[I normally try to post excerpts from articles as long as this one, but considering the unique nature of the following, I felt it should be preserved here in the No Sunglasses site. The author uses a recent article from Pakistan's friend Ahmed Quaraishi (and mine, I hope) as part of a three-part conversation, with himself as the second part and the people of Pakistan as the third. The common thread throughout it all is this, save Pakistan from Iraq and Afghanistan's fate.]
By AHMED QURAISHI
For the first time in a long time, the Pakistani government managed to turn heads in Washington by saying all things America doesn’t want to hear: Islamabad will not allow the United States to expand its war inside Pakistan, won’t allow U.S. boots on the ground, and CIA better stop its drone attacks ASAP.
(OK good, so Pakistan has expressed its displeasure with American policy towards Pakistan across the board so that the whole Pakistani nation clearly understands where the NATIONAL LEADERS UNITED, STAND TOGETHER FOR PAKISTAN, as does the USA, and as does the world. Very important for Pakistan’s long term survival. There is nothing worse than being fucked repeatedly and remaining silent about it, all polite and smiles. The serial rapist thinks he is doing a service, and the victim deserves what they get, and it is for the victim to fight back and state otherwise, openly and clearly, starting from the mid 1960′s……………………
….except Sharif sadly but no surprise for me……….so what is next beyond rhetoric? What is the next logical step for Pakistan? Beyond the rhetoric what concrete steps will be taken to give credibility to what has been stated by these national leaders, some shyly behind the door in private sessions, and some more forth right up front in front of the media? After all the Americans attacked and killed a few more innocent Pakistani civilians through yet another drone attack, launched from a Pakistani military base in Baluchistan whilst all this was going on)
If this was not enough, the ISI chief reportedly refused to meet top U.S. officials and a former air force chief announced that the Pakistani Air Force is just a green signal away from shooting down CIA’s drones and that it only awaited orders from the President and the Prime Minister.
(Erm………you don’t need to shoot these drones down in a melodramatic provocative manner against an “ally”. All that is required is for Kiyani to contact the army sector commander in Baluchistan to go to the American base where drones are launched and close it off, and then inform the American’s of this decision…….thats it)
The week certainly did not start auspiciously for Mr. Richard Holbrooke,Washington’s arrogant special envoy who appeared visibly shaken yesterday in Islamabad. Apparently after getting used to apologetic Pakistani government officials, the sudden change of mood in the Pakistani capital was not something the seasoned diplomat anticipated. He was either too self-assured or was fed wrong reports by U.S. diplomats based in Pakistan.
(This is drama…………just drama…….lets see the actual follow up steps that secures Pakistan’s interests)
All of this coincided with another major news story: the former Chief of the Pakistani Air Force, Air Chief Marshal (retired) Kaleem Saadat, came out on television yesterday night to decisively settle all speculation about what Pakistan can do to stop repeated violations of Pakistani airspace through the CIA-operated drones.‘Yes, we can shoot them down,’ Saadat told Express News, throwing to the dustbin repeated statements by the defense minister and other ministers in the pro-U.S. elected government over the past months where these officials claimed Pakistan did not have the technology required to shoot down U.S. spy planes that violate Pakistani airspace.
(If I had a penny for every time senior retired Pakistani officers stated the obvious truths to the public, I’d be a billionaire by now just like Zardari, with a 55 acre Mansion in exclusive Surrey, complete with a swimming pool, tennis court, and a private airstrip for my Afghan narco’s).
What is critical for Pakistan now is what the top brass currently serving say and do for Pakistan that really matters…….will they continue serving in America’s fake insurgency wars killing Pakistani civilians side by side with the Americans, further destroying the morale of the people…….you understand the racism of it all; American technology being used against innocent civilians in this psych-ops war……softening up the whole country for eventual invasion……doing it in a matter of fact way……………is the Pakistan army proposing to participate in this end game that everybody in Pakistan can see?)
Those statements disappointed a majority of Pakistanis who look up to their military, one of the best in the world, to stand up for Pakistan.
(So innocent and so poignant)
Saadat gave an example: Pakistani Air Force jets shot down a sophisticated, Israeli-manufactured drone that India sent deep inside Pakistan. The Indo-Israeli spy plane was supposed to be undetectable and beyond the reach and the capabilities of Pakistan Air Force. The Indian military was stunned. It initially tried to feign ignorance but then had to grudgingly half-accept the truth. And even then it was surprising for Pakistanis how Britain and the United States failed to censure India for a confirmed act of war.
(Ahmed lets get off India and focus on America and what it does, because that’s what really counts……lets not bring in several confusing issues that cloud the main agenda here which were addressed recently…lets keep it focused.
Drones are launched often by many countries for surveillance, BUT also to test the ground capabilities of potential adversaries, and their positions in theaters of war. If the situation flips against America for Pakistan thats another good reason not to have American bases in the Punjab and other places in Pakistan)
‘The U.S. drones are much bigger in size [in comparison to the Indo-Israeli plane],’ said Air Marshal Saadat, and hence easier to target.
The former air chief left no doubt about who was failing in protecting Pakistani sovereignty. ‘The issue,’ said the former Chief of Air Staff, ‘is not military but a political one.’
(DISINFORMATION: The popular street slogan from the beggar to the man with the Ph.D. is that the two A’s run Pakistan……..the Army and America. Not for nothing. On Ahmed’s website the writer of this article stated that it was the Pakistan army which settled the recent March dispute between Zardari and Sharif——-let us not misinform the reader with false facts, its too critical a time.
Once we identify the real players and the real situation in Pakistan clearly and honestly, then we can move forward.
On the other hand if we wrap ourselves in confusing rhetoric and false assumptions, then we are never going to be in a position to face and solve the big questions, issues and problems of Pakistan.
The Pakistani armed forces numbering 800,000 and backed by 300,000 paramilitaries are the main and only force who are capable of taking major security decisions inside Pakistan…..moving troops towards the Indian border, operating and supplying the Swat Taliban as “controlled opposition” to threaten the civilian government in Islamabad…etc.)
This statement throws the ball in the court of the elected politicians who have long been suspected of quietly permitting Washington to mount missile attacks inside Pakistan.
(No it does not. The Drones are being fired from Pakistani military bases and thus requires the permission and cooperation of the Pakistani military first and foremost. The Pakistani military are fighting side by side in terms of policy with the Americans in FATA attacking Pakistani civilians in FATA. The civilian leadership don’t have a say in this…………its not just the American drones which has caused 500,000 Pakistani civilians to flee from that area. I believe the actions of the Pakistan military in unison with the drone attacks of the Americans have also caused the 500,000 to flee the area.)
Saadat’s statement came a few hours after a joint press briefing in Islamabad where visiting U.S. officials appeared shaken and confused. Richard Holbrooke, America’s envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared surprised at the friendly but firm and straightforward talk by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Qureshi was blunt, something new for a member of the Zardari-Gilani government. Mr. Qureshi went as far as snubbing President Obama, who had earlier said Pakistan would get “no blank checks” and the release of more U.S. aid would depend on how it dealt with terrorism.
( You know I went to a lot of Pantomime shows where they put on good performances with the usual color coded clowns…..all this theater, and means very little thus far for Pakistan.)
In response, Qureshi turned to both Holbrooke and Mullen who shared the stage with him and firmly said: “It works both ways. We’ll neither accept one nor will we give one”.
Mr. Qureshi also said a “gap” existed between Islamabad and Washington on the problem of CIA-operated drones.
(The Americans if they stop the drone attacks tomorrow won’t solve Pakistan’s overall problems……………….Ahmed you know as well as I do that there are a whole range of issues between the two countries, the primary one being the interference by America in Pakistani politics, which destabilizes the country, and the American preference for corrupt clowns into power into Pakistani politics that’s the main issue, and their desire to possibly occupy the country long term along the benevolent lines of Iraq and Afghanistan.)
IS SOMETHING CHANGING
The mood is changing in Pakistan and the United States is increasingly seen as a dishonest friend.
(Better late than never)
One day before the arrival of Holbrooke and Mullen, the leader of the main opposition party in the country, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi of PML, told a press conference that his party favored rejecting U.S. aid if the trade off is to give up Pakistan’s national interest. This was the first call by any major Pakistani political party head to turn down the much needed U.S. financial assistance.
(A great principled soul………too bad there aren’t more like him. Shabash!
Let me give a simple example……….Pakistan’s economy is $3.8 billion in 1950…..and Liaqhat Ali Khan is PM and decides to steer the country on a non-aligned path, and not sign any security agreements with any particular country……..General Ayub Khan the new C&C accepts this national civilian political principle, and sure enough the country grows economically for 21 years, through sound stable economic growth that benefits everybody not just a few families, and everybody is more or less happy. Pakistan is a model stable parliamentary democracy, and power remains in the hand of the Muslim League, but there are other parties which also participate in elections and sometimes the government. Pakistan is respected widely around the world. Pakistan has good relations with all its neighbors, Pakistan is strong, and by 1971 the economy reaches $30 billion, with exports of $3 billion, and a budget of $6.5 billion. with defense at $1.065 billion and education at $1.360 billion…..there are 500,000 university students.
On the other hand Pakistan opts for American military and economic aid worth $4 billion from 1954-69, and the economy is $17 billion by 1971, and Pakistan is an UNSTABLE MILITARY DICTATORSHIP. A few families benefiting from development, and unequal development in the whole of the country creating regional stresses with expectations. A war with India which exposes the weaknesses of the country for the world to see, and especially India, and general instability in the country, overall………because the $2 billion economic aid benefited a few, and the military aid used to wage war against India…….so was the $4 billion aid from America worth it????
I’ve loaded my argument obviously, but when you take American aid you are also allowing them to dictate their terms to you, as there is no such thing as free lunches. You lose you sovereignty……this basic fact must be realized after so many years….The $ 7.5 billion will mostly be pocketed by Zardari cronies who will deposit the money in Swiss or American banks, whilst they buy houses in London and America, and the $3 billion military aid will go into systems that target India, and not fight the jehadis, because the Pakistani military already control the jehadis)
During the talk show where the former Chief of Air Staff Kaleem Saadat spoke, the other two panelists, a retired Army General and a retired Foreign Secretary, shared similar misgivings regarding the U.S. policy toward Pakistan.
Although not stated openly, but Pakistani officials are seriously concerned about mounting circumstantial evidence indicating the U.S. is actually using Afghanistan which it occupies since late 2001 as a base for spreading terrorism and mayhem inside neighboring Pakistan. The suspicions are especially centered on evidence that someone in Afghanistan is pumping trained operatives and saboteurs in the garb of Islamic militants inside Pakistan. These operatives and agents then go about spreading death and destruction in the name of ‘Pakistani Taliban’. There are also serious questions about why the CIA drones fail to attack shadowy militant leaders inside Pakistani tribal zone whose main mission is to attack and kill Pakistanis. In comparison, the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan focus on fighting the occupation forces and have never advocated attacking Pakistani interests despite Islamabad having ditched them seven years ago.
Exploiting religious terrorism is one dimension of the problem. There is even more evidence that Afghan soil is also being used to spread ethnic and sectarian tensions inside Pakistan and recruit, train and sponsor separatists for this purpose. The sudden rise since 2005 of well armed and funded insurgent groups and death squads along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, where they never existed before, and their continued finances and arms supplies despite a blockade by Pakistani security, all of this has poisoned Pakistani perception toward the U.S. role in Afghanistan.
(The Pakistani armed forces according to you is the best in the world, and yet they surrendered to the 3,000 rag tag Swat Taliban armed with just AK-47. Swat is not any where near the Afghan border, so can’t obviously say that they are foreign backed insurgents who walked across the border, and who are now fanning out to the hinterland of Swat towards Islamabad.
Whats the explanation for the best military in the world surrendering to the 3,000 rag tag irregulars?…..The best military in the world with a personnel of 800,000 and backed by 300,000 paramilitary surrendering to the Swat Taliban on all their terms, without a proper fight? Is it because the Swat Taliban are from outer space aliens with super human capabilities who defeated the best military in the world…..I don’t know Ahmed, maybe they are aliens though they all look normal to me.
Lets get a little cynical and conspiratorial, and say that the Swat Taliban are “controlled opposition”, control and managed and run by the …………………………………………………..best military in the world………………..the Pakistani military…………………….why on earth would they do that? Maybe they miss being out of power for a whole year and they want to get back into power again, and so they destabilize the whole country, the whole country…….including the civilian government, and all this talk of RAW and America doing this and the other is just smoke screen, disinformation.
This gives us a different perspective wouldn’t you say? Kiyani and Suja Pasha conspiring to take over the country, at an opportune time when the civilians lose ALL faith with the gangster clownish comical politicians and yearn for the steady hand of the great Pakistan military, the best in the world. )
Most of the evidence regarding anti-Pakistani activities in Afghanistan is linked to the huge presence of Indian intelligence in that country disguised as diplomats and social workers. This, many Pakistanis believe, cannot happen without U.S. consent at some level. Some Pakistanis gave the U.S. the benefit of doubt on this point, arguing that the Indians were exploiting Afghan mess to drive a wedge between Washington and Islamabad. One way to do this, they argued, was to indirectly arm and finance terrorists posing as Taliban to carry out attacks inside Pakistan. But after repeatedly bringing this to the attention of the highest levels of government in Washington without any result, it is quite clear that someone in the U.S. capital is condoning or maybe even permitting what the Indians and their Karzai puppets are doing there.
(Oh its India again! India only does what it does in Afghanistan with the permission of the USA. The USA controls Afghanistan. It alone decides what is acceptable or not on security issues, especially any ops against Pakistan, America’s good buddy and “ally”. If we recall what happened to British intelligence officers who tried to make contacts with the Afghan Taliban and turn them for Britain. If we recall it is ONLY the USA which insists that X,Y,Z NATO counties should do A, B,C here there in Afghanistan)
It is quite obvious that Washington, or ‘non-state actors’ in the U.S. capital, are pursuing an agenda that exceeds what is stated publicly by U.S. officials with regards to Afghanistan. In fact, former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Mirza Aslam Baig wrote a paper as far back as 2007 that listed locations inside Afghanistan where U.S. or some of its allies have established intelligence outposts focused on penetrating four nations that share borders with or are close to Afghanistan. These four nations are Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.
(We can blame the Americans and TAKE THEIR MONEY, until the cows come home, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the Pakistani military to make the correct decisions for Pakistan’s sake in the end; so far they haven’t)
In mid 2007, both Ahmed Quraishi and Zaid Hamid, two Pakistani policy commentators, raised eyebrows when the state-run PTV News aired shows featuring the two criticizing what they said were early signs that someone was using Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan and that the U.S. was either involved or was turning a blind eye as India and pro-Indian former Afghan communist officials who sit in key positions in Kabul exported terrorism to Pakistan. The television shows led to queries from within different parts of the Pakistani government on whether there has been some subtle change in the policy that was being pursued then by President Musharraf.
In November 2007, Quraishi authored a report that said that the next logical step for the severe destabilization seen in Pakistan that year would be a high-value assassination of either President Musharraf or Benazir Bhutto, the two key leaders in Pakistan at the time, which would spin Pakistan out of control. That would be the natural next move for interested to terminally cripple the country. Truly enough, Ms. Bhutto was assassinated a month later and her violent murder almost led to a revolt in one of the four federating provinces of Pakistan. It was a miracle that Pakistan was not sent into a tailspin, a testament to the strength and endurance of this nation despite heavy odds.
(Benazir was killed by the ISI—-she was considered a security risk who was too friendly with India from their narrow perceptions (in reality she wasn’t…..at most indifferent towards India just like Zardari, but not hostile like……….many Pakistani generals). She also divulged the name of the ISI agent who killed Osama Bin Laden in 2001 in an interview with David Frost (Umer Shaikh………a mere slip of the tongue which she never tried to “clarify” as clearly stated in her 2/11/2007 interview? I don’t think so. David Frost did not try and correct her subsequently….and Osama Bin Laden is quite a distinct name which you wouldn’t ordinarily confuse with Daniel Pearl……..so what she is indicating in the interview is that she knows who attempted to kill her in Karachi……..”organizing, finance, training, arming, organization, organization, military officers, organization”, and what work they have already done in Pakistan…..i.e exclusive: Osama Bin Laden killed by an ISI operative. As I further analyze the interview I note that she answers the question extremely promptly without a thought, on topics which are to say the least very sensitive, and would ordinarily require some pause for thought…..so maybe the questions were fed to her before the interview. The general perception was possibly that the ISI were scared of her, and that she was going to be the new PM backed by America who would “clean house” of the fundie activities in Pakistan, which obviously the ISI did not want. In addition she went to India, and gave various interviews in an open and frank manner talking about the genocide of the Pakistani army in East Pakistan, the humiliation of Kargil with preceding various war game scenarios, and the corruption of the military juxtaposed with the corruption of the civilian politicans, the links between the military and the extremist Madrasses and finally the involvement of extremist groups which are non-Kashmiri in the Kashmiri terrorsim. With Zardari the ISI/military aren’t scared as Zardri’s mind is totally focused on making money for himself, and destroying the reputation of civilian politicians, so that the army can come back into power as the white knights in shining Armour to “save Pakistan” once again).
The ISI plays double or even triple games with friends and foes, and of course it also does the same with their own citizens the Pakistani people, because that is the nature of intelligence for “proactive” nations like Pakistan who like to get their big Jewish noses into other nations affairs.
Imagine the street credit of the ISI within the so called Fundie fraternity if it was known and widely accepted that the ISI killed Osama Bin Ladin in 2001 acting as a Kuta of Western intelligence to protect and hide the Jewish role in 9/11……………..Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Further……………..Benazir alluded to her killers before her death to her friends, she knew what she was up against with all her experience in the inside of Pakistani politics. Again this exposes the cynicism of the ISI as it operates as an annex of Western intelligence in propagating the Western myth of “al-Qaeda” carried out 9/11, and OBL did it………..if OBL were alive now obviously he would be giving numerous interviews saying he didn’t.
The ISI was established by the British in 1948 as an instrument of their control of Pakistan, and by extension South Asia, and is very very close to Western intelligence………………….it lacks the IZZAT or moral courage to operate on its own on a rational logical basis that might help Pakistan long term. Who are the ISI personnel?……………Pakistan military officers.
This also tells us that the ISI needs to be disbanded if Pakistan is to survive into the future, as the ISI operates as a state within a state, and a servant of JEWUSA geo-strategy in Pakistan, and around Pakistan. Suja Pasha’s theatrics aside more recently.
For you this might be difficult to accept, because maybe the Pakistan military the best in the world, are the shining white knight that the nation can rely on when things deteriorate..right?
But do remember that the head of the Iraqi Mukabarat under Saddam was working for America, in 2003, as were most of Saddam’s generals. This is why the Iraqi military of 400,000, one of the best in the world no doubt stood down when the Americans came to ‘liberate’ their country………..and you should know what happened in Iraq after this American “liberation”……….1.2 million dead preceding the 1 million who died due to sanctions and ……ariel bombing of Iraq 1991–2003(sounds familiar?); 4.5 million internal and external refugees in Syria and Jordan mainly; the country destroyed with little or no governance, and it doesn’t improve as the years progress; Finally the country divided into sectarian enclaves. The Americans will stay in the country until all the Iraqis have killed each other.
Now what if the Pakistan military stand down in the face of an American invasion? 10 meetings between Mullen and Kiyani in just over a year. And 6-10 million Pakistanis die in a “civil war” which of course the Americans can’t do anything about, can they? 10-20 million Pakistanis flee to India as refugees, with the women selling themselves for a rupee a go to survive, satisfying Shakti “hardwan” Singh, as with Iraqi women in Syria and Jordan.
How can you be sure that the Pakistani military top brass, trained in the USA mainly, is totally loyal to Pakistan? Present indications are not encouraging.
We don’t need theatrics from Pakistani national figures. When foreign dignitaries come to Pakistan they should be well treated. What really matters however is the deeds of the Pakistan military and to a lessor extent the civilian puppet government installed by the Americans. Taking the correct decisions is what really counts………..Pakistan is an independent country that can choose her friends and pursue her own foreign policy.
Put simply you can’t take the $ aid AND pursue an independent path, its one or the other)
All of this serves to highlight that Pakistani grievances against the United States, which the British and American media deliberately hide from their people, run back in time and are not the result of recent events in the Pakistani tribal zone.
IS ZARDARI-GILANI GOVT.
SERIOUS IN CONFRONTING
MR. HOLBROOKE & ADM. MULLEN?
The performance of Foreign Minister Qureshi certainly was a welcome surprise for many skeptics who had all but given up on the Zardari-Gilani government taking any stand on Pakistan’s legitimate interests when it came to American policy in Afghanistan. And the reason is simple. This government owes its existence and power to direct U.S. support. U.S. is using Pakistani democracy as a Trojan horse, playing off one set of politicians against the other and then using all of them against the military. There have been reports for some time now that certain departments within the U.S. government have been conducting ‘private foreign policies’ directly with the families that control Pakistani political parties. Some of the leaders of these families were invited to secret visits to Washington as part of this confidential dialogue.
(Thats a good observation, well done—-divide and conquer, playing off different groups against one another. And each group in order to stay in power and curry favor with America offer more “concessions” to the USA, which harm Pakistan long term……and for America a win win situation. Though I would add Ahmed due to the time scale of who has been in actual power, its the military which has been the actual tool, and main tool of American power in Pakistan…….Busharaf is off to America on lecture tours, being carefully groomed by America obviously to come back into power through the PML-N. Which given his crime should not happen. Zardari has effectively been in power for about 6 months and more critically I don’t think he has any say on the all important security questions in Pakistan that matter to ordinary Pakistanis……..lest we forget the prime complaint against the Zardari government is the total lack of governance by the current administration. Zardari is using his public position to make business deals to enrich himself and thus visit various countries, and thats about it.
Its the American control and manipulation of the Pakistan military that really matters for Pakistan ultimately.)
Mr. Holbrooke and Adm. Mullen are good examples of this American manipulation of key Pakistani political players. Both of them, and especially Mr. Holbrooke, would come to Pakistan and separately meet senior Pakistani politicians alone, each one separately, and often inside the fortified U.S. embassy compound to avoid the preying eyes of Pakistani media and also Pakistani intelligence. He would also make sure to meet the Pakistani President, Prime Minister, Army chief, ISI chief, and whoever else mattered, and all of them separately, and then play one party against the other, a sort of an improvement on the old British method of divide and rule.
(Mashallah—–excellent scoop and reporting!)
Another sign of manipulation is the Zardari-Nawaz rivalry. When President Zardari began to appear weak, the Americans leaked a story – through the usual mouthpieces NYT and WSJ quoting no names – that “U.S. officials” were considering getting closer to Nawaz Sharif. The story was obviously meant to throw fuel on the fire of the cutthroat internal Pakistani politics and increase domestic instability by playing on the insecurities of the two key players.
While Mr. Zardari’s closeness to the Americans is indisputable [last week Dubai’s Gulf News reported Mr. Zardari met secretly with Mr. Holbrooke in the emirate without the knowledge of any Pakistani official or diplomat, except the organizer of the meeting Mr. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s envoy to Washington, who is sarcastically referred to in Islamabad’s drawing rooms as ‘Washington’s envoy to Pakistan’], Mr. Nawaz Sharif is the new surprise. While he disagrees with President Obama’s policies in public, Mr. Sharif hurried to Islamabad on Tuesday to meet Mr. Holbrooke at the U.S. embassy compound. Why would Mr. Sharif present himself to the Americans privately as an alternative partner while keeping a nationalistic posture in public is something that only Mr. Sharif can explain.
This American manipulation of Pakistani politicians, in and out of government, means there is little chance most of these politicians would really want to get tough with Washington.
(Why yes of course obviously——they essentially become American lackeys in power or waiting in the wings out of power. That would explain why Zardari after being released went to live in Jew York in 2004. Benazir also spent an inordinate amount of time in the USA in the late 1990′s and there after, giving speeches to the CFR etc. Sharif mainly shuttled between the Gulf and Saudi Arabia which is a country that has significant influence in Pakistan, but not overt like the Americans the Saudis don’t operate that way, and of course LONDON, no less influential in Pakistani politics. And of course Sharifs visit to the American embassy more recently.
The understanding is that Benazir prostituted, and promised anything and everything to curry favor with the Americans and get back into power. So what has Busharaf, your hero Ahmed promised to America to get back into power more recently? Its a race to the bottom for Pakistan led by amoral unscrupulous politicians of all shades, both civilian and military……………….what is the solution now that we have clearly identified the problem what can be done?)
Foreign Minister Qureshi’s newfound assertive tone has probably more to do with restlessness within the Pakistani strategic community, which consists of civilian and military policy analysts, that is apparently beginning to prevail upon both the Pakistani Foreign Office and the Pakistani military to do something when the government appears incapable or unwilling to stand up for Pakistani interests. That’s one way of explaining the reports of how ISI chief refused to meet Mr. Holbrooke and Adm. Mullen despite the duo’s request. [The ISI chief did not meet Mr. Holbrooke alone but did meet the U.S. official along with the Army chief.]
( This is progress. Though it needs to go beyond gesture politics…..and if I were a Pakistani national, I’d be fuming, raging with seething anger and not merely having reflective second thoughts at this late stage………………………we can avoid the Iraqi nightmare being visited against Pakistan. It really is quite simple…………..the 180 million Pakistanis can’t go anywhere if they are occupied by America except to India as refugees. People like Zardari can go to his London Surrey mansion, and like the Iraqi generals and Busharaf many of the Pakistani millionaire kuti puti generals can go off to America, but the rest of the Pakistani 180 million will have to face the American music under their occupation————————its a simple question of national survival.
What must Pakistanis do to protect their country? What are the simple logical steps Pakistan must undertake for national survival? Who ultimately are the key players in Pakistani national life who can make the key decisions for Pakistan’s survival?)
But there is another reason for this. Some Pakistani officials were determined this time not to allow Mr. Holbrooke to meet senior Pakistani officials separately. An intra-agency meeting, bringing top officials from several federal departments was scheduled for Monday, before Mr. Holbrooke’s arrival. The brainstorming session was supposed to bring minds together from the Foreign Office, the Interior, the military and others in order to present a unified Pakistani response to American policies.
(Sounds good—-what was the outcome?)
But the meeting failed to materialize because Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, tired from a range of foreign trips throughout last week, was resting in his hometown in Multan and failed to show up for the meeting, which then was called off.
(The meeting could still have gone ahead without him surely, if it was really important, with minutes of the meeting being submitted for Qureshi’s attention later. Such a meeting should still be held……..and not just one……….Pakistan really is looking at the abyss, and some stark courageous decisions need to be taken by the key players inside Pakistan soon………………….Zardari is a non-entity in all this of course)
But Mr. Qureshi surprised the observers with his performance in the press conference with Mr. Holbrooke and Adm. Mullen. The Pakistani Foreign Minister was poised and assertive.
(We need to move beyond gesture politics—–mere gesture “feel good” politics for public consumption is not going to seriously address the key issues and problems Pakistan faces as a result of American interference in Pakistani society.)
It was a good show for one day. (EXACTLY) The best way to achieve something for the long run, however, is to match the rhetoric with some actions. If the ISI chief did indeed refuse meeting U.S. officials [he did attend Holbrook’s meeting with the Army chief] then this is the first of a series of steps that Pakistan needs to take to ensure that Washington understands it cannot pursue a selfish policy of achieving its own goals in the region while Pakistan’s interests get trampled in the process.
(Put simply Pakistan’s long term goals and well being do not match the American interest and design over Pakistan. Never has and never will…………………Pakistan has been incessantly burnt by the USA, through contradictions and clash of interests of the two nations over several decades, not yesterday. There is an inherent contradiction of what Pakistan really requires, and what the USA really desires. If this realisation is finally made in Pakistan by the key players in unison, then logically they need to discuss what needs to done next. But Zardari for sure is not the man to make the change in policy, and nor is Kiyani, trained in America.)