Pak Interests Differ from US on Substantive Issues

By Dr. Shireen M Mazari

The Americans cannot understand mainstream Pakistan because they never get beyond the selected few amongst even the elite, the rulers and the civil and military bureaucracies. Ms Clinton never got the real picture on her earlier visit and surely she will not understand the depth of the anti-American sentiment that prevails in Pakistan today, despite (or perhaps because of) the massive inflows of intrusive aid into this country.

We are told she has come with a $500 million aid package and apparently the aid will go into power, agriculture, health and dams also – but as we all know for the Americans there is no such thing as a “free lunch” – and already our country is bleeding because of the alliance with the US so we are going to be bled some more with this aid package which is believed to be part of the old $ 7.5 billion Congressional aid package.

So why is one seeing this as a “bribe”? Simply because it is intended to soften the blow that the US is trying to deal Pakistan in terms of altering what remains of our indigenous foreign policy. So much has also been admitted by the self-styled expert on Pakistan, like many others on Holbrooke’s team, Vali Nasr. In a talk with CNN while he admitted that there was a wide trust gap between Pakistan and the US, besides stating that changing the relationship would take time. But his assessment was that “We are not going to be able to change their foreign policy on a dime.” If he had been a proper expert on Pakistan and actually knew the country well, he would have realised that it is not money that will alter Pakistan’s thinking (leaving aside the fifth columnists) on the US, but actually policy changes in US strategic policy especially in this region.

What are the primary changes the US will need to make to allow Pakistanis to rethink their perceptions of the US?

One, a stop in drone attacks, which can in definitional terms be regarded as state terrorism against the Pakistani people. Let Pakistan talk to its militants – many of whom are Pakistani citizens – rather than demanding our military simply kill the people of FATA indiscriminately.

Two, a new approach to the Pakistan-India relationship and a more even-handed policy towards both states. As long as the Indo-US nuclear agreement remains and the US pressurises Pakistan on its civil nuclear agreements with China, the US will be suspect. Also, the supply of state-of-the-art conventional weapon systems to India with no restrictions on their use, and the highly conditional sale of F-16s to Pakistan also add to the suspicions about the US agenda for Pakistan. And let us not forget the missile defence system for India, which will compel Pakistan to increase the number of its warheads and missiles. On Kashmir also, the recent statement by the US State Department, echoing the Indian position and ignoring the disputed status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir within the UNSC, hardly creates confidence in Pakistan. Many are asking why this is so and what the secret clauses are to this Agreement since the US is desperately seeking access for India through the land route across Pakistan into Afghanistan?

Three, the US has to rid itself of its approach to the Muslim World, especially towards Muslim states that refuse to toe the US line. Its killings of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan; its harassment of Muslims in the US itself all add to the anti-US sentiment. The US analysts are ignorant about the fact that Pakistan has since 1947 been in the frontline of assisting Muslim causes – be it our pilots flying Syrian planes against Israel or the Tunisian and Algerian leadership using Pakistani passports and our embassy in Paris as they struggled for independence from France – to cite a few examples only. Read more of this post

Reality of Geo TV… (true Colours of GEO)

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Bricks for Bread and Milk

India is spending billions on weapons and has given one billion dollars to Afghanistan in order to create an anti-Pakistan base there. But here’s the real India, the world’s largest concentration of poverty and health problems. But you won’t see this on CNN because US needs cheap Indian soldiers to die in Afghanistan instead of Americans.

India's capital city has been flooded with a new wave of migrant workers -- children. 'Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images


Bring Your Child to Work Day: In New Delhi there are upwards of 100 construction projects underway in preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games scheduled to take place from Oct. 4 to 13. These projects — ranging from several new stadiums to a new international airport terminal — are drawing vast numbers of migrant workers from all over India to provide the extra labor needed. Contractors, already behind schedule, are taking advantage of lax labor laws and coercing their employees to bring their children to work alongside them, promising payments of bread and milk. Above an Indian girl carries a brick at a construction site in front of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Feb. 3.

See More: Bricks for Bread and Milk

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US adventurism

A most irresponsible statement has come from General Petraeus, head of US Central Command, in which he has declared that Iran’s nuclear sites can be bombed and that the Pentagon has plans for such a contingency. In an interview with CNN, he went on to add that the impact of a military attack would vary depending on who carried it out and what ordnance “they” had and the capability “they” were able to bring to bear. The ominous “they” could be a reference either to the US military itself; or more like, to Israel which is already itching to target Iran’s nuclear facilities. Interestingly, General Petraeus made no mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal which threatens the entire region.

Given that Petraeus is in charge of the entire West Asia/Middle East region, his statement cannot be taken lightly. It is reflective of a prevailing state of mind within US policy makers – both civilian and military – which sees military solutions for political problems. This is unfortunate, as the use of the military has only aggravated the problem in Afghanistan even as it has effectively destroyed Iraq and its infrastructure. Pakistan continues to suffer as US politicians and the CIA (clearly with Ocala’s consent) support increased drone attacks which so far have killed primarily innocent civilians rather than wanted militants. But it would appear the lives of the locals in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan don’t matter to the US. Published statistics reveal only too clearly the large number of Muslim lives that have been taken by the US military post-9/11. Then there are the Muslims incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay and other prisons in different parts of the world – with no access to justice in a meaningful manner. The shame is that so many Muslim states have aided and abetted in the persecution of their own people simply to appease the US.

Now the scenario is being built up for a US intervention in Yemen, despite the denials coming so far. But Obama has lost all credibility on this count after he has failed to live up to his electoral commitment to close Gitmo and move away from the military centric Bush policies. It would appear he is a prisoner of his Establishment. Perhaps that is why US Generals are holding forth on policy matters which, in democratic countries, are a civilian domain.

On Iran Petraeus also gave a policy direction by stating that there was time for diplomatic means to be used but, unlike Obama who is focusing purely on diplomatic and political means of resolving the Iran-US nuclear stand-off, the General has made it clear that it was a matter of time before the military targeting of Iran’s nuclear facilities may take place. With such adventurism coming from the CENTCOM Commander, the political route of dialogue with Iran already stands undermined.

— The Nation

Aussies, Why Hate The Good Indians?

indiansSydney is full of foreigners, entire neighborhoods of Lebanese, Iraqis, Chinese and others. But it’s the Indians who are getting beaten on roads, parks and trams everyday in Australia.

For some reason, young Aussies don’t like to see Indians. If one is spotted, they beat the living daylights out of him. CNN reports that “the most severe case left an Indian student in a coma, another student was stabbed in the stomach, and a third left with a nasty black eye. So far more than a dozen arrests have been made.”

This is strange. I mean, if anything, the Indians should be the most loveable people by now.

The Am-Brit TV networks, from CNN to BBC to Fox, are stuffed with Indian faces. Hollywood movies are increasingly adding Indians in their scripts in good roles in the same way they used to give Israelis the good characters, and in the same way that Hollywood used to place Arabs or Turks in bad roles.

The ‘good Indian’ is pretty much established now. So much so that when an Indian nucler scientist disappears in mysterious circumstances, it doesn’t even get as much as a mention on the Am-Brit media. So much for proteting India’s good image.

Who wouldn’t kill to get this kind of preferential treatment from the Am-Brits, and Australia is part of that pack?

The process of beautifying the Indian face doesn’t stop there. Multimillion dollar ‘Incredible India’ TV ads jam the airwaves. The Indian government has done everything it could to help turn Indian cricket into American baseball complete with cheerleaders in skimpy dresses. The government also helped transform Indian films into another version of Hollywood, copying the style, the glamor and even ripping off entire scripts and storylines and turn them into Hindi movies. Gone are the classic bizarre Indian storylines where the lead character jumped from the rooftop of a 5-storey buildings and landed on two as if that was part of a normal Indian day.

Also gone is the funny Indian look. You know, the funny retro hairstyle with wide-collared colorful shirts unbuttoned at the top and the sticky bell-bottomed pants. Thanks to the Indian film industry. It quickly picked up style from Hollywood and helped the Indians discover they needed a makeover. Indian male movie stars that used to part hair from the middle a decade ago now have cool Marine cuts and dress more along the lines of ‘international cool’ [Damn those Clinton and Bush people. They messed up the Indian mind and set it on the path of delusional greatness. But that’s another story].

So what’s the problem then?

My guess is that nobody likes a smart ass.

The Indians have taken their newfound obsession with internationalism to new heights. It is almost vulgar. In a world that has seen man land on the moon in 1969 and witnessed the magnificent happen in mega films such as Titanic and Armageddon, who cares if India is the biggest democracy or whether New Delhi is a clean city or not?

Indians need to relax. Take it easy. If they’re great, let it speak for itself. Japan is really a great country and yet I don’t see them blowing their own horns the way Indians do everywhere they go.

Try this and you will nip this new trend that has started in Australia in the bud.

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