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Posts tagged with: US

IDP Crisis, More transparency, please

swat-buner-lower-dir-pakistan-army-taliban-imperialism-war-idp-campsVoices of reason and critique are often drowned in the sounds of gunfire and heavy artillery shelling. This current operation ‘Rah-e-Rast’, or what is being termed as a ‘War for Pakistan’s survival’, has resulted in an exodus of almost 3 million people which might just be another number for those who are at the helm of affairs in Islamabad. Dawn’s magazine Herald wrote in its editorial: “Fear of Taliban being just 60 kilometers away from the country’s capital has mobilized the people to support war….But more seriously still, it has ensured that we have willingly put aside the right to ask questions and the right to hold institutions accountable. We are so desperate to get rid of the Taliban that we do not want to raise any questions about how this can be done.” It is time to ask some tough questions.

Herman Goering, the head of German Luftwaffe, remarked at Nuremberg trials: “Of course, the people don’t want war….But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along… Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” We have seen how fear can drive a nation to support an illegal war thousands of miles away in case of Iraq invasion. That is why it is necessary that with our high running emotions against Militants and against their brutal acts of terror, we do not forget the importance of transparency, accountability and self-critique.
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US-Pakistan-Afghanistan Summit: To Disrupt, Dismantle, and Defeat Al-Qaeda

They met, they talked, they dispersed. The three were Presidents Obama, Karzai and Zardari.

Mr. Obama said simply that “we meet today as three sovereign nations joined by a common goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their ability to operate in either country in the future.” Link

The common goal outlined by Obama is not commonly shared by the three leaders and their constituents.

First: Al Qaeda is not an entity, a wholesome, unitary organisation, based on Pennsylvania Avenue or the Avenue of Americas that can be obliterated.

It is an idea without headquarters.

Ideas cannot be fought with guns, bombs and drones. Doing so will only force the Goliaths to select their weapons to find David. They can and should be fought with better ideas.
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The Taliban’s Atomic Threat: John Bolton’s Fear Mongering

John Bolton, the former interim US Representative at the UN is now at the American Enterprise Institute. He was “interim” because he was not confirmed by the Senate despite Bush Administration’s advocacy. Among other things he faced allegations of mistreating women employees working under him. Seeing the writing on the wall he resigned in 2006. He was also associated with the Project for the New American Century. Scroll down from here to Associations with Bush administration to get an idea of the people involved.

Bush Sr. kept them at bay but the Junior did not have the spine and succumbed to the AEI lobbying. The results of that meddling are before us – Iraq, Afghanistan and the Economy.

In a recent piece John Bolton wrote for the WSJ he espoused his fringe neoconzix views.

Quoting from Obama’s press conference, he wrote:

At his press conference Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama endorsed Pakistan’s official position that it has secure control over its nuclear-weapons arsenal. Mr. Obama said he was “gravely concerned” about the situation there, but “confident that the nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands.”

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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.
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The ultimate FATA and PATA policy

Guest Blog by Insocuient

pakistan-FATA-area-federally-administered-tribal-areaMuch has been already written criticizing the performance of the government in FATA areas as Pakistan fights as the ‘major non-NATO ally’ of the U.S. in this so-called ‘war on terror’. Discussions have largely been focused on the growing resentment against collateral damage and the increasing extremism that is now engulfing other major cities in the country elsewhere. While one section of the society has been vocal against Talebanization condemning all the peace deals, the other segment is criticizing the policy of drones and for toeing the line of Washington by waging a war against ‘own people’. Very few have come up with a comprehensive solution to the problem that is now a direct threat to the viability of the state. The world is pointing fingers, and our adversaries are pushing to isolate us further. State of denial is not an option and the status quo is not working. It is imperative that we come with our own policy with a consensus and address the problem with an approach that is state-centric even if we have to make a few sacrifices abroad. Framing the policy

It has been 7 years now since Pakistan jumped on the U.S. bandwagon but no serious effort has been made to chalk out a popular transparent policy. The 3 D’s of Gillani is a nebulously farce notion. A lackadaisical effort was made last year when a resolution was passed by consensus in a joint in-camera session of the Parliament. Even though the Parliamentarians got sensitive briefing from the agencies, the resolution that came out of the Assembly hall was vague to say the least. Everybody enjoyed the privilege of their own interpretation which they exercised. Owais Ghani, the NWFP governor, recently revealed in a Private television interview, “the government has a FATA policy on paper but it is not a public document”. One wonders, what is the rationale behind keeping the population aloof from the policies of the government especially about those issues on which their survival is at stake. How do we know which think-tank was consulted for this policy? How much input from the intelligentsia was included in it? The Obama’s AfPak policy, even if it is largely criticized in the local sections, is something that clearly defines the goals and the means through which they will be pursued. We know the people like Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst, who supervised the policy formulation.
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The new Afghan-Pakistan policy

Guest Blog

obama afghanistanPresident Obama unveiled today the much awaited new AF-PAK policy. Addressing from Executive Office building, he strived for a “stronger, smarter and more comprehensive strategy” to confront the menace of Al Qaeda. While the cynics will just throw away the new policy as another hackneyed rhetoric from the U.S. President, it is imperative that one must go deep to bring out the ramifications of this outlined policy on Pakistan and on the region in the time to come. Let me first mention here the highlights of his new AF-PAK policy:

  • He stressed to recognize the connection between the future prospects of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He unequivocally put this in these words, ”So let me be clear: Al-Qaeda and its allies the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks — are in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
  • He will be sending another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan along with hundreds of civilian specialists. The troops which are in addition to the 17,000 the president announced earlier, would be sent to Afghanistan will be charged with training and building the Afghan army and police force.
  • He called upon Congress to pass a bill authorising a tripling of US spending in Pakistan to $1.5bn (£1.05bn) each year over the next five years, to help rebuild “schools, roads and hospitals”, which is also know as Kerry-Lugar bill.
  • The United States will be seeking to work with the United Nations to develop “greater progress for its mandate to coordinate international action and assistance, and to strengthen Afghan institutions.”

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Pakistan is the ‘Most Dangerous Country’ – Rethink Afghanistan

The Brave New Foundation has launched an effort Rethink Afghanistan to better help the American people understand the ongoing problem in Afghanistan and has produced the second video in its initiative. In the second video Bruce Riedel the leading foreign policy expert for President Obama’s Afghanistan review, has called it “the most dangerous country in the world today“. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and a government disconnected from the poverty, malnutrition, and lack of healthcare afflicting its people.

Though Pakistan remains a U.S. ally, tensions continue to rise as the U.S. considers broadening military strikes within Pakistan’s borders. Part two of Rethink Afghanistan focuses on how the Afghanistan crisis affects Pakistan and all of us.


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UCLA Scientist predicts Osama Bin Laden in Kurram Agency [90% probability]

Jaosn Kottke carries a link of a report where a UCLA geography Professor Thomas Gillespie has used a technique typically used for tracking endangered species in order to pinpoint the most likely location Osama Bin Ladin, the worlds most wanted terrorist. In a paper (pdf) published in the MIT International Review

Gillespie describes how he used bio-geographic data including bin Laden’s last known location, cultural background, security needs, declining health, limited mobility and height to create a mathematical model that he claims will show where the terror mastermind is hiding.
UCLA Osama Map
He found a 90 percent chance that bin Laden is in Kurram province in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, most likely in the town of Parachinar which gave shelter to a larger number of Mujahedin during the 1980s. Here’s a closer look at the region with Osama probabilities shown:
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Drones parked in our own backyard, to Bomb our own People


In a shocking discovery reports have emerged from simply Google Earth images evidence of three drones parked on an airfield in some remote destination within Baluchistan, the images were captured by orbiting satellites and archived within Google Earth data warehouse to suddenly be discovered recently. Though there is no denying that during the Musharraf regime bases were rented out to the American army costing them a massive deficit to the tune of $10 Billion. But what probably irks the nation is that the Pakistani government have categorically denied that the Pakistani bases are being used to launch drones-
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ABN Chicago Interviews John Fritchey for Congress – Drone attacks discussed

ABN Chicago did an interview this Sunday with John Fritchey who is running for US Congress from Illinois state in the special election which will be held on March 3rd, 2009 where he is hoping to replace Rahem Emanuel who has vacated the seat since he has moved onwards to be Obama’s White House Chief of Staff.. Fritchey’s constituency is covered in the Devon Avenue area and hence his relevance to the listeners of Chicago

I would suggest you to listen to the last hour of the show where Dr.Ghazi and ABN think tank asked candid questions to Mr. Fritchey especially on US Foreign Policy and the recent drone attacks on Pakistan’s Tribal areas providing an insight to the potential Democratic Congressman about the hatred it is creating and if there is a way to review the response.


Musharraf’s Stanford Gig – Hardball

Musharraf at Univ of StanfordEx-President of Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharraf was featured at the University of Stanford as the ‘Big Speaker‘. As predicted it was bound to be hot event both in terms of the attendance as well as the discussion that followed. According to the press release issued by University of Stanford Pervaiz Musharraf discussed his eight year presidential experience shedding light on the war on terrorism that dominated most of his tenure since 2001.

He claimed that Pakistan hasn’t received enough financial support or international credit in its fight against groups like al-Qaida and the Taliban and was defensive about the money that Pakistan did receive under his watch from Western countries which was to the tune of $10 billion contributed mostly by the United States. This sum was according to him minuscule amount compared to the funds that have been given to Afghanistan and Iraq.

But he was categorical to point out that “There is no misuse of these funds, They are utilized. This is pittance for a country which is in the lead role to fight terrorism. We must get much more.”

The 45 minute Q&A session sparked off a flurry of questions one audience member was very upfront about his stay in power to say
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Clearance Sale for Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam

Pakistan Medal Clearance SalePakistan’s second highest civil award is on clearance sale. Any one who has done or not done any good to Pakistan is welcome to apply. Nationality, status, gender, position, or contribution to any cause is not a criterion. All you need is to appear at the President House, preferably wearing a suit, and be able to stay in close proximity of our President for about five minutes. Your satisfaction is assured through our no risk, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee.

If for any reason, you aren’t thrilled or satisfied with your medal, we shall be happy to replace this with any other medal of your choice. More than one medals can be considered for individuals assuring continued drone attacks.

Two or more from the same organisation are entitled to 10% discount. Special discounts available for US citizens.


R Malik
Advisor for Ulterior Affairs

Avaaz.org – STOP the bloodshed in Gaza

The bloodshed in Gaza is escalating while diplomats talk — the death toll now stands at over 600 people and rising, almost half of them civilians and over 100 children dead. As Israeli tanks, airplanes and artillery bombard thickly populated urban areas, hitting UN schools yesterday, thousands more have been injured and 1.5 million terrified civilians have no escape from this prison-like enclave — the borders have been sealed. Hamas continues to fight and fire rockets deep into Israel: 11 Israelis have died, including from friendly fire.
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The citation for Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam Awarded to Richard Boucher

Guest post by Naeem Sadiq

Boucher Awarded Hilal-e-PakistanThe US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher distinguished himself by undertaking weekly visits to Pakistan – missions that involved great personal hardship and risk to his life. Acting beyond the call of duty , he brokered the NRO deal that allowed some of the most corrupt individuals to occupy the highest places of power in Pakistan. Although it was none of his business, he went out of his way to render unprecedented advice to ensure that the judiciary is not restored and that Musharraf’s PCO laws are retained in Pakistan. He acted with remarkable sagacity and used the highest diplomatic skills to convince Pakistani rulers on the social, political and economic benefits of the drone attacks on Pakistan. For his outstanding contribution and unparalleled services in causing systematic harm to the state of Pakistan, he is hereby conferred the award of Hilal-e-Quaid-eAzam.

PS: Will all the previous recipients of Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam please consider returning their awards in protest.

Credit to PkPolitics for the hilarious image