Hey, big spender

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Jeypore, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Jeypore

    Jeypore Regular Member

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    Pakistanis are very uncomfortable, indeed, with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to India. The same pictures have run repeatedly on all the television channels. Mrs Clinton is animated and lively, her head thrown back in laughter as she announces the latest agreement with India. It doesn’t help that Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna is by her side. It also does not improve matters that the agreement in question paves the way for billions of dollars’ worth of weapons contracts as India becomes one of the biggest spenders on arms.

    As Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Research Fellow at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, said with urgency, ‘Not one of the biggest, India is the biggest defense spender in the world right now. And a 34 per cent increase in their defense budget does not send out the right signals to Pakistan.’

    So what do you do when the biggest spender on military equipment is also an emerging global power, has some of the richest men in the world as nationals, is your neighbour, and has been your perceived or projected (at this point, many Pakistanis acknowledge the enemy lies within) arch-enemy for decades?

    Well, you could turn to your allies such as your best friend forever, the United States. It seems that’s when you find yourself floundering and fumbling as you mumble, ‘Et tu, Brutus?’ You’d think Pakistanis would be used to it by now, given the history shared with the United States. Pakistan has complained bitterly of having been abandoned by its long-standing friend time and again through the course of history. Ironically, it was Hillary Clinton who made the surprising admission that the criticism was justified.

    According to retired diplomat, Zafar Hilaly, it makes no sense for American companies to be selling military equipment to India as it only serves to make Pakistan insecure, which works in nobody’s interest – certainly not that of the United States. ‘As long as we’re anxious about the Indians, we’ll keep our troops on the eastern border rather than bring them in to fight the Taliban in Waziristan or deploy them along the Balochistan border in case of spillover from the latest US offensive in Afghanistan.’

    If one were to be charitable, one would concede that the United States is in the midst of a recession, and selling arms is quick and easy money. But it’s a little hard for a third world country to be charitable toward the only superpower in the world. It becomes especially difficult when this country is at war with its own people, has over two million of its population living in refugee status, and is coping with riots over amenities as basic as electricity and water.

    And as we talk about charity, Pakistan has once again asked for more military aid. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani made the request to Richard C. Holbrooke, the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. While Mr Holbrooke applauded Islamabad on taking on the Pakistani Taliban over the past few months, there are no commitments forthcoming. Not only that, he qualified the military’s ‘success’ in the Swat operation by pointing out that with the top leadership of the militants still at large, ‘there’s a long way to go.’ It must be conceded that this is not far from the truth.

    Now in all of this, it must be said that the most significant damage may be to the resumption of the India-Pakistan peace process. For Pakistanis to think that the agreement between Washington and New Delhi could lead to an arms race in the region is a bit delusional. The cash-strapped government of President Asif Ali Zardari is scarcely capable of spending billions of dollars on military equipment when his people are burning tires over power breakdowns.

    However, after Sharm-al-Sheikh, where the two prime ministers met on the sidelines of the Non Aligned Movement Summit, when Indian hawks were accusing Manmohan Singh of selling out, the Pakistani media was full of praise for the statesman. There was hope of composite dialogue despite the fact that Pakistan decided to release Hafiz Saeed, the head of the Jamaat-ud-Daawa, formerly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group believed by the Indians to be behind the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. Shortly before the Singh-Gillani meeting in Egypt, the Pakistan government declared it did not have the evidence to detain Saeed to which the Indian media reacted with displeasure (and for good reason – Pakistanis should demand an explanation why there was no evidence collected against a known terrorist over the many years he was detained). Even so the mood was optimistic between the neighbouring countries, and it would be a real shame for that to go awry.

    Then again, it could just be that Pakistan is scared it might lose its BFF to India.

    http://blog.dawn.com:91/dblog/2009/07/28/hey-big-spender/
     
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  3. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistan has to adjust to the reality sooner or later.

    It is no match to India and any assumptions to the contrary are foolish and will only serve to bring it down.
     
  4. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    I cant help but admire the way the author has portrayed Pakistan as victim who has been decieved by even US('et tu Brutus') by helping India. No mention that only reason why Pakistan has a budget is because US donates and makes its allies donate.

    No mention that Pakistan has been involved in an arms race with India even when it couldnt afford one. Even when it was Pakistan that has initiated conflict(best eg is Kargil). Even when Pakistan has been waging a proxy-war aimed at civilians and economic hotspots of India to hurt India economically.

    Still, Pakistan claims to be a victim!!!

    Then their diplomats!

    The retired diplomat is talking about Balochistan border and Taliban in Waziristan as if they are not part of Pakistan. All that he is concerned about is western border. Why? Do lives of punjabi(pakistani) are more important than that of Pashtuns(of NWFP) or Balochis? Punjabis are leeching on the resources of entire Pakistan(that includes Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP besides Punjab) to satisfy their inflated egos and to realise their wet dreams(of flying green flag at red fort).

    Its time Balochis, Sindhis, Seriakis, Pashtuns demand their fair share.
     
  5. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ This Pakistani brand of "analysis" remains an enigma to me, negotiating with a gun to their own head as their own commentators have pointed out.
     
  6. Jeypore

    Jeypore Regular Member

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    What Clinton's Trip To India Meant For Pakistan


    Pakistanis seem uncomfortable with the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's visit to India. The same pictures have run repeatedly on all the television channels. Clinton is animated and lively, her head thrown back in laughter as she announces the latest agreement with India with Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna by her side. It also does not improve matters that the agreement in question paves the way for billions of dollars' worth of weapons contracts, as India becomes one of the biggest spenders on arms.

    As Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Research Fellow at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, said, "Not one of the biggest, India is THE biggest spender on military hardware in the world right now. And a 34 percent increase in their defense budget does not send out the right signals to Pakistan."

    Analysts have expressed their alarm, confusion and betrayal in response to the US-India End-Use Monitoring Agreement. They feel there is much to be threatened by as Pakistan's neighbor and perceived or projected (at this point, many Pakistanis acknowledge the enemy lies within) archenemy is seen as an emerging global power. The argument is that the Americans have been pressuring Pakistan to do more in the war against terrorism, but when it shows its commitment, the rewards are not just. Pakistan is at present engaged in an open-ended military operation against the Taliban that has left close to 3 million people displaced.

    According to retired diplomat, Zafar Hilaly, it makes no sense for American companies to be selling military equipment to India as it only serves to make Pakistan insecure, which works in nobody's interest - certainly not that of the United States. "As long as we're anxious about the Indians," he argues, "we'll keep our troops on the eastern border rather than bring them in to fight the Taliban in Waziristan or deploy them along the Balochistan border in case of spillover from the latest US offensive in Afghanistan."

    Pakistan has objected to the expansion of American combat operations in neighboring Afghanistan. The New York Times describes noises of disapproval coming out of Islamabad as "creating new fissures in the alliance with Washington at a critical juncture when thousands of new American forces are arriving in the region."

    The phrase 'new fissures' is indicative of Pakistan's love-hate relationship with the United States. Pakistan has complained bitterly of having been abandoned by its long-standing friend time and again through the course of history. Ironically, it was Hillary Clinton who made the surprising admission that the criticism was justified.

    Hence the sense of betrayal, which is further compounded when Pakistan's requests for increased military aid are ignored. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani made the request to Richard C. Holbrooke, the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, while he was on his fourth visit to Islamabad. While Mr Holbrooke applauded Islamabad on taking on the Pakistani Taliban over the past few months, there were no commitments forthcoming. According to a Washington Post report, "weapons requests have long been a staple of Pakistan's relationship with the United States, but some diplomats said concern has increased after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took steps this week to boost military sales to India."

    Now in all of this, it must be said that the most significant damage may be to the resumption of the India-Pakistan peace process. For Pakistanis to think, which they appear to be according to the aforementioned article, that the agreement between Washington and New Delhi could lead to an arms race in the region is a bit delusional. The cash-strapped government of President Asif Ali Zardari is scarcely capable of spending billions of dollars on military equipment when his people are burning tires over power breakdowns.

    However, after Sharm-al-Sheikh, where the two prime ministers met on the sidelines of the Non Aligned Movement Summit, when Indian hawks were accusing Manmohan Singh of selling out, the Pakistani media was full of praise for the statesman. There was hope of composite dialogue despite the fact that Pakistan decided to release Hafiz Saeed, the head of the Jamaat-ud-Daawa, formerly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group believed by the Indians to be behind the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. Shortly before the Singh-Gillani meeting in Egypt, the Pakistan government declared it did not have the evidence to detain Saeed to which the Indian media reacted with displeasure. Even so the mood was optimistic between the neighboring countries, and it would be a real shame for that to go awry.

    What is also unfortunate is that the monitoring agreement with India appears to have overshadowed the efforts made by the United States to help the refugees of the Swat military operation. With the Kerry-Lugar Bill that ensures $1.5 billion annual assistance for Pakistan over the next five years, and an additional $165 million to the previously pledged $330 million for the rehabilitation of the refugees, the Americans are the biggest contributors of aid in the face of this crisis. And yet, several Pakistanis see this as another betrayal.

    Ami Cholia: What Clinton's Trip To India Meant For Pakistan
     
  7. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Thinking of getting a comparable nuke deal will only remain a distant dream.They think they should be on the same par with India while they do nothing for their development of their economy just living on aid.
    Nuke deal indeed!
     

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