Two Washingtonians On Pakistan

Pakistan. ‘s neo-conzix point man Husain Haqqani in Washington wrote in WSJ:

Now that the Taliban have been driven out of Buner, and Pakistani forces have militarily engaged them just outside their Swat Valley stronghold, it should be clear to all that Pakistan can and will defeat the Taliban.

Leap of logic by a person who could be the best Foggy Bottom Ambassador to Islamabad. Is this the same Army that is so fond of surrendering to the rifle armed Taliban militia by the hundreds? Is this the same Army that dithers and avoids fighting the insurgents? Is this the same Army that is trained and equipped to fight conventional wars?

Under the Musharraf dictatorship, Pakistan probably was not as quick as it needed to be to comprehend the enormity of the Taliban threat. And after last year. ‘s election of democratic leaders, our new government had an array of domestic issues to address. Mobilizing all elements of national power, particularly public opinion, against the Taliban threat took time because many Pakistanis thought the Taliban were amenable to negotiations and would keep their word.

The word probably is a beauty here. Mr. Haqqani perhaps wants to keep his options open, if in future asked to serve the Faujis. He is a chameleon, previously having worked with the Sharifs and the Bhuttos.

Asif the-mother-of-my-children-was-killed Zardari ‘s Administration has not achieved anything in the little over a year it has been in power. The power outages all over the country are worse than before he assumed office. Inflation is higher, lawlessness has increased, suicide bombing has increased, real estate prices have dipped, justice delivery is scarce and erratic and he is rushing off to other countries with a begging bowl in hand. In brief, Mr. Zardari has zilch to show for his year in office.

As for giving Mr. Haqqani. ‘s current paymaster credit for mobilising national opinion – that too is wrong. The credit goes to Sufi Mohammed who in a speech last week revealed his true colours against democracy and calling virtually everyone not behind him kaffirs.

The model here was the successful pacification of Fallujah in Iraq, where agreements with more moderate elements broke them away from al Qaeda nihilists. The model worked so well in Fallujah that it is now being resurrected by the American and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The goal in Pakistan. ‘s Swat Valley was the same.

$300 a month bought off the Sunni Army and worked in limited fashion. If anything it reminds one of the disaster in Afghanistan I, where the US Administration left Pakistan and the Mujahedeen in limbo after the Soviet pullback. (Recall Osama bin CIA was a Langley protege before turning his wrath on his erstwhile paymasters.)

This model is cracking up in Iraq. It will have limited application in Afghanistan (the graveyard of Colonialists.) And Swat is a different bird.

Yet Washington has been reluctant to share this modern equipment, and to train our military in antiterrorism techniques, because of concerns that these systems could be used against India. Such concerns are misplaced. Pakistanis understand that the primary threat to our homeland today is not from our neighbor to the east but from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on our border with Afghanistan. To meet this threat, we must be provided the means to fight the terrorists while we work on resuming our composite dialogue with India.

It is reluctance alright but Mr Haqqani is untruthful. It is not on the part of the US. It is Pakistan Army that for reasons best known to itself has been reluctant to fight the rag tag Talibans and Taliban wannabees.

The primary threat to Pakistan is neither from India, nor from Afghanistan. It comes principally from the elected and unelected leaders who are holed up in Islamabad. It is they, who are remiss in providing leadership to tackle basic issues of law and order, economy, health, education, justice etc.

An economically prosperous Pakistan will be less susceptible to the ideology of international terrorism — and it will become a model to a billion Muslims across the world that Islam and modernity under democracy are not only compatible, but can thrive together.

Finally he writes something I can identify and agree – partially. A economically stable Pakistan would attract less hostile actions against it. As for modernity and democracy thriving together – that is a wet dream – at best – for now.

Which is why the other Washingtonian, Barak Obama is closer to the truth than Mr Haqqani.

April 30 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said the government in Pakistan is “very fragile” and expressed concern about security in the nuclear-armed nation, as Pakistani forces battled Taliban militants in the northwest. The government doesn’t “seem to have the capacity to deliver basic services: schools, health care, rule of law and a judicial system that works for the majority of the people,” Obama said at a White House news conference last night.



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3 responses to “Two Washingtonians On Pakistan”

  1. ziawan Avatar

    Well written, indeed. Obama is 100% right that our politician and military brass has been making billions for them/vested interests but were unable to bring in a stable welfare government to beloved country. Alas our voters or nonvoter king/peer makers, they don't see the point and cling to their peephole to see the world. Be it religious bigots, landlords or urban dwellers…

  2. Anwar Avatar

    Well written post – thanks.

    I discovered Haqqani's litany in WSJ just by chance as I reached the bottom of page A13 and it ruined my breakfast… It was hard to tell what position was he trying to articulate. His references to dictatorship of Musharaf and subliminal threats to virgin democracy of Zardari were unwarranted and unnecessary. But what else can he do? He got his dream position, Zardari got his and even CJ got his job back – since the chefs are happy who cares about the rot in the pot…

    Pakistanis will endure this phase too…

  3. Michael Haltman Avatar

    Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: The Need Is Clear! Let's Go To The Videotape

    The Taliban Moves To Within 60 Kilometers Of Controlling Nuclear Weapons

    Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

    For those on the extremely naive and holier than though left, read this very, very carefully.

    If there was any question regarding the use of any technique at our disposal to pull actionable information out of terrorists, I believe the transcript and clip below of Kuwaiti Professor Abdallah Al-Nafisi speaking on the topic of terrorist attacks on the United States should go a long way towards quelling it.

    Unless of course you are an employee of the ACLU, or someone that is willing to die, going to the grave with your incorrect principles intact…

    See the video and read the rst of the story at The Political and Financial Markets Commentator at