afghanis. I think Saudi Arabia is getting ready to play “regional power” in Yemen and will regret the day they got suckered into that mess. ISI will again rent itself out to Saudi intelligence and China. India and Iran may cooperate. Sharp operators on all sides will make big bucks, but the prospects for the common people are not rosy.

It would be much better if NATO was able to establish a working regime and exit smoothly without getting India, Iran and Pakistan to restart their stupid proxy war in Afghanistan. but, if wishes were horses…. And what happened after the Soviets left? We should not stop our discussion at celebrations of the great satan’s defeat. The United States is still a great power and will remain one for many years even if current trends are not reversed. What will happen to the Afghan people after “victory”?

Courtesy and Thanks: Omar Ali and CRDP@yahoogroups.com

Kosovo declares Independence

Review & Outlook : The Birth of Kosovo February 18, 2008

When Slovenia declared independence in 1991, Belgrade sent in tanks. When Croatia and Bosnia did the same, the Serbs started wars that left a quarter million dead. So Serbia’s resort to violent rhetoric in response to Kosovo’s declaration of independence yesterday counts as a kind of Balkan progress.

The newborn isn’t out of danger, with Serbia and Russia wishing Kosovo ill. But the presence of NATO troops, and expected swift recognition by the U.S. and major European powers, ought to calm nerves and end the last territorial dispute in the Balkans. By taking the lead during the 1999 aerial war that forced Slobodan Milosevic’s ethnic cleansers from Kosovo and now on independence, the U.S. is shepherding one more Muslim nation to freedom—not that it will get credit for it in the Islamic world.

The proliferation of small states since the fall of communism has made Europe more stable and democratic, from Estonia to Macedonia. A sovereign Kosovo, which follows the entry of even tinier Montenegro into the club of nations, can be a force for good in the region and in the wider Europe. Though lawyers may quibble, Kosovo differs in no way from the other stand-alone parts of Yugoslavia that won their freedom after 1991, and are now better off for it. Serbian lobbyists portray the Kosovars as Muslim terrorists, but that strains credulity, given their moderate and secular practice of Islam (and Christianity) and their stated commitment to democracy.

Kosovar leaders say they want their country to join the European Union and NATO, which would open their borders to free trade and bring them into European security structures. The Kosovar Albanians also seem aware that their new state will be judged on their protection of minority Serbs and willingness to make up with former enemies. International oversight and scrutiny can help ensure these promises are kept. Western chaperones will also have to watch the fragile multiethnic constructs in nearby Bosnia and Macedonia, where separatists may try to use Kosovo independence to push for a breakup.

Russia has called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to revoke the independence declaration. With no troops or permanent interests on the ground, however, Moscow may be happy merely to score political points against the West—and then, as usual, abandon the Serbs to their fate… (Wall Street Journal)