Target Pakistan

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The Nation

AS the US gets more desperate, it begins to increase the pressure on Pakistan, and with over 1000 Americans now dead in Afghanistan and no clear exit in sight, desperation is writ large over the US administration. So they are pushing Pakistan towards the edge through more destabilisation by insisting the Pakistan military commence a full-scale operation in North Waziristan Agency. According to officially placed reports in the US media, the Obama administration has now threatened Pakistan that unless it obeys their command relating to NWA, the Americans may themselves unilaterally conduct raids on the ground into Pakistan. Presumably, the US is counting on the fact that if the Pakistan’s civil and military leadership accepted the drone attacks despite domestic opposition, they will also concede to the invasion of Pakistan’s territory on the ground by US forces. But this would lead to a direct people-government confrontation and more terrorism if the Pakistan military did not respond to such a US move.

However, the anti-Pakistan agenda of the US is far more expansive than just the operation in NWA. The US-Indo connivance against Pakistan has now become overt with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, clearing stating that in the context of the Pakistan-India relationship, the Kashmir issue should be pushed aside until “vital” issues like terrorism and trade have been addressed. Too bad Mr Blake does not understand Pakistan well enough to know that Kashmir is the most vital issue for Pakistan, not trade with India. But it does reflect the US administration’s mindset vis-a-vis Pakistan. It is unfortunate that our leadership and even our Foreign Ministry have remained silent on this very contentious US statement.

Nor is this all. The US has, to build a case against Pakistan on the terrorism issue, been deliberately planting evidence on young Pakistanis in the US and creating fake cases against them of helping the Taliban. The most recent is the case of Adnan Mirza who was lured by an FBI agent faking to be a Muslim with an interest in jehad and then planting hunting weapons on him so that he could be arrested on charges of “conspiring to help the Taliban fight US troops!” Given the way the whole case of Dr Aafia has been unfolding and the strange instance of Faisal Shahzad, Adnan Mirza’s conviction on 28 May is hardly convincing. Luckily for Adnan, his community work in Houston may help expose the US government’s targeting of Pakistanis. Let us not forget what the UK’s Labour government tried to do with the Pakistani students in Britain before the courts exposed the whole episode for the lie that it was.

As Pakistanis what we should be asking is why our state is deliberately allowing its citizens to become collateral damage, in one way or another, to a US war which is now being directed at Pakistan itself.

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Understanding NATO’s agenda

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by Dr. Shireen M Mazari

By now one should not be surprised by any statement coming from the present leadership in the context of foreign policy. After all, if President Zardari could declare, contrary to all historical facts, that India was never a threat to Pakistan; and FM Qureshi could become virtually hysterical in praising the controversial Kerry-Lugar Act; then why should the PM be found wanting in these absurdities? So, when PM Gilani sought guarantees from NATO not to leave Afghanistan till peace had been established there, one was disappointed but not surprised. After all he had just come back from a visit to Brussels and one knows how Pakistanis, from the media to the bureaucrats (both civil and military) to the political leaders, are easily seduced by NATO in Brussels and their military headquarters not too far away. This scribe has herself seen the extensive PR operationalised by NATO for this purpose and only the diehard dissenters can survive the charm onslaught!

However, one hopes the PM will rethink his belief that NATO can establish peace and security in Afghanistan, given how it, along with the US, has been responsible for the worsening situation in that country because of its military-centric approach. In fact, if NATO were to leave and hand back charge to ISAF as originally decreed by the UN Security Council, peace and stability will probably come quicker to Afghanistan. Certainly, in the context of Pakistan, the stability factor would become more evident with a US-NATO withdrawal from this region.

Unfortunately, NATO is not likely to do so, because since the end of the Soviet Union, NATO has been desperately seeking new rationalisations for its continuation as an organisation. After all, NATO was established as a collective defence organisation and, in legal terms, remains so in terms of its legitimacy through the UN system – under Chapter VIII, Articles 52 and 53, as well as Chapter VII’s notion of collective self-defence as embodied in Article 51.

However, regional collective defence organisations need to operate in the specific region of their membership since decision making is restricted to this membership. Despite NATO expanding its functions and strategic concepts, its essential purpose as stated in its 1999 Strategic Concept remains “to safeguard the freedom and security of its members by political and military means” (Chapter 2: The transformation of the Alliance).

Given the continuing European-Atlantic membership of NATO, it is somewhat disturbing to see NATO transforming itself from a collective defence organisation (Article 5 of the NATO Charter is surely in the context of collective defence?) to a collective security organisation to serve the interests of its membership. There is no legitimacy for any collective security organisation other than the UN with its universal membership. Article 51 of the UN Charter provides a very clear and limited framework for collective defence organisations. Article 52 of the Charter relates to regional arrangements in connection with maintenance of peace and security and talks in terms of these organisations coming into being “as are appropriate for regional action.” Also, under Article 53, there can be no action without authorisation of the Security Council except against an enemy state as defined in Article 53:2. Read more of this post

Afghanistan: US dead end

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by I. M. Mohsin

A host of confusing signals is coming out of the US which reflect concerns to ensure its security. President Barack Obama announced, as usual, a nicely-worded doctrine which would anger the rightwing while inducing the thinking Americans to ponder where they are headed. What they are reaping now is what was sown by the neocons and their accomplices, as George W. Bush appears to have been only a cover-up for the promotion of a certain lobby. The Americans themselves and all their well wishers must be feeling sore at how they were fooled to grant two terms to a guy who had no inkling of what was happening.

Now their new President has to tell them that it was ruinous for the US to talk like “you are either with us or against us”, as it may have suited a cowboy of yore but not an occupant of the White House. As things go awry in Afghanistan and regular blood-letting in Iraq by the status quo, the US commanders and their troops are feeling the heat all the way. What to talk of south, even north is acting hostile after about nine years of foreign occupation. In this scenario, it is even more demoralising for the US that the new British coalition is highly conscious of the poor progress of this war, as well as the history of the region.

Surely a visit by UK’s foreign and defence secretaries would have made the US miss Tony Blair, the ‘lapdog’ who allegedly coaxed up all controversial intelligence with the connivance of Italy’s Berlu-sconi to mislead the world on Bush’s gaffes.

The NATO troops in Afghanistan also appear to be fed up as all kinds of progress is drying up. Lately, their commander has emphatically called for the convening of Loya Jirga to reach an understanding among all parties to the war. This is what Karzai has been advocating which the US hesitates to support openly, while the Taliban have cold-shouldered it. The fact that even the Saudis support a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan is very important, more so as they have a great understanding with the US on important issues. So the troops deployed by the US must be under tremendous pressure due to the ‘enemy attacks’ all over that gets compounded by the uncertainty in their camp. Its net result is that generally the EU countries are unwilling to risk any more troops in Afghanistan. Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats have suffered some electoral reverses which represent the despondency about their troops’ involvement in Afghanistan. The German President’s resignation would only boil the cauldron further. Read more of this post

Pakistan Looks for Change

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by Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

The current rulers are simply wasting the precious time and energies of the nation for nothing else except for their personal survival.

“Nations are built by proactive visionary intellectuals and leaders, not by military dictators and bootlickers’ neo-colonial politicians pursuing egoistic agendas.”

Pakistan desperately needs a non-partisan government of national unity replacing the corrupt and illegitimate Zardari gang, a new proactive educated and intelligent leadership aiming at restoration of the domestic political harmony and social normalcy, ceasing the confrontational strategy in North Waziristan and demanding immediate withdrawal of the American and British troops from Afghanistan.

The 21st century is marked by the phenomenon of information age, knowledge driven global culture of change for new ideas and ideals, human vistas of new knowledge and creativity unknown to the self and surrounding environment to explore new horizons for the best of masses, service–oriented and people-focused political governance with systematic transparency of claims and actions and strong mechanism of moral, legal and political accountability. To comprehend and transform these real world phenomenons into workable realities, you need educated and THINKING intellectuals to draw plans for societal interests and needs and complement them with action plans to achieve the much desired goals and priorities for change and development. A decade earlier after the Tiananmen Square firings, a Chinese teacher asked a dissident: “where have the educated and intelligent Chinese gone who were active to bring about the societal change?” The dissident replied: “Either they are in the graveyards or have fled to foreign countries.” Pakistan of today is no different. Its cream – the intellectual thinkers and irreplaceable enlightened human resources are either buried in unknown graveyards or have fled to safety and new life in foreign lands. Those with strong longing for the homeland wanted to return would be disheartened and discouraged by the prevalent egoistic and corrupt political culture in the homeland. There is a critical absence of educated and rationally thinking Pakistanis in the political governance of the country. So what is left there?

Could those who cannot deal with the present be able to foresee the future of the nation? If known thugs and indicted criminals occupy the vital offices of the nation, would it be useful and productive for the nation? Who decides those failure in the present and an insult to common sense be the leader of the future? Do Pakistanis not know what their national interest is?

Because of Pakistan’s nuclear capability and unique position in the Islamic world, long before the 9/11 incidents, the Western strategic mythologists were articulating scenarios of Pakistan being “the most dangerous place on earth”, “the rouge state”, and the “hub of Islamic extremism” to threaten the Western political interests and strategic presence in the Arabian gulf region. After the 9/11, the American and British political lobbyists zeroed-in on Pakistan as the epicenter of “Islamic terrorism.” The American leadership and the neocons needed this escape from reality to reinforce “fear” as strategy in the hearts and minds of the America masses and to implement the PNAC ( Project for the New American Century), Plan for political domination of the oil-gas rich resources of the Middle East and Central Asia. Ignorant Pakistani military rulers like General Musharaf and cheap politicians were bought and bribed by foreign powers to make Pakistanis look-like terrorist enabling them to remake the global crusade against Islam. The mainstream news media was one of the innovative weapons used by the US-British political strategists. The NYT front page headlines (July 2007) reaffirmed that “Pakistani Generals are paid to do the job.” The Washington Post characterized General Musharaf in cartoon as “dog” that Commander Bush trusts as an ally. Was it an insult to Muslim Pakistan or was it a real world reflection how America sees the bootlicking General Musharaf standing before his Master. Musharaf was not a leaders but a stupid and timid soldier coerced by George Bush, Candeelica Rice, George Tenet (CIA Director) and General Powell to wage war against the Taliban run Afghanistan. The military dictator had no sense of the national interests of Pakistan. Musharaf did what no other responsible and intelligent could have done to join hands and allow Pakistani territory and facilities for the US warmongering. Consequently, the country is stampeded, its economic and social life ruined and so are its peace loving and simple people with destroyed social and natural habitats. While Pakistan and the nation is strangulated by the foreign powers, Musharaf lives happily in London $1.4 million flat, protected by the British security force. The end goal is chaos and destruction of the Muslim nation. The US used the same blueprint to enlist the allegiance of the Iraq Generals (22-24 or so) before and after the downfall of Saddam Hussein regime. Most were flown out of Baghdad, the day Iraq fell to US-British aggression in March 2003.

Ignorant military Generals, Bhuttos, Sharifs, Zardaris and few nameless feudal landlords and assembly rubber stampers always keen to change sides in political horse trading with one political entity or another called members of the National Assembly or the Senate – the misplaced people known as bogus agents of influence to carry on the usual political business in Islamabad. There are wrong people in the assemblies and political governance, and there are wrong people out of the governance and political assemblies devoid of reason and people’s representation.

Over the decades, if you want to be an active politician, you must have membership in some crime syndicate or a kind of political mafia gang specializing in looting and killing of the masses and doing what no civilized people could imagine to be fair, rational and tolerable in this age and time. Then, you will be a successful politician in Pakistan. The net outcome of this phenomenon is the Pakistan’s primitive dirty politics overwhelmed with military dictators consuming more than forty years of the national lifeline and its precious time and resources and producing Bhutto family, Sharif family, the obedient civil bureaucrats and few splinter groups to combine the mafia run governance of Islamic Pakistan. The nation MUST assume the responsibility for the time and opportunities lost and the current political extremism. The Generals, Musharaf, Bhuttos, Zardaris and Sharifs could not have done it alone. There are hundreds and thousands of their accomplices actively engaged in stealing the national financial resources, precious time and opportunities of the nation. Institutionalized corruption is not a one man job. Perhaps, these figures should be seen as corrupt leaders but not as absolute persons responsible for all the existing cruelties, mismanagement and stolen wealth and future of the nation. When people live in constant fear over certain period, they lose self-respect and sense of direction and start getting use to the oppressor and living under conditions to strive for the survival of the fittest. Read more of this post

Today’s Cartoon:- 4 pillars of democracy!

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True but Hidden Face of Pakistan

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Thoughts of Foreigners after visiting Pakistan


The biased media intentionally hides the soft image of Pakistan from the World. The video consists of the views of some Foreigners who have recently visited pakistan. They have experienced the reality with their own eyes rather believing in the media.

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McC-hrystal’s much-vaunted new strategy in Afghanistan is running into the throes of a crisis

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By I. M. Mohsin:

The payback for the atrocious policies pursued by the neocons appears to be on. General Stanley McC-hrystal’s much-vaunted new strategy in Afghanistan is running into the throes of a crisis. Starting with a massive attack on Marjah in Helmand, which put up traditional resistance, the tactical retreat of the ‘enemy’ occasioned rather optimistic reactions from the US high command. Perhaps playing to the gallery, the general announced that the whole of the southern part would be taken over by the US forces to “hold and build.”

Furthermore, Marjah itself is reported to be having an uneasy calm which is manipulated by the ‘cash flow’ being made to the local people to ingratiate them. No wonder all has been quiet on this front for about a fortnight, while some attacks against the foreign troops including the Bagram Bastion have taken place in other provinces. In the meantime, either as propaganda or strategy, it was indicated that the next push would be against Kandahar. Accordingly, several reports projected a massive mobilisation of the forces.

Consequently, last Saturday the Taliban launched awful attacks in Kandahar. As per the BBC, quoting AP, one local Muhammad Anwar termed it “like Doomsday for all of Kandahar people.” It killed atleast 35 people including some policemen, besides injuring double that number. Referring to McChrystal’s statement pledging to “trample the Taliban” in the area, AFP quoted Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the ‘enemy’, as emphasising: “This was an answer to General McChrystal…this was to sabotage the operation and to show we can strike anywhere, any time we want.” Nevertheless, the situation in Kandahar is pretty grim and well reflects the ground realities. Although such statements from the general maybe meant to boost the morale of their forces deployed in the operation, as well as the American electorate, but apparently these are counterproductive.

The American policy in Afghanistan appears as an anomaly. On the one hand, it is pursuing – through their acolyte Karzai – to negotiate with the Taliban that would be mediated by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s. No wonder President Karzai has been running around to comply with the agenda set in Washington DC. On the other hand, military operations are being undertaken in the south to ‘wipe out the Taliban’. Unfortunately, the killings of civilians, as a result of such moves, get billed against the US.

It should be remembered that America’s massive military presence in the area is supposed to provide security to the local people. However, when that gets breached due to its actions or the enemy’s reaction, the Afghans are resentful. As a corollary, the recent spate of bombing in Pakistan has killed about 100 people with many injured. The people here have little faith in governance but they believe such depredations to be the outcome of our support for the US war; so while Lahore saw a deadly spectacle like Kandahar last week, the point-scoring among politicians was an affront to the nation.

As such the US is losing considerable goodwill also in Pakistan. Some Pakistanis see the current set-up as being a proxy of the US which fans the extremism further. Still others, while appreciating the grit of our army and police are upset by US failure to provide the Pakistani forces with the latest equipments necessary for waging a successful campaign.

As if Afghanistan was not enough of a teaser, the trauma caused by the Israeli land grabbing in East Jerusalem and the rebuff given by Benjamin Netan-yahu to Joe Biden on the subject lately is the “most unkindess cut of all.” Biden, like Hillary Clinton, has been an effusive supporter of the Jewish lobby. Since the Obama Administration took-over, it has been trying to act goody-goody about all the violations of human rights committed by Israel against occupied Palestine. Despite the diplomatic overtures by Oba-ma’s special representative for Middle East, George Mitchell, the Israeli government has found it convenient to insult the US president by their defiance.
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High Mark 2010: The Biggest War Games in the History of Pakistan

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By S.m. Hali :

The PAF’s five yearly ‘Exercise High Mark 2010’ has commenced to test its professional skills, capabilities and combat readiness. The countrywide exercise, which will last for nearly 60 days, will also be dovetailed with the Pakistan army’s exercise named Azm-e-Nau III and Naval operations to make it a tri-service test of mettle under realistic conditions. PAF is a support arm for the other two services, in addition to defending the aerial frontiers of Pakistan. The military exercises are organised as paper war games that may entail heavy expenses but provide authentic lessons, thus they are dispersed over a few years. ‘High Mark 2010’ comes in the backdrop of a clear threat to Pakistan, both externally and internally.

Undoubtedly, the regional environment is fraught with multiple threats. Although the Pakistani armed forces have been engaged in a war against terror for the last eight years, the counterinsurgency operations gained momentum in the last two years. Combined with the threat from extremists, our eastern neighbour has evolved a Pakistan specific new war doctrine named ‘Cold Start’, which it is in the process of testing and adapting for all the three services. The threat has compounded in the post-Mumbai attacks scenario, where Indian hawks have been propounding the conduct of surgical strikes against selected targets within Pakistan. Hence, Pakistan’s nuclear assets have been under a threat from external forces, who would like to deprive the country of its strategic weapon under one pretext or the other.

Simultaneously, terror organisations are keen to steal or hijack a nuke or two from Pakistan’s arsenal and destabilise the world by posing a nuclear threat. Whereas Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority’s efficacy and effectiveness is beyond the shadow of doubt, and its nuclear assets have been stored, deployed and dispersed in a manner where the most sophisticated countries have not been able to get even an inkling of their location, what to talk of any rag-tag militia. Yet, cognisance must be taken of the various war games conducted by the west and India in an effort to neutralise Pakistan’s nukes.

In this backdrop, ‘Exercise High Mark 2010’ is a formidable task for its planners as well as executants. To test its concepts and conduct of operations of the PAF personnel for a broad spectrum of conflict, the force has been divided into the traditional Blueland and Foxland with a realistic force ratio to obtain the best optimised and rational results. For the first time, PAF is conducting the exercise with a major reliance on IT (Information Technology) at the command, as well as field level, to provide real time inputs of communication, man, machine, weapons and employment of effort tactics.

The PAF’s recent successful interaction with the army’s counterinsurgency operations in Swat and South Waziristan, the lessons learnt from internal security operations, diverse terrain and time sensitive targeting and supporting Pak army’s ridge line operations must have enhanced its orchestration methodology for joint operations. The exposure of PAF to the high ‘tempo ops’ and least collateral damage must have raised the level of confidence of its air and ground crew. The multiple threat scenarios with near realistic exposure are likely to pay rich dividends to the force which has always operated under the handicap of a numerically superior adversary.

The freshly acquired and operationally inducted squadron of JF-17 Thunder, the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW & CS), the air-to-air refueller, use of advanced UAVs and the more sophisticated precision guided munitions added to the PAF’s inventory will all come into play in both offensive and defensive roles. Operating under the enhanced threat of electronic warfare and employing electronic countermeasure techniques through various platforms must be definitely receiving due consideration. Therefore, the Indian threat of surgical strikes have already been shrugged off by Pakistani defence planners because PAF possesses the capability to strike back with extreme vigour, and inflict heavy damage to the aggressor, in a matter of hours provided there is political will. The enemy will have to think hard before undertaking a foolhardy operation like the one the Indian air chief was rearing to undertake in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in 2008.
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Today’s Cartoon

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Chinese girl sings Pakistan’s National Anthem

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