Bomb PAK issue will get resolve for whole world...(Na rahega baans na bajegi basuri)
Bomb PAK issue will get resolve for whole world...(Na rahega baans na bajegi basuri)
Panetta: US losing patience with Pakistan on militancy
7 June 2012 Last updated at 10:52 GMT
Washington is running out of patience with Pakistan over alleged safe havens for Taliban militants, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has warned.
On an unannounced trip to Kabul, he said Islamabad must act against the Haqqani militant network, which attacks Nato troops based in Afghanistan.
(The defence secretary was outspoken in his criticism of Pakistan)
Mr Panetta's visit comes amid a recent rise in insurgent attacks in the war against the Taliban, including one on Wednesday in which 22 people died.
Pakistan denies providing safe havens.
Pakistani officials have previously pointed to army operations against militant organisations in tribal areas, adding that many hundreds of Pakistani civilians and troops have died at the hands of such groups.
Washington has for many years urged Islamabad to deal with the militants based in its tribal regions.
"We are reaching the limits of our patience here," Mr Panetta said after talks with Afghanistan's defence minister.
He singled out the Haqqani militant network, which is widely believed to be based in Pakistan's volatile north-western tribal areas, and has been blamed for some of the most audacious attacks on Afghan soil in recent years.
On Wednesday, suicide attackers killed at least 22 people, almost all of them civilians, in an attack near a Nato base in Kandahar. Afghan officials say that 18 civilians were killed by a Nato air strike in Logar province.
"It is difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan as long as there is safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan," Mr Panetta said.
"It is very important for Pakistan to take steps. It is an increasing concern, the issue of safe haven," he said.
Relations between Washington and Islamabad have become increasingly strained following the unilateral US raid into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Tensions are also high over continuing US drone strikes in Pakistan and Islamabad's refusal to re-open a Nato supply route to Afghanistan which it closed down in November after 24 of its soldiers were killed on the border in a Nato air strike.
Analysts say that Pakistan's co-operation is crucial as Nato tries to stabilise Afghanistan before most foreign combat troops leave the country at the end of 2014.
But last September outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm Mike Mullen said that the Haqqani network "acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency".
The following month, Pakistan's army chief Ashfaq Kayani warned the US that it should focus on stabilising Afghanistan instead of pushing Pakistan to attack militant groups in the crucial border region.
Officials say efforts to combat militancy also have been hindered by the fact that neither Pakistan nor Afghanistan has control over parts of the porous border area.
But analysts believe that Pakistan is reluctant to open a new front in its fight against militancy by attacking the Haqqani network, believed to be in the tribal region of North Waziristan.
As he arrived in Kabul, Mr Panetta told reporters that he wanted to hear an assessment from commanders about a recent rise in insurgent attacks and plans for troop withdrawals.
He said that while insurgent attacks appeared better organised, the overall level of violence had reduced compared with previous years.
Speaking to troops gathered at the airport in Kabul, Mr Panetta said that "we have every responsibility to defend ourselves and... we've got to put pressure on Pakistan to take them on as well".
His visit comes at the end of his week-long trip to Asia to explain a new US military strategy, announced in January, that calls for a shift in strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region.
BBC News - Panetta: US losing patience with Pakistan on militancy
Pakistan, US working on draft of apology
WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan are working on the language of a possible US apology to end their stalemate and reopen Nato’s supply routes to Afghanistan, diplomatic sources told Dawn.
Pakistan wants the United States to apologise over a Nov 26 air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala military post. The United States had initially agreed to apologise but changed its mind after aides warned President Barack Obama the move could harm his re-election campaign.
Pakistan closed Nato’s supply routes to Afghanistan after the raid and is refusing to reopen them unless the Americans apologise.
The sources who spoke to Dawn said they “now see a stronger desire on both sides” to resolve this dispute.
They said the two sides had already exchanged several drafts of the expected apology and might soon agree “on a draft that meets everybody’s requirements”.
The sources rejected recent reports in the US media that Pakistan was refusing to reopen the routes because it wanted higher tariffs from the United States for using its highways.
A team of US experts has been based in Islamabad for the past six weeks, trying to end the dispute and reopen the supply routes. On Friday, another senior US official, Assistant Secretary of Defence Peter Levoy, also joined the team.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, urged US officials to avoid making remarks that could further deteriorate an already tense relationship between the two countries. Commenting on Secretary Panetta’s recent statement that the United States was losing patience with Pakistan, Ambassador Rehman said: “This kind of public messaging from a senior member of the US administration is taken very seriously in Pakistan, and reduces the space for narrowing our bilateral differences at a critical time in the negotiations.”
Such statements, she noted, “adds an unhelpful twist to the process and leaves little oxygen for those of us seeking to break a stalemate”.
Apology means "US regrets/ is sorry for the killing of Pakistani soldiers". What other wordings can there be for an apology. Obama can say bye bye to White House.
How affluent are the Pakistani-Americans?
Last week, I read Dr Murtaza Haider’s post on the poverty of Pakistani-Canadians with great interest.
As I was barraged by one startling statistic after the other – 44 per cent below the poverty line, nearly 50 per cent who don’t own homes, almost a quarter never having been in the workforce – I couldn’t help but think how drastically different this story was from that of Pakistani-Americans, who are generally regarded as a well-off diaspora.
Indeed, I know of no low-income area or slum in the United States populated predominantly by people of Pakistani origin, and I have never heard of a Pakistani-American homeless person. When one thinks of this community, the words most often coming to mind are prosperous and philanthropic.
Evidence gives credence to these perceptions. According to a 2011 report by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (AACAJ), which draws on data from the 2010 US Census and other US government sources, the median household income of Pakistani-American families is nearly $63,000. This is considerably higher than the figure for families in America on the whole ($51,369). Additionally, as I have pointed out previously, the most common jobs of Pakistani-Americans include doctors, accountants, and financial analysts, and 55 per cent hold at least a bachelor’s degree (this latter figure is only 28 per cent across the US population on the whole).
Broadly speaking, Pakistani-Americans appear to be economically secure and their positive experiences likely compel them to invite friends and family back in Pakistan to join them in America. Consider that Pakistani-Americans are the second-fastest-growing Asian-American ethnic group – their numbers more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, soaring from 204,309 to 409,163.
Yet, this isn’t the full story.
Dig a bit deeper into the AACAJ report, and you will come across some troubling data. Fifteen per cent of Pakistani-Americans fall below the poverty line – which happens to be the rate for the American population on the whole. Similarly, unemployment rates for the diaspora – 8 per cent (for those aged 16 and older) – reflect the rate for the total US population. On several measures, Pakistani-Americans are considerably worse off than the general population. Only 55 per cent own homes, compared to the nationwide figure of 66 per cent. Their per capita income is about $24,700, compared to $27,100 for the total population. And 23 per cent of Pakistani-Americans have no health insurance – which ties them with Bangladeshi-Americans for the highest percentage of any Asian-American ethnic group. This is significantly higher than the 15 per cent national figure (though Gallup polls suggest this figure has risen to 17 per cent in the last few months).
What should we make of this? On the one hand, many members of any immigrant group will face challenges as they adjust to their new home country. While quite a few Pakistani-Americans were born in the United States, the majority – about 65 per cent – were not. Therefore, for most of the community, the adjustment period is very much in the present.
Additionally, one can’t forget about all those blue-collar Pakistani-American workers, and particularly the taxicab drivers. According to US Census figures, “drivers and other transportation workers” constitute the third most common profession of Pakistani-Americans. In the words of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union that represents cab drivers in New York City (where Pakistanis are heavily represented), employees have not received raises since 2004, “and they now earn below both the NY state minimum wage for a 12-hour shift and a NYC Living Wage (by 40 per cent).”
Ultimately, the most accurate depiction of Pakistani-Americans is one that dispenses with all the data and simply accepts it for what it is: a diverse diaspora that is anything but a monolith. It ranges from hourly wage workers to physicians, academics, and a growing number of state legislators and mayors; from Washington insider Huma Abedin (a close adviser to Hillary Clinton) to race-car driver Nur Ali (the first Pakistani to serve in this profession); from the eloquent writer Daniyal Mueenuddin to the notorious businessman Mansoor Ijaz; and from those who promote interfaith dialogue (American University professor Akbar Ahmed) to the occasional militant (Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of having unsuccessfully attempted to blow up Times Square).
I’m willing to bet that behind the troubling figures and snapshots that Dr Haider presents of Pakistani-Canadians, there lies a similarly nuanced and complex portrait of the diaspora in Canada – one that features its share of good news and success stories. Just as affluence is only one of various parts of the Pakistani-American story, poverty is likely only one of various aspects of the Pakistani-Canadian experience.
Michael Kugelman is the program associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @michaelkugelman
An extract of a CFR article
The Widening U.S.-Pakistan Rift
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