North Waziristan, Pakistan fixation betrays Washington’s sincerity of intentions

By Asif Haroon Raja

In accordance with the chalked out plan, terrorism was intentionally pushed into Pakistan to destabilize the country. The two extreme flanks of Pakistan , FATA and Balochistan were inflamed to make things difficult for Pak Army, fundamentally poised to guard eastern border. Apart from CIA and FBI gaining a strong foothold in Pakistan under the pretext of chasing and nabbing terrorists’ right up to Karachi , the US Administration increased its influence inside Pakistan so comprehensively that Boucher and Negroponte started to micro manage its domestic affairs including local bodies’ elections and 2002 general elections and reduced the parliament into a rubber stamp. American intelligence agencies helped RAW to make inroads in trouble spots.

Pakistan was first harried on account of nuclear proliferation in 2004. Hue and cry was made over AQ Khan Network, and Iran and Libya put under intense pressure to establish a connection. Although Pakistan refused to make available Dr AQ Khan for interrogation after he made a public confession under duress; Pakistan inadvertently accepted that nuclear proliferation had taken place. It assured USA and IAEA that network had been effectively disabled. Pakistan thought that the matter was closed but it was never let off the hook and its nuclear program came under unceasing vicious smear campaign.

After 2005, The US began to change colors and became more intrusive and difficult. This change occurred because of resurgence of Taliban in southern and eastern Afghanistan , development of Gwadar Port with Chinese assistance, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, and Pakistan economy getting robust. Pakistan was whipped by USA , India and even landlocked Afghanistan holding it responsible for their difficulties in Afghanistan . Pakistan bore the pain of whips and degradation to ensure US support and flow of US dollars. Pakistan kept chasing the faceless enemy without a comprehensive plan, intelligence, low intensity conflict training, counter terrorism equipment and motivational program. These shortcomings became serious impediments in tackling terrorism and allowed the Tehrik-e-Taliban to gather strength and expand its influence.

Having sufficiently embroiled the Army in war on terror and weakened its institutions the US started to inch closer towards achieving its goals and became more demanding. It repeatedly asked Pakistan to do more without compensating it for the immense sacrifices it was rendering. Instead of rewarding Pakistan for taking the main brunt of war on terror, the US awarded India in the form of lucrative civil nuclear and defence deals, well knowing that instead of curbing terrorism India had inflamed it through covert means. Ironically Pakistan didn’t raise even an eyebrow on this grave development. Its lackadaisical stance resulted in materialization of Indo-US nuclear agreement in 2008.

After vainly trying to put the ISI under Ministry of Interior in August 2008, the US exerted extreme pressure on Pakistan leadership to let its military intrude into FATA. Several aerial raids, artillery fire and a ground attack in Angoor Adda in September 2008 were carried out. These blatant intrusions indicated American growing impatience and their desperation to directly meddle in Waziristan . While Pakistan gave its tacit approval to drone attacks since this understanding had already been given by Gen Musharraf, Pak military under new commander Gen Kayani did not agree to the proposal of joint operation or any unilateral action and took a firm stand. Had this proposal been ceded to it would have amounted to allowing the head of a camel to enter the tent. Entry in FATA would have encouraged US military to keep creeping forward and to gradually envelope whole of Pakistan under the pretext of striking non-state actors. Mention of Quetta , Peshawar and Karachi as hiding places of high profile terrorists and main base of Al-Qaeda in FATA and Taliban Shura in Quetta exposed its intentions.

While attitude of US officials became belligerent, Indo-Israeli-US propaganda campaign became fiercer. Mumbai drama was stage managed on 26 November 2008 to give an excuse to India to heat up eastern border. Throughout 2009 India remained in a highly offensive mood. Pakistan’s policy of appeasement was taken as sign of weakness and subjected to unabated pressure to make Pakistan agree to Indian unfair demands of proceeding against suspects without evidence and to dismantle Indian specific terrorist network. The US instead of acting in a fair and unbiased manner brazenly supported Indian stance.

None of the accusers took into account the hard fact that Pakistan had suffered as no other country in the world had from foreign sponsored terrorism. Its economy suffered a loss of over $45 billion and it lost over 8000 lives in the blowback of the militants in retaliation to military operations. Pakistan bore maximum brunt of foreign sponsored terrorism during the years 2008-09 and is still suffering. After targeting Peshawar incessantly, Lahore is the current target of RAW. From March 2009 onwards, dozens of terrorist and suicide attacks have taken place in capital city of Punjab and hand of RAW was visible in each incident.

Slight change in Indo-US-Afghan belligerence occurred after Pak Army’s successful fight against well-entrenched militants in Malakand Division, Swat, Bajaur and South Waziristan (SW) at a heavy price. These successes were achieved at a time when nothing was going right in Pakistan . Political situation was in a mess, economy had become fragile, law and order had worsened and Pak Army’s image had been badly dented due to an orchestrated smear campaign. Pakistan was being viewed as a failing state unable to protect its nuclear assets. Stories of balkanization or break up were in circulation and a very gloomy picture was painted. It was propagated that Pakistan ’s security forces were incapable of fighting the militants and protecting nuclear assets. US Special Forces started to fine tune their contingency plans to take away the nukes before falling into wrong hands. Indian strike formations had taken up a forward posture and Indian military had started beating drums of war. Read more of this post

Advertisements

True but Hidden Face of Pakistan

Add to Google Buzz

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.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

A Tribute to Pakistan Armed Forces

Add to Google Buzz

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Words of a Lion-Hearted Pakistani Father | True Power of Emaan |

Add to Google Buzz

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

PAKISTAN ARMY IN WAR AGAINST TERROR

Add to Google Buzz

(Abi Abdul Samad Bin Iftikhar)

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Fear Is No Policy Surrender Is No Option: Gen (R) Hamid Gul

The former head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency – ISI – in conversation with Al Jazeera’s Kamahl Santamaria..

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Destabilizing Pakistan – Operation Breakfast Redux

By Tom Engelhardt and Pratap Chatterjee

Almost every day, reports come back from the CIA’s “secret” battlefield in the Pakistani tribal borderlands. Unmanned aerial vehicles – that is, pilotless drones – shoot missiles (18 of them in a single attack on a tiny village last week) or drop bombs and then the news comes in: a certain number of al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders or suspected Arab or Uzbek or Afghan “militants” have died. The numbers are oftenremarkably precise. Sometimes they are attributed to U.S. sources, sometimes to the Pakistanis; sometimes, it’s hard to tell where the information comes from. In the Pakistani press, on the other hand, the numbers that come back are usually of civilian dead. They, too, tend to be precise.

Don’t let that precision fool you. Here’s the reality: There are no reporters on the ground and none of these figures can be taken as accurate. Let’s just consider the CIA side of things. Any information that comes from American sources (i.e., the CIA) has to be looked at with great wariness. As a start, the CIA’s history is one of deception. There’s no reason to take anything its sources say at face value. They will report just what they think it’s in their interest to report – and the ongoing “success” of their drone strikes is distinctly in their interest.

Then, there’s history. In the present drone wars, as in the CIA’s bloody Phoenix Program in the Vietnam era, the Agency’s operatives, working in distinctly alien terrain, must rely on local sources (or possibly official Pakistani ones) for targeting intelligence. In Vietnam in the 1960s, the Agency’s Phoenix Program – reportedly responsible for the assassination of 20,000 Vietnamese – became, according to historian Marilyn Young, “an extortionist’s paradise, with payoffs as available for denunciation as for protection.” Once again, the CIA is reportedly passing out bags of money and anyone on the ground with a grudge, or the desire to eliminate an enemy, or simply the desire to make some of that money can undoubtedly feed information into the system, watch the drones do their damnedest, and then report back that more “terrorists” are dead. Just assume that at least some of those “militants” dying in Pakistan, and possibly many of them, aren’t who the CIA hopes they are.

Think of it as a foolproof situation, with an emphasis on the “fool.” And then keep in mind that, in December, the CIA’s local brain trust, undoubtedly the same people who were leaking precise news of “successes” in Pakistan, mistook a jihadist double agentfrom Jordan for an agent of theirs, gathered at an Agency base in Khost, Afghanistan, and let him wipe them out with a suicide bomb. Seven CIA operatives died, including the base chief. This should give us a grim clue as to the accuracy of the CIA’s insights into what’s happening on the ground in Pakistan, or into the real effects of their 24/7 robotic assassination program.

But there’s a deeper, more dangerous level of deception in Washington’s widening warin the region: self-deception. The CIA drone program, which the Agency’s Director Leon Panetta has called “the only game in town” when it comes to dismantling al-Qaeda, is just symptomatic of such self-deception. While the CIA and the U.S. military have been expending enormous effort studying the Afghan and Pakistani situations and consulting experts, and while the White House has conducted an extensive series of seminars-cum-policy-debates on both countries, you can count on one thing: none of them have spent significant time studying or thinking about us.

As a result, the seeming cleanliness and effectiveness of the drone-war solution undoubtedly only reinforces a sense in Washington that the world’s last great military power can still control this war – that it can organize, order, prod, wheedle, and bribe both the Afghans and Pakistanis into doing what’s best, and if that doesn’t work, simply continue raining down the missiles and bombs. Beware Washington’s deep-seated belief that it controls events; that it is, however precariously, in the saddle; that, as Afghan War commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal recently put it, there is a “corner” to “turn” out there, even if we haven’t quite turned it yet.

In fact, Washington is not in the saddle and that corner, if there, if turned, will have its own unpleasant surprises. Washington is, in this sense, as oblivious as those CIA operatives were as they waited for “their” Jordanian agent to give them supposedly vital information on the al-Qaeda leadership in the Pakistani tribal areas. Like their drones, the Americans in charge of this war are desperately far from the ground, and they don’t even seem to know it. It’s this that makes the analogy drawn by TomDispatch regular and author of Halliburton’s Army Pratap Chatterjee so unnerving. It’s time for Washington to examine not what we know about them, but what we don’t know about ourselves. Tom


Operation Breakfast Redux

Could Pakistan 2010 go the way of Cambodia 1969?
by Pratap Chatterjee

Sitting in air-conditioned comfort, cans of Coke and 7-Up within reach as they watched their screens, the ground controllers gave the order to strike under the cover of darkness. There had been no declaration of war. No advance warning, nothing, in fact, that would have alerted the “enemy” to the sudden, unprecedented bombing raids. The secret computer-guided strikes were authorized by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, just weeks after a new American president entered the Oval Office. They represented an effort to wipe out the enemy’s central headquarters whose location intelligence experts claimed to have pinpointed just across the border from the war-torn land where tens of thousands of American troops were fighting daily.

In remote villages where no reporters dared to go, far from the battlefields where Americans were dying, who knew whether the bombs that rained from the night sky had killed high-level insurgents or innocent civilians? For 14 months the raids continued and, after each one was completed, the commander of the bombing crews was instructed to relay a one-sentence message: “The ball game is over.”

The campaign was called “Operation Breakfast,” and, while it may sound like the CIA’s present air campaign over Pakistan, it wasn’t. You need to turn the clock back to another American war, four decades earlier, to March 18, 1969, to be exact. The target was an area of Cambodia known as the Fish Hook that jutted into South Vietnam, and Operation Breakfast would be but the first of dozens of top secret bombing raids. Later ones were named “Lunch,” “Snack,” and “Supper,” and they went under the collective label “Menu.” They were authorized by President Richard Nixon and were meant to destroy a (nonexistent) “Bamboo Pentagon,” a central headquarters in the Cambodian borderlands where North Vietnamese communists were supposedly orchestrating raids deep into South Vietnam.

Like President Obama today, Nixon had come to power promising stability in an age of unrest and with a vague plan to bringing peace to a nation at war. On the day he was sworn in, he read from the Biblical book of Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” He also spoke of transforming Washington’s bitter partisan politics into a new age of unity: “We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another, until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.”

Return to the Killing Fields

In recent years, many commentators and pundits have resorted to “the Vietnam analogy,” comparing first the American war in Iraq and now in Afghanistan to the Vietnam War. Despite a number of similarities, the analogy disintegrates quickly enough if you consider that U.S. military campaigns in post-invasion Afghanistan and Iraq against small forces of lightly-armed insurgents bear little resemblance to the large-scale war that Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon waged against both southern revolutionary guerrillas and the military of North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, who commanded a real army, with the backing of, and supplies from, the Soviet Union and China.

A more provocative – and perhaps more ominous – analogy today might be between the CIA’s escalating drone war in the contemporary Pakistani tribal borderlands and Richard Nixon’s secret bombing campaign against the Cambodian equivalent. To briefly recapitulate that ancient history: In the late 1960s, Cambodia was ruled by a “neutralist” king, Norodom Sihanouk, leading a weak government that had little relevance to its poor and barely educated citizens. In its borderlands, largely beyond its control, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong found “sanctuaries.”

Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent. And countless civilian deaths in the 1st two months of 2010........

Sihanouk, helpless to do anything, looked the other way. In the meantime, sheltered by local villagers in distant areas of rural Cambodia was a small insurgent group, little-known communist fundamentalists who called themselves the Khmer Rouge. (Think of them as the 1970s equivalent of the Pakistani Taliban who have settled into the wild borderlands of that country largely beyond the control of the Pakistani government.) They were then weak and incapable of challenging Sihanouk – until, that is, those secret bombing raids by American B-52s began. As these intensified in the summer of 1969, areas of the country began to destabilize (helped on in 1970 by a U.S.-encouraged military coup in the capital Phnom Penh), and the Khmer Rouge began to gain strength.

You know the grim end of that old story.

Forty years, almost to the day, after Operation Breakfast began, I traveled to the town of Snuol, close to where the American bombs once fell. It is a quiet town, no longer remote, as modern roads and Chinese-led timber companies have systematically cut down the jungle that once sheltered anti-government rebels. I went in search of anyone who remembered the bombing raids, only to discover that few there were old enough to have been alive at the time, largely because the Khmer Rouge executed as much as a quarter of the total Cambodian population after they took power in 1975.

Eventually, a 15-minute ride out of town, I found an old soldier living by himself in a simple one-room house adorned with pictures of the old king, Sihanouk. His name was Kong Kan and he had first moved to the nearby town of Memot in 1960. A little further away, I ran into three more old men, Choenung Klou, Keo Long, and Hoe Huy, who had gathered at a newly built temple to chat.

All of them remembered the massive 1969 B-52 raids vividly and the arrival of U.S. troops the following year. “We thought the Americans had come to help us,” said Choenung Klou. “But then they left and the [South] Vietnamese soldiers who came with them destroyed the villages and raped the women.”

He had no love for the North Vietnamese communists either. “They would stay at people’s houses, take our hammocks and food. We didn’t like them and we were afraid of them.”

Caught between two Vietnamese armies and with American planes carpet-bombing the countryside, increasing numbers of Cambodians soon came to believe that the Khmer Rouge, who were their countrymen, might help them. Like the Taliban of today, many of the Khmer Rouge were, in fact, teenage villagers who had responded, under the pressure of war and disruption, to the distant call of an inspirational ideology and joined the resistance in the jungles.

“If you ask me why I joined the Khmer Rouge, the main reason is because of the American invasion,” Hun Sen, the current prime minister of Cambodia, has said. “If there was no invasion, by now, I would be a pilot or a professor.”

Six years after the bombings of Cambodia began, shortly after the last helicopter lifted off the U.S. embassy in Saigon and the flow of military aid to the crumbling government of Cambodia stopped, a reign of terror took hold in the capital, Phnom Penh.

The Khmer Rouge left the jungles and entered the capital where they began a systemicgenocide against city dwellers and anyone who was educated. They vowed to restart history at Year Zero, a new era in which much of the past became irrelevant. Some two million people are believed to have died from executions, starvation, and forced labor in the camps established by the Angkar leadership of the Khmer Rouge commanded by Pol Pot.

Unraveling Pakistan

Could the same thing happen in Pakistan today? A new American president was ordering escalating drone attacks, in a country where no war has been declared, at the moment when I flew from Cambodia across South Asia to Afghanistan, so this question loomed large in my mind. Both there and just across the border, Operation Breakfast seems to be repeating itself.

In the Afghan capital, Kabul, I met earnest aid workers who drank late into the night in places like L’Atmosphere, a foreigner-only bar that could easily have doubled as a movie set for Saigon in the 1960s. Like modern-day equivalents of Graham Greene’s “quiet American,” these “consultants” describe a Third Way that is neither Western nor fundamentalist Islam.

At the very same time, CIA analysts in distant Virginia are using pilot-less drones and satellite technology to order strikes against supposed terrorist headquarters across the border in Pakistan. They are not so unlike the military men who watched radar screens in South Vietnam in the 1960s as the Cambodian air raids went on. Read more of this post

Pakistan in pictures

Flag of Pakistan

Map of Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: The Founder of Pakistan

Dr. Allama Mohammad Iqbal: National Poet, Philosopher,Thinker

National Anthem of Pakistan

National Anthem of Pakistan ( in Urdu )

National Anthem of Pakistan in English

Pakistan's National Monument was built in the Shakarparian Hills, at the west viewpoint overlooking the capital city Islamabad, Pakistan. Built with expensive red granite marble the shape is that of a blossoming flower, with petals. The four main petals of the monument represent the four provinces of Pakistan: Balochistan, North West Frontier Province, Punjab, and Sindh. In the large view you can see some murals of famous monuments which are located in the respective provinces. And the three smaller petals represent the Northern areas, Kashmir and the country’s tribal areas.

Minar-e-Pakistan is a tall minaret in Iqbal Park Lahore, built in commemoration of the Pakistan Resolution. The minaret reflects a blend of Mughal and modern architecture, and is constructed on the site where on March 23, 1940, seven years before the formation of Pakistan, the Muslim League passed the Pakistan Resolution (Qarardad-e-Pakistan), demanding the creation of Pakistan. This was the first official declaration to establish a separate homeland for the Muslims living in the South Asia. Pakistan now celebrates this day as a national holiday each year.

Mazar-e-Quaid (Urdu: مزار قائد) or the National Mausoleum refers to the tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It is an iconic symbol of Karachi throughout the world. The mausoleum completed in the 1960s, is situated at the heart of the city.

Khyber gate: Entrance to Khyber pass and Torkham border of Afghanistan from Peshawar, North Western Pakistan.

Ziarat, Balochistan, Pakistan

Jasmine: National flower

Cedrus deodara: National tree

Peregrine Falcon is the state bird of the country recognized as "Shaheen" and officially the military iconic symbol of the PAF

Chukar: National bird (official)

Asiatic Lion: National animal (unofficial)

Markhor: National animal

Indus Dolphin: National Mammal; is only found in the Indus River in Pakistan

National Game: Field hockey; Pakistan is 4-time world champion (1971, 1978, 1982, 1994 )and 3-time Olympics champion (1960, 1968, 1984) while Pakistan also won Champions Trophy for 3 time ( 1978 , 1980, 1994 ).

Cricket: Pakistan 1992 World Champion

Pakistan: ICC T20 World Cup 2009 winner

Shahid Khan Afridi: currently holds the highest career strike rate in the history of international cricket and the world record of Fastest Century

Wasim Akram: a former Pakistani Cricketr. Widely regarded as one of the finest fast bowlers ever, Akram holds world records for the most wickets taken in both ODIs and Test matches. Recently Wasim has been inducted in ICC Hall of Fame.

Shoaib Akhtar: Fastest bowler in the world. He set a world record by clocking 100mph

Jahangir Khan: is a former World No. 1 professional Squash player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. During his career he won the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times. Between 1981 and 1986, he was unbeaten in competitive play for five years. During that time he won 555 matches consecutively. This was not only the longest winning streak in squash history, but also one of the longest unbeaten runs by any athlete in top-level professional sports.

Jan sher Khan: is a former World No. 1 professional Squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.

Minar-e-Pakistan

Badshahi Mosque - Lahore

Food street - Lahore

National Stadium - Karachi

Baltoro glacier - Pakistan

The Karakoram Highway (KKH) (Urdu: شاہراہ قراقرم, Chinese: 喀喇昆仑公路) is the highest paved international road in the world. It connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, at an altitude of 4,693 m/15,397 ft as confirmed by both SRTM and multiple GPS readings. It connects China's Xinjiang region with Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan and also serves as a popular tourist attraction. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is also referred to as the "8th Wonder of the World."

The Karakoram Highway

Beautifully painted Pakistani trucks along the Karakoram Highway, Pakistan. The Karakoram Highway connects northern Pakistan with far north-western China via the Khunjerab Pass (4693m) and is the highest international road in the world.

Bualtar Glacier, Hoper, Pakistan

Hunza Valley - Pakistan

The Faisal Mosque in Islamabad is the largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and one of the largest mosques in the world. It was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 to 1993 when overtaken in size by the completion of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. Subsequent expansions of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca and the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Medina, Saudi Arabia during the 1990s relegated Faisal Mosque to fourth place in terms of size. It is conceived as the National Mosque of Pakistan.The Faisal Mosque is named after the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who supported and financed the project.

The Badshahi Mosque (Urdu: بادشاھی مسجد) or the 'King's Mosque' in Lahore, commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Epitomising the beauty, passion and grandeur of the Mughal era, it is Lahore's most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction.

It is capable of accommodating 5,000 worshippers in its main prayer hall and a further 95,000 in its courtyard and porticoes, it remained the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 (a period of 313 years), when overtaken in size by the completion of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Today, it remains the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Medina, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.

The mausoleum of Sheikh Rukn-i-Alam. Multan, Pakistan

Hanna Lake (Urdu: حانا جھيل) is a lake near Quetta city in Pakistan and is one of the main attractions in the city. The lake is located a little short of the place where the Urak Valley begins and 10 km from Quetta. Golden fish in the lake comes swimming right up to the edge of the lake.

Lake Saif-ul-Malook, Nothern areas, Pakistan

Shandur Polo festival, Pakistan

Mahodand Lake, Kalam, Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan

Pakistan’s M2 motorway: For sheer spotlessness, efficiency and emptiness there is nothing like the M2 in the rest of South Asia

Motorway connecting Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan

M2 Motorway from Lahore to Islamabad, Pakistan

M1 Motorway from Islamabad to Peshawar, Pakistan

Gwadar, Pakistan

Shangrila Lake, Pakistan

Neelum Valley, Pakistan

Typical Neelum Valley village, Pakistan

Pakistani Girls In Traditional Dress: Pakistani girls representing the four provinces of Pakistan seen here in traditional garb. Such costumes are often seen on the 14th of August or the 23rd of March on Independence Day celebrations in Pakistan. The application of face paint indicates that they are dressed up as either Pakhtun or Baluchi women, while the girl on the left is from the eastern Indus Valley region of Sindh or Punjab. (From left to right: Sindhi dress, Pakhtun and Baluchi dress)

Kalash People of Pakistan

Kalash Valley, Pakistan

Sunflower fields in Khanewal, Punjab, Pakistan

Tent pegging, A passion of Punjabi and a thrilling game, very famous in central Punjab, Pakistan.

Murree, Pakistan

Murree (Pakistan) in winter. Road blockade due to land sliding

Glowing Fountain and Oyster Rocks in arabian sea, Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi: An aerial view of Pakistan's port city of Karachi, the city of lights. Copyright Mohsin Hassan

Karachi - The City of Lights, Pakistan

Miani Horr, Balochistan, Pakistan

Shogran in the Kaghan Valley, NWFP, Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan - sunset at Blue Area

7th Avenue Islamabad- Bird's eye view, as seen from Daman-e-Koh (Margallah Hills), Islamabad - Pakistan

Rawal Lake located in the outskirts of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, is considered to be a paradise on earth that one must not be miss. Rawal Lake is an artificial reservoir in Pakistan that fullfills the water demands for the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. This artificial lake covers an area of 8.8 km². Rawal Lake is located within an isolated section of the Margalla Hills National Park.

Heavenly View at Khanpur Lake...Some 50 kilometers north-west of Islamabad, on the road from Taxila to Haripur. One can indulge at this place away from city life.

Tarbela Dam- The world's largest earth-filled dam on one of the world's most important rivers - the Indus - is 103 km from Rawalpindi. The dam was completed in 1976 at a cost of Rs.18.5 billion. Over 15,000 Pakistani and 800 foreign workers and engineers worked during its construction. It is the biggest hydel power station in Pakistan having a capacity of generating 3,478 MW of electricity. Its reservoir is 97 km long with a depth of 137 meters while total area of the lake is 260 sq.km.

Mangla Dam- World's third largest earth-filled dam is only 115 km south-east of Rawalpindi.

Mangla Dam Water FLow

Kallar Kahar Lake, Pakistan

Rama Lake- Near Astore, Northern Pakistan

Satpara Lake, Sakardu, Pakistan: One of the largest fresh water lakes of the country.

Banjosa village is around 3 and a half hours drive from Islamabad and a 30 min drive from Rawalakot, district headquarter of Poonch District, in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan

Banjosa , Azad Khasmir, Pakistan

Toli Peer Meadow, Northern Pakistan

Shyokh Valley near Kaphalu, Karakoram Range, Pakistan

Walking upwards through the Gasherbrum II Icefall, Karakoram Range, Pakistan

Shandur Valley - Vertorama, Pakistan

Sword Dance: The Pashtuns are known for dancing with their guns and/or swords. Also known as Khyber sword dance.

A popular Sindhi folk dance usually done when somebody returns home victorious

Balochi Folk Dance: Baloch people give a great importance to the occasion of birth. The occasion is celebrated by music, singing and dancing.

Bhangra: folk dance of Punjab is the bhangra which is described as being like rock and roll and which is always done at the beginning of the harvest season.

Wakhi Dance: Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Wakhi children dance at Wakhi Cultural Festival at Lok Virsa, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Kalash Dance from Kalash Valley, Pakistan

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Kayani urges Nato to understand Pak strategy

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

BRUSSELS (Agencies) – Top officers from Pakistan, Nato and Russia gave unanimous backing on Wednesday to the new international strategy in Afghanistan, the head of the alliance’s Military Committee said.

“There was a feeling in the room that we are getting it right,” Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola told reporters after talks in Brussels with chiefs of military staff from more than 60 countries.

Di Paola said Russian chief of staff Nikolai Makarov and his Pakistan counterpart Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had underlined that Nato’s success in defeating the insurgency would have important repercussions for their nations.

“We have a greater interest than you that you succeed, that’s what he said,” Makarov had told the meeting of top brass at Nato headquarters, Di Paola said.

Gen Kayani “said much the same thing as Nikolai: we have an even greater interest than you to have a peaceful, stable Afghanistan,” he said.

Di Paola said Gen Kayani was “incredibly in tune” with the approach of US Gen Stanley McChrystal, who also attended, to put the protection of Afghan civilians at the heart of the international strategy.

Gen Kayani also spoke of “the same comprehensive approach to the problem of the northwest tribal area,” where Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters have rear bases across the border in Pakistan, Di Paola said.

“That made me believe that the tide is turning, and so we will see at the end of this year the light on the horizon,” the Italian admiral said.

Addressing the two-day meeting, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani urged on Nato to realise Pakistan’s strategy and perspective on region’s security situation and called for enhancement of Pakistan’s role in finding a solution to the Afghanistan problem.

He said in order to win war on terror the confidence between Nato and Pakistani forces is needed along with cooperation in intelligence sectors.

Nato and Pakistan can only defeat their common enemy if both sides have confidence on each other, he said, adding that sharing of intelligence can play a vital role. Read more of this post

Can US Strategy Stabilise Afghanistan

Sequel to the policy speech on Afghan strategy, various opinions and comments have appeared in the US press indicating that Pakistan needs to expand war against terrorists and extremists to other areas in Pakistan. The New York Times reported in its edition of 8 December that the US has warned Pakistan that its forces would chase Taliban forces in Pakistan if Islamabad does not Then there have been other reports with some acknowledgments of the Pakistani Army’s efforts in confronting the Talibans in South Waziristan. All the reports tantamount to increasing US pressure on Pakistan to expand its efforts against terrorism and extremism elsewhere in Pakistan also.

The proponents of US military venture into Pakistan lack foresight in calculating grave risks that such a venture would pose for both Pakistan and the United States from all angles and that the bilateral relationship might never be able to resurrect itself again. Last time when the US committed such mistake to raid a village inside Pakistan where they thought that the militants were hiding, there was such a political furore in Pakistan that the US was forced to promise never to use boots on ground in Pakistan again. Pakistan Army is very much capable of tackling head on impediments that threaten its sovereignty and security and as such is successfully battling the insurgents in Waziristan and Swat. While doing so, it has the complete backing of its people who sustained numerous merciless bomb killings as Taliban retaliated. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: