Managing Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Galaxy, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,093
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Location:
    Delhi
    Managing Pakistan

    Ajai Shukla / New Delhi October 18, 2011

    It should be no surprise that the American discourse on post-2014 AfPak is shifting as it becomes evident that the troop thin-out will leave behind an Afghanistan in turmoil if not outright civil war. In recognition of the bare-knuckle conflict that lies ahead, discussion has moved on from the soft issues of Afghan democracy, women’s empowerment and eradication of corruption to kinetic topics like the transition of security responsibility. Washington’s big security bugaboo is now the possible entry of the Al Qaeda into the power vacuum left behind by departing US troops. And Paul Yingling, of the George C Marshall Centre, has revived another favourite US nightmare, pointing out that the “truly unique threat to the West” is actually in Pakistan where radical ideology flourishes “less than a day’s drive from the world’s least secure nuclear arsenal”.

    New Delhi must be alert to these changing US concerns because, even in ignominious withdrawal, Washington will continue to shape the AfPak stage on which Pakistan will act. American thinking follows a predictable pattern: when Pakistan-based jehadi fighters are killing US troops in Afghanistan, the threat is more immediate. In such circumstances, worried US defence officials would naturally squeeze Rawalpindi by publicly castigating the Inter-Services Intelligence for supporting the Haqqani network. But in the months and years ahead, as US troops withdraw, the view from the ground in Afghanistan will yield primacy to a longer-distance view from Washington. America’s strategic concerns will inevitably shift from the locally influential Haqqani network, to long-range threats to US soil like “Al Qaeda havens” and “jehadi nukes”.

    But the AfPak region will remain on Washington’s radar even if closer to the periphery. Some 30,000 US troops will remain stationed in Afghanistan even beyond 2014, their charter including drone strikes into Pakistan’s tribal areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, the “epicentre of global terrorism”. This will create a mutual dependency with Pakistan: America would need ground intelligence and airspace co-ordination from Pakistan; while Rawalpindi would want to direct drone strikes towards anti-establishment jehadis (like the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) while safeguarding its cultivated killers (like the Lashkar-e-Taiba). Paradoxically, therefore, even as US logistical dependency on Pakistan reduces, its place would be taken by an enhanced intelligence and operational relationship.

    It would be unrealistic, therefore, for New Delhi to hope for a stronger American line on Pakistan in the short and medium term. In the long term, however, continuing US-Pak co-operation would most likely stall on the rocks of growing radicalisation within Pakistan. With most Pakistanis convinced that Washington has railroaded Rawalpindi into its crusade against Islam, America has become a hate figure that in many ways overshadows India.

    While the Pakistani establishment rides the anti-American tiger, this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the US provides a convenient scapegoat for many of the problems that beset Pakistan. It is almost an article of faith in Pakistan (and like all good lies, this has a kernel of truth) that America’s presence in Afghanistan has destabilised the tribal areas. Anti-Americanism provides Islamabad a fig leaf while engaging with its “all-weather friend”, Beijing. But there is also a tricky downside: Pakistan’s leaders can no longer explain why they continue to stretch out a beggar’s bowl to the “crusaders” and militarily co-operating with the infidels in killing “brother Muslims”.

    As radicalisation grows in Pakistan, especially among a new generation of soldiers; as Islamists whip up public outrage over the inevitable collateral damage from drone strikes; as an increasingly isolated Pakistan becomes more insular and conservative; and as American domestic opinion makes it difficult for Washington to continue its handouts to a terrorism-tolerant, military-dominated nation of America-haters, the US-Pakistan relationship is foredoomed to bitterness.

    New Delhi, therefore, is far-sighted in its realisation that Washington’s ability to influence Pakistan and nudge that country away from the abyss is perceptibly declining. The US continues to tackle symptoms rather than disease, warning against support to the Haqqani network, but seemingly unwilling to take on the underlying ecosystem that nurtures terror as an instrument of national policy. America deploys aid and exchange programmes in fruitless attempts to win Pakistani hearts and minds, but seems unwilling to put pressure for reforming an education system that breeds exclusivity and hate.

    In the circumstances, can China be expected to manage the Pakistan problem? Certainly Beijing has a bigger stake than Washington in a less dysfunctional Pakistan. Recent statements from Beijing indicate growing concern over the spread of Islamist militancy to the Muslim Uighur areas of Xinjiang. The Karakoram highway and a planned infrastructure corridor linking Xinjiang with the Bay of Bengal only make sense if they pass through secure areas. The soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army already guard Chinese construction teams working in the Northern Areas, in the Pakistan-occupied side of the Khunjerab Pass. As Pakistan’s military grows ever more conservative, Beijing will also come to share America’s apprehension about nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands.

    China today commands far greater influence than the US within the power centres of Pakistan, despite having given Islamabad a mere fraction of the military and humanitarian assistance that Washington has doled out over the years. But even Chinese influence might count for naught since the cannons rolling around the Pakistani deck are in nobody’s control. For India, there are no good choices currently. All that New Delhi can do is to keep a dialogue going while keeping its powder dry.

    Ajai Shukla: Managing Pakistan
     
  2.  
  3. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    255
    Location:
    Bharat
    There is no relevant word "manage" for Pakistan...all we know its time is over ..
     
  4. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Location:
    TX, USA
    [​IMG]

    In the Pakistan of today, India has no good options. All it can do is to keep a dialogue going while keeping its powder dry

    by Ajai Shukla
    Business Standard, 18th Oct 11


    It should be no surprise that the American discourse on post-2014 AfPak is shifting as it becomes evident that the troop thin-out will leave behind an Afghanistan in turmoil if not outright civil war. In recognition of the bare-knuckle conflict that lies ahead, discussion has moved on from the soft issues of Afghan democracy, women’s empowerment and eradication of corruption to kinetic topics like the transition of security responsibility. Washington’s big security bugaboo is now the possible entry of the Al Qaeda into the power vacuum left behind by departing US troops. And Paul Yingling, of the George C Marshall Centre, has revived another favourite US nightmare, pointing out that the “truly unique threat to the West” is actually in Pakistan where radical ideology flourishes “less than a day’s drive from the world’s least secure nuclear arsenal”.

    New Delhi must be alert to these changing US concerns because, even in ignominious withdrawal, Washington will continue to shape the AfPak stage on which Pakistan will act. American thinking follows a predictable pattern: when Pakistan-based jehadi fighters are killing US troops in Afghanistan, the threat is more immediate. In such circumstances, worried US defence officials would naturally squeeze Rawalpindi by publicly castigating the Inter-Services Intelligence for supporting the Haqqani network. But in the months and years ahead, as US troops withdraw, the view from the ground in Afghanistan will yield primacy to a longer-distance view from Washington. America’s strategic concerns will inevitably shift from the locally influential Haqqani network, to long-range threats to US soil like “Al Qaeda havens” and “jehadi nukes”.

    But the AfPak region will remain on Washington’s radar even if closer to the periphery. Some 30,000 US troops will remain stationed in Afghanistan even beyond 2014, their charter including drone strikes into Pakistan’s tribal areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, the “epicentre of global terrorism”. This will create a mutual dependency with Pakistan: America would need ground intelligence and airspace co-ordination from Pakistan; while Rawalpindi would want to direct drone strikes towards anti-establishment jehadis (like the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) while safeguarding its cultivated killers (like the Lashkar-e-Taiba). Paradoxically, therefore, even as US logistical dependency on Pakistan reduces, its place would be taken by an enhanced intelligence and operational relationship.

    It would be unrealistic, therefore, for New Delhi to hope for a stronger American line on Pakistan in the short and medium term. In the long term, however, continuing US-Pak co-operation would most likely stall on the rocks of growing radicalisation within Pakistan. With most Pakistanis convinced that Washington has railroaded Rawalpindi into its crusade against Islam, America has become a hate figure that in many ways overshadows India.

    While the Pakistani establishment rides the anti-American tiger, this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the US provides a convenient scapegoat for many of the problems that beset Pakistan. It is almost an article of faith in Pakistan (and like all good lies, this has a kernel of truth) that America’s presence in Afghanistan has destabilised the tribal areas. Anti-Americanism provides Islamabad a fig leaf while engaging with its “all-weather friend”, Beijing. But there is also a tricky downside: Pakistan’s leaders can no longer explain why they continue to stretch out a beggar’s bowl to the “crusaders” and militarily co-operating with the infidels in killing “brother Muslims”.

    As radicalisation grows in Pakistan, especially among a new generation of soldiers; as Islamists whip up public outrage over the inevitable collateral damage from drone strikes; as an increasingly isolated Pakistan becomes more insular and conservative; and as American domestic opinion makes it difficult for Washington to continue its handouts to a terrorism-tolerant, military-dominated nation of America-haters, the US-Pakistan relationship is foredoomed to bitterness.

    New Delhi, therefore, is far-sighted in its realisation that Washington’s ability to influence Pakistan and nudge that country away from the abyss is perceptibly declining. The US continues to tackle symptoms rather than disease, warning against support to the Haqqani network, but seemingly unwilling to take on the underlying ecosystem that nurtures terror as an instrument of national policy. America deploys aid and exchange programmes in fruitless attempts to win Pakistani hearts and minds, but seems unwilling to put pressure for reforming an education system that breeds exclusivity and hate.

    In the circumstances, can China be expected to manage the Pakistan problem? Certainly Beijing has a bigger stake than Washington in a less dysfunctional Pakistan. Recent statements from Beijing indicate growing concern over the spread of Islamist militancy to the Muslim Uighur areas of Xinjiang. The Karakoram highway and a planned infrastructure corridor linking Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea only make sense if they pass through secure areas. The soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army already guard Chinese construction teams working in the Northern Areas, in the Pakistan-occupied side of the Khunjerab Pass. As Pakistan’s military grows ever more conservative, Beijing will also come to share America’s apprehension about nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands.

    China today commands far greater influence than the US within the power centres of Pakistan, despite having given Islamabad a mere fraction of the military and humanitarian assistance that Washington has doled out over the years. But even Chinese influence might count for naught since the cannons rolling around the Pakistani deck are in nobody’s control. For India, there are no good choices currently. All that New Delhi can do is to keep a dialogue going while keeping its powder dry.
     
  5. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Location:
    TX, USA
    The Chinese can be expected to drag the benefits of Pakistan keeping India occupied for as long as they can. However, they will not throw money at Pakistan the way America does. They know better than many how deeply the cancer is spread, and being super pragmatic, they will not pour their money down the proverbial drain. Also, they know that the spiraling fanaticism will, some day, reach out to East Turkestan. The PLA soldiers guarding the construction teams, rather than letting the Pakmil provide the security is a clear demonstration of the faith they have in the Pak Mil.

    So their cost-benefit analysis will preclude wasting too much money without enough benefits.

    I personally am happy to know Delhi is being pragmatic about the US-Pakistan relationship. Its a classic hooker-john one, where money rules.

    Yes.. dialogue, lots of dry powder and political will please.
     
  6. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Location:
    TX, USA
    The notion of Pakistan and its very foundation was based on a sense of 'separation' and 'religious identity' the basis of nationhood.Since 1947 Pakistan has sought to reinforce by creating a cultural and historical construct that emphasizes Pakistan's links to Middle-Eastern and Central Asia,The South Asian linkages are minimized would have been totally stricken from Pakistan history,were it not for the obvious facts to the contrary.In such a quest, Pakistan is a confused lot,the middle and Central Asians look on Pakistan as a part of South Asia,and for Pakistan,closeness to South Asia becomes a threat to its identity.With so many Muslims outside Pakistan in south -Asia,one will wonder what was Pakistan created for?For if it were,why are many more Muslims residing out of it.For some, reconciliation with India is striking at the foundations of Pakistan as a nation,since India according to them was never a united nation.It was political Islam that united the sub-continent first and it is Pakistan that must work to bring back the glory days!For others Pakistan has a strategic role and position that cannot be but antagonistic to India.Acting as a barrier to Central Asia, Pakistan can 'regulate'Indian growth towards Central Asia to its own strategic ends.Yet for others,the only long term security for Pakistan is that there be no united India.I believe,that as long as Pakistan predominantly believes in the two nation theory, we will never have good relations.We probably should keep our powder dry for at least a 100 years more and that too would be an optimistic wish! At the most we can be indifferent neighbors with some trade and social links.
     
  7. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Location:
    TX, USA
    the opinions posted above are not mine....
     

Share This Page