Balkanizing Pakistan: A Collective National Security Strategy

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Ray, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Balkanizing Pakistan: A Collective National Security Strategy

    Breaking Pakistan to Fix It
    The argument for Balkanizing Pakistan or, more specifically, fragmenting the Islamic Republic so it's easier to police and economically develop, has been on the table since Pakistan's birth in 1947 when the country was spit out of a British laboratory. And lately, the concept is looking more appealing by the day, because as a result of flawed boundaries combined with the nexus between military rule and Islamic extremism, Pakistan now finds itself on a rapid descent toward certain collapse and the country's leaders stubbornly refuse to do the things required to change course. But before allowing Pakistan to commit state suicide, self-disintegrate and further destabilize the region, the international community can beat them to the punch and deconstruct the country less violently.

    To quell any doubts about Pakistan's seemingly uncontrollable spiral into darkness, just recently, Foreign Policy Magazine ranked Pakistan as the tenth most failed state on earth and it would seem its leaders are hell bent on securing the number one slot - an honor it can add to their already dubious distinction as the world's largest incubator of jihadist extremism. Afghanistan will never see peace or prosperity with a neighbor like Pakistan and the U.S. will always be threatened by terrorist plots spawned in Pakistan's lawless regions - like the most recent Times Square bombing.

    The most popular approach to fragmentation is to break off and allow Afghanistan to absorb Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which would unite the Pashtun tribes. In addition, the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh would become independent sovereign states, leaving Punjab as a standalone entity.

    Balkanization is based on the premise that the weak central government in Islamabad is incapable of governing Pakistan's frontiers, which have become the number one source of regional instability. The governing Punjabi elite have neglected the other three major ethnic groups - the Sindhis, Pashtuns, and Baluchis, primarily because a majority of Pakistan's budget is spent on the military rather than economic development, schooling or infrastructure. Only 2% of Pakistan's GDP, for example, is spent on education despite the fact Pakistan's literacy rate stands at 57%.

    Minority groups have also been underrepresented in institutions such as Pakistan's military - which is the country's most powerful entity. Punjabis who represent 40% of the population constitute 90% of the armed forces. Pakistan's own history provides a prime case study of what happens when an ethnic group can no longer tolerate political and economic disregard. After a quarter century of strife the Bengalis rebelled, seceded and founded Bangladesh in 1971.

    If the Balkanization solution is ever put in motion, accusations will surely fly that it's yet another example of U.S. imperialism and neoconservatism run amok. However, this would be a diplomatic and multilateral effort, plus, it is more about reversing the iniquities of British colonialism than it is building some new world order.

    Inherent Instability
    Pakistan's problems began when the British drew its boundaries haphazardly, which was primarily a product of incompetence and haste than maniacal design. According to an article in the New York Times last year, British colonial officer, Sir Cyril Radcliffe was given six weeks to carve a Muslim-majority state from British India although he had never even been there before. Radcliffe's private secretary was quoted as saying that Sir Cyril "was a bit flummoxed by the whole thing. It was a rather impossible assignment, really. To partition that subcontinent in six weeks was absurd." It would be a comical anecdote except for the fact that hundreds of thousands of people died in the ethnic cleansing that followed as a direct result of British carelessness.

    Pakistan's border with Afghanistan - the poorly-marked Durand Line - had been drawn in 1893, also by the British, but it was never meant to be a long-term legally-binding boundary. The faux demarcation split the Pashtuns in half. By reinstating the original natural boundaries, Pakistan's western provinces would be returned to Afghanistan and the Pashtun tribes would be reunited. Such a move would also remove a strategic advantage for the Afghan Taliban, who can easily blend in amongst fellow Pashtuns on the Pakistani side of the border today.

    The British did not only gift Pakistan with lethal boundaries, according to renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, Pakistan inherited a "security state" from British rule, described by scholars as "the viceregal tradition" or "a permanent state of martial law". Intellectual Christopher Hitchens asserted Pakistan has been a fiefdom of the military for most of its short existence. As was once said of Prussia: Pakistan is not a country that has an army, but an army that has a country. Hitchens also said the country was doomed to be a dysfunctional military theocracy from day one - beginning with the very name of the country itself:

    But then, there is a certain hypocrisy inscribed in the very origins and nature of "Pakistan". The name is no more than an acronym, confected in the 1930s at Cambridge University by a NW Muslim propagandist named Chaudhri Rahmat Ali. It stands for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and Indus-Sind, plus the suffix "-stan," meaning "land." In the Urdu tongue, the resulting word means "Land of the Pure." The country is a cobbling together of regional, religious, and ethnic nationalisms, and its founding, in 1947, resulted in Pakistan's becoming, along with Israel, one of the two "faith-based" states to emerge from the partitionist policy of a dying British colonialism. Far from being a "Land of the Pure," Pakistan is one of the clearest demonstrations of the futility of defining a nation by religion, and one of the textbook failures of a state and a society.

    Pakistan deteriorated throughout the decades because of its focus on building the military and developing Islamic extremist groups to use as weapons in their eternal obsessive struggle against India. It's true the U.S. helped Pakistan build these groups since the beginning of the Cold War, but America learned on 9/11 they had created a Frankenstein monster that now needed to be slain.

    Many analysts have suggested India is less of a national security threat to Pakistan than its homegrown terrorist groups, many of which have openly declared their mission to topple the state, which would allow jihadists to secure nuclear materials. Yet, based on its strategic decision to foster extremism and its recent public support for Taliban rule in Afghanistan, it appears the biggest existential threat to Pakistan is its own political and military leaders.

    The Last Straw
    With that being said, Balkanization does seem like an extreme step at first blush, and perhaps Pakistan should be given another chance. Yet, after considering Pakistan's historic and current relationship with Al Qaeda - it becomes much easier to justify.

    Since the war began in 2001 the U.S. has asked Pakistan to root out extremists from sanctuaries in a Rhode Island-sized area called North Waziristan, chief among them being the lethal Haqqani Network. However, Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani asserted his forces were too bogged down fighting the Pakistani Taliban elsewhere in places like South Waziristan, Orakzai Agency and various districts across the NWFP.

    I contacted an Afghan intelligence analyst about this and he assessed General Kayani's claim with one single word: rubbish. The Pakistan army consists of 500,000 active duty troops and another 500,000 on reserve. If Pakistan truly wanted to capture the Haqqani Network they would be able to drag them out of their caves by their beards within a few days.

    In a movement that should have floored U.S. policymakers, Kayani was brazen enough to try and inveigle Afghanistan to strike a power-sharing arrangement with the Haqqanis. And Kayani, apparently the spokesperson for the Haqqani group, said they'd be willing to split from and denounce Al Qaeda, which is President Obama's primary rationale for the war. However, there is a higher probability of General Kayani converting to Hinduism than there is of the Haqqani Network ever being decoupled from Al Qaeda.

    According to the Long War Journal, Siraj Haqqani, their leader, sits on Al Qaeda's decision-making body. Haqqani's friendship with Osama bin Laden dates back to the war against the Soviets in the 1980s and it was Haqqani that ensured safe passage into Pakistan for many Al Qaeda figures after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001. An Institute for the Study of War analysis concluded that Haqqani was "irreconcilable" and negotiations with him would actually strengthen Al Qaeda and would undermine the raison d'etre for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan over the past decade.

    In other words, the Haqqani Network is Al Qaeda.

    Pakistan has had a close relationship with the Haqqanis for over 30 years, who are still seen as a crucial anti-Indian asset. So, for nine years the Pakistanis protected the Haqqanis and claimed ignorance as to the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden and the Quetta Shura. Nine years, nearly $300 billion dollars and 1900 dead coalition soldiers later, the U.S. has officially verified that the entire war effort has been focused on the wrong side of the mountains.

    A stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan's best interests, but this message has been preached time and again with little to no results, and the U.S. has waited long enough for Pakistan's leaders to uproot the extremists that orchestrated 9/11. But now, it appears as if the international community will have to do it for them.

    ====

    Michael Hughes writes similar articles as the Geopolitics Examiner and the Afghanistan Headlines Examiner for Examiner.com.

    What say You?




    What is your opinion and comments?
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Obama loses his sheen


    G Parthasarathy

    With the US economy floundering and the war in Afghanistan heading nowhere, Americans are despairing of their President

    Meeting American officials, academics, journalists and analysts in Washington, DC and elsewhere, as this writer did last week, gave interesting insights into thinking on their domestic and international perceptions, as the US faces up to the reality of an emerging multipolar world. With continuing near double-digit unemployment, the US is now paying the price for living beyond its means. President Barack Obama’s popularity has plummeted substantially.

    Mr Obama’s pet foreign policy projects like action on climate change and implementing a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia are in the doldrums, with the US Senate refusing to ratify international commitments he has made. Grandiose plans the Obama Administra- tion had to fashion a new world order based on a virtual Sino-American condominium lie in tatters, with a militarily assertive China challenging American maritime power in the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea, while threatening the use of force to enforce maritime claims on Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines.

    There is now virtual unanimity that the ruling Democratic Party is going to face reverses in Congressional elections scheduled for November this year. Many Americans, however, believe that as some of Mr Obama’s bold measures like health care reform and readiness to reform the country’s financial sector are success stories, factors like relations with China or Russia alone cannot decisively affect his re-election in 2012. But, the real challenge that Mr Obama faces is steering through the minefield that the US now finds itself in Afghanistan. A vociferous section of the public, media and politicians is now demanding a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan, amidst rising casualties in America’s longest war on foreign soil — 1,221 American soldiers have been killed in operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

    Casualties have climbed steeply in recent years from double digits till 2005, to 521 soldiers killed in 2009 and 423 soldiers killed in the first seven months of this year. Costs of the war in Afghanistan are also steadily escalating. The Appropriations Committee of the US Congress approved a Supplementary Budget of $ 33 billion for the current financial year, for the additional 30,000 US troops recently deployed in Afghanistan. This exceeds the annual budget for India’s entire armed forces. The Americans are now spending an estimated $ 84 billion annually for their military presence in Afghanistan, at a time when their Budget deficit is rising.

    Apart from American spending in Afghanistan, the American taxpayer has provided $ 18 billion in military and economic assistance to Pakistan. Military assistance approved for Pakistan thus far amounts to around $ 13 billion. The bulk of this money has gone towards purchasing Chinese military equipment ranging from fighter aircraft to tanks and frigates, apart from American F-16 fighters, air-to-air missiles and naval equipment — all of little use in fighting the jihadis operating from within Pakistan. The WikiLeaks revelations are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg on how Pakistan has milked, misled and double-crossed the US, primarily using American naiveté and gullibility to secure military assistance even as the ISI continues to arm, train, equip and harbour the Taliban and other terrorists who kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.

    The American strategy of praise and respect for Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the hope that he can be sweet-talked into ending support for and taking on jihadi groups, including the Taliban, which have for years been nurtured by the ISI, is destined to fail. A hard-boiled Jhelum-born Kayani, who comes from the heartland of groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, is hardly going to let American flattery and solicitude end his support for ‘assets’ he has nurtured for years.

    All this leaves Mr Obama facing a difficult dilemma. Growing American casualties in Afghanistan as a result of counter-insurgency operations will cast a shadow on his re-election in 2012. But, being seen to cut losses and run from Afghanistan will invite ridicule, both domestically and internationally. The only way out in these circumstances for Mr Obama would be to move towards visible reduction of American forces in Afghanistan, together with moves to reduce casualties by disengaging from active counter-insurgency operations, particularly in southern Afghanistan, by November 2012. It does, however, appear that the Americans will retain a reduced troop presence and air power in Afghanistan beyond 2012 to back up and train an ill-equipped, poorly motivated and inadequately trained Afghan National Army.

    India has to be prepared for a situation when ISI-backed Taliban groups will gain increasing control over southern Afghanistan. How will this play out in the rest of Afghanistan, a country where around 56 per cent of the population is made up of non-Pashtuns who would find any return of the country to Taliban rule totally unacceptable? Under Pakistani pressure, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has recently sacked or sidelined the two most influential non-Pashtun officials in his Government — intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh and Army chief Gen Bismillah Khan.

    Criticising Mr Karzai’s efforts for ‘reconciliation’ with the Taliban through the good offices of the ISI, Mr Saleh asserted, “The ISI is part of the landscape of destruction in this country. So, it will be a waste of time to provide evidence of ISI involvement. They are part of it.” More ominously, Mr Saleh alleged that Mr Karzai’s attempts for ‘reconciliation’ with the Taliban were “a fatal mistake and a recipe for civil war”.

    If the Taliban, with ISI backing, establish a strong presence in southern Afghanistan, non-Pashtun ethnic groups like the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Shia Hazaras, will inevitably seek a loosening of ties with a weakened central authority in Kabul, with a reversion to the situation that prevailed in the mid-1990s. Influential Americans are now advocating that the US has a responsibility in even arming non-Pashtun ethnic groups, who had helped them to oust the Taliban in 2001, to defend themselves against Taliban depredations.

    Moreover, a number of Afghan leaders including the presidential election candidates, Mr Latif Pedram and Mr Abdullah Abdullah, and regional leaders like Dostum and Muhaqiq, are now demanding greater regional autonomy. Should the Americans, however, reduce their dependence on Pakistan as their troop levels fall, their ability to deal with safe havens across the Durand Line will be enhanced. This will necessarily require the US to seek closer cooperation with the Russians and Afghanistan’s Central Asia neighbours.

    In any case, as Pakistani writer Ahmed Rashid once observed, the stage appears to be set for a “descent into chaos” in our western neighbourhood.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Fundamental challenge


    By Raza Rumi

    As if Pakistan’s implosion from within wasn’t enough, the gods have acted to further push hapless and crumbling polity into a major crisis. Prior to August 2010, Pakistan was fighting a battle for its survival on an existentialist and ideological plane. The central features of a nation-state had withered away, save the institution of the Pakistan army. If anything, the insurgencies in Balochistan, FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and simmering discontent in Southern Punjab and Sindh had alarmed several Pakistanis and those in the international community who wanted Pakistan to be a stable state.

    The colossal humanitarian tragedy and the imminent economic meltdown, will now shape a new Pakistan or rather, exacerbate its predicament in the months and years to come. Pakistan’s economic, political instability, structural economic constraints and a warped national security policy are all going to be affected by the unfolding drama of the national disaster, perhaps the severest, in the country’s history. Whilst the challenges have snowballed within a short duration of ten days, the response of the Pakistani state and society underline extremely dangerous trends and make us wonder about future of the country, as we have known it for the last 63 years.

    Systemic shock:

    Pakistan had reverted to quasi-democratic rule after a decade of dictatorship in March 2008. Since the resumption of the electoral process in February 2008, the traditionally powerful unelected institutions, had acquired both legitimacy and unprecedented powers. The power troika of the 1990s had transformed into a quartet comprising the army, judiciary, the media and the civilian government which was represented by a ‘discredited’ president who has been a constant punching bag for the unelected institutions of the state.

    Notwithstanding the isolation of the elected in the afore-mentioned quartet, the pending reform of governance was well-executed by the political elites by forging a consensus around the devolution of powers from the centre to the provinces via the 18th Amendment, and by establishing the rules of the game on fiscal transfers. However, these advances were overshadowed and challenged by the bane of Pakistani state: the national security policy, and its proclivity to act as a rentier entity for the Western agendas in the region.

    Despite the fundamental shifts in governance, Pakistan has been in the tight grip of the civil-military-bureaucratic nexus and its newfound ally i.e. the ubiquitous electronic media. This is why the calamitous circumstances of today are turning into a major shock to the political system, which may unravel its very existence.

    Dangerous trends:

    Three key trends can be cited here. First, the perpetual attack on the person and office of the President who symbolises the political consensus of the federation and, especially, the popular will for the smaller provinces. Second, the relentless glorification of militarism by using the pretext of emergency relief. To illustrate, while the President was demonised during his UK visit, not a whimper was sounded out on the Army Chief’s official visit to the UAE, especially by those who have been praising the ascendant role of the armed forces in ‘saving’ Pakistan. Lastly, the sheer failure of the civilian administration to install an early warning mechanism and cope with the scale and immensity of the disaster has yet again raised the questions of state failure in the civilian domain. However, this time the civilian failure is hounded by the large-scale presence of banned militant organisations and their cadres in undertaking rescue-and-relief work in Southern Punjab and parts of KP, which casts a dark shadow over the attempts of the present civilian government to fight extremism in the country. Things have come to such a pass that the Taliban are advising a sovereign state not to seek international help and gunning down Awami National Party (ANP) workers and activists even in these dire times. All in all, political instability is likely to grow and deepen in the short-term leading to a systemic collapse, which Pakistan is familiar with and which almost always results in taking recourse to an authoritarian regime.

    Economic collapse:

    It has already been highlighted even when the floods have not receded that we are now heading fast towards an imminent economic meltdown. Such has been the nature of devastation reeked by the calamity that our GDP growth rate estimated to be 4.5 percent in the current fiscal year, is likely be halved due to the loss of crops, livestock, infrastructure and exports. The recent figures floated while the floods had not arrived at Kotri in Sindh, was around $10 billion. Given that the flood situation is getting complex and the outbreak of disease is an inevitable eventuality, the final estimate of losses will be far greater. Rough estimates suggest that 30-40 percent of crops may have already been lost while the strains on budgetary expenditures may be beyond the capacity and resources of the federal government. In these circumstances, the economy has emerged as a major challenge and one linked to our earlier discussion on political instability, the future scenario for Pakistan looks far from promising.

    In KP alone, vital infrastructure such as bridges, roads, and highways have been damaged beyond repair, not to mention, the loss of timber, cattle and housing stock. The Prime Minister and other responsible officials of the state have already stated that parts of Pakistan have lost decades of development. It would be too early to make further estimates of what may have happened given that 70 percent of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 50 percent of Southern Punjab remains inaccessible at the time of writing these lines. Perhaps the most under-reported aspect relates to the energy crises that may erupt once again in the short-term. Qadirpur gas field has been shut down for days and thereby, depriving the country of nearly 2000 MW of electricity. Pakistan was battling with a circular debt and regular supply of furnace oil to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and had barely managed to devise a strategy to overcome energy deficits. It seems that all efforts made earlier would be jeopardized in the wake of the current situation.

    Militancy and extremism:

    As noted above, the two agents seemingly well-organised are the Pakistan Army and the militant organisations, inextricably linked through history and the national security paradigm we have followed. As independent field reports from national and international media suggest the people in southern Punjab and KP are extremely angry and frustrated at the inability of the state to act in a timely and purposeful manner. For instance, Jamat-ud-Dawa is already at the forefront of relief efforts in the Punjab, while the several offshoots of the militants’ alliances in the northwest are capitalising on the extraordinary situation that we face today. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that these two parts of Pakistan already poor, marginalised and victims of state neglect, would see a major swing towards Islamism.

    This is where the real challenge to Pakistan’s policy-makers and the Western powers emerges. The earlier militaristic efforts (military strikes, drone attacks, search operations and rounding up of Taliban militants) were yet to be backed by large-scale development programmes. In fact, the need for a Marshall Plan for the conflict-affected areas has already been highlighted at the international fora by the President and the Foreign Office. But the floods and the affiliated disasters have turned the clock backwards. The challenge of reconstruction, already beyond the capacity of the Pakistani State, will now be confounded by the rejection of constitutional governance and a secular governance framework that the ANP and the PPP has been propagating since the last few years.

    The Pakistan state, including its nuclear-armed military has been on the defensive and their personnel and installations have been relentlessly targeted in the last three years. Over 30,000 civilian and military casualties and 7 percent of Officers Corps have died in the war against terror. Given such a vast and effective terrorists’ network, the current crisis is likely to compound the extent of terrorist attacks and recruitment of militants from the disaster-hit areas. Many analysts had hoped that once the military operation was over, improved governance and investments would provide an alternative to lure of Islamism. But, such a plan appears to be a distant dream only.

    Which way now:

    It is absolutely clear that the challenges faced by the state on the eve of its 63rd birthday are gargantuan, if not insurmountable. Three realities of contemporary Pakistan make things even more difficult. First, there seems to be a lack of political consensus on how to approach the disaster as the political elites have been bickering and scoring points thus far. True to their historical understanding of politics as a divisive and competitive arena, the leaders of political parties have traded more allegations than presenting solutions for the current situation. Second, the private philanthropy, international donors and global relief networks have displayed a marked reluctance to commit resources and offer assistance to Pakistan in undertaking emergency work and long-term rehabilitation. Donor fatigue has been cited as a possible explanation: however, the issue is far deeper and pertains to the credibility-deficit of the Pakistani State. The reasons are simple: the reputation gained by the Pakistani government for its ‘double-speak’ and hydra-headed behaviour with respect to the war on terror. Further, Pakistan’s perception as a thoroughly corrupt society is also an unfortunate reality as confirmed by the recent Transparency International report.

    Third, it is unlikely that Pakistan would be out of the Afghanistan imbroglio anytime soon, thereby making it prone to decisions or policies set by Western powers. Also, the India policy pursued by the security establishment remains fossilised and hostage to history. There are no signs that this imperative is going to change in the next year or so. It would not be unwise to expect that military spending will remain as high as before, leaving little room for resource transfer to the areas ravaged by floods.

    Policy focus:

    In these circumstances, what should the public policy focus on? There are no easy answers for this unfortunate structural conundrum. As a start, there are five areas, which should be explored by the federal government. First, a national consensus on post-disaster mitigation strategy would be forged through an immediate political dialogue and which should be manifested in the form of a national commission comprising of key political parties and members of the Executive (including the army). Second, resource mobilisation campaigns should be initiated, focusing on expatriate Pakistanis and those who have been transferring their capital offshore. Such campaigns must also be launched in major capitals of the West, with a clear signal that if Pakistan’s allies are not going to bail it out, then they should be ready for the dire consequences of its economic and political instability.

    Third, this crisis affords an opportunity to reform the local governance systems that have worked in the past. The strengthening of district administration and setting up local governments as agents of reconstruction and rehabilitation must be undertaken as soon as the emergency relief tasks are over.

    Fourth, this may be the right time to mobilise and incentivize Pakistan’s private sector to contribute to the rehabilitation of lost infrastructure by offering them tax concessions, enabling legal environment for public-private partnerships and ensuring that they are not victims to bureaucratic corruption. Finally, it is essential that a national communication plan should be developed whereby; the civilian governments across the country are able to respond to citizen requirements, check corruption and leakages in relief efforts and present a credible alternative to fascist solutions for governance and development.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Paradox of Pakistan: Collapse or Caliphate
    [​IMG]
    The state of Pakistan today presents a dangerous Paradox. The indiscriminate weaponisation of its civil society has eroded the very basis of a modern state premised upon a monopoly of violence. Its economy has twice reached the brink of collapse in the last ten years (1998-2008) yet the Military-ISI Complex in Pakistan is conjuring visions of a new Caliphate centered in Islamabad. Since 2006 it has been convinced that the USA and NATO do not have the stomach to stay on in Afghanistan. It has now sold the thesis of a Moderate Taliban to President Obama. The Americans and their friends have promised/given a staggering 30.8 Bn US$ to Islamabad. What is Pakistan doing with this bonanza? Satellite photographs indicate a dramatic expansion of Pakistani nuclear facilities at Dera Ghazi Khan (DGK) and Khusab. Pakistan is using the financial aid to rapidly increase its nuclear stockpile. What is lesser known is that terrorists have already attacked the Dera Ghazi Khan complex. In Feb 2009 a Talibani suicide bomber killed 30 people in the mosque in DGK. Pakistan is using the gifted dollars to buy Swedish AWACs, Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft, F-16 fighters, Chinese frigates, JF17s Jets and Tanks. With this weapon buying spree the Pak economy could well head for a third economic crash landing because the basic flaw of their economy remains unaddressed. The number of people below poverty line in Pakistan has risen beyond the 50 per cent mark. It is this which forces the poor people to send their children to the Madrasas for two square meal a day. It is this which perpetuates Zia's ideology of Jihad in Pakistan. Even as the US pours in its billions, counter insurgency experts like Kilcullen are predicting a systemic collapse of Pakistan in six months. The Caliphate is about to crack under the weight of its own contradictions. Therein lie the makings of a monumental tragedy. ISBN - 9788170493617
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pakistan on the brink


    Premen Addy

    Carpetbaggers, bounty-hunters, Generals and assorted jihadis have nothing to offer beyond rivers of blood and tears

    Disasters, natural or man-made, can remake or break societies. The Great Plague of London, in the last quarter of the 17th century, was followed by the Great Fire: A city laid low by an unprecedented epidemic was purged by fire and reborn. England, trapped in the maelstrom of the War of Spanish Succession, emerged in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht. London replaced Amsterdam as Europe’s financial centre, with the English ascendancy cast in stone for the next two centuries and more, until it started to crumble at the end of the Second World War.

    Will the fortunes of flood-stricken Pakistan follow a similar trajectory? I fear not. England rose on the back of an emergent and dynamic bourgeoisie. Carpetbaggers and bounty-hunters, headed by President Asif Ali Zardari, thrusting Generals battening on the aphrodisiac of power, assorted jihadi fraternities, buttressed by a freemasonry of suicide bombers, have nothing to offer beleaguered Pakistan beyond rivers of blood and tears and the sweat of unremitting and fruitless toil, which was the lot of the cursed Sisyphus.

    Mr Michael Kugelman, an associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a US think-tank, speaks of a Pakistani political class sired by land- owning dynasties with scant interest in reform and lacking incentive to adopt policies attuned to contemporary needs. “The vested interests are the single biggest obstacle to moving forward in a sustainable and long-term way. It’s not just the water problems, but also food insecurity, agricultural problems and also the energy crisis.”

    On a central reservation linking Peshawar to Lahore sprouts a tented village, where one marooned farmer, Ata Gul Jan, told a local reporter: “The rain came from heaven and our fate lies in heaven. Nobody can save us but god.”

    There have been reams of print on why the global response to the Pakistani disaster has been so ‘pitiful’. Lack of adequate marketing, responded a wise Briton with long experience of such matters as an international civil servant. The global community hadn’t awoken to the scale the calamity, he explained. Scarcely believable, this, what with radio, television and mobile phones reaching into every corner of Planet Earth.

    The Asian tsunami of 2005 and the recent Haitian earthquake had galvanised the international community. Why not then Pakistan’s rampaging rivers, you may well ask. The short answer is donor fatigue. Pakistan is generally perceived as a terrorist hub, whose blighted leaders display not the slightest remorse for the engineered 26/11Mumbai carnage, whose kleptocratic President has earned a reputation once held by the late Congolese leader Joseph Mobutu, where unbridled Islamism holds sway.

    The sight of Mr Zardari jetting off for his chateau in northern France, when his people were being consumed by the raging waters, may be one reason why the French Government hasn’t parted with a franc for Pakistan’s flood relief. The US and the UK, in contrast, have been generous to a fault, with little chance of recompense in popular gratitude. It comes, alas, with the territory.

    Nor has the Islamic world opened its coffers. According to a Times report, “Analysts blamed Riyadh’s strained relations with President Zardari for the apparent indifference of the oil-rich Saudi Government.” A former Pakistani diplomat was of the view that “King Abdullah has never liked Mr Zardari, for various reasons. One is Mr Zardari’s closeness to the Americans. His being a Shia may also be a factor.”

    This beggars belief. Or does it? Consider the nature of the Saudi regime. One would have thought that for all the Saudi monarch’s distaste for Mr Zardari, he would put this aside to alleviate the plight of the Pakistani masses, overwhelmingly Muslim and fervently devout to boot. As for closeness to the Americans, methinks there is none closer than the Saudi royals, one of whose number, Prince Bandar, as his country’s envoy in Washington, DC plotted Saddam Hussain’s downfall with his friends in the Bush Administration. He had access to the White House at all times before and during the Iraq war.

    The corona of Anglo-American diplomacy, it would appear, is the bailout and preservation of the Pakistani state as it is, military and jihadi warts and all. Scribes sympathetic to the Cause joined the fray. The respected Lahore-based Ahmed Rashid took up his quill, in The Sunday Telegraph, in a bold endeavour to bend the ears of the British public and those of India’s mandarins. His opening gambit was the scale of Pakistan’s disaster: Its price exceeded the cost of the country’s four wars with India. Fast forward, the West must press India to parley with Islamabad over Kashmir. A bankrupt and destitute Pakistan would not be in India’s interest. Maybe not. But a prosperous and functioning Pakistan brought few fruits to India’s table either.

    The Financial Times pressed another Lahore denizen, novelist Mohsin Hamid into service. He was in overdrive. Pakistani democracy and an evolving, ebullient popular culture were going places: Pakistan is far ahead of India in the hunger and child malnutrition stakes. There is terrorist violence, of course; and power glitches condemn most families to a life without lights for a third of the day. Nevertheless, Pakistan would recover within five years from its present travails — which is good to hear.

    This was, however, a swelling prologue to the national theme, the circuitous route to Kashmir. The Indian threat to Pakistan was genuine; since Hamid who lives near the border could bear witness to its existence. “Security hawks” in Pakistan and India had muddied the waters. “The world (synonym for the US and the UK) needs to lend a hand, shedding the pretence that no dispute over Kashmir exists — or that its consequences are minor. The truth is that Kashmir is a problem that destabilises a region of 1.5 billion people and makes the planet more unsafe.”

    Forlorn appeals to the West is a self-defeating ploy to acquire through negotiation what has proved unachievable on the battlefield. History shows that losers rarely script peace treaties, whether drawn up in Vienna in 1815, following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, or at Versailles in 1919 after Germany’s defeat in the Great War, let alone the more unsparing settlement which signalled the end of World War II.

    The lesson is not to start a conflict you’re not certain of winning; or to put it differently, it’s perilous to try one’s luck at a casino without an abundant supply of big bucks. It is better by far to be safe than sorry.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Expect a different and violent Pakistani collapse.India should expect a stream of flood refugees. Most likely in Rajasthan.

    Failing...still?
    —Salman Tarik Kureshi

    In terms of corruption of elites, history of military rule, use of nationalistic rhetoric and intervention by external political actors, Pakistan’s rankings are amongst the worst. And, on one score, that of secretive, unaccountable security services, Pakistan’s appalling 9.7 is exceeded only by Somalia

    The problem with state failure is that it is not necessarily a terminal condition. After all, whatever the flags flown over them or the borders drawn around them, there are human beings involved: the people of the state that has become critically dysfunctional. They continue to live, by whatever means they find possible, while the structures of their societies collapse into anarchy around them. The problem is that once states start failing, all too often they remain dysfunctional for a very long time.

    Consider the failed states that the Fund for Peace lists periodically. The 12 most failed states on that list have been substantially the same ones, year after year, for quite some time now. And, of course, our own beloved ‘fortress of Islam’ has featured prominently. The fact that, in the most recently released report of the Fund for Peace, we find Pakistan to have moved ‘up’ from ninth place to tenth place, is scarcely cause for comfort. Are you listening, Prime Minister Gilani, Chief Justice Chaudhry, COAS General Kayani?

    But did we not believe we were now on the road to stability, having rid ourselves of the arrogant Musharraf, re-established democratic, constitutional rule and begun cleansing Pakistan from brutal extremists? Yes, very positive, all this and more. Arguably, more fundamental steps forward have been taken in the last two years than in the last two decades. But let us for a moment look at how the Fund for Peace has evaluated us now.

    The Red List of the Failed States Index (FSI) for 2010 comprises 37 countries out of a total of 177. The bottom (top?) of this list, the 12 most failed states, unsurprisingly features Somalia — with its Hobbesian ‘war of all against all’ — in the place of honour, followed in order by Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Central African Republic, Guinea, Pakistan, Haiti and Ivory Coast.

    The FSI rankings are based on 12 indicators of state vulnerability: two economic, four social and six political. The economic indicators are: (i) uneven economic development along group or regional lines; and (ii) sharp and/or severe economic decline.

    The social indicators are: (i) demographic pressures relative to food supply and other resources; (ii) massive movement of refugees and internally displaced peoples; (iii) legacy of atrocities committed with impunity against communal groups and/or specific groups singled out by state authorities or dominant groups; and (iv) chronic and sustained brain drain of professionals, intellectuals and political dissidents.

    The six political indicators are: (i) endemic corruption of ruling elites and resistance to transparency, accountability and political representation; (ii) deterioration of public services, including failure to protect citizens from crime, terrorism and violence, and collapse of essential services like health, education, sanitation and public transportation; (iii) widespread violation of human rights, emergence of authoritarian, dictatorial or military rule, public repression of political opponents, religious or cultural persecution; (iv) security apparatus as a ‘state within a state’; (v) use of nationalistic political rhetoric by ruling elites in terms of communal irredentism or of communal solidarity, e.g. “defending the faith”; and (vi) intervention of other states or external political actors.

    Let us see how Pakistan has been evaluated against each of these indicators.

    First, the good news. On the basis of the two economic criteria, Pakistan stacks up as something short of disastrous. Our score of 6.2 on the count of economic decline suggests that we have so far managed to avoid economic collapse, despite the ardent efforts of people like Shaukat Aziz. In fact, Pakistan’s rating here is better than most of the other 36 countries on the Red List and ranks us in the same range as Iran, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Georgia. However, on the score of relative evenness of development along group or regional lines, Pakistan is rated at 8.4, better only than the nine worst case states.

    If we now look at the four social indicators, Pakistan’s rating of 8.1 on demographic pressures in relation to food supply is better than most of the countries in the Red List but is a poor score nevertheless, pointing to the kind of undernourished but not yet starvation-level situation here. On the other hand, given our extraordinary rate of population growth, it may not take very long to reach nutritional crisis levels. We know, for example, that we have already reached a crisis situation regarding the power resource.

    In terms of movement of refugees and displaced persons, Pakistan’s rating is unsurprisingly bad — exceeded only by such disastrous cases as the Central African Republic, D R Congo, Sudan, Chad, Afghanistan and, of course, Somalia. It is sobering to recall that such massive movements of people have taken place twice before in our history, viz. in 1947, when Pakistan broke away from India, and in 1971/72, when Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan.

    As regards the other social indicators, Pakistan’s score of 7.9 on the brain drain is not as bad as many other lands. But our score of 9.4 for group paranoia and violence against groups is one of the very worst, exceeded only by Afghanistan, Sudan, Chad and Somalia.

    This now brings us to the six political indicators. Pakistan has extremely poor ratings for most of these. In terms of corruption of elites, history of military rule, use of nationalistic rhetoric and intervention by external political actors, Pakistan’s rankings are amongst the worst. And, on one score, that of secretive, unaccountable security services, Pakistan’s appalling 9.7 is exceeded only by Somalia.

    To conclude these rankings on a positive note, Pakistan’s score of 7.9 on deterioration of governmental services is not only better than the other bottom 12 countries, it is better than most of the countries on the Red List, other than Iran, Lebanon, Uzbekistan and Georgia. It seems that the rebirth of institutions like an elected parliament, an independent judiciary and a free press, by bringing public services under some kind of systemic scrutiny, has given Pakistan a boost right out of the mire of state failure on at least this score.

    In fact, what is it indeed that is saving Pakistan from a state failure as frightful as that in Somalia, Afghanistan, etc? It is precisely the presence of these institutions of a free and civilised society, however incompetently or foolishly we may run them. As the Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen has repeatedly averred, it is a democratic soil that fosters economic growth. Not the other way round.

    The writer is a marketing consultant based in Karachi. He is also a poet
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Balkanizing them won't serve our purpose. Rather we will have 5 states that are nuclear capable against us. As we all know, the influence there from mullahs and scholars at social level is far more than the government which is a dangerous and sensitive situation. Taking this into notice, balkanizing only multiplies our threats. That target is always the nuclear installations. If at all we are expecting refugees, we should be ready to repel them to Afghanistan and other areas so that we have to avoid taking the danger in.

    Already we are having over-population in our country. There's enough trouble brewing here in the east with illegal Bangladeshi extremist Muslim immigrants creating havoc in Assam and Meghalaya, attacking Buddhist and Hindu shrines and spreading their ideology of hate and intolerance that the mainstream media fails to report. Getting refugees from an entirely extremist Islamist country like Pakistan would mean a total demise of our culture and faiths and a total end to our resources.

    The borders are sealed shut and therefore we should be considering stringent military steps to curb refugees from ever stepping on our soil. Staying for 800 posts on PDF this long has made me aware enough to know what dangers are there in accepting unwanted trouble in India.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Nukes are safe in the hands of punjabis and they will not give to anyone. There is discord among them. The Baloch were never with pakistan with their own free will. Sindhis have been marginalized by the punjabis. India will not face any nuke threat from the newer states. If at all, the moment there is a whiff of any internal conflict in pakistan, the west will take out the nukes there.
     
  10. ganesh177

    ganesh177 Regular Member

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    After the break of soviet many smaller nations inherited the nukes, but they gave them all as being the new nations they had the challenge of survival. and giving up nukes world hugged them with open arms.

    I am all for balkanisation of pakistan. India being the south asian leader can help them(new nations) grow and build up new warm relations with new nations. If invested properly we can also install puppet governments their. Look at bangladesh they are no more the east pakistan and at least we dont have to worry that much on the eastern front as we have to on western front. Immigration of bangladesh has got to do with poverty in bangladesh, but at least we got rid of security threat on eastern front.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Our national anthem is incomplete. A break up of pakistan will provide a chance in future to complete it if at all india desires.
     
  12. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    yes true if you are telling about Punjab and shind
     
  13. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Do you think maintaining the nuke will be such an easy task, come on, it is one of the hell of the process and do you think that Unkil will leave the balkanized state to possess the nukes? If they leave then the next day, come dirty bomb news will hit the paper and TV screens.
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Not punjab, we have our bit. Their punjab is the where our problems lie. Sindh Yes... That is missing from our National Anthem. Some idiot a few years back wanted to get it removed rather than wishing it to be ours again. I am not in favor of akhand bharat as such. But if we can have Sindh, it will give us a good strategic advantage. What's left of pak will be land locked considering the balochis get their freedom too. We get karachi which is a great port and biz center. China can forget Gwadar and it will be left with nothing on the gateway to Hormuz. Pakistan loses its navy to india. We have lesser military threat. From the sea. No 26/11 for sure by sea.
     
  15. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Damn no Karachi please, it have more dons and underworld than what is now in mumbai :)
     
  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    D will run away from there once he sees india coming in.

    I know its a dream that I am living in but dream I will as only dreams can come true. The Sindhis are not yet seeking independence in full fervor. There is more likelyhood of balochis getting there first. But if pak punjabis continue to push the Sindhis we never know. Inshallah Sindhis will be singing "punjab Sindh gujarat maratha" one day.
     
  17. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    From some news source i have heard that D is the #1 target for the RAW.

    If pakistan tries to play the double game as long as with the unkil, we dont, Unkil will do the job for us. They need Balouch for the Afghan Supply route as well as strategy point of rounding the Iran
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Dawood is safe not coz ISI is protecting it in pakistan but its the likes of indian politicians,police etc who dont want to get caught.number one on list is pawar.
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    ajtr we cannot just accuse anyone just like that in such matters without any proof.
     
  20. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    LOLZ! trust me bud, you won't be wanting more mess in the country other than the mess that we already have. We got 1.1 billion people in the country who cannot even freely travel around the entire length of the land without taking some sort of permits or something or even buy property for that matter due to either militancy or whatever. So I guess first we need to sort that out. Should Pakistanis continue supporting Kashmir-based-ISI-sponsored terrorists, we should extend some help to these separatists and continue what we started in 1971.


    Our first priority is to become the world's 3rd largest economy ASAP.
     
  21. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    Absorbing Sindh or any part of Pakistan is a bad idea.All HELL will break loose.

    During the Bangladesh war India had explicitly declared that " India has no territorial ambitions" to get world support

    Pakistan will be able to get the MAXIMUM support of OIC and China if we try to absorb any Pak territory.

    If there is a civil war between Sindh and Punjab, Let UN ,US ,UK, OIC intervene and save sindh from
    a massacre

    Punjab will shut off water of sindh .sindh population is 60 million .It is a HUGE BURDEN .
     

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