Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pakistan Terror and More

Worth reading.
I was in high school in Lahore when Pakistan was formed on 15 Aug 1947. Our land was very close to the now famous Air base at Sargodha in W Punjab. By the way, the runway atthis Airbase was built with american money during the Second World War along with some more in now Pakistan as a long term measure against any ingress by the Soviets thru Afghanistan into into undivided India!! Close to our village was also number of villages owned by the famous Muslim
family of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan and his son Khizar Hayat Khan, who was
Chief Minister of undivided Punjab before the Partition of India.
Also one has been studying the on goings in Pakistan and dealt with their military on the borders. One therefore knows the general characteristics of the people who inherited Pakistan fairly well.
The observations of the Ambasador are very relevant and worth taking note of.
Best wishes.
Harbhajan Singh
Lt Gen (Retd)

Pakistan today: An Envoy’s impression
Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)
This review by US Ambassador Robert Munter was sent to the US Department of State after his first three months stay in Islamabad.
View about America: Survey after survey has shown that the populace at large has very unfavorably views about US government and policy. The perception in the corridors of power is very different. Given their propensity to focus on conspiracy theories most have a notion of US influence in Pakistan that far exceeds our real capabilities. Sometimes I feel as the “Governor General” from a bygone past caught in a historic time warp. From the highest office down to mid level functionaries, perception becomes reality, when it comes to viewing US as the kingmaker. This mostly helps us in stacking the deck of cards in our favor but also works against us at times when diplomacy is seen as failing. Our dilemma is that our policy objectives are incongruous with popular sentiment of the people in Pakistan. Changing this is not merely a matter of perception and has to be more than a public relations exercise. It will require a significant change in our strategic trajectory. Read more... click here

Pakistan's Terror addiction
Forget creepy Congressman Anthony Weiner’s supposed “sex addiction.” Our real problem is Pakistan’s deadly addiction to terrorism as a tool of statecraft and policy.
And we’re subsidizing it. Too many Washington political hacks think that money can buy everything (after all, it bought them their elections). So there’s no stick, just carrot. No matter how badly the Pakistanis behave, the answer remains the same: More aid dollars.
We give Pakistan $2-billion a year to support us in the war on terror. And Pakistan passes on the largesse to the terrorists. It’s not an open secret. It’s isn’t a secret at all. Your tax dollars are being used to help kill and maim our Soldiers, Marines and Navy corpsmen fighting in Afghanistan. This is beyond obscenity.
Over the past ten years, we’ve given the Pakistanis—primarily their military—over $20 billion in aid. What did we get in return? Our Pakistani allies hid and protected Osama bin Laden; they increased their support to the Afghan Taliban and its partner, the Haqqani terror network; they sponsored repeated terrorist attacks against India; they provided safe-haven bases on Pakistani soil for terrorists from a “rainbow coalition” of extremist organizations; and all the while they purposely whipped up anti-American hatred among the country’s 180-million Muslims. Your tax dollars at work.
Let me be blunt: Any member of Congress who, at this point, votes to approve additional aid dollars for Pakistan will have the blood of our troops on his or her hands. No excuses. We’re paying the Pakistanis to kill or cripple the finest young people we’ve got. That’s what it comes down to, folks. Read more... click here

Perspectives on Pakistan
The United States has turned on Pakistan with such dizzying speed over the past few weeks that it is difficult to keep pace. Yet what is clear after Admiral Mike Mullen’s extraordinarily blunt statement that the Haqqani militant network is a “veritable arm” of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency is that it now has the Pakistan army very firmly in its sights.
Mullen accused the ISI, which is effectively a wing of the Pakistan army, of supporting the Haqqani network in a truck bomb attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan and an assault on the U.S. embassy in Kabul which led to a 20-hour siege. “We also have credible intelligence that they (the Haqqani network) were behind the June 28 attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations,” he said.
It was the most forthright assertion yet by the Americans that the Pakistani military is not merely turning a blind eye to militant groups based on its border with Afghanistan but actively encouraging them to attack American interests. The Pakistan army says it is overstretched as it is tackling militant groups which target Pakistan without creating new enemies by attacking Afghan militants and denies it retains links with the Haqqani network. Read more... click here

"Sullen Mullen" signals US break with Pakistan
Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN Sep 23, 2011, 09.32pm ISTTags:us pakisan ties|Mike Mullen
WASHINGTON: Amid a rapid unraveling of ties between Washington and Islamabad, the principal architect of the U.S military partnership with Pakistan has bitterly accused the country of using terrorism as a policy weapon and said it has ''lost the bet'' to be a regional player of consequence because of it.
The testimony of U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen before a Senate committee on Thursday was nothing short of stunning. A passionate votary of Pakistani salience in the region (thereby earning the nickname Abu Mullen al-Amriki), America's top military officials signaled that he was read to write off the country if it did not abjure its use of terrorism.
In choosing to use 'violent extremism' as an instrument of policy, Mullen said, using a euphemism for terrorism, 'the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistan's opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence.' Read more... click here

Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba
Stephen Tankel
"An impressive volume for its reliance on interviews conducted in Pakistan and elsewhere with officials, journalists, and, on occasion, some of the participants in the jihad. All of this brings a level of freshness to this work that is often absent." — Ĺ umit Ganguly, University of Indiana, author of India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating Nuclear Stability in South Asia
"This is the first work of social science research on Lashkar-e-Taiba, revealing its diverse activities, from jihad to social welfare, and its closeness to Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). A vivid and detailed account of a major Islamist actor." — Christophe Jaffrelot, Critique Internationale
"Storming the World Stage is the definitive account of one the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world. Stephen Tankel's research in Pakistan is prodigious and his analytical judgements are well-calibrated. Highly recommended." — Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda. Read more... click here

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