Language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).
As the Supreme Court ups the ante against the new prime minister, the battle between various stakeholders in Pakistan is likely to get intense
By: Ayesha Siddiqa Independent Social Scientist
…. the most challenging act seems to be the case against Chief Justice Iftikhar’s son Arsalan Iftikhar. Allegedly, Arsalan blackmailed real estate tycoon Malik Riaz into paying him more than PKR 36 crore in bribe for getting favourable judgments in cases being heard in the Supreme Court. Although nothing has been definitely proven against him as yet, the glitterati of Lahore talk about Arsalan’s extravagant lifestyle, which comes as a surprise since he didn’t have a job three years ago. The Chief Justice comes from a humble background and claims to have no property, a statement that adds to the complexity of his son’s fortune. Riaz, who is considered as being close to both the military and Zardari, has continued to point fingers at Arsalan, his father and the entire family for extorting money and favours out of him.
The Arsalan-Riaz case is now being heard by the Supreme Court and probed independently by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising members from the country’s prime anti-fraud agency, the National Accountability Bureau, the Islamabad Police and the Federal Investigation Agency. Clearly, this is a card in the government’s hand that Chief Justice Iftikhar and his team of close aides seem to try to destroy by casting aspersions on the JIT’s credibility. It is not a coincidence that after every hearing by the JIT, there is an effort by the pro-Chief Justice wing of a certain media group to point fingers at the credibility of JIT. The effort increases around every hearing by the court or the investigating team.
The yet-to-be-proven case of extortion and the players involved in it make the head spin at the complexity of the case. According to sources, Riaz, who is reputed to be an “ISI asset”, could not have taken the risk of so brutally challenging the Chief Justice without taking the security establishment on board. The question is how does one juxtapose this assumption against another that the higher judiciary has the army’s support to destabilise the government?
Interview: senior Taliban commander admits insurgents must seek settlement with other political forces in Afghanistan
By: Julian Borger
One of the Taliban‘s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces in the country.
In a startlingly frank interview in Thursday’s New Statesman, the commander – described as a Taliban veteran, a confidant of the leadership, and a former Guantánamo inmate – also uses the strongest language yet from a senior figure to distance the Afghan rebels from al-Qaida.
“At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaida. Our people consider al-Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens,” the commander says. “To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama [bin Laden]. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.”
The New Statesman does not identify the Taliban commander, referring to him only as Mawlvi but the interview was conducted by Michael Semple, a former UN envoy to Kabul during the Taliban era who has maintained contacts with members of its leadership, and served on occasion as a diplomatic back-channel to the insurgents. …
Read more » gardian.co.uk
Via – Twitter
By: Imtiaz Ali
Maulana Sami ul-Haq is the director and chancellor of Pakistan’s famous madrassa, Darul uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak. He has served in this post since the death of his father, Maulana Abdul ul-Haq, the founder of the madrassa, in 1988. Darul uloom Haqqania is where many of the top Taliban leaders, including its fugitive chief, Mullah Omar, attended. It is widely believed that the madrassa was the launching pad for the Taliban movement in the early 1990s, which is why Sami ul-Haq is also called the “Father of the Taliban.” Besides running his madrassa, Maulana Sami has a long political history as a religious politician. He was among the founders of Pakistan’s Muttahida Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) coalition of six Islamic religious parties. He recently spoke with Jamestown analyst Imtiaz Ali.
Imtiaz Ali: During the Russian invasion, the students from your madrassa were traveling to Afghanistan to fight, after which most of them were eventually inducted as governors and administrators in the Taliban government. Is the same thing continuing today? Are you still sending people to Afghanistan for jihad?
When Omar Shaikh was arrested and sentenced to death in 2002 for the kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal correspondent, Daniel Pearl, in Karachi, many Pakistanis were shocked. But what was there to be shocked about?
Shaikh had well-known links with a number of clandestine jihadist organisations and had already been jailed in 1993 by an Indian court for entering India and taking part in the kidnapping of a number of foreign tourists to raise money for the so-called ‘Kashmir jihad’.
The latest of ‘crusaders’ (read idiots with a cause) who has taken his ‘case’ to the courts is one Zaid Hamid, self-described as the “Founding President of an Internationally Recognised Threat Analysis Consultancy and Defence Think Tank.” On March 27, 2012, he announced triumphantly that he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the death penalty for a number of journalists as well as the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).
Mr Hamid’s basis for seeking the death penalty against eleven different people is his firm belief that they are involved in “nefarious activities”, hence guilty of treason and hence liable to be put to death.
By Saeed Shah
Afghanistan’s president expresses frustration with the country he accuses of harbouring the Taliban during a visit to Islamabad
Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, confronted the Pakistani leadership on Thursday on a visit to Islamabad as his frustration with the country he accuses of harbouring the Taliban boiled over.
Karzai’s language and tone flared to such an extent that the Pakistani prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, intervened and called a halt to a meeting of the full delegations of the two countries, according to officials on both sides. After a break, a smaller meeting of just the top officials was held, on the first day of a two-day visit to Islamabad.
The Afghan president has long demanded that Pakistan bring the leadership of the Taliban to the negotiating table, including its chief, Mullah Mohammad Omar. ….
Read more » guardian.co.uk
– Classified document is said to warn that Pakistan is plotting to help reinstall Taliban once Nato-led forces depart
The Taliban have secured Pakistan’s support for a return to power in Afghanistan as well as toning down their severe brand of Islamism, according to reports citing a leaked US military assessment.
The Times described the report as secret and “highly classified”, saying it was put together last month by the US military at Bagram air base in Afghanistan for top Nato officers. The BBC also carried a report on the leaked document.
“Many Afghans are already bracing themselves for an eventual return of the Taliban,” the report was quoted as saying. “Once Isaf (Nato-led forces) is no longer a factor, Taliban consider their victory inevitable.”
The document stated that Pakistan’s security agency was helping the Taliban in directing attacks against foreign forces – a charge long denied by Islamabad.
The findings were based on interrogations of more than 4,000 Taliban and al-Qaida detainees, the Times said, adding the document was scarce on identifying individual insurgents.
A US state department spokesman and Britain’s Foreign Office both declined comment on the report. Nato and Pakistani officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Despite the presence of more than 100,000 foreign troops, the UN has said violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since the Taliban were ousted by US-backed forces in 2001.
The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) says levels of violence are falling.
Citing the same report, the BBC reported on its website that Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew the locations of senior Taliban leaders and supported the expulsion of “foreign invaders from Afghanistan”.
“Senior Taliban leaders meet regularly with ISI personnel, who advise on strategy and relay any pertinent concerns of the government of Pakistan.”
The rise and rise of Imran Khan.
By Omar Ali
A few quick thoughts:
1. The campaign is well thought out and professional. It would be interesting to find out who all wrote the script.
2. People are indeed waking up, and PTI is indeed giving hope, but every time the people wake up it doesnt lead to where they think they are going (think about the millenarian excitement at the time of partition). The problem in any case is not the people or IK’s plan. Both are essential steps (if only partially understood) in a modern third world capitalist framework, and eventually the people/nation will indeed get there (they may think they are going elsewhere, but so did the people of China and see where they are today) but GHQ will have to be defanged along the way and taught new tricks. And one cannot underestimate GHQ and their genuinely problematic attachments to ideas incompatible with the needs of capitalist Pakistan … not so much from malign intent as from genuine lack of understanding (pak studies level BS is not just BS to them). Khan sahib is sincere, his followers are more than sincere, but the framework right now is only haflway there. Dangerous aspects of nazria e pakistan will have to be removed (quietly and surreptitiously, not the way I am saying it, I know), various groups will have to be accommodated or ruthlessly crushed (think Balochis, MQM, FATA, Jihadis) … all of which is doable, but not in this cycle by THIS tsunami. .. and all of which will include steps that may horrify some members of the excited middle class… Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen will not bring home the bacon.
3. There is indeed a new class of rich people in Pakistan and they need a more efficient capitalist country. They want to get together with PTI and GHQ and they think they will make Pakistan a stable capitalist country where property rights are secure (now that THEY own the property, thank you Hindus and Sikhs, and thank you current round of looting of public property, among other things). Its a necessary next step, but one has to be careful..who is writing the script? Many people are, but whose script has the deepest level of planning and muscle? GHQ. They may still want to have their jihadi-nazria-e-Pakistan-irrational-anti-Indian cake and eat capitalism too….its tough to do that. They will have to kill some jihadis along the way and it wont be pleasant work. They will need much more Chinese money and that wont come without security for Chinese capitalists. Many eggs will have to be broken to make this omelette. And “resilient awam” will have to give some more “qurbani” (sacrifice) for the future greatness of Pakistani capitalists. Its true that our people are resilient, but not endlessly resilient.
4. I am NOT saying nothing good will come of this. People will get organized and get active. Many will get disappointed, but others will go on to new levels of effort and organization and understanding. How else do we learn? Just saying “this is not that dawn”…For various historical reasons, Chinese capitalism will be a bit more welcome than the Western brand, but its still capitalism and it has its own associated sacrifices…and the cultural and ethnic contradictions that have to be resolved will be resolved with very unpleasant tactics.
5. If you want a prediction, i think there is at least a 50% chance of IK being PM next year. And a 37% chance he could be assassinated some day to make way for Shah Mehmood Qureshi … in the best interests of the nation, mere aziz humwatno (my dear countrymen … standard refrain of martial law speeches in Pakistan).. and if PMLN and PPP are halfway capable, the job may turn out to be harder than today’s excitement makes it seem.
Courtesy » Brown Pundits
Washington: Pakistani military had harboured Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of former president General Pervez Musharraf, ex-army chief General Ziauddin Butt has said.
An article on the Jamestown Foundation website, which cited Butt, said that despite denials, evidence is emerging that “elements within the Pakistani military harboured Osama with the knowledge of Musharraf and Kayani”. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the current army chief.
Ziauddin Butt, a former chief of the Pakistan army, told a conference on Pakistani-US ties in October that according to his knowledge, then director general of Intelligence Bureau, Brigadier (retd.) Ijaz Shah, had “kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad”.
Osama bin Laden was gunned down May 2 by US commandos who mounted a daring operation using stealth helicopters.
— o — o — o — o —
You have ruled us enough
You have ruined us enough
You have raped our beloved country enough
You have destroyed our future and shattered our dreams
Enough is enough.
Your concepts are weird, your plans are insane
You are devious and deceitful
You are cowards and timid
You are cruel and ruthless
You are cunning and conniving
You are criminals and corrupt
Enough is enough
We are no longer afraid of long boots
We have no fear of big guns
You can’t bully us any more
Enough is enough
You have found new shoulders to take away our freedoms
Bigwigs are on your side and fake journalists speak your lies
But you all should know it is enough, it is enough
No more insults, no more intrigues enough is enough
No more blackmail, no more intimidation enough is enough
We will not let the Justice spread injustice enough is enough
Go away, go away it is enough, it is enough
Stay away, stay away it is enough, it is enough
We will fight you till the end
Enough is enough
By Josh Rogin
Former National Security Advisor Jim Jones has submitted a confidential affidavit, obtained by The Cable, in which he swears that he has no reason to believe that former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani had any role in the scandal known as “memogate.”
Jones was the go-between in the transmission of a secret memo from Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz to then Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen in the days following the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad. The memo, purportedly from the Pakistani civilian leadership, asked for U.S. government help to avoid a pending military coup in Pakistan and pledged, in return, to reorient Pakistan’s foreign and national security policy to be more in line with U.S. interests. ….
Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)
ISLAMABAD: MNA from the ANP Bushra Gohar said on Thursday that DG ISI Shuja Pasha should resign in order to ensure a transparent investigation of memogate, Geo News reported.
Addressing the National Assembly, Gohar said Haqqani had resigned and presented himself for investigation in the case.
Replying to Gohar, Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar said that it was the government’s job to take the resignation from DG ISI and he had brought this issue up repeatedly during the joint session of Parliament.
Courtesy: The News
– -0- -o- –
Courtesy: Geo Tv News » YouTube
An interesting moment, Lt. General (r) Orakzai gave interview but when he was questioned about his role in October 12th military coup he started running. The reporter chased him and at the end general asked the reporter to not to embarrass him. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy » DAWN News Tv » YouTube
The language of the interview of former DG ISI is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy » DAWN News Tv – 11th Dec 2011 -p2
via » ZemTv
By Josh Rogin
State Department officials say that they are considering whether to add Pakistan’s Haqqani network to their list of foreign terrorist organizations, and now Congress is moving to force them to show their work.
“We are continuing to review whether to designate the entire [Haqqani] organization,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in September, only days after then Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen testified to Congress that the group was directly responsible for a deadly Sept. 13 attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul that left nine dead and 23 injured.
Mullen also said that the Haqqani network was a “veritable arm” of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier spy agency. That accusation encapsulates the State Department’s conundrum over designating the Haqqani network as terrorists: If it does, it is only one short step away from being pressured into naming Pakistan as a State Sponsor of Terror, a move that would shatter whatever is left of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a show out of naming and shaming the Haqqani network during her recent trip to Pakistan in October. But does she really intend to designate it as a foreign terrorist organization? Several senators moved on Wednesday to force her to say one way or the other.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced on Wednesday the “Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act,” ….
Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)
By Abubakar Siddique
As Afghanistan recovers from a deadly and unprecedented attack on a Shi’ite shrine in Kabul, the finger of blame is pointing directly at a Sunni extremist group with a long history of carrying out such attacks in neighboring Pakistan.
At least 55 people were killed and more than 160 wounded in the December 6 suicide attack, which occurred as Shi’ite worshippers were assembled outside the shrine to commemorate Ashura, a Shi’ite religious holiday. A separate attack near an Ashura procession in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif killed at least four people.
Shortly after the midday attack in Kabul, a man claiming to be a spokesman for Lashkar-e Jhangvi al-Alami contacted RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal to claim responsibility on behalf of the Pakistan-based militant group.
It was impossible to independently verify the claim made by the man, who identified himself as Qari Abubakar Mansoor.
The man first contacted a Radio Mashaal correspondent in Pakistan who covers the western Kurram tribal district, where the group is believed to be headquartered. A man going by the name of Qari Abubakar had previously contacted Radio Mashaal to provide information regarding the Lashkar-e Jhangvi al-Alami. Following RFE/RL’s report tying the group to the attack in Afghanistan, various media reported receiving similar claims from the same spokesman.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who cut short a European trip and returned to the Afghan capital to deal with the crisis, appeared to accept that the attack was carried out by Lashkar-e Jhangvi al-Alami. While visiting survivors of the attack in the hospital, he was quoted as telling reporters that “we are investigating this issue and we are going to talk to the Pakistani government about it.”
Ties To Al-Qaeda, Taliban
Farzana Sheikh, a Pakistan specialist at the Chatham House think tank in London, says the group evolved from the Anjuman-e Sipahe Shaba Pakistan, an extremist political party intent on transforming Pakistan into a Sunni state. One of its splinter groups, Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) was considered the most deadly sectarian militia in the South Asian state in the 1990s.
Lashkar-e Jhangvi al-Alami is now considered a splinter group of the LeJ, which was banned in Pakistan in 2002 because of its role in the killing of thousands of Shi’a.
“Its roots really lie in southern Punjab [Province], in the district of Jhang, from where they have clearly spread to other parts of Pakistan,” Sheikh says, “but particularly the [southwestern province of] Balochistan, where they have been responsible, and indeed claimed responsibility, for a series of murderous attacks against Shi’a Hazaras.”
Sheikh says that the group once enjoyed close links to Pakistani intelligence agencies. This, she notes, enabled LeJ to maintain bases in Taliban-controlled Afghan regions because of Islamabad’s relationship with the Taliban regime. However, the LeJ’s Shi’a-killing campaign made it a prime security threat for Pakistan, according to observers.
Read more » Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (rferl)
Security Council Press Statement on Afghanistan- SC/10474- Afg/380
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Vitaly Churkin ( Russian Federation):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the abhorrent terrorist attacks on 6 December in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif causing numerous death and injuries.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of these heinous acts and to their families, and to the people and Government of Afghanistan.
The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Afghanistan to bring those responsible to justice.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.
The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the people and the Government of Afghanistan.
The National Front Party on Thursday asked the UN to investigate the Kabul suicide attack which took place on Tuesday at Abul Fazl Shrine.
The National Front Leader Ahmad Zia Massoud said he welcomed and supported the decision made by Afghan government. He also stressed that investigation about the incident would be in the interest of Afghanistan.
“If the Afghan president is really intending to investigate about the issue and discuss it with Pakistan, a UN delegation should be assigned to investigate certain parts of the incident. The outcomes would be good, I think because Afghans have always had defensive strategy and have been silent towards all such incidents. This has caused Pakistani Generals to do whatever they want inside Afghanistan,” Mr Massoud said.
On Wednesday President Karzai said that he will investigate about the issue with the help of international community.
“Jhangvi is based in Pakistan. So, the Afghan government, with the support of the international community, will follow up on the issue. Afghanistan will never forgive the wounding of innocent children,” Mr Karzai said.
The deadly suicide attack at Abul Fazl Shrine in Kabul took the lives of more than 59 people and nearly 200 people were wounded in the incident.
Lashkari Jhangvi which is based in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Courtesy » ToloNews
Karzai blames Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for Kabul blast
KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday blamed the the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) for a bomb at a Kabul shrine which killed 55 people, demanding justice from Pakistan, his spokesman said.
The comments are likely to antagonise further already tense relations with Islamabad, which boycotted Monday’s Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan following NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
“The president said he blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” said Aimal Faizi following reports of a purported claim from the faction, blamed for scores of similar attacks on Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
“The president said that he will demand Pakistan take executive measures in this regard since this group is based in Pakistan so that justice can be done,” Faizi added.
Karzai’s comments came as he visited victims of the Kabul blast in hospital. He returned to Kabul earlier Wednesday after cutting short a trip to Europe to deal with the fallout of the unprecedented attack on Afghan Shias.
Afghan victims buried as fingers point to Pakistan
An Afghan official had earlier claimed that the bomber who attacked the shrine in Kabul was a Pakistani, affiliated with the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
– Malik thanks Taliban for ensuring peaceful Ashura
…. Speaking to the media in Islamabad, he said he was thankful to everyone, including the Taliban, for their cooperation in ensuring peaceful Ashura processions throughout the country during the 9th and 10th of Muharram. ….
…. Answering a question, he said that former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani’s name had already been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) as per the orders from Supreme Court.
Read more » DAWN.COM
More details » BBC urdu
According to Bruce Riedel, “the Pakistani army is gradually installing a new military dictatorship, without even needing to resort to a coup”. Mr. Bruce Riedel says that “The new military dictatorship that is emerging in Pakistan will be very different from its predecessors.” He added “The facade of civilian government is likely to continue to go on… with very little real power. The media will continue to be very active and alive, except when they criticize the military.” ….
Read more » RUPEE NEWS
STATEMENT BY SENATORS McCAIN AND GRAHAM ON PAKISTAN
December 5, 2011 – Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on Pakistan:
“We fully appreciate the importance of U.S. relations with Pakistan, which we believe can serve U.S. national security interests. The cross-border air action that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers was unfortunate and unintentional, and we are confident that the investigation being conducted by NATO and the U.S. military will clarify the circumstances of this terrible tragedy. We join the President and our colleagues in once again expressing our deep condolences to those who lost loved ones.
“The Pakistani government’s response to these events, however, has been deeply troubling and has added to the continued deterioration of our relationship. In recent days, the government has prevented NATO supplies from entering Afghanistan through Pakistan. It has ordered U.S. intelligence officers to leave the country and disrupted their work on important national security matters. And it has boycotted an international conference in Bonn, Germany that supports peace in Afghanistan.
“If these actions were not concerning enough, there were reports just this morning that the Pakistani government has allegedly decided to suspend all bilateral agreements related to counterterrorism, as part of a broader review of Pakistan’s political, diplomatic, and military relations with the United States. Such steps by the Pakistani government would mark a new low for our relationship.
“The United States has been incredibly patient with Pakistan. And we have been so despite certain undeniable and deeply disturbing facts. Most importantly, Pakistani army and intelligence officials continue to support the Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups in Pakistan that are killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the vast majority of the material used to make improvised explosive devices used against U.S. forces in Afghanistan originates from two fertilizer factories inside Pakistan.
“The time has come for the United States to fully review its relations with Pakistan. We must assess the nature and levels of our support for Pakistan. In particular, all options regarding U.S. security and economic assistance to Pakistan must be on the table, including substantial reductions and stricter standards for performance. Most of all, U.S. policy toward Pakistan must proceed from the realistic understanding that certain actions of Pakistan’s military are contributing to the death and injury of our men and women in the military and jeopardizing our national security interests.
“In light of what could be an entirely new relationship with Pakistan, the United States and our allies must develop contingency plans to ensure the continued logistical support necessary for our military operations in Afghanistan.”
ISLAMABAD — Confusion and a communication breakdown prevented Pakistan’s airforce from scrambling to defend troops on the ground during the deadly NATO bombing last weekend of two border outposts, the military said Friday, responding to rare domestic criticism of the powerful institution.
The attack killed 24 Pakistani troops and pushed already strained ties between Washington and Islamabad over the future of Afghanistan close to rupture. Islamabad has closed its eastern border to NATO supplies traveling into landlocked Afghanistan and said it is reviewing its cooperation with Washington.
Thousands of Islamist extremists took to the streets across the country after Friday prayers, some shouting they would join the army in a battle with the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. The chants were a worrying sign for the West, reflecting how the anger over the incident is uniting hard-liners and the military.
Others rallied against the country’s already weak government for its alliance with Washington.
The Pakistani military, which eats up most of the country’s budget and is accountable to no one, has said Saturday’s border attack was an “act of deliberate aggression” that went on for close two hours. It has also said that Pakistani commanders contacted and pleaded with coalition commanders to stop firing.
NATO and U.S. officials have disputed that account, which has triggered uncomfortable questions in this South Asian country over why Pakistan’s own fighter jets and helicopters stationed close to the border did not take off to defend the ground troops during the attack.
The military has said troops did fire back at the NATO choppers when they attacked.
A Pakistani military statement on Friday said the response could have been more “effective” if the airforce had been called in, but this was not possible because of a “breakdown of communication” and confusion at “various levels” within the organization. …
Read more » The Washington Post
via » Siasat.pk
By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
You wouldn’t have thought anti-Americanism in Pakistan could get any worse, but last week NATO attacked a Pakistani army post, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. Even before this episode, for which NATO expressed deep regret, it would be difficult to find a country on the planet that was more anti-American than Pakistan. In a Pew survey this year, only 12% of Pakistanis expressed a favorable view of the United States. Populist rage and official duplicity have built up even though Washington has lavished Islamabad with aid totaling $20 billion over the last decade.
I think it’s time to recognize that the America’s Pakistan policy is just not working. I write this as someone who has consistently supported engaging with the Pakistani government as the best of bad options. But the evidence that this engagement is working is thin – and gets thinner with every passing month.
Supporting Islamabad has been premised on two arguments. The first is that if we don’t, the Pakistani government could collapse and the country’s nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands, perhaps even ending up with al Qaeda. This misunderstands the problem. Pakistan is not Somalia. It has been ruled by a professional military for most of its independent existence, even when there has been a nominally civilian government in charge – as there is today. There have been no Gaddafiesque colonels’ coups in Pakistan; instead, the entire military, with its command chain intact, has moved to replace the civilian government.
Read more » CNN
A NATO spokesman, German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, said Islamabad communicated with the alliance to prevent an exchange of fire over the border late on November 29 from turning into another international incident.
Jacobson also expressed hope that Pakistan’s cooperation in resolving the incident in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktia Province signaled the two sides could recover from the recent tragedy.
Earlier, a senior Pakistani Army official was quoted as saying the cross-border air attack by NATO forces in Afghanistan that killed the Pakistani soldiers was a “deliberate” act of aggression against Pakistani forces.
The remarks by Major General Ashfaq Nadeem, director-general of military operations, were quoted in Pakistani newspapers. ….
Read more » RFERL