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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 26, 2011, 07:21:22 PM
That terminology is not generally used with respect to hinduism, or is even much discussed in India. Its worth remembering that the muslims in India were converts from hinduism, and that may be one reason why it never gained any traction.

202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 26, 2011, 05:54:06 PM
ya,

Would you be so kind as to give the readership here a nutshell explanation of Indian history, specifically how the muslim invasion of India was for the Hindu and Sikh peoples? It's not commonly taught/known in N. America.

GM: That's a very important question to understand that part of the world, unfortunately I dont have the in depth knowledge base to do justice to that. An understanding of that topic would explain why India has old and warm relations with Iran, Baluchistan and Afghanistan.  Muslim invasion of greater India started in the 6th century (what is now Baluchistan), it really got going in the 12th century in areas which are recognised as India these days. By 1160 the Afghan leader Muhammad Ghori ruled from central afghanistan to lahore. Later came the Delhi sultanate rulers who claimed to be the descendents of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. Some of these were moderate rulers like Akbar, most were tyrants who believed in forcible conversions, one of them Shah Jehan (1650) built the Taj Mahal. Collection of jiziya started around that time, an easy translation is protection money which the hindus had to pay. These days the americans pay that, except that they dont yet think of it that way.  Since then it has been a tale of forcible conquest, with some moderate rulers, some enlightened rulers, mostly destructive rulers. Important temples such as at Nalanda (also univ), Vijayanagara and Somnath were destroyed. Perhaps you have followed the controversy about the demolition of the mosque at Ayodhya in recent years, the scars of temple demolitions remain deep within the population.  This mosque was built by muslims (1521) at the presumed birth site of Lord Ram (from Hare Rama, Hare Krishna fame) the major god of hinduism.  There have been many victories for Hindus, some defeats (but that's another story).

The Sikhs are the sword arm of India, and their founder guru was a hindu (1539), as were many subsequent gurus who had traditional hindu names. The hindus rightly consider sikhism an offshoot of hinduism, though some sikhs who seek an independent nation (Khalistan) resent that.  Infact it was quite common for one brother to be a sikh and the other to remain a hindu. Even today there is considerable inter marrying between hindus and sikhs. The Sikhs opposed muslim rule and even protected hindus, or many times fought together. The sikhs were actually quite secular, and even muslims were allowed to flourish under their rule. Unfortunately, the sikhs suffer persecution in present day pak, just like other minorities.  Devout sikhs carry a few items with them, which include long hair (thus turban), comb, knife, underwear!. They are like 1.5% of the population, but approx. 20% of the Indian army and one of the most highly decorated regiments. The sikhs fought many battles with the afghan and central asian invaders, but that's again another story. Many of the sikh holy places are in present day pak, so the history of the 2 nations (india and pak) is quite entwined.

At independence (1947), the Radcliffe line became the border between India and Pak, the Durrand line became the border between Pak and afghanistan. As you can see these are somewhat arbitrary lines. In any case there was a huge massacre of both hindus and muslims, as they tried to cross to hindu and muslim dominated regions across the radcliffe line.

The hindus like to think of the muslims as the "weaker" hindus who were forcibly converted to islam many centuries ago. For this reason, they (indian muslims) retain indic values and are not jihadi like the muslims in pakistan. The paki fanatic muslims in the last 60 years have taken upon themselves to deny any connection to their heritage in India, and instead have started calling themselves as descendents of central asian rulers, and even of persians and of arab origin. Even common greetings like Khuda Hafiz or God be with you, has become Allah hafiz, which is the same in arabic!. Hope this helps somewhat...
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 26, 2011, 07:57:33 AM
Hypothesis only: This is "page 16" news, that may have a story behind it.  As leader of the nuclear ummah, there is suggestion that Pak is storing/making/providing nuclear devices for use by the Saudi's. On and off, one hears reports that Paki planes/pilots are at the disposal of SA. Perhaps this facility is now being offered also to the Kuwaitis. It also jives with recent reports that paki nuclear arsenal is now greater than that of the UK. So how does a bankrupt country fund its nuclear program ?.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/124157/energy-crisis-pakistan-to-seek-free-oil-from-kuwait/

Energy crisis: Pakistan to seek free oil from Kuwait

By Shahbaz Rana
Published: February 26, 2011

Pakistan imports roughly 3.4 million tons of diesel oil annually from Kuwait, worth $2.5 billion. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK
ISLAMABAD: A day after authorities refused to increase domestic oil prices in line with the international market, President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to visit Kuwait to find a solution to the matter – which may include seeking free oil from the Gulf state.
The president, who on Friday flew to Kuwait on a two-day visit, will request the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to supply half of the diesel fuel it exports to Pakistan for free while extending the credit period on the remaining 50 per cent, according to sources at the petroleum ministry.
In 1998, Pakistan was granted a similar facility by Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the country’s nuclear weapons tests, which resulted in economic sanctions from the United States and Europe. In 2008, however, the government’s attempts to seek such a facility from Iran were rebuffed.
The government faces a severe financial crunch, since international donor agencies have refused to grant any more aid to Pakistan until the government undertakes drastic reforms to the energy sector and tax collection mechanisms. The $11.2 billion loan facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been put on hold because of the government’s failure to deregulate energy prices – including oil – and levy the value added tax.
For the past three months, the government has refused to increase domestic retail oil prices owing to the growing unpopularity of the PPP-led administration, which feels that increasing fuel prices would be unpopular. During this time, international oil prices have risen by 16 per cent and are expected to continue rising as unrest in the Middle East continues. The decision to not increase oil prices has already cost the government Rs11 billion and is expected to take that cost to Rs24 billion in forgone petroleum taxes over the coming month owing to the president’s decision to hold domestic prices steady, despite the international rise.
Kuwait is the third largest exporter of oil to Pakistan, following Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Imports from Kuwait constitute 19 per cent of the country’s total oil imports.
Pakistan imports roughly 3.4 million tons of diesel oil annually from Kuwait, worth $2.5 billion, approximately three-fourth of total domestic consumption. If Kuwait agrees to provide half of its exports for free, it will cost approximately $1.2 billion, at current rates, in forgone revenue to the government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Company.
According to an existing agreement that will expire on December 31, 2011, Pakistan imports oil from Kuwait on two months’ deferred payments. Islamabad has sought a 30 day extension in the credit period and also wants to sign a new agreement for a period of two years.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2011.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 23, 2011, 07:54:34 PM
I found this insightful...http://nationalinterest.org/article/mutiny-grows-punjab-4889

Quote
If Pakistan is to be broken as a state, it will be on the streets of Lahore and other great Punjabi cities, not in the Pashtun mountains. By the same token, the greatest potential terrorist threat to the United States and its Western allies from the region stems not from the illiterate and isolated Pashtuns but from Islamist groups based in urban Punjab, with their far-higher levels of sophistication and their international links, above all to the Pakistani diaspora in the West.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 23, 2011, 07:47:44 PM
Found this old letter (see URL) by Rumsfeld...kind of direct. http://www.shahid-saeed.com/2011/02/transactional-relationship/

Transactional Relationship
by SHAHID on FEBRUARY 23, 2011
in HISTORY
I recently came across a story about former US Secretary of Defense and Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff, Donald Rumsfeld, having launched “The Rumsfeld Papers” – a collection of his memos and communications on his website. As little and as screened as they may be, it’s a great job and good resource for historians.

I quickly ran a search for terms relevant to Pakistan. There are small notes and memos, the earthquake rehabilitation and all, but one letter to Pervez Musharraf summarizes the basis of our relationship with the US as it was during those days and perhaps has been forever. You can call it a strategic relationship, you can call it an alliance of necessity, you might have had defence treaties, but in the end, the nuts and bolts say it’s a transactional relationship. Yes, people are trying to change that but break it down, it’s still a relationship of expedience, mistrust, skepticism and collaboration that relies on $$$$$.

Ever so wise ex-Major Butt (retd), reborn as Majorly Profound, summarized it in the wake of the Raymond Davis incident as:

Raymond Davis works for the CIA. CIA is an organization in the USA. USA pays all of Pakistan’s bills.
Yes, not all of them but that’s just semantics. So here’s the Rumsfeld memo sent on December 21, 2001 :-

Precise, to the point and straight-forward. No long ambiguous sentences to hide the real meaning. “Direct payments”, “forward an initial payment” and “further funds” – a relationship as business-like as there can be.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 17, 2011, 09:35:57 PM
The US is on its best behaviour...exactly what Pak wants.  After Raymond Davis is released....strikes will start with impunity...so why would they hurry to free him ?..In the meantime the aid package gets larger, no more drone strikes...paradise.

Analysis: Gap in Pakistan Predator strikes not unusual
By BILL ROGGIOFebruary 16, 2011


For over three weeks, the CIA's controversial covert air campaign that targets al Qaeda, Taliban, and allied terror groups' leaders and operatives in Pakistan's lawless and Taliban-controlled tribal areas has been silent. There has not been an airstrike by the armed, unmanned Predators and Reapers, or drones as they are more commonly called, for 25 days. This pause has sparked speculation that the US has halted the strikes for political reasons, but a look at the pace of the strikes over time shows that long pauses are not uncommon.

The current 23-day lull in strikes in Pakistan is the third-longest period of inactivity since the US ramped up the program in August 2008, according to data on the strikes compiled by The Long War Journal [a list of operational pauses that have been longer than eight days appears below].

The most recent strikes took place on Jan. 23, when the Predators and Reapers pounded al Qaeda and Taliban targets in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan.

The two most extended periods of operational inactivity so far have occurred in 2009. The longest recorded pause was 33 days, from Nov. 4 to Dec. 8, 2009. The second-longest pause was 28 days, from May 16 to June 14, 2009.

Also, there have been two other periods of time in which 20 or more days went by without a strike. Again, both operational pauses occurred in 2009: from Jan. 23 to Feb. 14 (21 days); and from Jan. 2 to Jan. 23 (20 days).

In 2010, there were two periods exceeding 15 days' time in which no Predator strikes occurred in Pakistan: from July 25 to Aug. 14 (19 days) ; and from June 29 to July 15 (15 days).

Since August 2008, there have been 24 periods of eight days or longer with no Predator strikes.

Most US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal were unwilling to discuss the reasons for the current pause in strikes, or previous strikes, citing operational security concerns. But weather in the region is known to be the primary reason for slowdowns in the strikes.

Pakistani news outlets have speculated that the pause in strikes is related to the arrest of Raymond Davis, the US consular official who shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore. Davis believed the men were trying to kill him, but Pakistani courts refuse to recognize his diplomatic status and release him. One theory is that the US is not launching Predator strikes while Davis is in custody lest an attack inflame Pakistani sentiments.

But US officials contacted by The Long War Journal would not link Davis' detention to the pause in strikes.



Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/02/analysis_gap_in_paki.php#ixzz1EHGClizN
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 15, 2011, 07:57:27 PM
And right on cue, here is Ombaba with his http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-admin-proposes-31-billion-for-Pakistan/articleshow/7499640.cms money sack, certainly pays to misbehave...
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 14, 2011, 08:02:54 PM
If pak were to act on the taliban sanctuaries inside pak, that would solve americas immediate problems, allowing for an honorable withdrawal. With the US gone, the aid would likely diminish. Now why would the aid(s) addicted army want such an outcome ?. There is a moral hazard here, aid continues and increases only as long as the taliban are a problem. Side note: same issue in N.Korea, the more N.Korea misbehaves, the more aid we give. The solution obviously is to use a heavier stick, as opposed to a larger carrot.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 13, 2011, 08:25:57 PM
This article as well as other purelander boards that I follow, suggests that the common man (aka mango abdul in Indian defense forum lingo) has realized that the paki govt has given  the US the right to bomb its citizens in the NWFP/FATA territories in return for mucho $$.  Even worse the paki army bombs its own citizens and strafes them with F-16's. All this was acceptable, because the action was outside of pak's core regions. As the taliban moved into interior regions of pak proper (Lahore, karachi, Islamabad), and the pak govt was not interested in taking action, the US was forced to arm its own black water types and send them into battle along with paki forces, mostly to monitor that real "encounters" took place, as opposed to the sham fights. It seems that the numbers of these gun toting "diplomats" has increased tremendously in the last year or so. Raymond Davis is obviously a military type, who on paper has diplomatic cover. If the paki govt would have been smart, they would have immediately released him, but being paki, they wanted to milk the situation for all its worth. Now, that the jihadi types are agitating,  all bets are off.

Pak is addicted to US $$ support, the politicians loot the country and same goes for the army which gets billions in aid. The mango abdul suffers. Another paki trait is to negotiate by putting a gun to their own head, "give me money or I blow my brains out". At the moment its unthinkable that the US will stop supporting Pak, but if the US stops funding pak, there could be significant upheaval. The army will be forced to fund themselves from paki resources,  which means that whatever little goes to the common man, will stop almost completely....a recipe for social upheaval.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 13, 2011, 04:22:30 PM
Here is one perspective on life in Pureland.

The game preserve By Mohsin Hamid | From the Newspaper Yesterday

 
LAST summer in Lahore, I had a little party at my house for the final of the football World Cup. It was a pretty relaxed affair, maybe 20 people, cushions on the TV room floor, pizza on the dining room table. Some of my friends brought friends of their own.

One was an American man. He was wearing a light jacket. After he left, my wife told me he was also wearing a gun. Now, I’m open to my friends bringing their friends to my house. But I’m not very accepting of a friend bringing a gun — or, worse, bringing a complete stranger with a gun. Yet that’s what happened, and it left me angry and disturbed.

Like everyone else I knew, I’d heard the stories about large numbers of armed Americans in Lahore, staying at such-and-such hotels, for example, or working out at such-and-such gyms. Maybe I became more sensitive to their presence after the incident at my house, but suddenly I began to see them all around town. To be precise, I didn’t know if the men I was seeing were armed. But they looked like Americans, and they didn’t look like rock guitarists or maths teachers or irrigation specialists or heart surgeons. They looked, to my unschooled eye, like what I’d expect trained killers to look like.

(Of course it was possible that groups of non-violent, hard-faced, physically fit, all-male Swedish and Dutch and Spanish tourist groups with a niche interest not in ancient outdoor monuments but in the interiors of tacky hotels had descended on Lahore, but I thought this unlikely.)

Then, last month, in broad daylight on a main Lahore road, one such man, Raymond Davis, shot dead two Pakistani citizens with his Glock, and a US consular car sent to retrieve him killed another Pakistani citizen while speeding the wrong way down a street. Davis is being held by the Pakistani police, the US government is demanding that he be released and threatening to withhold aid to Pakistan if he is not, and the wife of one of the Pakistani men killed has committed suicide saying lucidly from her deathbed that her reason for doing so is that she does not expect Davis will be punished for his actions.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has tied itself up in obfuscatory knots over what should be the straightforward issue of whether Davis has diplomatic immunity, and therefore whether he can be tried in Pakistan.

So what is going on? Who is Raymond Davis, and what are people like him doing in Pakistan? I’ve read articles likening him to Rambo and RoboCop. But I believe another Hollywood film franchise metaphor is more apt. Predator.

The Raymond Davis affair has brought home what should have been obvious to us Pakistanis for a long time. Pakistan has become a game preserve, a place where deadly creatures are nurtured, and where hunters pay for the chance to kill them.

Here in the game preserve, money flows to the hunt. Pakistani extremists are funded, armed and trained. And American hunters, whether far away at the remote controls of Predator drones or on the ground in the form of men with the shooting skills of a Raymond Davis, operate under paid immunity. Want a blanket Tribal Area Hellfire missile licence? Well that might set you back the price of 18 new F-16s. An all-Lahore Glock licence to kill? Perhaps double-oh-seven billion in development aid.

But while the Pakistani population has until now grudgingly tolerated the notion of a game preserve limited to the Pak-Afghan border, the outcry over Raymond Davis has demonstrated that a game preserve encompassing the whole country strikes people as a different matter entirely.


Which puts both our governments in a bind. What are the warden-owners and hunter-consumers of a game preserve to do, after all, when the frogs and butterflies and trees and worms that make up the traumatised and hungry population of this land object to its current business model?

Because when I speak to my Pakistani friends the message I hear, though admittedly far from uniform, is nonetheless becoming increasingly clear. No more Pakistani extremists. No more American killers. And, if it comes to it, no more American aid either. We don’t want to live in a game preserve. We want to get on with our lives and build a future in peace for ourselves and our children.

The multi-billion dollar question is this: do the Pakistani and American governments — no, that term is too limited, focusing as it does mainly on our elected officials — do the Pakistani and American states have the capacity to listen?

If they do not, then the continued passivity of the long-neglected, inflation-gouged, and violence-subjected people of Pakistan is far from guaranteed. In the meantime, however, widespread reports that our country has produced a more-than-previously-estimated 100 nuclear warheads will surely increase the price of hunting permits.

The writer is the author of the novels Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Nice shooting; is there a backstory? on: February 09, 2011, 07:25:50 PM

You ask is there a backstory. Very likely there is.
The longish link to Bharat-Rakshak, posted below, re: Pak is difficult to summarize (more suitable for a read on the plane ride), but it provides insights into the paqui mind. I do hope to however comment on the way pakilanders think. Thus, wrt to the shooting, its easy to understand, that they are holding out for more $$. Another possibility is that the issue will be used to make a swap, perhaps the MIT trained female terrorist under US custody (daughter of the paki nation), or perhaps the withdrawl of cases against General Pasha (head of ISI), which have been filed in NY, in connection with the Mumbai terrorist act. Another, possibility is H & D (honor and dignity), which has been shattered by Raymond Davis, the shooter. Afterall, its not often that ISI operatives get shot in their own country by americans. To extract more dollah, they are drumming up demonstrations http://ibnlive.in.com/news/us-suspends-all-highlevel-dialogue-with-pak/142751-2.html, see the photo (looks like Microsoft is involved  grin). Its also very strange that the wife of the ISI operative, poisoned herself with rat poisonhttp://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/02/06/pakistan.us.shooting/. More likely scenario is that ISI forced it down her throat (again, anything to maintain a facade of H&D, and extract more dollah). I am betting that they will release Davis soon, the game has gone on far too long. If they hold him too long, the jihadists could get involved, which would make it very messy.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 01, 2011, 07:38:03 PM
Should we be giving billions in aid to pak...since it allows them to redirect their own meagre resources to nuclear weapons.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/world/asia/01policy.html?_r=1
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 27, 2011, 02:50:51 PM
Marc:
    I may have shared this with you earlier, if not pl. see this link
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/EBOOKS/pfs.pdf

This is obviously written from the Indian POV, take it FWIW. But anyone reading this, would be leagues ahead in understanding Pakistan.

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