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The Pasha-Panetta puzzle

Published Apr 14, 2011 06:13am

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ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, fresh off obtaining his second one-year extension, went to Washington for a meeting with his CIA counterpart Leon Panetta making demands that are completely unobtainable. Leaks to the media, as the Pasha-Panetta talks got underway, indicate that the Pakistan Army wants a complete halt to drone strikes in the tribal areas and the removal of all CIA agents currently roaming the country.

On the face of it, both demands are the right ones to make. Drone attacks, while being promoted by the US government (always through anonymous sources since the Americans do not officially confirm that it is using drones) as the most effective way to kill militants, is effective only in the sense that is risk-free for the country using them. Unmanned drones ensures that no American lives are lost in the hunt for militants; the lives of Pakistani civilians do not factor into the equation. Equally, no Pakistani patriot likes the idea of trigger-happy spooks traipsing around, bound by no law.

Let’s get real though. Making demands is one thing. Expecting those demands to be fulfilled is quite another. The alliance between the US and Pakistan is often called a “transactional relationship.” The US pays for what it wants and we give it to them, holding our nose and counting the cash. In such a relationship you don’t get to have your complaints heard.

Before making demands, we need leverage. Cash-strapped as we are, we cannot tell the US to keep its foreign aid and we’ll keep our sovereignty, thank you very much. The problem is we do not have any other kind of leverage either. The US has two fears about Pakistan: that the country will be taken over by terrorists or that they will get their hands on our nuclear arsenal. As much as we use the Taliban threat – and it is a very real threat, although not one that will take over the government, as panicked Westerners fear – to wring more strings-attached aid out of the US, ultimately everyone knows that it is equally in Pakistan’s interest to keep the Taliban at bay. Sure, we may use them and keep them alive to bolster our misguided policy, but the Taliban is as much a threat to the military and civilian leadership here as it is to the US. Similarly, we cannot bluff the Americans into agreeing to our demands by implying that we will hand over a nuke or two to the militants. Basically, it all boils down to having no leverage.

There is one negotiating tactic the military could use, although its chances for success are slim. Pakistan is a vital supply route for Nato forces in Afghanistan, one that the army could threaten to shut down if some of their concerns aren’t addressed. It would be inconvenient for the US to rely solely on Central Asian routes to supply the coalition forces so perhaps this threat could get us a minor concession or two. For that, too, the window of opportunity is narrow. If President Barack Obama follows through on his promise to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next years, Pakistan’s role as a hub will diminish.

The army, for its part, knows that its complaints amount only to public posturing. We went through this whole charade with army opposition to the Kerry-Lugar Bill, where it was made clear that the army did not like being dictated to by the US. Yet it, and the country, ended up accepting the aid and the conditions attached to it and the issue is a forgotten one. As was the case then, the army’s main motive was to make its displeasure known domestically. This essentially boils down to the army trying to maintain its sense of self-pride by telling everyone that they know they have to accept American control but they certainly don’t like it. Everyone fretting about the US-Pakistan alliance should just keep that in mind and tone down the alarmism.

Nadir Hassan is a journalist based in Karachi and can be found on Twitter.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (119) Closed



annonymous Apr 14, 2011 12:20pm
Agree with what is written, as beggars can't be choosers. As revealed by WikiLeaks all posturing by the establishment and the political leaders are for domestic hoi polloi who are considered naive
JJMan Apr 14, 2011 01:07pm
Agreed. However, we have never tried one approach as we have always been cynics when it comes to relying totally on our selves. I say that let us break these chains and go broke if we have to. We may end up causing an economic catastrophe in our country but what good is this economy if it can't produce enough goods and materials to be self-sustaining. The worse that can happen now is that we may end causing a real revolution by going broke that people will develop zero tolerance for corruptions and hang the corrupt officials and politicians of every cadre by their necks for non-performance.
amoghavarsha.ii Apr 14, 2011 01:37pm
If US was not threatened by terrorism, US would not have come to Afghanistan and spend billions of $. Now everybody knows Afghanistan has huge mineral assets(if it is true ) US will not leave Afghan. either way you will not come out of this war.
Rafay Kareem Apr 14, 2011 02:21pm
How on earth is it possible for the Pakistani economy to develop with war going on inside and on the borders? I fail to understand this being paid-to-kill logic. The economic cost in terms of lost investment and long term development damage is massive.
najam yusuf Apr 14, 2011 02:38pm
Generally agreed, but they will never stop Nato Container movement, again it is Money,and money not in millions but in Billions.
S.t Apr 14, 2011 02:58pm
I'd agree with this comment.
jehanzeb Apr 14, 2011 03:05pm
I think mineral wealth news is good but it is not the reason US is in Afghanistan and will not be the reason US stays in afghanistan. It is more imperialistic approach to global situation that is the cause of US being in Afghanistan. US likes to be in this region for its global ambitions and Afghanistan provides the excuse and place to be there
Perwana Apr 14, 2011 03:19pm
Disagree with you. There were many better ways to make US safer than attacking Afghanistan.
Bilal Khan Apr 14, 2011 03:40pm
I partially agree with your article ... but the article seems myopic. Instead of talking about stopping the supply route which is short term tactic lets be realistic for once and use this opportunity of having NATO on other side of the border and get rid of all anti-state elements in the country ASAP .. these people aren't 10% of a threat to any one else as much they are to Pakistan. If any one really care for the country they need to foster good relations with Israel and our neighbors, Israel have good leverage around the world and can change things for us. while on the other hand we can just hope for survival by creating even worst conditions for our country by playing with non existent words like UMMAH and supporting countries who have no real value in today world. as for Kashmir is concern it can be solved via dialogue as its a real indigenous struggle therefore, India can't get away with it without solving it.
Bilal Khan Apr 14, 2011 03:43pm
Rafey, Were you hibernating during ten years of Musharraf's era ?
Ashar Hameed Apr 14, 2011 03:54pm
I am disgusted with the author's comment "Cash-strapped as we are, we cannot tell the US to keep its foreign aid and we’ll keep our sovereignty, thank you very much." It is better to die with dignity then to live in shame! When people make those shameful remarks they usually forget the resolve of the nation, it's unfortunate that we are not a nation today as we are divided on ethnic lines, yet I am hopeful that any single catastrophe may break these ethnic shackles and bind us under a nation again. We learned to live without US assistance during the 90’s, we learnt self reliance, we learnt self respect. We are a Nuclear power, we have a huge military, and we are one of the only 6-7 states that can produce cruise missiles. We learnt military self reliance when the US declined to give us weapons, we found alternatives. We need to mend our ties with our neighbors and play to our strengths, we need to root out the causes of evil in our country which are denial of justice to the average Pakistani, corruption, greed, promotion of unethical and immoral ways of living, indecency, deceit, non accountability of those in power and overall disregard of the law. But above all we need the belief that if countries like Japan and Switzerland can survive (they do not have natural resources and import all the raw goods to be able to export some of the best stuff in the world) so can we!
Shiva Apr 14, 2011 03:56pm
If Pakistan can learn to have normal relations with India, it will be solving all its problems and unless this happens Pakistan will continue to boil
Umar Apr 14, 2011 04:15pm
saying that a demand has been made and making it in reality is also different. It could be further dictation needed from US on how to move in future? The recent drone attacks suggest absence of a firm stand on our part in the dialogue
Asim Apr 14, 2011 04:16pm
What if Pakistan stop the Nato supply.....I believe American than invade Pakistan
Imran Apr 14, 2011 04:45pm
Vote for Imran Khan :)
kulamarva balakrishn Apr 14, 2011 05:21pm
Vienna,14-04-2011 In any case, it is welcome to see rare Pakistanis engaging their mind. But it takes you nowhere on the road to enmity. Dare to think positively and friendly thoughts.-Kulamarva Balakrishna
Ashok Apr 14, 2011 05:23pm
I keep hearing about this again and again - "We are a Nuclear power, we have a huge military, and we are one of the only 6-7 states that can produce cruise missiles.". Having all of the things you mention does not feed a nation and the false security that it gives you is what has brought Pakistan to this state.
jujhar Apr 14, 2011 05:27pm
Jehanzb is right. And imperialistic interests does not mean making America secure as Perwana says. It is above all maintaining american dominations of the world again its rivals, occupying all positions that could make actions of its rivals (China, Russia) etc. Imperialism is also a game that India and Pakistan paly against each other with their petty strengthes
BRR Apr 14, 2011 06:15pm
So is North Korea, but they a) cannot feed their people who are now eating grass b) cannot educate their children c) are stuck with their "great leader" is is geriatic and almost dead but does not give up. Good company, isn't it.
Ahmed Apr 14, 2011 06:20pm
there was no econ development under musharaf post 2005.Tell me how much did musharaf increase tax collection by ?
Zar Khan Apr 14, 2011 07:13pm
and you are making these comments as ??...don't poke your nose where it doesn't belong. Stick to the other side of the border and worry about your own issues.
indian Apr 14, 2011 07:15pm
You have no honest leaders/generals. That's why u can't match Japan/Switgerland. If u r so proud, plz pay back the billions of loans which u took and then start surviving on your own. Otherwise take help from your fellow 'brotherhood' ISLAMIC countries if they donate any money. What abt china? Do u think china will help u like USA helped u till now?
hs Apr 14, 2011 08:30pm
nothing new in this analysis.
mms Apr 14, 2011 09:59pm
All I read is an attempt by individuals trying o show their intelectual capacity. It will not make a difference if you are right or wrong. The currupt polititians have sold out the country, it is time we the people got our country back, just like they did in Egypt.
Mustafa S Apr 14, 2011 10:13pm
Yes we can- We shouldn't care what US or India or Nato thinks- first fix internal problems- Power Shortage,Water Shortage, Justice for common man and first of all Love for fellow Pakistani. This problem can't be solved by having military-it can be solved by Honest Civil Society- Rich pays their taxes, curb on corruption and stop Talibans Then Yes!!
Naveed Apr 14, 2011 10:58pm
According to HRP, 972 Civilians died because of drone Attacks. Here is USA trying to protect a few hundred civilians in Libya and has bombed the hell out of that country. Is there no body answerable for the death of Pakistan Civilians? Why is it so? What is the legal position on it? I think Pakistan must demand protection of its civilians. If USA does not stop Drone Strikes then Pakistan should stop NATO Supplies along with trade for Afghanistan.
saeed Chughtai Apr 14, 2011 11:58pm
As a principal, counties never go bankrupt, espacially with 180 million people.
saeed Chughtai Apr 15, 2011 12:07am
Vote for whom? Are you talking about the same person who was pleading a case in Briton to bring MQM leader back and now find things common with him? All Pakistani politicians are hypocrites and Pakistani public is naive.
gp65 Apr 15, 2011 12:48am
Totally agree.
gp65 Apr 15, 2011 12:55am
USSR also had all these things. it did not prevent it from disintegrating. I am not suggesting that Pak will disintegrate. I am just saying that the only way of getting out of this situation is by building Pak's own economy so that it does not have to depend oon US or IMF?World Bank handouts.
Khalid Apr 15, 2011 01:01am
Ashok makes a great point which most Pakistanis conveniently forget.
Ajaz Tabani Apr 15, 2011 01:24am
Say NO to Foreign AID! Our nation has to learn, that we cannot depend upon foreign aid and expect prosperity, by receiving few billion dollars. Our national GDP is over six hundred billions dollars, seven billion dollars is 1.1% of our GDP and most of that money is used on USA's obsolete technology and payments to foreign employees, the rest of the money, goes to the foreign banks in secret accounts of our corrupt politicians, God has given us many resources and we have the knowledge and expertise to utilize those resources. We should REJECT Corrupt Politicians and Bureaucrats. Our politicians give this false hope to our nation that they are trying their best to receive aids from IMF, world bank EU and USA. These Aids have done nothing but put the nation in debts. We should focus on developing our indigenous industries utilizing our indigenous resources. We should work hard developing trading partners among friendly nations on mutually respect and benefits. Further more, We should reject Western lifestyle it is superficial and makes more people unhappy, it destroys inner peace, family life, creates corruption and corrosion in the society. We need to pursue simple and meaningful lifestyle, material things do not give long lasting happiness, good values, honesty, hard work, families and friends do. We have everything we need to live a decent life. We should never weaken or compromise our capabilities to defend our nation, because we are surrounded by enemies who will take advantage of our weakness.
bilal Apr 15, 2011 01:31am
it needs extraordinary courage to shut the NATO supply route. Pakistanis in general and Leaders in particular aren't ready to face hardships due to financial melt-down that will ensue once cash stop coming from Uncle Sam. No one is ready for fair taxation to cover for financial gap. We are lacking institutions and personalities have their own variables. Under these circumstances , stop rhetoric, and carry-on the status quo. That seems the lesser of both evils.
jalaluddin S. Hussai Apr 15, 2011 02:00am
As a dignified nation, Pakistanis (including myself), must collectively resolve to work hard in the political, social and economic fields, live simple lives, help their fellow citizens, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliations, and encourage the government of the day to implement the golden principles of, "Love towards all and malice towards none".
Taimoor Apr 15, 2011 02:16am
Leave it to an Indian to bring India into every matter that doesn't concern India. What problems exactly is India going to solve. Its just as corrupt as Pakistan half its population is below the poverty line (no joke), the only thing left is that it doesn't border Afghanistan. So please leave your "india is the best thing that ever happened to the world" rhetoric for the crazy indian media.
jamshed kharian-pak Apr 15, 2011 02:28am
Pakistan was created on the name of Islam where all sorts of peoples can live and get prosper But what happend to it? ENGLISH! English-elite in pakistan destroyed everything its very easy to read short History! Pakistan needs Great change but without ENGLISH! english-elite must quit if not they must be prepare to LEAVE pakistan forever! English is no more suiteable and it never was! pakistan needs Localy educated govt servants Educated by Schools Universities respecting SHARIA LAW the ISLAMIC LAW its time that Muslims and all other friends of Pakistan must help creat such a situation!
Porterhouse Apr 15, 2011 05:23am
So disheartening to read such universal misunderstandings about American motivations in the region. We are not motivated by imperialism or to steal mineral wealth. We are in Afghanistan because it had become a base for terrorists who planned and executed multiple attacks on our country and interests. Likewise, we conduct drone attacks because Pakistan cannot effectively govern or police it's tribal areas. It's not any more complicated than that.
mms Apr 15, 2011 05:42am
Pannetta says he will not halt the drone strikes. So I ask you people of Pakistan what can you do about it. Nothing. Your leadership i.e Zardari, Kayani, Sharifs, have sold you out. You thought Kayani was better than Zardari, guess what the tiger shows his stripes.
mms Apr 15, 2011 05:49am
If Panetta will not stop the drone attacks because his primary duty is to save american lives, then we the Pakistanis should shoot down the drones as Pakitani lives are as valuble as american lives.
Syed Ali Apr 15, 2011 07:20am
Jujhar is right. I agree with him its a game of imperialism and controlling the resources of other countries. We as a nation should stand up against these imperialistic powers who are trying to control different nations under the pretext of terrorism and dictatorship. Look at Iran who had fought 10 years of war against the world behind Iraq still stands and still fighting against imperialistic forces and is slowly and in a dignified manner continuously progressing through all odds of international sanctions. Another example is of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka with all international pressure to stop fighting against Tamil tiger did not stop and finally got out of terrorism and now on the path of progression. These two countries are good example for the countries who truly wants freedom and self respect to stand up under the true leader ship and fight against all imperialistic forces.
harkol Apr 15, 2011 08:22am
Your sentiments are noble. Unfortunately, when your stomach is empty brain ceases to work, and it is the brain that thinks of dignity not the stomach. But, when coffers are empty dignity doesn't mean much. India pledged its gold in 1991 though it is considered shameful by most Indians, to survive a economic crisis. Accepted tough & humiliating IMF conditions. I wonder if you have considered the opinion of the poorest among your countrymen about dignity vs hunger.
Shakeel.Quddus Apr 15, 2011 08:38am
We have forgotten the fact that we have a civilan government for a change after ages. Oddly the civilian government wishes to stay in the background. It is as if the civilan government does not know how to behave. The problem is not the nature of realtionship between the United States and Pakistan. The problem is Pakistan's lack of leadership. It is still time for the assertiveness in the civilan leadership. In the United States, a senior commander of the armed forces decided to bypass the civilan leadership, he was sacked. Pakistan has yet to learn the basic civic lesson.
SHAHID IQBAL Apr 15, 2011 09:43am
Panetta says his responsibility is to protect American citizens therefore he will not halt drone strikes. I wonder what is the responsibility of ISI and Pakistan Army ?
zamir ahmed Apr 15, 2011 09:52am
aaaahhhh.itz very clear that our leaders and mostly army officials are nt sincere to country,many have dual nationalities they hunt our people just for the benefit of USA.believe me if the aristocratic and big businessman start giving proper tax than our government never beg for aid to foreign country
Raza Apr 15, 2011 09:58am
Shiva what advantntge does Pakistan have in keeping bad relations with India ??? If anything its a resource drain to keep the balance of military power. I fail to understand why my Indian friends not use a shred of logic and see through the fact whether its India or Pakistan which is bent upon keeping the relations strained. India being the bigger country has to show magnanimity in the relationship. India has issues with just about every country touching its border...Its just amazing to see that there is absolutely no peripheral vision exist even among the educated class of India when it comes to Indo-Pak relationship
Lahori Badshah Apr 15, 2011 10:05am
Well said brother.
brighton Apr 15, 2011 10:51am
Hi dear readers and writers, I have been reading different problems of Pakistan. Elected government of Pakistan should be realistic and educate their people to understand the real problems of this country and ask their opinion to resolve these difficult problems. I hope the intelligent and proud Pakistanis will sort out the solution. Give them a chance. Do not rely on your militarily misgivings.
Ahsen Wali Mohammad Apr 15, 2011 11:25am
Although we are one of the un-sung heroes of the world and can solely rely on ourselves as you have mentioned, it is our leadership that is corrupt. The first thing that needs changing is the top level, then we can work on our roots. Countries like Japan and Switzerland survive because their leaders are dedicated to work for their country and that is something we as a nation have always been lacking. You know the rest. Nothing will change until we have a dedicated leadership.
Saif Apr 15, 2011 11:37am
The key to prosperous future of Pakistan lies in complete peace with India (and it will also save India tens and tens of billions every year). We need to jointly fix the issues of South Asia with only one thing in mind that is the benifit of the people of Pakistan and India. While India has done tremendously compared to Pakistan on all fronts but it still has close to half a billion people living below the poverty line. We need to stop wasting money on fancy weapons that are completely useless and start investing in infrastructure, education and energy. Central Asia can be a gold mine for both India and Pakistan if we go about it jointly rather than fight over it. The only people who benifit from India/Pakistan's rivalry are the countires selling us useless military equipment. They are the true profiteers from our quarells and are laughing all the way to the bank and will keep on laughing if we continue down this path. The West wants to control the Central Asian resources and will pitch Pak against India eternally. We need to learn from them as to what they did after second world war. They fought for centuries in Eurpoe and then one day woke up and smelt the coffee. High time Pakistan and India do the same.
Fuad Apr 15, 2011 11:57am
Shahid!! What has been the responsibility of Pak Army & ISI ? They let Raymond Davis roam around the country,were they sleeping or looking the other way around.I am really sorry what is the point of having a huge army and nuclear missiles when you have drone attacks raining on you.And by the way this demand for stopping of drone attacks by our leaders is all crap,they all have their wealth amassed in USA, UK & Middle East which they are afraid will be taken. I was surprised that our Interior Minister also owns a flat in UK!!Wow.
Shabbir Apr 15, 2011 01:03pm
God bless Pakistan---Pakistan Zindabad !
Shafiq Apr 15, 2011 01:24pm
Why do our leaders own big properties in the foreign countries? Are they really committed to Pakistan?
easyjet Apr 15, 2011 02:11pm
the causes of evil in our country which are denial of justice to the average Pakistani, corruption, greed, promotion of unethical and immoral ways of living, indecency, deceit, non accountability of those in power and overall disregard of the law. You're quoting from the horse's mouth. That is the reason why drones are attacking Pakistan. No moral strength in general. Why are the Pakistanis even complaining? It should be clear to eveyone that beggars can't be choosers
akumar Apr 15, 2011 02:26pm
I think US will repent in years to come now that it has antagonized 180 million odd people of pakistan. The country is not going anywhere and sooner or later it will come out of its difficult times. No one should have a doubt about that. So anyone trying to take advantage of the situation should have a broader vision. Give the respect where it is due while indulging in diplomacy. A humiliated nation will not forget or forgive the perpetrators.
Asif Apr 15, 2011 02:44pm
VERY well said Raza....
Shahid Apr 15, 2011 03:20pm
'khird ko ghulami say azad kar' 'Jawanoon ko peeroon ka ustad kar' Youth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the answer- 'listening Saqi Nama'
Iftekhar Apr 15, 2011 04:08pm
You don't request someone, "Please recall your operatives..." You boot them out. You don't request someone, "Please don't carry out drone attacks..." You shoot them down. Plain and simple. Else, you get the response that Panetta gave...
Waqas Akhtar Apr 15, 2011 04:27pm
They say Slavery is also an addiction... and ladies and gentlemen..! We, our politicians and the system is addicted to this Slavery... It is said even if you set free tamed pigeons, they would happily come back and rush inside the cage...!...If we want to change the situation, we have to SHAKE OFF this mentality and perspective....
Sunil Apr 15, 2011 04:33pm
I agree with Taimoor this news story has nothing to do with India and it is pointless for anyone to bring India into the equation here. India has many problems of its own to take care off.
Dr.Shafiq Ahmed (Sri Apr 15, 2011 04:35pm
Salam to all my brothers. As a kashmiri I can only say that the people of Pakistan, like all other Muslims of the contemporay world, are directionless. They use Pakistan and Islam for their personal interests and are least ready to sacrifice their interests for Pakistan and Islam. May Allah give you the real vision to live with dignity and honour among the comity of nations.
Zindabad Apr 15, 2011 05:52pm
Exactly Iftekahar! EXPEL all Americans or ARREST all the American agents. SHOOT DOWN the Drones.
Imran Khan Niazi Apr 15, 2011 06:39pm
You better believe it, Bubba. They will come.
arpan.india Apr 15, 2011 06:39pm
well said brother............ unfortunately people in power in both coutries dont think like you.......just imagine what a south asia could have/will do if we can adopt structure like EU
Shahid Apr 15, 2011 07:35pm
First of all pak need to forget kashmir . We need to work on the land we already have are suffering a series of serious problems.what ll we do of kashmir while our already all population is hungry,uneducated.
David Apr 15, 2011 08:33pm
An EXcellent analysis based on facts, reasoning, reality based and true. Pakistan has NO leverage and while any one can say any thing they want; the fact is," the man with the Gold makes the Golden Rule." Pakistan needs to make itself in to a fair, free and democratic nation, have laws that protect all equally and enforce them. This will be the first step towrds it's uplifting. No one else will lift you. You got to do it yourself. My prayers for pakistan and it's people.
Cautious Apr 15, 2011 11:22pm
Your editorial left out the obvious solution. Rather than allowing your tribal territories to devolve into terrorist central why not use your large army and take control of your sovereign territory? You get rid of the bad guys, you shed your reputation as as sponsor of terrorism, and you get international assistance to boot.
A.Bajwa Apr 16, 2011 03:32am
Now when US troops are to leave Afghanistan such demands can be conveniently made. The two should have spent time discussing the post departure scenarios and relative commitments to be undertaken.
gfellow Apr 16, 2011 06:22am
The million dollar question is "Why is Pakistan not doing it". I think every citizen of Pakistan including its government and its military knows the answer, but still keep asking the same question again and again and again.
@ Apr 16, 2011 07:19am
Better than electing the same officials i.e Bhutto Sharif Musharraf Connection. better to have a one eyed leader than a blind politician.
Jay Apr 16, 2011 07:51am
Tell US to stop Drone attacks immediately otherwise we will choke supply line.
Waseem Apr 16, 2011 08:24am
Is it still a question?
Nazir Habib Apr 16, 2011 08:36am
Thank you for your understanding of our feelings. Yes! the common Pakistani has always wanted a 'self reliance policy' and is at a loss why our leaders dont accept it. Tha pain we have suffered and going through is thanked for and generations to come will not forgive the Americans and Europeans. They may try to as Islam prefers, but it is painful. Our leaders are no less to blame. Thanx again.
Ali Haider Apr 16, 2011 09:22am
Oddly enough, Indians come to comment on our web sites and then complain of being dragged in.
ronak Apr 16, 2011 11:10am
jamshed. don't blame english. what you had written that " all sorts of peoples can live and get prosper" do you really think that this is true for pakistan? Most religions other than islam and its people are living in fear.
deepu Apr 16, 2011 12:28pm
dear mms, the american tax payers are already paying the 'value' of pakistani lives!!
Hamza Apr 16, 2011 12:41pm
That is analogous to saying that go to war; against who? Americans?
genda kaka Apr 16, 2011 02:51pm
well said dr ahmed from srinagar. unfortunately both india and pakistan have many dishonest and incompetent leaders. peoples of both countries should launch a movement for peace between the two countries. it will save money badly needed for their poor people.
Tariq Zaidi Apr 16, 2011 03:33pm
Assalamo Alikum The answer for all of our problems is present in QURAN if we read it with its meaning not only Nazrah.It shows us the straight path to success for this world and after world,till the time we dont comeback to Quran things will go in the same direction as they are moving now......... I pray that May Allah opens our Hearts for Emman Ameen.
BRR Apr 16, 2011 05:51pm
Extremely uncreative and willing to sacrifice the good of the country and its people for some assumed "pride". If you cannot think of the consequences of your action, then you are committing suicide.
BRR Apr 16, 2011 05:59pm
The US DOES NOT HAVE TO. And it does not care to invade Pakistan - not worth it. All it has to do is a) cancel loans b) cancel projects c) freeze assets of politicians in foreign countries. End of story. If Pakistan can survive that and still be breathing, then it can push its luck.
Samiullah Apr 16, 2011 07:05pm
Right brother... Look at our politicians in parliament majority of them are people dressed as an english man.... suit boot and tie...no one dressed like the common pakistani people...
samiullah Apr 16, 2011 07:09pm
Agree... our politicians keep saying this and try to keep people happy... and at the same time they sell our dignity to outsiders...
Naveed Buzdar Apr 16, 2011 08:28pm
when both military and political forces came in the same wavelength and decide that, enough is enough, then drone attacks can be stopped. They both are playing with the sentiments of the nation.
Shazia Apr 17, 2011 01:14am
Analysis by Mr. Nadir Hassan is very good. I have read a few responses, and I have a feeling that the idea of this analysis is not well understood. The matter is not as simple a perceived by most respondents. Its not as easy as putting 2 and 2 together. A country brought back from the brink of bankruptcy by IMF, having shallow foreign exchange reserves (a portion of which also comprise of loans), can not pursue an independent policy, either on external or internal affairs. First we need to correct our economy, tax our elite and other non tax payer. Only then can we stand up for our sovereignty.
Imtiaz Apr 17, 2011 04:43am
Please elaborate your solution a little more. Is King Abdullah following Quran to counter American brute force or Taliban or Alqaida are following the teachings of Quran? Today our Islamic center invited a scholar to resolve the issue of moon sighting which has divided our small community in many factions. Ever since I became a member of the community 26 years ago, I have seen our people bickering over moon sighting for Ramazan and Eids. And believe you me all of them are sincere devoted Muslims. They all talk Quran and Sunnah but could not develop consensus. Its been like that for ever. Before we take some Quranic measures to counter ruthless and powerful enemy, explain to us your understanding of the Quranic resolve or at least name those people in present day Mulism world to take heed from their examples of successfully defeating the enemies of Muslim Ummah. Thanks.
KK Apr 17, 2011 05:10am
I see so many people asking fro Sharia Law and what not. Anyone who thinks Pakistan is not Islamic enough should migrate to Saudi Arabia. But wait a minute, they won't let you in to their country. I wonder why? Hmm?
shabir Apr 17, 2011 08:02am
Please Tariq, Enlighten us on this true path to success ! Having read the quaran many times, I have never been able to map out the road to success that General Zia had not already tried out.
shabir Apr 17, 2011 08:27am
It is true The answer is that we compare much better with North Korea , then we do with Indonesia. We spent billions on our armed forces, and very little on Roads, bridges, railways ,and most important - education. We would have felt and would continue to feel a lot safer , and there would be less spending on the unproductive armed forces if we were at peace with India. Moreover, instead of chatting on this website , we need to go out do something - get into action.
Hyderabadi Apr 17, 2011 09:31am
I have some PG exams coming up. After that, there's job interviews to prepare for. I'm also thinking about going abroad - some more exams are lined up. Please tell me if the exam questionnaire and inteview questions are in Quran. Thanks in advance.
bharat Apr 17, 2011 09:57am
An interesting question has been posed for the last 20 years about Pakistan's future. Should India enter into an escalating arms race with Pakistan ? This would certainly be a disaster for Pakistan , as it was for the Soviet union , when it went into an arms race with the US. Or should India have am equitable peace treaty with Pakistan ? The answer comes down to - Which road holds the incentives for India ? and basically , this is where the whole problem of Pakistan has started from.
Malek Towghi, Ph.D. Apr 17, 2011 10:33am
Nawaz Sharif is the solution, if there is a solution for Pakistan's problems.
Abdul Hadi Qureshi Apr 17, 2011 07:39pm
It's deterrence we, Pakistanis want.... Not arms race.....
Mohsin Apr 17, 2011 10:43pm
yeah of course there is way to success, to get to your destination, laid out in Quran in the clearest words if you are a practisin muslim. the holy Quran says" you get whatever you try for". so gird up your loins n start working hard. this is the approach and this is the solution that our holy Quran gives you exam-anxious, exams-ridden man ( if you come back to it) . read it practise it n you surely will b victorious in the end
Shazia Apr 17, 2011 11:51pm
Nawaz Sharif has failed to convince his people that closing market at 8 pm, and other measures proposed in the energy conference can be helpful in overcoming energy crisis. Rather his party leaders are encouraging traders for strikes against such measures to keep government under pressure, without realizing what is good for the economy. He is not a solution, but a big cause of problems.
avinash Apr 18, 2011 02:34am
yeah..but the well off population is also atleast 3 times that of total pak population..and indeed india is the best thing to have happened in financial crisis of the world...
Malek Towghi, Ph.D. Apr 18, 2011 02:35am
Dear Shabir, Let us not blame only Gen. Zia for the Talibanization of the country before the emergence of his Mujaahidin and the Taliban. It was the first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan who, in order to deprive Suhrwardi of East Pakistan and Shaukat Hayat and Iftekharuddin of the Punjab of their genuine parliamentary rights, e.g., to become the prime minister, began to exploit Islam, and supported the passage of the so-called "Resolution of objectives" / Qaraardaad-i Maqaasid by the Constituent Assembly -- to become the preamble and the basis of the future constitutions. After that, Bhutto by excommunicating the Ahmadis, and Zia and others by further Islamizing the constitutin and the laws simply 'fulfilled' the promises Liaqat had made in his Objectives' Resolutin. And, Tariq Saheb, what we have seen is this: Beginning with the Qaraardaad-i Maqaasid, the more Islamization, the more multi-dimensional degeneration of Pakistan.
AJ Apr 18, 2011 05:21am
Friendly relations with India would have provided Pakistan another path to get out of US grip. Pakistan never realized that in order to take on the world it needs to carry people in it sneighborhood (especially those with inf;luence and potential) whether you like them or not. India tried to take Pakistan with it but found too much hatred lurking inside Pakistani hearts.
ayesha khan Apr 18, 2011 05:49am
Nawaz Sharif has already been the PM twice. The last time around he wanted to become a dictator - he went after the army, judiciary and the media. Perhas you have forgotten that he did not solve all problems. Also what is going on in Punjab where he IS ruling. Have teh suicide bombings stopped there? No. Actually his law minister socializes with known terrorists. His government was also involved in the Raynomd Davis case and finally even in the Salman Taseer murder case, they failed to prevent it by allotting a person against whom it had clearly been identified that he was a terrorist. The weak security during Lahore test of Sri Lanka due to which all international matches in Pakistan have stopped was also provided by his own government..
Ashish Apr 18, 2011 08:36am
I dont think US would ever dare to do that. Pakistan is not IRAQ or Afghanistan. If pushed to war it can creat great loss to US in this region & despite all flaws Pakistan is loved by majority of Muslim countries. The question remains that then why Pakistan survive without US aid I think definitely yes. For few years there would be challenges but then Pakistanis are skilled people like Indians.
ahmed uddin Apr 18, 2011 12:15pm
we value the intention of the Pakistan Army that army wants a complete halt to drone strikes in the tribal areas and the removal of all CIA agents currently roaming the country.because drone attacks have massive collateral damages and killing of innocent civilians
Raoul Apr 18, 2011 01:56pm
well said, Hyderabadi ;-). Satire and humour on this subject is the right approach, where people start taking themselves very seriously, instead of DOING, like you are trying to, in real life.
Iftikhar Husain Apr 18, 2011 04:37pm
In Pakistan they have tried PMLN and Peoples Party twice and both failed now peoples party is trying again and it is definitely not solving the problems. Any third option does not seem coming. Lack of vision and experience in the governing has brought this crisis.
Jawwad Apr 18, 2011 09:33pm
I am not sure Nadir (writer) where you were born and raised but I can tell you this much about the US foreign policy. The US respects only the sovereignty of those counties that take a pride in protecting their citizens. Be it is a simple prosecution in foreign lands to try to rescue their citizen captured in combat. Client countries like Pakistan who are in business of selling their citizen for money are at the bottom of US friendship wish list. Protect and guard your people. They are your assets. Trust me. You do that the world will respect you for that.
rehmat Apr 19, 2011 09:36am
The Pak airforce chief had mentioned a while back that the airforce has the capbility to strike the drones down. They just need an order to do so. Neither the COAS nor the PM nor President have given such orders. Wikileaks proved that the PM had been saying - go ahead and use drones, we will just have to protest against it in the Parliament. Even on the army side, the GOS in KP mentioned how the drones are very effective and most people who are killed are hardcore terrorists - many of them extremists. So clearly publicly they criticize it but privately they endorse drones.
rehmat Apr 19, 2011 09:42am
I think the issue started a little earlier than the Objective Resolution. It started with the Direct Action Day.
rehmat Apr 19, 2011 09:52am
Definitely I hope for the sake of my Pak brothers and sisters that there is no war and the likelihood is that there will be none because the US simply does not have the budget to fight yet another war. Having said that the notion that Pakistan is loved by all other Muslim nations - and that would protect - seems far fetched. These affectionate nations could have contributed the billions that are currently coming from US, so Pakistan would not have to pledge its sovereignty. Not only that these nations were not very generous with aid during the floods either. Plus let us evaluate dispassionately what the relations are with the Muslims in neighboring countries. Iran accuses Pakistan of supporting Jundullah, Afghanistan and Pakistan certainly cannot be said to have a very cordial relationship. People from Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan. Indian Muslims like myself wish Pakistanis well but certainly like to keep our distance. Indonesia the largest Muslim nation is far away and is neither a friend or foe. When Pakistanis go to Arab countries for work, they are not treated particularly well. Just some facts you may want to consider in order to avoid complacency.
AN Apr 19, 2011 05:39pm
Best course of action is to reject US aid, and take all financial help from "time tested, all weather friend" China,saudi and turkey.
Jammy Apr 19, 2011 07:38pm
Mohsin has hit the nail on the head! Finally someone is looking at the BASE cause of our condition. People, the Qur'an is not a manuscript of killing those who do not agree with you; it is a manuscript of how to live in this world, whic is a reflection of the Hereafter.
Yawar Shah Apr 19, 2011 07:42pm
We should not blame USA for drone attacks, but blame the government of Pakistan for approving these attacks, by giving a military base to the Americans from where these drones operate. Prime Minister Gilani should stop misleading the nation and state the truth, that these drones operate from a Pakistani base with his government approval?
Kate Apr 19, 2011 10:25pm
I agree completely
Kate Apr 19, 2011 05:31pm
Once US goes to a place, it never leaves it completely...example Iraq, Germany, South Korea, Philippines, Japan etc. etc.
Baree Apr 20, 2011 06:38am
Saif : Very well described . Keep it up .
shankar Apr 20, 2011 04:27pm
Confrontation with the West will not be in the interest of Pakistan. Pakistan should become self centred instead. Give up support to international fight against terror, concentrate on internal fight against terror. In Afghanistan, become neutral to both the West & Taliban and genuinely try to resolve the issues there without getting militarily or politically involved. Contribute anyway you can to Afgan's development! Make the Americans see the resentment against drone attacks & make them stop. To reassure West, genuinely see how you can prevent the tribal areas from being used as a launching pad by the terrorists. And DO NOT ACCEPT ANY AID. Live within your means. Foreign aid of the level Pakistan is getting completely takes the pride away! Instead spend your energy on economic development. Pakistan's role model cannot be Saudia, Pakistan does not have the oil. Instead it should be Japan & South Korea - Education, discipline, hard work, entrepreneurship & innovation. Exploit US & the West for your economic development & stop becoming their mercenaries. Most of what I have said is equally applicable to us Indians.
American Redneck Apr 21, 2011 09:17am
Being a client state, you better dance to the tune we select. We are paying the piper. If you don't like it , don't come the the party.
Expat Apr 21, 2011 09:24am
America is not holding gun to your head to accept aid. Ask your leaders to give up lavish life style, live within your means and then talk of honour & integrity otherwise do what US says.
azad Apr 21, 2011 11:14pm
Too simplistic view of a complex problem but that mind set is in abundance in our society. Therefore simple problems usually turn into chronic ones.
bharat Apr 26, 2011 09:56am
In hope they work David. There is only pessimism in this land. One cannot see any light at the end of this tunnell
kapasha Apr 26, 2011 10:50am
I agree with you 100% that pakistan politician will never do this as it will harm their interests
Binu Apr 27, 2011 07:35am
What about militants hiding in tribal area if America stops Drone attack. I saw in some news that even Pakistan Army does not have control over tribal area ..