Dog Brothers Public Forum


Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 26, 2016, 09:31:02 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
94914 Posts in 2312 Topics by 1081 Members
Latest Member: Martel
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]
201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 10, 2011, 08:56:18 AM

Here's some interesting info on the Pak budget...not much there for health, education, electricity....

"According to the budget presentation at the ministry of finance on Thursday, May 4, some 82 percent of the available national financial resources in the next fiscal year 2011-2012 will be allocated to three sectors: debt servicing, defence and running of the civil administration.
Even though these figures are a conservative estimate, they reveal the pathetic state of the economy and the callous nature of our ruling classes towards social development and the plight of the masses."
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 10, 2011, 08:50:03 AM
From the New Yorker
The Double Game
The unintended consequences of American funding in Pakistan

203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 07, 2011, 06:18:21 PM
Here's a short 10 point primer to Pak by "Shiv" a blogger.

Ten point Pakistan primer
1. Pakistan was created in 1947 by a group of politically savvy Indians who
leveraged the tumultuous events in India after World War II to secede and carve
out a country for themselves. Even though the majority of Muslims remained
behind in India, the creators of Pakistan claimed that Pakistan was a "homeland
for the Muslims of India"
2. Pakistan was created as two separate units a thousand miles apart in an act of
voluntary but disastrous cutting of centuries of cultural, family and
trade ties. This made Pakistan politically unstable from the beginning requiring
military rule for unity. Despite that a part of Pakistan split in 1971 to form
3. Pakistan's voluntary amputation from millennia of trade with mainland India made
Pakistan's economy untenable, causing its military rulers to depend on foreign
aid obtained from great powers and other wealthy nations in exchange for
providing support and soldiers for the cold war and other military
campaigns.This got them arms from the USA and eventually nuclear weapons from
4. Foreign aid was largely appropriated by Pakistan's military making them powerful
and wealthy, while the people of Pakistan languished and lagged behind in
development literacy, healthcare and women's rights.
5. For the Pakistan military to retain its privileged position in Pakistan it had
to have an enemy and conduct external military campaigns. India became that
designated enemy.
6. Since the people of Pakistan had been Indians for many centuries and looked
like, spoke like and ate like Indians, some new differentiating factor had to be
created for enmity. Islam, which had coexisted in India for a thousand years was
suddenly declared to be in danger in Hindu India ignoring the fact that India
was home to more followers of Islam than Pakistan,
7. As the Pakistan military fought and lost a series of wars with "enemy number
one" India, its need to rely on irregular Islamic insurgents to fight India
increased. These armed islamic zealots came in useful to fight the Soviets in
Afghanistan, The Taliban was created out of these groups.
8. When the cold war ended, the Islamic militias of Pakistan, safe in their new
Afghan hideouts, turned their attention to other irredentist campaigns abroad,
from India to the middle east, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Philippines, western Europe and
finally the USA on 9-11-2001.
9. 9-11 brought the US into Afghanistan and this drove the armed Islamic militias
back to Pakistan where they had come from in the first place.
10. The Pakistan military needs the Islamic militias (like the Taliban and Lashkar e Toiba)
to fight its wars while it retains its wealthy, pre eminent position in a decrepit, overpopulated
country in a state of social and political failure. The people of Pakistan would benefit
from peace and trade with India, but the nuclear armed Pakistan military
stands to lose its main crutch for staying in power if that happens.
The military,along with its Islamist allies will not allow that to happen.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 07, 2011, 07:48:39 AM
A Cat And Mouse Game
Osama’s killing is now a bone stuck in the throat of Pakistan’s establishment that can neither be swallowed nor spat out.


Osama bin Laden, the figurehead king of al Qaeda, is gone. His hosts are still rubbing their eyes and wondering how it all happened. Although scooped up from Pakistani soil, shot in the head and then buried at sea, the event was not announced by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani or by President Asif Ali Zardari. Instead, it was the president of the United States of America who told the world that bin Laden’s body was in the custody of US forces.

Suggestions that Pakistan played a significant role ring hollow. President Obama, in his televised speech on May 1, said “our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden”. But no sooner had he stopped speaking that his top national security aides declared that the United States had not told Pakistani leaders about the raid ahead of time. Significantly, Obama did not thank Pakistan. An American official pointedly declared that the information leading to bin Laden’s killing was shared “with no other country” and this top secret operation was such that “only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance”.

Today, Pakistan’s embarrassment is deep. On numerous occasions, our military and civilian leaders had emphatically stated that bin Laden was not in Pakistan. Some suggested that he might be in Sudan or Somalia. Others hinted that he might already have died from a kidney ailment, or perhaps that he was in some intractable area, protected by nature and terrain and thus outside the effective control of the Pakistani state.

But then it turned out bin Laden was not hiding in some dark mountain cave in Waziristan. Instead, probably for at least some years, he had lived comfortably smack inside the modern, peaceful, and extraordinarily secure city of Abbottabad. Using Google Earth, one sees that the deceased was within easy walking distance of the famed Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. It is here where General Kayani had declared on April 23 that “the terrorist’s backbone has been broken and inshallah we will soon prevail”. Kayani has released no statement after the killing.

Still more intriguing are pictures and descriptions of bin Laden’s fortress house. Custom-designed, it was constructed on a plot of land roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. Television images show that it has high walls, barbed wire and two security gates. Who approved the construction and paid for it? Why was it allowed to be away from the prying eyes of the secret agencies?

Even the famous and ferocious General Hamid Gul (retd) — a bin Laden sympathiser who advocates war with America — cannot buy into the claim that the military was unaware of bin Laden’s whereabouts. In a recorded interview, he remarked that bin Laden being in Abbottabad unknown to authorities “is a bit amazing”. Aside from the military, he said “there is the local police, the Intelligence Bureau, the Military Intelligence, the ISI — they all had a presence there”. Pakistanis familiar with the intrusive nature of the multiple intelligence agencies will surely agree; to sniff out foreigners is a pushover.

So why was bin Laden sheltered in the army’s backyard? General Pervez Musharraf, who was army chief when bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad was being constructed in 2005, unwittingly gives us the clearest and most cogent explanation. The back cover of his celebrated book, In The Line Of Fire, written in 2006, reads:

“Since shortly after 9/11 — when many al Qaeda leaders fled Afghanistan and crossed the border into Pakistan — we have played multiple games of cat and mouse with them. The biggest of them all, Osama bin Laden, is still at large at the time of this writing but we have caught many, many others. We have captured 672 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Here, I will tell the story of just a few of the most significant manhunts”.

So, at the end of the day, it was precisely that: A cat and mouse game. Bin Laden was the ‘Golden Goose’ that the army had kept under its watch but which, to its chagrin, has now been stolen from under its nose. Until then, the thinking had been to trade in the Goose at the right time for the right price, either in the form of dollars or political concessions. While bin Laden in virtual captivity had little operational value for al Qaeda, he still had enormous iconic value for the Americans. It was therefore expected that kudos would come just as in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Kuwaiti-born senior al Qaeda leader who was arrested in Rawalpindi, or Mullah Baradar, the Taliban leader arrested from Karachi.

Events, however, have turned a potential asset into a serious liability. Osama’s killing is now a bone stuck in the throat of Pakistan’s establishment that can neither be swallowed nor spat out. To appear joyful would infuriate the Islamists who are already fighting the state. On the other hand, to deprecate the killing would suggest that Pakistan had knowingly hosted the king of terrorists.

Now, with bin Laden gone, the military has two remaining major strategic assets: America’s weakness in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. But moving these chess pieces around will not assure the peace and prosperity that we so desperately need. They will not solve our electricity or water crises, move us out of dire economic straits, or protect us from suicide bombers.

Bin Laden’s death should be regarded as a transformational moment by Pakistan and its military. It is time to dispense with the Musharraf-era cat and mouse games. We must repudiate the current policy of verbally condemning jihadism — and actually fighting it in some places — but secretly supporting it in other places. Until the establishment firmly resolves that it shall not support armed and violent non-state actors of any persuasion — including the Lashkar-e-Taiba — Pakistan will remain in interminable conflict both with itself and with the world.

Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad. This article was first published in The Express Tribune, Pakistan
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 04, 2011, 07:37:42 PM
Next steps wrt to Pak...
Historically the US has always supported Pak as a balance to India, especially since India was aligned with the ex-soviet union. Now however things have changed, the soviet union collapsed, India is non-aligned and an emerging power, China is moving towards super power status and has started to challenge the US. In these circumstances, US will have to partner and support India (that's a separate discussion).

Pak perfidy has cost us a lot of treasure as well as lives, since the last 10 years. Americans are unwelcome in the country, why the american tax payer should support nation building in a land where the common abdul hates americans is beyond me.

The key to controlling paki behaviour is through control of their nuclear weapons. If they are denuked, all their aggressiveness and support of terror will disappear because India would have no reason to with hold a punishing response to Pak every time there was a terrorist incident in India. The terror sanctuaries exist in pak, only because of state support. Currently the thinking in India is that pakis have nothing to lose in a nuclear exchange (except some goats and pakis) because there is very little industrialization, while Indian progress would receive a severe setback in the event of a nuclear exchange... and the jihadis are mad enough to lob a few towards India. The tactical brilliance of the pakis is seen in their recent missile test which was developed in response to India's Cold Start doctrine (a rapid response attack inside Pak). Apparently, they developed a nuclear tipped missile for use in their own country, to halt any rapid thrust by India in paki territory. The clowns forgot that use of a nuke in their own country on Indian troops would  invite an additional larger nuclear response from india inside paki territory....but this is getting OT.

So the question is how to denuke the purelanders....and there are many ways to skin a cat.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 03, 2011, 08:09:17 PM
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 02, 2011, 07:14:16 PM
KPS Gill, the Indian Police Officer, who brought the Khalistani movement in India (sponsered by pak) under control, wisely  said wrt to Pak  in 2008,

"The reality is, there is no such thing as Islamist terrorism. To understand the position correctly, we need to recognise that there is only ISI terror that has been dubbed as 'Islamist terror'. What we have, on the ground, is the proliferation of Pakistani terrorism, strategically compounded across new areas of disorder by networks loosely affiliated with their Pakistani sources. If Pakistani state support to so-called Islamist terrorism ended today, it would not be long before the various terrorist groups atrophied and withered away, lacking safe havens, institutional support and training infrastructure, and the vast ideological resources that have been brought to bear on the so-called global jihad".

This is a key lesson that Obama needs to take to heart, atleast when dealing with pak.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 02, 2011, 06:57:33 PM
Its very clear that the ISI/Army was hiding OBL. It seems the house was built in Musharraf's time (very likely with US money!). Of note, current army chief (Kiyani), was the head of the ISI then. The house is in the army cantonment area, ie its completely under army control. One cannot build anything without approval from the army. It seems  that OBL has been there for a few years, ie full blessings of the ISI.

So now that the US has expended over a trillion $ over 10 years + lives, the least that the US should do is to declare Pak a terrorist nation....but we wont. ISI needs to be disbanded and brought under civilian control. Paki duplicity cannot be tolerated....its time to call a spade a spade.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 01, 2011, 10:30:28 AM
Found this interesting picture...Lyndon Johnson extending hand, while field marshall Ayub Khan (ex dictator of pureland), playfully wanting to slap him. Nothings has really changed today...
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 30, 2011, 07:12:57 PM
The article is certainly Bondesque  grin...
Initially, the American thinking was that an India-Pak nuclear exchange while undesirable, was without risk to the US and so the US  turned a blind eye to Chinese proliferation support to Pak. Today, the thinking on Indian defense sites is that the jihadis hate the US and Israel more than they hate India (infact polls show that). Anytime the pakis hate someone more than India, that's a major the nukes may come back and bite us in the US and not India. I for one dont doubt the plausibility of the scenario.

The paki army is highly jihadized, their motto is "Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah". Translated into English, it means "Faith, Piety and Fight in the path of God". They now claim to have more nukes or weapons grade material than the UK. Continuing the story...I forsee a jihadi general allocating a couple of rough nukes for shipment to the US. The general would know that the retaliation from the US would be painful, so I would expect that the general would move out of Pak to some mid east country until things settle.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 24, 2011, 05:36:50 PM
SMITH: Why Pakistan will betray us
The question isn’t if - it’s why

It should come as little surprise, but U.S. headlines are again dominated by dour news out of Pakistan. The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is today under severe strain, rattled by heated disputes over CIA drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas; clandestine U.S. intelligence operations inside Pakistan; and Islamabad's persistent refusal to crack down on the Taliban and their radical allies. Intelligence cooperation is at an all-time low.

This latest series of rifts may indeed prove more damaging and permanent than previous disruptions, but they fit all too neatly in the general narrative of U.S.-Pakistan relations. One day Islamabad is touted as an indispensable ally; the next it is a back-stabbing fountain of Islamist militancy. For the longest time, these competing tensions were encapsulated in the Washington debate over whether or not Pakistan was playing a "double game."

But we were debating the wrong question. Of course Pakistan is playing a double game. Of course its intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), supports Islamist militants. The relevant question is not if Pakistan is playing a double game, but why? The simplest answer is that Pakistan believes it needs a pliant, anti-Indian regime in Afghanistan and - as it has for decades - Pakistan is using Islamist militants as an extension of its foreign policy.

In short, Islamabad sees a Taliban-led government in Kabul as the best guarantor of its interests in neighboring Afghanistan. But this, too, begs the question: What are its interests? Why risk international condemnation and the ire of your superpower benefactor for influence in a desolate, landlocked country with few natural resources or infrastructure, and of questionable strategic value?

Two motivations are often cited: First, Islamabad is said to covet Afghanistan for "strategic depth." Pakistan is geographically narrow and its major cities, positioned as they are near its eastern border with India, are vulnerable to attack in the event of a war with its rival. Thus, Pakistan's military planners - for whom an Indian invasion is always imminent - yearn for the rugged Afghan terrain to the west, where a retreating army could regroup and coordinate a guerrilla war, if necessary.

Second, Pakistan is fearful of Indian influence in Afghanistan. Around every corner in Kabul, Pakistanis see Indian agents and behind every Afghan initiative, a nefarious Hindu plot. That India's presence in Afghanistan has been benign, civilian and economic in nature has not stopped the ISI from backing brazen jihadi attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

This suggests that Pakistan's perceived interests in Afghanistan are India-centric. However, the fear of ethnic (specifically Pashtun and Baluch) nationalism may play an even greater role in Pakistan's strategy, penetrating to the heart of what constitutes Pakistani identity and the integrity of the Pakistani state.

There are roughly 40 million Pashtuns straddling the Afghan-Pakistan border, the notoriously autonomous "martial race," with legendary fighting prowess (virtually all Taliban are Pashtun, but not all Pashtun are Taliban). The Af-Pak border that cuts this stateless nation in half was drawn by India's colonial British overlords in 1893. Incorporating a sliver of the Afghan frontier into northwestern India, the Durand Line, as the border is called, was designed to create a buffer zone between India and the lawless hinterland beyond. But after partition in 1947, the new (West) Pakistani state inherited these Pashtun tribal areas.

Like their countrymen in the east, the Pashtuns - and the even more disaffected Baluch minority in the south - are Muslim, but they share little else in common in terms of culture, language, allegiance or history. So it comes as no surprise that they have periodically agitated for greater autonomy, independence or even incorporation into Afghanistan. As the saying goes, the Afghans have a terribly weak state but a cohesive national identity. In Pakistan, the strong, military-run state is in part compensation for its fragile national identity.

Consequently, Islamabad is hypersensitive to ethnic nationalism and separatism. Pakistan already lost nearly half its territory - East Pakistan - to another disgruntled ethnic minority in the 1971 war that created Bangladesh. To complicate matters further, successive Afghan governments, including the Pakistani-backed Taliban regime of the 1990s, have refused to recognize the Durand Line. Pakistan fears that a strong and independent Afghanistan - let alone one allied to India - could challenge their artificial border and agitate Pashtun or Baluch nationalists, undermining Pakistan from within. A friendly, Taliban-led regime in Kabul is thus seen by Islamabad as the best defense against this possibility and against Indian "encirclement."

Of course, none of Pakistan's "interests" in Afghanistan justify its backing fanatical jihadists that slaughter the innocent, the majority of which are Muslim. But Washington must better understand the misguided logic behind Pakistan's double game if it insists on being a party to it until 2014. Pakistan, on the other hand, has been obsessing for so long over a phantom menace, it is blind to the real threat to its strategic interests: a fundamental split with the United States. Ten years of supporting America's Islamist enemies has poisoned its reputation in America. Its once-mighty defenders in Washington are isolated and shrinking in number, while a younger generation of policymakers knows nothing of Pakistan but militancy, corruption and deception. When the United States inevitably departs Afghanistan, so too, will Pakistan's "leverage" over America. Only then will Pakistan's leadership realize the true cost of their double game.

Jeff M. Smith is a fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 23, 2011, 08:27:13 AM
Here's some interesting data from long war journal and comments from posters that I know.

The change in Drone Strike Ratio, and the respective composition of ISI-proxy-Taliban vs. TTP (Tehrik e Taliban Pak) in various agencies, gives a good indication as to the direction in which US-TSP relations have been headed for a while.

The figure also attempts to illustrate where PA (pak army) is active (blue regions), where PA has refused to deploy in spite of US demands (red/purple regions), where the US drones are active (also the red/purple regions), and where new fronts are being opened by TTP against TSPA at the present time (blue regions in central and eastern FATA.)

There is a clear distinction between theatres of interest that is beginning to show up. PA/ISI are using proxies mainly in the western part of FATA... Waziristan... to wage war against NATO and Kabul. TTP is stronger in central and eastern FATA, and directing its energies towards eastern NWFP in the direction of Punjab (to link up with Punjabi Tanzeems?) The US is hitting the PA/ISI proxies with 95% of its drone strikes, and largely leaving the TTP alone (at least on Pakistani soil.)

A slightly different picture than "US being taken for a ride" that some have advanced. At least three distinct wars are going on in different theatres:
1) Kabul/NATO vs. ISI-proxy-Taliban in North and South Waziristan and in Southwest Afghanistan
2) Kabul/NATO vs. TTP-leaning Taliban in Central/Eastern Afghanistan
3) ISI/TSPA vs. TTP-leaning Taliban in Central/Eastern FATA and in NWFP.

It seems interesting that the new fronts being opened by TTP do not seem directed towards expanding influence in the FATA but are going directly for the heart of Pak proper...NE part of NWFP, Dir and Swat.

(Source: Long War Journal)
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 23, 2011, 07:57:59 AM
Here is some history (from one of the blogs I frequent) about the Kunduz airlift, and the results of the strategic brilliance of the purelanders that you may be unaware of.

"The tragic events of 9/11 thrust Pakistan into limelight once again for all the wrong reasons. As is its wont, Pakistan saw an opportunity even amidst the gloom of being reduced to a rubble and being taken back to stone-age. It offered its unstinted services to the USA and hoped to resurrect its relationship with that country which was at its nadir then. More importantly, it also wished to stem the growing India-US engagement which was being interpreted as a threat for itself. Thus, it hoped to correct the perceived tilt in US policies favouring India. It also saw a window of opportunity to acquire American arms and ammunition apart from getting large funds just as in the decade of the 50s and 80s. It was also Pakistan’s calculation that with the US once again dependent on it due to its geographical advantages, it will get a free hand in pressurizing India on Kashmir and other issues through not only diplomacy but terrorism as well, just as it happened in the 80s when terrorism in the Indian Punjab was instigated. This is where it differed from a host of other countries which also demanded and got various favours from the US for their support for the US prosecution of war on Al Qaeda.

Pakistan therefore gave the US permission to use its airbases at Jacobabad, Dalbandin, Shamsi, Pasni, naval base at Ormara and several unmarked airstrips in Balochistan to operate drones. It allowed it unhindered airspace during the initial stages of the war on terror. It allowed logistics to support troops in Afghanistan through the Karachi Port and the Indus Highway to Khyber pass in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Agencies) and Chaman pass in Balochistan It allowed the CIA to operate freely within the country, setup electronic listening posts, capture Al Qaeda suspects including Pakistanis and deport them secretively elsewhere. These Pakistani policies were to result in a severe blowback later, but, for the moment Pakistan was benefitting from its surrender of sovereignty. Apart from the write-off of some debts and the postponement in repayments of most others by over two decades, Pakistan was getting sophisticated arms ostensibly to fight terrorists in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, like F-16s, AMRAAM, naval ships, Harpoon missiles etc !!

Pakistan also extracted other tangible benefits as well from such unstinted support. One such famous benefit was the Kunduz airlift which was authorized at the Presidential level within the US to allow Gen. Musharraf to save his face and possibly his skin by airlifting over a thousand Pakistanis including ISI officers, regular Pakistani soldiers of the Frontier Corps and possibly some members of Pakistani terrorist outfits, from Kunduz in north-east Afghanistan in mid November, 2001. For the location of Kunduz, see map below.

Map Courtesy: The United Nations

To send hundreds of Pakistani Army regulars and ISI officers as far away as Kunduz to fight the Northern Alliance of Ahmed Shah Masoud, demonstrates how much Pakistan values the 'Strategic Depth' of Afghanistan. When they were finally airlifted to the safety of Pakistan, they were simply let go. Several of those charged with many assassination attempts on Gen. Musharraf later in c. 2003 were former soldiers who were airlifted out of Kunduz. Many of them later also joined Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) set up by Maulana Masood Azhar (with the help of the ISI) who was released from an Indian prison in December, 1999 in exchange for the release of the hijacked IC-814 flight. It is these Punjabi Taliban (mostly from Punjab and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,POK) who are wreaking extensive havoc within Pakistan today. Thus, the Kunduz airlift not only helped Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders to escape, but also deeply affected personally the man who requested that, Gen. Musharraf and far more importantly has brought Pakistan to its knees today by rehabilitating hundreds of battle-hardened and vengeful jihadists. Pakistan’s tactical decisions, while looking impressive at that moment, have thus brought that nation only strategic misery.

As the Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban groups escaped into Pakistan’s unruly FATA with the support of Pashtun tribal leaders on either side of the Durand Line and also the Pakistani Army at the border checkposts, they later re-grouped to take on the NATO and Afghan forces. One strategy employed by the Al Qaeda and Taliban was to bring under a common umbrella the various other jihadi outfits and warlords operating within Pakistan and in FATA. Thus, the Islamic International Front (IIF) of Osama bin Laden truly morphed into what is today known as AQAM with the merging of the various Pakistani terrorist tanzeems. Thus, Tehrik-e-Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) was formed (officially in c. 2007) to coordinate efforts within Pakistan given the fact that the Taliban needed to marshal the meagre and battered resources well against the mighty forces of the US, NATO and Pakistan arrayed against them. This was a tough task because of the oftentimes conflicting clannish loyalties, inter-tribal rivalries and independent warlords. The effort of unification took a long time and has not been a complete success either but it survived and has been fairly successful over the years. Though the AQAM leadership knew that Pakistan would not get too close to the Americans for AQAM’s comfort, they still needed to ensure that, by creating the TTP which maintained enough pressure on the Government and the Army of Pakistan. With Islamist-military leaders like Gen. Aslam Beg, Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul and Col. Imam guiding them, the AQAM knew only too well what perfidy Pakistan was capable of. Therefore, they needed to establish the Caliphate in FATA and TTP was the force to capture space, establish the rule there and maintain it. This is the first of the twin objectives of TTP.

Already the Pakistani terrorist tanzeem, Harkat-ul-Ansar (later renamed as Harkat-ul-Jihadi-al-Islami or HuJI and the original bearer of the tag, Punjabi Taliban) occupied an important place in the governing structure of Afghanistan during the heady days of the Taliban there. Later, Jaish-e-Mohammed also threw its weight behind Al Qaeda and Taliban. Others like the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), the Ahl-e-Hadith Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Wahhabi Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) of Maulana Sufi Mohammed of Malakand, Brigade 313 of Ilyas Kashmiri, the Karachi-based Jandullah of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the Berelvi terrorist organization Sunni Tehrik and the mother of all Pakistani terrorist organizations Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) coalesced with them making the AQAM a formidable group at least within Af-Pak. Collectively these Pakistani terrorist organizations are referred to as the Punjabi Taliban.

The latter have carried their 'Hanud' component to the 'Yahud-Nasara' conspiracy theory of Al Qaeda. The collective wisdom now seems to be that Pakistan must also be turned into Taliban-style rule so that in future the Taliban regime of Afghanistan would be secure and a worldwide assault on the kafir can be sustained. The Afghan Taliban, while still needing the support of the Pakistani Army and the Government of Pakistan, has therefore outsourced that effort to TTP. They give the appearance of keeping the TTP at an arm's distance. The Pakistani Taliban thus seek to overthrow the Pakistani government. This is the second of the twin objectives of TTP. The Pakistani Army and the Government of Pakistan have no option but to continue with their support for the Afghan Taliban as they blindly continue to chase the mirage of 'strategic depth'. Like a monkey whose hand is trapped in the honey jar, the Pakistani Army and the Government of Pakistan are thus caught in a cleft, from which they can come out only if they let go of their Indian obsession, an impossibility. Thus the Afghan Taliban is the cleverest of them all as it gets support from Pakistan while at the same time bringing it under its sphere of influence (a reverse strategic depth). While the Pakistani Army and the Government of Pakistan believe that by supporting the Haqqani Shura and the Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, another old friend of the ISI, they are preparing themselves for the day after the American departure, the AQAM also believes that it has also prepared well for the same day. Pakistan therefore could be in for a rude shock when the reinstated Taliban might fall foul of their creators and mentors, the Pakistani Army and the Government of Pakistan, because it has grown an independent mind and strategy. The assassination of Khalid Khwaja and the mujahideen and Taliban creator Col. Imam are pointers in that direction.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 15, 2011, 06:02:26 PM
My speculation is that the purelanders know that we are leaving, which is a fair assumption based on Obama's wishes. The pakis are now in the process of scoring points with the locals (jihadis), that the tough purelander army is going to throw out uncle sam. This will save their H&D (Honor & Dignity), after all the beating they took over the drone strikes. OTOH, if the US is actually wanting to stay in pakiland, then this misbehaviour on the part of the purelanders will result in more baksheesh. Its a win-win, as far as I can see.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 12, 2011, 07:19:50 PM
ISI chief meets CIA head and leaves Washington
WASHINGTON: Pakistan's ISI chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha held an important meeting with the CIA chief on Monday but apparently cut short his visit and was leaving the US capital on Monday night.

A Pakistan Embassy official confirmed that Gen Pasha was scheduled to leave Monday night although earlier reports had indicated he may be staying in Washington for three days and leave on April 13.

There was no official word from the Pakistani side but the New York Times quoted a CIA spokesman, George Little, saying that the two spy chiefs had held "productive" meetings and that the relationship between the two services "remains on solid footing."

Political analysts were, however, a little surprised that Gen Pasha, who had arrived on Sunday evening, was leaving the US capital in just about 24 hours. There was no word of his meetings, if any, with other senior US leaders, including the Defence Secretary.

"The United States and Pakistan share a wide range of mutual interests," the CIA spokesman said, "and today's exchange emphasized the need to continue to work closely together, including on our common fight against terrorist networks that threaten both countries."

The newspaper said the meetings were part of an effort to repair the already tentative and distrustful relations between the spy agencies that plunged to a new low as a result of the Davis episode, which further exposed where Pakistani and American interests diverge as the endgame in Afghanistan draws closer.

The NYT also reported that Pakistan has demanded that the US steeply reduce the number of CIA operatives and Special Operations forces working in Pakistan, and that it put on hold CIA drone strikes aimed at militants in northwest Pakistan, a sign of the near collapse of cooperation between the two testy allies.

The demand that the United States scale back its presence is the immediate fallout of the arrest in Pakistan of Raymond A. Davis, a CIA security officer who killed two men in broad daylight during a mugging in January, Pakistani and American officials said in interviews.

The NYT said the scale of the Pakistani demands emerged as Gen Pasha met the CIA Director. The paper said Pakistan Army firmly believes that Washington's real aim in Pakistan is to neutralize the nation's prized nuclear arsenal, which is now on a path to becoming the world's fifth largest, said the Pakistani official closely involved in the decision on reducing the American presence.

On the American side, frustration has built over the Pakistan Army's seeming inability to defeat a host of militant groups, including the Taliban and al-Qaeda, which have thrived in Pakistan's tribal areas despite more than $1 billion in American assistance a year to the Pakistani military.

American officials said last year that the Pakistanis had allowed a maximum of 120 Special Forces soldiers to operate in Pakistan. The Americans had reached that quota, the Pakistani official said.

In an illustration of the severity of the breach between the CIA and the ISI, two intelligence agencies that were supposed to have been cooperating since the Sept. 11 attack in the United States but that have rarely trusted each other, the Pakistani official said: "We're telling the Americans: 'You have to trust the ISI or you don't. There is nothing in between.'"
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 10, 2011, 06:01:03 PM
US-Pakistan: Losing the plot
Ramtanu Maitra
02 Apr 2011
With the handover of $2 million-plus in “blood money” to Pakistani relatives of his shootout victims, the controversial Raymond Davis is back in the United States. While Davis’ release has enraged vast numbers of Pakistanis, it has pleased others, including US state department officials and the Pakistan “experts” in Washington.
Think-tank based Pakistan experts are particularly relieved by the Davis settlement, because the unsavory event had put them in a dilemma about who to support and who to condemn. These pundits that are tied to one or another faction of the American political spectrum find it difficult to keep the party line going vis-à-vis the US-Pakistan relationship: namely, that it is mutually beneficial, substantive, vital, and deep-rooted.
As a result, they focus on extraneous matters, and contrive to insert Jammu and Kashmir into the debate, to somehow justify the rabid anti-Americanism within Pakistan. They would like to blame Islamabad for it but the Afghan crisis prevents them.
Meanwhile, the contradictions proliferate and play out. Droning the “bad guys” in Pakistan’s tribal areas warring against US and NATO forces finds complete acceptance in the US. But hitting the Pakistani “terrorists” attacking Jammu and Kashmir does not.
You could categorize this as “talking-heads’ license.” But more often than not, commentators on US-Pakistan relations mistake the wood for the trees, fixing on one or another aspect of the relationship as if it were the Rosetta Stone. For example, last November, prior to President Barack Obama’s visit to India and other Asian nations, Moeed Yusuf, South Asia adviser at the US Institute of Peace’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention advanced a disingenuous argument.
Yusuf argued that the Kashmir issue was not only central to improving India-Pakistan relations, but US resolution of the J & K dispute would grow America-Pakistan ties. “While the situation in Afghanistan and the threat emanating from Pakistani Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has preoccupied the international community in recent years, long-term stability in South Asia cannot be achieved unless Indo-Pak normalization becomes reality. Kashmir remains the single most important outstanding issue,” Yusuf proclaimed.
“The objective reality in terms of Pakistan’s state policy vis-à-vis terrorism in India is difficult to decipher,” Yusuf went on in a paper on “US-Pakistan-India”. “Pakistan pledges incapacity to eliminate all anti-India groups completely in the short run. This is valid. However, whether incapacity is complemented by lack of will - as India contends - is not clear.”
“Regardless, what is clear is that Kashmir remains intrinsically linked to acts of terrorism - it is the outstanding nature of this dispute that allows militant groups in Pakistan to rally and continue operating with a certain amount of legitimacy,” Yusuf concluded. In other words, the US-Pakistan relationship also includes the deal that Washington must impose a resolution of the Kashmir issue on India.
Missing the wood...
In late January, the US Institute for Peace (USIP) held a one-day programme, “The Future of Pakistan,” that featured many of the most prominent experts. Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution warned that the US must not squander the symbolic value of Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari’s expected visit to Washington, and be careful not to bad-mouth him ahead of the trip. Riedel suggested that Zardari ought to be asked to address a joint session of Congress to make the case for Pakistan. “He can fight for what Pakistan needs,” Riedel said. He also held that Obama’s pledge to visit Pakistan was rich with substantive and symbolic value. Riedel said Obama should get out of Islamabad to meet as many Pakistanis as he can. “This is an enormously important visit,” added Riedel. “He needs to connect with the Pakistani people.”
It is another matter that the Davis dispute and its prickly resolution have put Obama’s visit to Pakistan on long-term “hold”.
Another USIP academic, Andrew Wilder, pointed out that money may not be the all-encompassing solution. Since 2001, the US has given Pakistan some $15 billion in American aid, but the US-Pakistani relationship remains weak, at best.
Georgetown University’s Christine Fair (a former USIP senior research associate) noted that “It really is important that we think about a new “big idea” for Pakistan.” Fair said that the US and Pakistan actually don’t share strategic interests but can build a long-term alliance anyway.
For example, Islamabad does not believe that the US accepts Pakistan as a nuclear state. But if Washington conferred legitimacy on Pakistan’s nuclear programme, it could change the dynamic, she argued. “Putting that out on the table,” Fair argued, “creates an enormous space for us to talk about what you, Pakistan, can do to deal with these strategic issues over which we disagree so much.”
On the other hand, Brookings Institution’s Stephen Cohen focused on Kashmir. “The United States must have its own views on Kashmir. I think we should speak up and talk about this,” he said.
Another view is that the Kashmiris themselves must count for more. “For too long the Pakistanis and the Indians have been talking as if the Kashmiris don’t exist,” says the Atlantic Council’s Shuja Nawaz. “I see Kashmir as a great opportunity.”
Needed: Plain talking
One can begin to get an idea of what these experts are evading from an article by Arnold Zeitlin, “How Pakistan Is Seen by the Washington Think Tanks,” that appeared in the Pakistani daily, The News, in February. Zeitlin served as the first AP bureau chief in Islamabad in 1969 and was a close friend of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Zeitlin pungently wrote, “If Pakistan and the US were a married couple instead of being strategic players (if not partners), counselors would recommend at least a long, trial separation, if not total divorce.”
Though not part of the Washington punditocracy, Zeitlin attended the USIP’s discussion. He thought it “might have been more realistic to adopt the title used by the Heritage Foundation, which called a conference on Pakistan and the US “Deadly Embrace.” “Washington,” observed Zeitlin, “hosts what appears to be an endless fascination that borders on fantasy about the Pakistan-US relationship... Much of the DC hand-wringing about Pakistan often focuses on what the US must do to save its relationship with that benighted country.”
“I suspect the nervousness over saving Pakistan is rooted more than 60 years ago when the notorious China lobby of Henry Luce and others branded those Mao-influenced diplomats in the State Department as traitors for losing Chiang Kai-shek’s China to Mao Zedong. None now wants the distinction of losing Pakistan, even if Pakistanis are doing a good job of it themselves.”
Ramtanu Maitra is South Asia analyst for the Executive Intelligence Review in Washington DC.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 06, 2011, 09:12:49 AM
More fun and games continue

‘No Pak exit for US military personnel’

Close on the heels of a spat over a CIA contractor who gunned down two men in Lahore, another diplomatic row is brewing between Pakistan and the US after Islamabad barred US military personnel from leaving the country.

The US personnel have been barred from leaving Pakistan because of expired visas and other documentary irregularities, the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying. There are varying claims about the number of US soldiers denied exit. Some sources claimed about 20 to 30 people had been affected while others put the figure at slightly less than 100.

The personnel were assigned to the US Office of Defence Representative in Pakistan (ODRP), which oversees bilateral military relations, including training and equipment. Some of the personnel overstayed their visas while a majority of them had expired no-objection certificates (NOCs).

Ads by Google
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 06, 2011, 07:35:38 AM
While I have the highest respect for Michael Yon, and he brings the unvarnished truth with all the gory details, I think organizations such as CADG that he talks about, are dealing with a microcosm of afghan society. CADG is likely welcomed by the locals, but it does not mean that their problems or the taliban's issues with the west are solved. Every winter there is a lull in insurgent activity, which picks up with the start of spring. Its also possible that the talibs have realized that the US will bring home troops come 2012 elections, so why not sober up for a while, extract $ and concessions from the US, and then it would be back to business soon thereafter. How else to explain this report from the Obama admin

So yes we are "winning" in Afghanistan, but losing in Pak. Such wins will likely be illusory, but will offer a face saving way to withdaw from afghanistan, and the talibs know all about saving face in that part of the world. Looks like we are able to swat the flies which cross into Afghanistan, but no one is doing anything about the large festering sore in Pakistan.

"WASHINGTON: Pakistan lacks a robust plan to defeat Taliban militants and its security forces struggle to hold areas cleared of the al-Qaida-linked fighters at great cost, according to US report released on Tuesday.

The United States wants Pakistan to subdue Taliban fighters using safe havens in its rugged tribal areas to attack US forces across the border in Afghanistan.

"There remains no clear path toward defeating the insurgency in Pakistan, despite the unprecedented and sustained deployment of over 147,000 forces," President Barack Obama's administration said in a report to lawmakers in Congress.

Major security operations by Pakistani forces along the lawless Afghan border have failed to break Taliban fighters' resolve, a fact underlined by twin suicide bombings of a Sufi shrine in eastern Pakistan on Sunday that killed 41.

The report highlighted concern that even if areas were cleared of militants, fighters were not being kept out.

"This is the third time in the past two years that the army has had to conduct major clearing operations ... a clear indication of the inability of the Pakistani military and government to render clear areas resistant to insurgent return," the report said.

The doctrine of clearing ground occupied by insurgents, holding it against their return and then building up the infrastructure and public services to engender confidence in the local population was used effectively by US forces in Iraq. "

219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 01, 2011, 09:20:44 PM
Aafia Siddiqui the MIT neuroscientist and daughter of Pakistan was arrested for trying to shoot a US soldier in Afghanistan...and for waging jihad. Currently, the pakis are clamouring to have Aafia freed....unlikely to happen.

family connections

The man who has been charged with masterminding and planning the 9/11 attacks on the US, Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, is of Pakistani origin and has interesting family connections. His clan comes from Balochistan and he is a cousin of former minister Zubeida Jalal. KSM’s family migrated to Kuwait, as many Baloch have done to Oman and the Gulf, and that is where he got radicalized. Abdul Aziz Al-Balochi, an important member of Al-Qaeda and second husband of Aafia Siddiqui, is also from the same family. In fact, he is both Zubeida Jalal and KSM’s nephew.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 29, 2011, 08:03:36 PM
Afghanistan is about 50% larger in area than Iraq...which means it will be hard to police with 1/5th the troops that we had in Iraq.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 20, 2011, 08:34:33 AM
Another paki trait...maintainence of H&D (Honor & Dignity) grin...Pak airforce F-16 and drones likely fly out from the same airbases, most likely maintained by paki technicians....
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has intensified air patrols and surveillance over its restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, especially North Waziristan, and put its air force at a higher alert level in the wake of US drone attacks that killed over 40 people, a media report said.

Orders were issued on Thursday at the "highest level " on an "emergency basis", including cancellation of leave of all personnel involved in air reconnaissance, BBC Urdu quoted its sources in the Pakistan air force as saying.
The leave of all personnel stationed at airbases and the PAF headquarters in Islamabad too had been cancelled and officials at sensitive installations had been asked to ensure the presence of all personnel on Saturday and Sunday, the sources were quoted as saying.

Some "operational changes" had been made but they are being kept secret though these are apparently related to round-the-clock reconnaissance in the tribal belt, the sources said. The administrative and operational changes are part of Pakistan's efforts to quickly respond to threats from the CIA-operated drones, the sources said.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 19, 2011, 08:59:48 AM
Yes, its likely that HUMINT operations will cease by the US, or will be done under ISI supervision...atleast for the next few months. I was pleased to see the national bird of Pakistan fly again. see picture, below.

223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 18, 2011, 08:21:13 PM
DAVIS DEAL: US to Limit Humint Ops in Pak Territory

by B. Raman

It is leant from reliable sources in Pakistan that acceptance of blood money by the heirs to the two Pakistanis who were killed by Raymond Davis on January 27, 2011, their withdrawal of the complaint of murder against him, his release from detention in the Kot Lakpat jail of Lahore and his airlift from Lahore to the Bagram air base of the US in Afghanistan and subsequently to the US naval base in Diego Garcia on March 16,2011,followed an agreement reached between the Inter-Serices Intelligence (ISI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in secret talks held in Oman under the intermediary of the Saudi intelligence under which the CIA has agreed not to run its own Human intelligence (HUMINT) network in Pakistani territory.

2. It is further learnt that under this agreement while the US would be free to run its Technical Intelligence (TECHINT) network, which provides TECHINT for the operations of the US as well as Pakistan in the tribal belt, the US HUMINT requirements would in future be projected to the ISI which has agreed to strengthen its HUMINT capability with assistance to be provided by the CIA.

3. To avoid embarrassing allegations of payment of blood money by the official agencies of the US or Pakistan, it was reported to have been paid by the Saudi intelligence in the court before which Davis was being tried in Lahore on March 16.

4. According to these sources, the ISI and the Pakistani Foreign Office had the following two major complaints against the CIA:

Deployment of an increasing number of retired officers of the US intelligence community and Special Forces as contract employees in Pakistani territory without the knowledge and approval of the ISI for collecting HUMINT.
Ex-post facto grant of diplomatic status to them after they had arrived in Pakistan with official or ordinary visas by showing them as members of the staff of the US diplomatic mission in Pakistan.
5. The sources say that the CIA has agreed to end both these practices.  The agreement will not come in the way of the posting of regular staffers of the CIA under diplomatic cover in Pakistan for liaison with the Pakistani agencies. It will also not come in the way of officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) being posted under diplomatic cover as Legal Attaches in the US missions to liaise with the Pakistani intelligence agencies and the Police.

6.  Raymond Davis, who was shown as a member of the technical and administrative staff of the US Consulate-General in Lahore, had reportedly arrived in Pakistan with an official and not a diplomatic visa. He was subsequently shown by the US as transferred to the US Embassy in Islamabad, which upgraded his status to a diplomatic one, but he continued to function from the Lahore Consulate.  The unilateral upgradation of his status by the US Embassy had not been accepted by the Pakistani Foreign Office.

7. The option of a blood money had been there from the beginning, but was not seriously considered because the heirs to the two Pakistanis allegedly killed by Davis were under tremendous pressure from the Islamic fundamentalist organisations not to accept it. The ISI refrained from pressuring them to accept the blood money, but once the US agreed to accept the ISI's demands in respect of HUMINT operations, the ISI intervened and persuaded the legal heirs to accept the money and move for the withdrawal of the prosecution of Davis.

8. The adverse public and jihadi reactions in Pakistan to the release were expected to some extent. The Government is hopeful that the ISI, which handled the negotiations, would be able to contain the protests through its influence over the fundamentalist and jihadi organisations and prevent any new wave of reprisal attacks.  Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the Director-General of the ISI, has been given an extension of one more year from March 18, when he was due to retire. But one should not over-estimate the ISI's ability to control the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Sunni extremist Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ). The recent assassinations of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, and Shabaz Bhatti, Minister for Minority Affairs, showed the limited nature of the ISI's control over these organisations. The ISI has fairly effective control over the Punjabi Taliban organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, but its control over the TTP, the SSP and the LEJ is very weak. Serious reprisal attacks could come from these organisations. Pakistan could be in for a renewed spell of reprisal suicide terrorism directed against the ISI and the political leadership.

9. Does the agreement also provide for the eventual release of Aafia Siddiqui, a US-educated Pakistani neuro-scientist, presently in jail in the US after having been convicted on  charges arising from her suspected  collaboration with the Afghan Taliban? The answer to this is not clear. Aafia's case is much more complex than that of Davis. She has already been convicted whereas Davis was only an under-trial.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:

224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 16, 2011, 07:59:10 PM
Also of interest, Gen.Pasha, head of ISI got a year's extension. The Sharif brothers were conveniently out of the country, and Nawaz Sharif is now in London hospital admitted with chest pain!. So the story will be that RD was released when the Sharif's were out of the country by the PPP and zardari...
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 16, 2011, 07:27:19 PM
In the urdu media, the lawyer of the victims family, says that the family members were forced to sign off on RDavis. Atleast in the near term, the tamasha will continue.

(in the East Indies) a spectacle; entertainment.
1680–90;  < Urdu  < Persian tamāshā  a stroll < Arabic
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 15, 2011, 07:22:05 PM
From B.Raman's blog Some snippets..

"13.There are three destabilizing ideological influences in Pakistan---- the Wahabised Islamic extremism, the trans-Ummah pan-Islamism and the country-wide anti-Americanism. The Wahabised Islamic extremism calls for the transformation of Pakistan into an Islamic democracy ruled according to the Sharia and the will of Allah, as interpreted by the clerics. It says that in an Islamic democracy, Allah will be sovereign and not the people. The trans-Ummah pan-Islamism holds that the first loyalty of a Muslim should be to his religion and not to the State, that religious bonds are more important than cultural bonds, that Muslims do not recognize national frontiers and have a right and obligation to go to any country to wage a jihad in support of the local Muslims and that the Muslims have the religious right and obligation to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in order to protect their religion, if necessary. The anti-Americanism projects the US as the source of all evils afflicting the Islamic as well as the non-Islamic world. The religious elements look upon the US as anti-Islam. The non-religious elements look upon it as anti-people.

14. The geo-religious landscape in Pakistan is dominated by two kinds of organizations-----the fundamentalist parties and the jihadi organizations. The fundamentalist parties have been in existence since Pakistan became independent in 1947 and have been contesting the elections though they are opposed to Western-style liberal democracy. Their total vote share has always been below 15 per cent. They reached the figure of 11 per cent in the 2002 elections, thanks to the machinations of the Pervez Musharraf Government, which wanted to marginalize the influence of the non-religious parties opposed to him such as the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) of Mr.Nawaz Sharif. In his over-anxiety to cut Mrs.Bhutto and Mr.Nawaz down to size, Musharraf handed over the tribal areas on a platter to the fundamentalists and the jihadis, thereby ---- more unwittingly than consciously --- facilitating the resurgence of the Neo Taliban and Al Qaeda.

15.The jihadi organizations are so called because they misinterpret the concept of jihad and advocate its use against all perceived enemies of Islam----internal or external, non-Muslims or Muslims---- wherever they are found. Their call for jihad has a domestic as well as an external agenda. The domestic agenda is the setting up of an Islamic democracy in Pakistan ruled according to the Sharia and the will of Allah. The external agenda is to “liberate” all so-called traditional Muslim lands from the “occupation” of non-Muslims and to eliminate the influence of the US and the rest of the Western world from the Ummah.

16. The jihadi organizations were brought into existence in the 1980s by the ISI and the Saudi intelligence at the instance of the CIA for being used against the troops of the USSR and the pro-Soviet Afghan Government in Afghanistan. Their perceived success in bringing about the withdrawal of the Soviet troops and the collapse of the Najibullah Government has convinced them that the jihad as waged by them is a highly potent weapon, which could be used with equal effectiveness to bring about the withdrawal of the Western presence from the Ummah, to “liberate the traditional Muslim lands” and to transform Pakistan into an Islamic fundamentalist State. The Pakistani Army and the ISI, which were impressed by the motivation, determination and fighting skills displayed by the jihadi organizations in Afghanistan, transformed them, after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, into a new strategic weapon for use against India to annex J&K and in Afghanistan to achieve a strategic depth.

17.The aggravation of the anti-US feelings in the Islamic world post-9/11 has resulted in a dual control over the Pakistani jihadi organizations.The ISI has been trying to use them for its national agenda against India and in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden has been using them for his global agenda against “the Crusaders and the Jewish people”. The jihadi organizations are now fighting on three fronts with equal ferocity----against India as desired by the ISI, against the US and Israel as desired by Al Qaeda and against the Pakistani State itself as dictated by their domestic agenda of an Islamic State ruled according to the Sharia and the will of Allah. The growing Talibanisation of the tribal areas in the FATA and the Khyber Pakhtoonkwa province (KP) and its spread outside the tribal areas are the outcome of their determined pursuit of their domestic agenda. The acts of jihadi terrorism in Spain and the UK, the thwarted acts of terrorism in the UK and the unearthing of numerous sleeper cells in the UK, the USA, Canada and other countries and the resurgence of the Neo Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan are the outcome of their equally determined pursuit of their international agenda. Members of the Pakistani diaspora in the Gulf and the Western countries have been playing an increasingly active role in facilitating the pursuit of their international agenda.

18.The international community’s concern over the prevailing and developing situation in Pakistan has been further deepened by the status of Pakistan as a nuclear weapon State. The Pakistan Army has been repeatedly assuring the US and the rest of the international community that the security of its nuclear arsenal is strong and that there is no danger of its falling into the hands of the jihadi terrorists. Despite this, the concerns remain. This is due to various factors.

19. Firstly, it is admitted even in Pakistan that there has been an infiltration of extremist elements into every section of the Pakistani State apparatus---- the Armed Forces, the Police, the Para-military forces and the civilian bureaucracy. When that is so, it is inconceivable that there would not be a similar penetration of Pakistan’s nuclear establishment.

20. Secondly, the fundamentalist and jihadi organizations are strong supporters of a military nuclear capability for the Ummah to counter the alleged nuclear capability of Israel. They project Pakistan’s atomic bomb not as a mere national asset, but as an Islamic asset. They describe it as an Islamic bomb, whose use should be available to the entire Ummah. They also support Pakistan sharing its nuclear technology with other Muslim countries. In their eyes, A.Q.Khan, the so-called father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, committed no offence by sharing the nuclear technology with Iran and Libya because both are Muslim States or with North Korea as a quid pro quo for its sharing its missile technology with Pakistan. They look upon Pakistan’s sharing its nuclear technology and know-how with other Islamic States as an Islamic obligation and not as an illegal act of proliferation.

21.Thirdly, while serving scientists may be prepared to share the technology and know-how with other Muslim States, there has been no evidence of a similar willingness on their part to share them with Islamic non-State actors such as Al Qaeda. However, the dangers of such a sharing of know-how with the non-State actors were highlighted by the unearthing of evidence by the US intelligence after 9/11 that at least two retired Pakistani nuclear scientists ----Sultan Bashiruddin Chaudhury and Abdul Majid---were in touch with Osama bin Laden after their retirement and had even visited him at Kandahar. They were taken into custody and questioned. They admitted their contacts with bin Laden, but insisted that those were in connection with the work of a humanitarian relief organization, which they had founded after their retirement. Many retired Pakistani military and intelligence officers have been helping the Neo Taliban and the Pakistani jihadi organizations. The most well-known example is that of Lt.Gen.Hamid Gul, who was the Director-General of the ISI during Mrs.Benazir’s first tenure as the Prime Minister (1988-90). Are there retired nuclear scientists, who have been maintaining similar contacts with Al Qaeda and other jihadi organizations?

22. The Pashtun belt on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border would continue to be under the de facto control of Al Qaeda, the Neo Taliban and the Pakistani jihadi organizations with neither the Pakistani Army in Pakistani territory nor the US-led NATO forces in the adjoining Afghan territory being able to prevail over the terrorists in an enduring manner. The NATO forces will not be able to prevail in the Afghan territory unless and until the roots of the jihadi terrorism in the Pakistani territory are initially sterilized and ultimately destroyed. The Pakistani Army has so far not exhibited either a willingness or the capability to undertake this task. The lack of willingness arises from its perception that it will need its own jihadis for continued use against India and the Neo Taliban for retrieving the strategic ground lost by it in Afghanistan. Moreover, the Army fears that any strong action by it against the jihadis operating in the Pashtun belt could lead to a major confrontation between the Army and the tribals, who contribute a large number of soldiers to the Pakistan Army. Next to Punjab, the largest number of soldier-recruits to the Pakistan Army comes from the KP and the FATA.

227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 13, 2011, 08:49:51 PM
"Part of it is that failed states are the swamp that breeds AQ, and thus nation building is seen as the way to drain the swamp, part of it is mission creep.We can't been seen as pulling out without Bin Laden's head on a spike, otherwise it will be taken as a major victory by the jihadists worldwide."

I agree the ISI likely knows Osama's what is the US going to doing about it. If nothing, then why are we wasting resources in Af-Pak.

The part which concerns me is the "nation building" and "draining the swamp".
Nation building: One can do nation building in eg Japan, they want to put the tsunami behind them, they are a fairly advanced society. They are progressive. Doing the same is not going to work in a Islamic society like Afghanistan, which is very primitive (outside of kabul). eg It has taken many centuries for the muslims to adjust to indic values in India, it will be a long time, before the average taliban understands "democracy". Under optimistic conditions, perhaps a generation is needed.

Draining the swamp How many swamps can we afford to drain ?.

228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 13, 2011, 02:22:12 PM
"Our goal in Afghanistan was to Kill Bin Laden and the core of AQ, destroy the AQ training camp infrastructure and make A-stan a place where AQ couldn't rebuild."

That's what they say...but let's look at the 3 points you make.
1.Bin Laden: is now dead, or if alive, the trail has gone cold. Bin Laden is likely not even in Afgh, but in Pak, so we are likely wasting our resources in Afghanistan.
2. Destroy "training camps": These are mostly in Pak (again we are in the wrong country), and very rarely do we hear of training sites in Afghanistan, and how do you destroy these camping sites with a few tents and perhaps a few obstacle courses. These are rudimentary camps, even if destroyed can be put back very quickly. So far I dont think we have bombed a single jihadi training camp, about 50 of which are known to be in POK.
3. Make Afg. a place where AQ cannot rebuild. Its the taliban who want to take over Afghanistan, not AQ. When the heat got too much in Sudan, Osama moved to the Af-Pak border, they can always move again. Its much more easy to go after governments that support terrorism.

The only thing sensible, we are doing, is with our drone attacks, but those video games can be played from Centcom in Florida, or from bases inside Pak.

I think the above goals, wrt  afghanistan have been achieved to the extent we could, or wanted to. There must be something more to our presence in Afghanistan. Why do we want to build a permanent base in that country ?, its certainly not to tackle AQ a highly mobile terrorist organization, over the next 10 years ?. Why is the US taking all this crap from the beggar nation of pakistan, aka epicenter of terrorism. If our aim is to destroy the jihadis,we need to be squeezing the pakis. Since we are not doing that, there must be some other reason for the US in Afghanistan..
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 13, 2011, 11:53:24 AM
Iranian people are generally supportive of the US (they are not arab)...its Ahmedinijad who needs to go. Iran does not have friendly relations with the Baloch, since the Baloch are spread over into Iran, and eye their territory, sort of like the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey.
The goals of US presence in Afghanistan are not clear (to me). I suspect, it has something to do with playing the new great game, or access to central asian oil resources. The reasons espoused, ie to get rid off AQ in Pak/Afghanistan are likely red herrings. We will never eliminate the last Al Qaeda in the AF-PAK theater, and even if we could, what's to stop AQ from moving to other "friendly countries" and setting up shop (which they already have) there (Pak, Yemen etc).

The world is changing, and traditional US support of Pak is receding, as the US seeks new allies and alliances against China. The Ray Davis saga is a manifestation of that, as the US moves away from pak (and towards India). In recent years, the US has wanted to strengthen India against China, which means less support for Pak. China will end up supporting Pak (which will be interesting, since the Chinese are tougher task masters).
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 12, 2011, 08:10:28 PM
The route that I was thinking of involves using the sea port of Chabahar in Iran. Yes, it will involve reaching agreement with the Iranians, but that should be possible because its in Shia Iran's interest to not have a sunni taliban leadership in Afghanistan. India has spend  treasure and lives to link Delaram in Afghanistan to Zaranj (near Iranian border),, so that the port of Chabahar can be used to bypass Karachi in Pakistan.

This port can be used for any supplies including oil that needs to come in by sea, just like Karachi, infact its geographic location may make it cheaper to use. If needed India could serve as a mediator, since India has historic ties to Iran, as well as an interest to support the use of Chabahar (which was also built partially with Indian help).

There is a second way, if airlift will suffice. It will involve pissing of the purelanders, but perfectly legal. In this scenario, Indian help would be needed, for landing rights in India. Planes could fly from Diego Garcia,  refuel in India and then through POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir), via the Wakhan Corridor to Afghanistan Wakhan is ofcourse part of Afghanistan. Pakistan cannot object to flights over POK, because that's disputed territory with India, and even the Pakis dont consider it as part of Pakistan (since they are supportive of Kashmiri Independence).

India would help, if the US was willing to shift policy re: maintaining balance of power between Pak and India, or if the US was serious about supporting Pak's break up, either into Pashtoonistan, or free Balochistan (which BTW, was always independent of Pak, as the princely state of Kalat, and annexed to pak after the India/Pak partition). The F-16's that the US supplies to pak are a significant pain to India.

These options are no worse than the deals we cut with Russia and Central Asian states.

231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 12, 2011, 08:26:28 AM
The US war in Afghanistan would go much better, if the US could pressure the pakis.  Instead the purelanders have the US by the family jewels, as military supplies need to go through Karachi...The US has looked for other options, such as the one outlined below,  see link for maps. However, there exists another route, through a seaport, that is not being discussed. Anyone want to hazard a guess ?.
New Supply ‘Front’ for Afghan War Runs Across Russia, Georgia and the ‘Stans            
Written by Bill Marmon
The U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, including the 30,000 “plus-up” currently underway, represents one of the most difficult logistical challenges in the annals of war – a challenge even for the United States, which is the world champion of supply solutions.  Afghanistan is harder than the Vietnam “land war in Asia” or the Berlin airlift or Iraq I and II. These previous engagements, although difficult logistically, pale in comparison to the task of supplying 100,000 troops and as many contractors in Afghanistan over nine years and counting. Landlocked, mountainous, beset by civil war, banditry and extreme underdevelopment, Afghanistan is surrounded by a clutch of hostile, suspicious, barely functioning sovereignties.

And U.S. and allied troops require a Herculean mass of supplies from ammunition to toothbrushes, fuel, computers, night-vision goggles, concertina wire et cetera, et cetera – at the rate of thousands of tons per day. Even with the containerized packing systems and all the technology that made-in-USA delivery systems have made available to the military, the traffic volumes are immense. In 2008, nearly 30,000 containers were sent to the front – or about 75 percent of the total need in fuel, food, equipment and construction materials. Traffic reportedly doubled in 2009, and the requirements for 2010 will likely double again.

Part of this massive resupply travels by air in giant military transports (some American, some Antonovs leased from Russia): for example, the tons of ammunition, from small artillery to missiles, is delivered entirely by aircraft landing at military air fields. But the bulk of the traffic must be carried by sea-lift, mainly cargo ships that dock in the Indian Ocean port of Karachi in Pakistan, and then are off-loaded onto trucks. The road north is a hazardous trip of nearly 1,000 miles, finally passing through the difficult and often-hostile terrain of the Hindu Kush and then over the treacherous Khyber Pass before finally dropping down into Afghanistan.

Because of Pakistani sensitivities about sovereignty, these trucks are 100 percent civilian-operated, with no military escorts. The pay is good but the work is dangerous. Drivers are subject to kidnapping, ransoming, and destruction by roadside bombs or rocket and bazooka ambushes. U.S. sources report that over 450 trucks were destroyed in 2009, and one international shipping company confirms to European Affairs that 50 of its trucks were attacked, many of them fatally. Pilferage has been a problem too, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Karachi itself is a hotbed of political unrest rife with strong pro-Taliban currents: cargo ships and oil tankers have been sabotaged in the harbor.

Pakistan Supply Line

Map from Google Earth.  Courtesy of CSIS

Not surprisingly, the U.S. military logisticians have sought a better way – or at least an alternative one affording a route around the potential choke-point in Pakistan. Pentagon planners started their quest for an alternative to Karachi as early as 2006, when the U.S.-led campaign there was still a comparatively low-level grind and well before there was even a blueprint for the current surge. Gradually, stage by stage, U.S. officials stitched together a series of deals for rights of passage, crucially with Russia and other nations around Afghanistan.

Largely under-reported and unnoticed by the public at the time, these bilateral accords finally took shape as a whole by mid-2008 in what the U.S. military has dubbed the “Northern Distribution Network (NDN).” In fact, the NDN comprises several itineraries, commencing at one of two “western hubs” in Latvia and Georgia. From these secure jumping-off points, the cargo goes  by combinations of trains, trucks and ferries across Russian territory and the adjacent ex-Soviet “stans” to enter Afghanistan from the north. All of the new routes share the same attraction of altogether avoiding Pakistan. Taken together, these new routes in the NDN provide redundant paths for overland supplies that, however expensively, make it logistically sustainable for the U.S. and its allies to wage their Afghan campaign.

The most important new route, the “northern route” (see map), starts in the Latvian port of Riga, the largest all-weather harbor on the Baltic Sea, where container ships offload their cargo onto Russian trains. The shipments roll south through Russia, then southeast around the Caspian Sea through Kazakhstan and finally south through Uzbekistan until they cross the frontier into north Afghanistan. The Russian train-lines were built to supply Russia’s own war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, and today Moscow’s cooperation is making them available for use by the U.S. and NATO in their own Afghan campaign.

NDN North

Map from Google Earth.  Courtesy of CSIS

The NDN also involves two additional routes. A “southern route” transits the Caucuses, completely bypassing Russia, from Georgia. Starting from the Black Sea port, Ponti, it travels north to Azerbaijan and its port, Baku, where goods are loaded onto ferries to cross the Caspian Sea. Landfall is Kazakhstan, where the goods are carried by truck to Uzbekistan and finally Afghanistan. This southern route now carries about one-third of the NDN’s traffic volume. While shorter than the northern route, it is more expensive because of the on-and-off loading from trucks to ferries and back onto trucks.

NDN South

Map from Google Earth.  Courtesy of CSIS

A third route, which is actually a spur of the northern route, bypasses Uzbekistan and proceeds from Kazakhstan via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which has a northeast border with Afghanistan. This route is hampered by bad roads in Tajikistan.

KKT Route

Map from Google Earth.  Courtesy of CSIS

Not available to the U.S. for obvious political reasons is the most attractive land route into Afghanistan - through Iran, which has a 600-mile border along Afghanistan’s western provinces. The best line would begin at the Iranian port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, and proceed over excellent roads to the Afghan border city of Zaranj, which is connected to the main trans-Afghan highway by a recently completed road. Although the U.S. cannot use this route, other countries including European nations (among the 42 countries that have forces in Afghanistan) can take advantage of it, using private hauling companies to handle some non-lethal cargo. And as remote as it may seem today, a shift in U.S.-Iranian relations is a contingency to consider.

As of November 2009, the NDN had delivered 4,500 containers, and through-put on this route could easily double this year. As of now, the NDN routes are not only longer but also more expensive than the connection via Pakistan, but they are also safer and, despite the distance and border crossings, more reliable. U.S. Central Command, in charge of the Afghan campaign, would like to be able to move a third of the surface traffic over the NDN in the future.

Despite its signal success in establishing the new system, Washington has not trumpeted its accomplishment, perhaps it fears there might be a higher political price in drawing attention to the fact that the ongoing flow via the NDN depends on continuing cooperation with Russia and Uzbekistan and other “stans” that have often exhibited shaky relations with the U.S. Relations were recently strained with Uzbekistan, for instance, over human-rights issues with that country’s ruler. And given the ebbs and flows of U.S.-Russia relations, the reliability of continued cooperation from Moscow is not insured..

The issues and opportunities raised by the new routes have recently been well ventilated by reports prepared by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) [], a think-tank in Washington. CSIS initiated its thorough-going, politically sophisticated study a year ago after a senior CSIS executive, Arnaud de Borchgrave, was briefed on the subject over dinner by General David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in the theater.

The new routes are difficult and long, but they offer incontrovertible security advantages over the routes through Pakistan – an option that invited Taliban commanders to see the road as a long, exposed jugular vein of the U.S. force in Afghanistan. And there must be a surface route because air shipments to Bagram, the main Afghan airfield, cost $14,000 a ton, a prohibitive price tag. Even if Washington were ready to pay whatever it costs, air lift capabilities are already being strained (including those of civilian contractors) by the task of simply delivering weaponry and other “sensitive” materials. This air route also involves over-flight permissions that need to be secured (and often renegotiated frequently): in Kazakhstan, for example, U.S. access to the large airfield at Manas has been an on-and-off option that now seems to be “on” after bargaining that led to a fourfold increase in U.S. aid assistance to that country.

Russian assistance is obviously crucial, and that U.S. dependence on Moscow always raises some eyebrows in the security-policy community in Washington among people who worry that Moscow may someday take advantage of the leverage it has gained thanks to the NDN running across Russian territory. Proponents of the NDN contend that the route is an example of cooperation between the U.S. and Russia (and the European Union) that offers advantages to all three parties and could help pave the way to more such “triangular cooperation.” In any event, the U.S. needs this alternative so direly that it is worth some political risk, according to Obama administration officials. Russia has strong incentives not to hit the “off switch,” they add. Similarly, CSIS concluded that the Russian position is accurately formulated by Zamer Kabulov, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan and a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, when he told the Times of London: “it’s not in Russia’s interest for NATO to be defeated and leave behind all these problems…we’d prefer NATO to complete its job and then leave this unnatural geography.” Of course, from Moscow’s vantage, the issues could be seen as a reprise of “the Great Game,” the long-running 19th Century struggle between Britain and Russia for control of central Asia that may be revisited in coming decades between Russia and U.S.-led NATO in the region.

Last summer at the U.S.-Russian summit conference Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama signed a significant military transit agreement that covers not only the overland routes across Russia but also over-flight permissions. Contracts for Russian transport on Russian military aircraft of non-lethal supplies, which proceeded without pause during the Russia-Georgian war, will also be continued. The agreement permits the movement of both soldiers and military supplies overland. The White House indicated the new transit routes would save at least $133 million annually in fuel, maintenance and other transportation costs.

Opening the new routes has been a quiet triumph of the U.S. military and diplomatic corps. The U.S. Central Command continues working to expand the supply routes to multiply the military options and cope with the additional logistical demands of 30,000 more U.S. troops and 10,000 more European and other allied reinforcements. With the arrival of these numbers and also more contractor corps that use the military resupply system, there will be a short term “bow wave” effect as infrastructure and pre-positioning supplies for the expansion moves to the area.
Civilian policy observers see a potential long term gain for the U.S. in taking a leadership role in re-establishing the Silk Road that once brought thriving commercial life to Afghanistan and beyond.  The NDN could also create a positive collateral effect of re-establishing a “Modern Silk Road,” which boosters say would contribute to the long term economic development of Afghanistan and surrounding countries. The new routes could presage a Modern Silk Road (“MSR”) if the routes opened for the military convert into civilian commerce and enhance regional prosperity for the adjacent central Asian nations. .

In the meantime, the opening of alternative supply routes for the military is a formidable achievement. If the Afghan war ends with anything like success, the NDN will likely be hailed as an important element of that success. Creation of the NDN once again proves the old axiom: “It’s OK for strategy to be conducted by amateurs, but logistics requires professionals.”

Bill Marmon is Assistant Managing Editor of European Affairs.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 06, 2011, 04:01:31 PM
This is a typical article by Mr.10%....which demonstrates what I call pakiness...

"Two months ago my friend Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was cut down for standing up against religious intolerance and against those who would use debate about our laws to divide our people. On Tuesday, another leading member of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for minority affairs and the only Christian in our cabinet, was murdered by extremists tied to al-Qaeda and the Taliban." Mr.10 % did not even attend his friend's funeral.

"We will not be intimidated, nor will we retreat".Infact he has taken blasphemy laws off the PPP agenda, as well as off the pak govt agenda

"Our economic growth was stifled by the priorities of past dictatorial regimes that unfortunately were supported by the West". You are responsible for our miserable situation

"The religious fanaticism behind our assassinations is a tinderbox poised to explode across Pakistan." Give me money, or I blow my brains out

Plain and simple, shameless begging....
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 28, 2011, 07:09:00 PM

"Not to mince words, then, Davis is a hostage. In addition to the usual sense of the word, he is a hostage to the Pakistani authorities who dare not—even if they wish—make an enemy either of the Islamist mobs or the uniformed para-state run by the intelligence services. He is also a hostage to the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. government to call things by their right names. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made the correct noises about the relevant international statutes governing immunity, and their envoy Sen. John Kerry (who should never have been sent unless notified in advance that he would return with the prisoner) has even spoken of putting Davis on trial in the United States, which in ordinary circumstances might seem a little premature. But they all talk as if Pakistan were a country of law, and they all talk as if Pakistan were not a client state. Its client status, indeed, is what leads so many Pakistanis to detest America, without whose largesse and indulgence it would long ago have faced collapse. Thus to the final irony: We are denied leverage by the fact of the very influence for which we are hated.
This sick relationship with Pakistan, which plays a continuous and undisguised double-cross on us in Afghanistan, will probably have to be terminated at some point. But in the meantime, it will have to be made very clear to the rulers of that country that if they want to keep Raymond Davis in prison, they will have to manage without our subsidies. He may be a bad test of an important principle, but it is still the important principle that is being tested, and we have no more right to compromise on the principle of diplomatic immunity than the Pakistanis have to violate it."
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 27, 2011, 07:21:08 AM
The Davis Spy Crisis: Top Spooks in the U.S. and Pakistan Get in the Act

Read more:,8599,2055690,00.html#ixzz1FAHkswDs
"There are people in this town," adds Washington-based Fair, "who are simply saying, 'F--- this, let's just call Pakistan the enemy.' They are saying Pakistan is supporting the killing of our troops in Afghanistan, they're supporting the LeT, they call [the rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist] AQ Khan a national hero. The fact that the CIA is coming to this conclusion should be very worrisome for Pakistan. For years, the CIA was the only organization in this town that would defend the Pakistanis."

Read more:,8599,2055690,00.html#ixzz1FAHAc1GX
235  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.

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

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...
237  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 ?.

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.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 23, 2011, 07:54:34 PM
I found this insightful...

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.
239  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.

Transactional Relationship
by SHAHID on FEBRUARY 23, 2011
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.
240  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 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:
241  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 money sack, certainly pays to misbehave...
242  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.
243  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.
244  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.
245  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, see the photo (looks like Microsoft is involved  grin). Its also very strange that the wife of the ISI operative, poisoned herself with rat poison 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.
246  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.
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 27, 2011, 02:50:51 PM
    I may have shared this with you earlier, if not pl. see this link

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

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!