Pakistani claims of high Taliban casualties 'wildly exaggerated' - US officials

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by LETHALFORCE, May 12, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Pakistani claims of high Taliban casualties 'wildly exaggerated' - US officials - The Long War Journal





    Pakistani claims of high Taliban casualties 'wildly exaggerated' - US officials
    By BILL ROGGIOMay 11, 2009 10:20 AM
    US military and intelligence officials are expressing skepticism about Pakistani claims of high Taliban casualties as the fighting spreads in the volatile northwest.

    The Pakistani military's daily reports of hundreds of Taliban fighters killed in the districts of Swat, Shangla, Dir, and Buner are "wildly exaggerated," a senior US intelligence official who is closely watching the operations in Pakistan told The Long War Journal.

    Rehman Malik, Pakistan's Interior Minister, claimed that more than 700 Taliban fighters were killed in the last four days in Swat alone, Dawn reported. But a US intelligence official described Malik's claim as "fantastic."

    "Malik's numbers are even more fantastic than those given by the Pakistani military, which has claimed more than 300 Taliban fighters were killed since late last week," a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal. "Clearly they [the Pakistani security establishment] want us to believe they're having fantastic success against the Taliban."

    "The numbers issued by the military are wildly exaggerated," a military intelligence official said, noting that the military is over-relying on air and artillery strikes instead of engaging the Taliban. "This is like a bad movie we've all seen before. The Pakistani military levels large areas, claims success, and thinks we'll be conned into believing it if they pump up the Taliban body counts."

    The military said more than 15,000 troops, including units from the paramilitary Frontier Corps, are engaged against an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Taliban fighters in Swat. Malik's numbers would indicate that the Taliban have suffered 10 percent killed and likely another 20 to 30 percent wounded.

    The status of the fight in Swat casts doubts on the Pakistani military's claims on Taliban casualties. "The Taliban are still holding firm in Swat, the military has largely been kept at bay," a US military officer said. "If they've suffered such high casualties, I wouldn't expect this."

    Meanwhile, the military continues its heay-handed approach to counterinsurgency in the northwest. Multiple reports from the region indicate the Army is shelling villages indiscriminately without allowing civilians to flee the area and with little or no intelligence on the Taliban presence in the region.

    As the fighting continues in Swat and neighboring Dir and Buner, the Taliban have expanded their operations into the tribal areas and in neighboring districts. Large Taliban forces, operating at the company and battalion level, have conducted attacks on military bases and convoys in Mohmand and South Waziristan, and have been interdicting military convoys in Mardan and Malakand.

    "The military's engagements in Mohmand and South Waziristan have been defensive in nature," the military officer said. "They're responding to Taliban attacks, not taking the fight to them."

    The Taliban attacks outside of the Swat theater continue. Today, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 13 Pakistanis after ramming a car packed with explosives into a Frontier Corps checkpoint in Darra Adam Khel.

    Update on fighting in northwestern Pakistan:

    Shangla

    The largest single incident of Taliban casualties was reported yesterday when the military claimed it killed between 140 and 150 Taliban fighters after pounding the Banai Baba region in Shangla, a district adjacent to Swat, and taking two mountains known as point 2245 and point 2266. A Taliban training camp and base in Banai Baba was hammered with air and artillery strikes, and most of the casualties were reported there.

    The military claimed only one soldier was killed and said much of Shangla has been cleared of the Taliban. Previously, the military claimed only a small Taliban force of 30 to 40 fighters entered Shangla.

    Swat

    The Military claimed an estimated 110 Taliban fighters were killed in Swat over the past two days. Yet the Taliban remain in control of Mingora, where security forces holed up in a school remain under siege.

    The Taliban remain in control of the towns of Kabal, Matta, Kanju, Venaibaba, Namal, Qambar, Fizagath, Tiligram, and Chamtalai. The town of Peochar, Taliban headquarters in Swat, is also under Taliban control. All of these areas have been hit with artillery and air strikes over the past several days. The military appears to be hesitant to close with the Taliban on the ground, US military intelligence officials said.

    The Pakistani military also claimed it is targeting the Taliban's senior leadership in Swat, The News reported. But other than the brother of Ibn Amim, the leader of al Qaeda's Shadow Army brigade operating in Swat and Buner, no senior commanders have been killed or captured.

    More than 100 police, Frontier Corps, and regular Army troops are still in Taliban custody.

    Dir

    The military has also claimed that the Taliban have suffered heavy casualties in Dir. On May 8, the military claimed 73 Taliban fighters were killed during fighting in the district. The Taliban still remain in control of Chakdara, a strategic town that serves as the gateway to Dir and Swat.

    The Taliban destroyed a headquarters of the Dir Levies, a paramilitary police force, in Chakdara late last week. The military claimed it is advancing in Dir, but the Taliban denied this and claimed to have inflicted heavy casualties on security forces.

    The operation In Dir has been underway for more than two weeks now. The military initially claimed Dir was secured just one day after the operation began.

    Buner

    The military claimed it has advanced in Buner, where operations are in their third week. At the onset of the fight, security forces secured the main town of Daggar in an air assault by the commandos of the Special Service Group, but Daggar is still said to be under siege as the Taliban control the main roads leading to the town. The military is still conducting artillery strikes in Daggar, which is said to have been abandoned by Buneris.

    The towns of Sultanwas and Pir Baba are still under Taliban control, and the military is trying to advance along the road to Pir Baba. The Special Service Group has been used to air assault the hills between Daggar and Pir Baba, while security forces claimed to have secured the ridges around Sultanwas. Heavy fighting has been reported as the military again has relied on artillery, air, and helicopter strikes to dislodge the Taliban.

    Malakand

    The Taliban continue to interdict security forces in Malakand in an attempt to slow the deployment of forces in Dir and Swat. The Taliban attacked a series of Levies checkpoints in the town of Palai. One Levies officer was killed and three others were captured. The Taliban "retained control of Palai area for about 14 hours and blocked the roads linking the town to Mardan and Dargai," Daily Times reported.

    Mohmand

    In Mohmand, a large Taliban force of an estimated 200 fighters (company strength) attacked military outposts in Ambar a few days ago. The military claimed 26 Taliban were killed and another 14 were wounded after troops repelled the assault. But the Taliban claimed 20 soldiers were killed and another six were taken prisoner.

    Earlier this month, the Taliban overran a Frontier Corps outpost. On March 1, the military had claimed the Taliban were defeated in Mohmand.
     
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  3. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistani government and the army thinks it can fool the world. But it is not happening. Technology is far more advanced nowadays. Satellite imagery and recon tell the truth and gives a complete picture. We don't need to bomb them to stone age. Their mindset is already there and it has never come out of it.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.defenceforum.in/forum/current-affairs/1744-pakistan-expanding-its-nuclear-capability.html


    Much remains to be done by Pakistan against Taliban: US

    Washington
    , May 12: Noting that "much remains to be done" by Pakistan government, which has "finally taken up the fight to the enemy", a top US senator on Tuesday said Islamabad has the potential either to be "crippled" by Taliban, or to serve as a "bulwark" against the militants.

    Senator John Kerry, Chairman of powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that "dangers of inaction" have risen in the recent times and said there is a need for the US to make a long term commitment to Pakistan in the fight against extremists.

    "In recent days we have seen encouraging signs that Pakistan's Army is finally taking the fight to the enemy, but much remains to be done," Kerry said at a Committee's hearing on Pakistan wherein Richard Holbrooke, Special US Representative for Pak-Afghan region, testified before it.

    "Pakistan today has the potential either to be crippled by Taliban, or to serve as a bulwark against everything the Taliban represents," he said.

    Kerry is co-sponsor to a Senate Bill which proposes tripling of financial aid to Pakistan in the next five years.

    "Since President (Barack) Obama called on Congress to pass a Pakistan aid bill, the dangers of inaction have risen almost by the day. The government has struck an ill-advised deal that effectively surrendered Swat Valley to Taliban. Predictably, this emboldened Taliban to extend their reach ever closer to the country's heartland," he said.

    The Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee argued the Bill places reasonable conditions while providing military aid to Pakitsan.

    "It asks the administration to certify that Pakistan's army and spy services have been partners in struggle against Al Qaeda, Taliban, and their affiliates; and also partners in the effort to solidify democratic governance and the rule of law in Pakistan," Kerry said.

    The powerful Senator argued an unequivocal commitment to Pakistani people will enable US to calibrate its military assistance more effectively. "For too long, the Pakistani military felt we were bluffing when we threatened to cut funding for a particular weapons system or expensive piece of hardware-and up to now, they have been right.

    "But if our economic aid is tripled, we will finally be able to make these choices on the basis of both of our national interests, rather than the institutional interests of the Pakistani security forces," Kerry said.

    The Senator said even as the US takes "bold" steps, it should realize its aid package to Pakistan is not a silver bullet. "The bill aims to increase our leverage significantly, but we should be realistic about what we can accomplish: Americans can influence events in Pakistan, but we cannot and should not decide them. Ultimately, the true decision-makers are the people and leaders of Pakistan," Kerry said.

    Kerry also pointed out the need for the US to make a long term commitment to Pakistan.

    "Most Pakistanis feel that America has used and abandoned their country in the past- most notably after the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. It is this history, and this fear, that causes Pakistan to hedge its bets," the Semator said.

    "If we ever expect Pakistan to break decisively with Taliban and other extremist groups, then we will have to provide firm assurance that we are not merely foul-weather friends," he said
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Taliban bogeyman | The Argument

    The Taliban bogeyman

    How Pakistan’s president is scamming the West.

    By Fatima Bhutto

    President Asif Ali Zardari, less than a year into his reign, has managed to engage Pakistan’s armed forces, the seventh largest army in the world, in a guerrilla war with the newly formed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, our very own Taliban, in the North West Frontier Province. Rumors of Talibanization air daily on Pakistani television, radio and print media: The barbarians are at the gate, we are told, and warned that if there was a time to rally around the nation’s oleaginous president, a man known locally as “President Ghadari” or traitor in Urdu, this is it. However, the time for scaremongering has past -- it is precisely President Zardari’s politically expedient use of national hysteria that has seen American drones welcomed over Pakistan’s airspace and has birthed a war that this government cannot win.

    In the aftermath and fallout of 9/11, Pakistan saw its elite -- the power brokers of the country’s politics and economy -- turn against their traditional allies, the United States for the first time. As U.S. forces occupied first Afghanistan and then Iraq, Pakistan’s elite took an unexpected turn; they welcomed resistance to American foreign policy and supported, as they had never quite done before, Islamic parties that took control of local government and provincial cabinet positions in the North West Frontier Province.

    Islamic parties in Pakistan traditionally perform poorly in national elections -- garnering only a handful of seats in the assembly, but the 2002 elections saw them enter coalitions and alliances that brought them to power on the national level. For the nation’s elite, a powerful but small minority and the stronghold of Western interests, this was a dangerous turn of events.

    In 2008, months after taking power in a hastily organized parliamentary election, Zardari drew upon Pakistan’s overwhelmingly anti-American sentiment and empowered the nascent domestic Taliban, which entered prominence roughly at the same time that the president did, by capitulating to their demands for sharia law in the Swat Valley (the very same region that the government is now, one month later, bombarding with American assistance).

    With one hand, Zardari gave the militants what they wanted -- no vote or referendum was held -- and Taliban law was imposed on the Swat Valley by force. With the other, Zardari pointed a crooked finger at the rise of fundamentalism and capitalized on a golden opportunity to bring the nation’s elite back into the government’s obsequiously pro-American fold.

    The Taliban were pointed out as the largest threat facing the urban elite of Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore -- they threatened our values, our dress, our lives, and they had to be dealt with for us to remain safe. While the Taliban have certainly made inroads into Pakistan in the last year, there is no doubt that they were only able to do so with the consent of the government, a very powerful backer. Without the government aiding and abetting the Taliban (as in the Swat Valley), they have a long way to go before they can exercise power in any cohesive manner.

    Zardari’s double game may have brought him billions more in American aid and assistance -- U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke being the president’s loudest champion in Washington, warning Congress that if billions of dollars are not delivered immediately to Pakistan the war on terror will be in mortal danger -- but it has lost him Pakistan. As we watch the number of internally displaced people rise steadily toward two million our army kills our own citizens, it should come as no surprise when the BBC Urdu service reveals that the government controls only 38 percent of the NWFP province -- a number that is sure to fall as the weeks go on.
     
  6. MMuthu

    MMuthu Regular Member

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    PA will kill 200 Taliban today and tomorrow PA will eliminate 3000 Taliban from Swat, They will finish the Taliban in no time.

    They were afraid of Taliban 2 months ago, Pak and Taliban have agreed on a Peace Deal. PA have received the courage to counter Taliban on one fine morning...... They they finished Taliban in no time. PA is invincible

    Isn't it a good story?
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    how will US confirm those killed are really Taliban and not civilians?
     
  8. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Do I detect a tad of sarcasm in your post dear MMuthu:wink:
    An impossible task. They are relying on 'accurate' numbers from trustworthy sources. They had better be careful to "not bite the hand that feeds them". If I remember correctly" Namak haram" forgive the spelling if I have it wrong:wink:
     
  9. MMuthu

    MMuthu Regular Member

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    Are you saying that I made a Childish comment or I made a bitter comment that wound you?
     
  10. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Not at all..Me, wound up..never. Feel free to vent your feelings:wink:
     
  11. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    I have stared at this post for sometime MMuthu, deciding on what to say.
    I am not sure who you are but it is obvious that your sympathies lie with Pakistan and the PA. My question then is........ Why aren't you flying the Pakistani flag with your avatar instead of the Indian flag?
    Please note that I am not being funny here. This is a serious question from a dumb Aussie who is trying to understand all this.
     
  12. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Sailor, chill mate, or I will have the Cap'n put you back in chains until you reach Botany..struth Mayte ty me kangaru darn boy. Read slowly, read again and then remember these guys are posting in a language you and me are privileged to be able to read. Your question is viable but pray be a tad more gentle:113:
     
  13. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Well I am always being accused of er being too blunt, but it was just a question.
    Let him answer.

    In the meantime, "Keep your Cockatoo Cool".
     
  14. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Nay Lad ! ear ekky thump .don't let that detract you..stick to it and if you need help shout for me I speak many languages. English being my only one:wink: ...OK I speak several
     
  15. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Dave,
    how many lang.s do you speak? And name them.
    BTW, dont exaggerate keeping in line with the spirit of the thread.......:wink:
     
  16. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    German, french and Italian.
     
  17. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Pity about your English
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Pakistan Demands Money For Nothing

    Article - WSJ.com

    Pakistan Demands Money For Nothing


    (From THE FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW)
    By Mosharraf Zaidi
    In the face of the Taliban onslaught, Pakistan's key foreign-policy instrument has become the repetition ad nauseam of the "Pakistan needs the world's support" mantra. When the Pakistan's Peoples Party (PPP) government officials play this song, they aren't asking for prayers, a warm embrace or a knowing nod of support. They are asking for money. There is of course nothing novel about politicians asking for cash.

    At a meeting in Tokyo on April 17, the world -- in the shape of the Friends of Pakistan forum -- responded to Pakistan's calls for support with pledges of over $5.28 billion. Foreign governments that have stepped up to the plate are wondering though, just what the impact of their benevolence will be. How effective will money be in fighting the scourge of terrorism that is ravaging Pakistan's tribal areas, the North West Frontier Province and increasingly other parts of the country?

    The standard attempt to answer this riddle is to deconstruct the Pakistani defense establishment. But attempting to answer this question through the lens of Pakistan's military and intelligence services, their willingness to fight terror and their capability to do so, is in fact the wrong way to approach the problem. Save a few goodies for counterinsurgency, and a long wish list of high-tech items that the military knows it will never get from the Americans, the Pakistani government isn't really asking for military aid. In many ways, its hands are tied. After all, how could it? Spin doctors in the employ of the current PPP government in Pakistan have a history of denigrating the military, its assertive approach to Pakistani national security and its capability to defend Pakistan. Quite aside from a discussion about the role of the military in Pakistan, a most serious and not deeply enough explored issue in itself, the government in Pakistan cannot in good conscience ask for good money to be thrown after what it has itself called bad money. The country's current ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, for example, was introduced at an event to launch his book "Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military," as follows: "In this provocative history, Carnegie Scholar Husain Haqqani reveals the depth of links between the Pakistani military and Islamists, while detailing the risks of this 'unholy alliance' for the United States. Tracing how the military has sought U.S. support by making itself useful for concerns-of-the-moment -- while continuing to strengthen the mosque-military alliance within Pakistan -- the book offers an alternative view of political developments in Pakistan since independence in 1947."

    To ask for money to prop up that very military would be incredibly disingenuous. Instead, Pakistan's diplomats have crafted a different argument. The money, it is said, is not for the military, it is for the democrats. The argument is simple. The Pakistani state's dysfunction means that government is unable to provide services to citizens. This inability to service citizen needs is rooted in a lack of funds. More money for the Pakistani government will, in the words of Ambassador Haqqani, "enable Pakistan to provide for its people so that the appeal of radicalism in the name of Islam can be reduced." And on the specific issue of what the government will provide with this money, the ambassador says it will "extend effective law enforcement, education and justice to all parts of the country."

    For starters, the idea that choosing a radical lifestyle and politics is a function of poverty is not just deeply problematic because it is controversial. It is in fact controversial because it simply isn't true. A long and distinguished parade of studies have exposed the myth repeatedly, yet politicians keep finding ways to make it part of the conventional wisdom of counterterrorism strategies and operations. Leaving aside the seminal 1958 book by Daniel Lerner that debunked the notion of extremism as being the domain of the poor, there has been a frenzy of rigorous research leading to essentially the same conclusion. Charles Russell and Bowman Miller's 1983 paper, "Profile of a Terrorist," found that almost two out of three of the terrorists they studied had university educations, and that more than two thirds of them belonged to middle- or upper-class families. Maxwell Taylor writing in 1988 reaches the same conclusion. A major study titled, "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is there a Causal Connection?" by Alan B. Krueger and Jitka Maleckova in 2003 concluded that the evidence shows, "little direct connection between poverty or education and participation in terrorism." In his 2006 paper titled, "Islamist Radicalization and Developmental Aid in South Asia," Kanchan Lakshman of the New Delhi-based Institute of Conflict Management concludes that "The mere existence of poverty and deprivation is not sufficient to explain levels of Islamist rebellion."

    Besides not being true, the idea that the world can buy its way out of a terrorism problem, with better service delivery, reflects a dangerously oversimplified view of the core challenges faced by the world community in Pakistan. Instead of helping focus attention more sharply on the things that matter, the Pakistani government is in fact deflecting the tremendous attention the world is giving it.

    Pakistan's pitch for more money and the discussions it instigates (in Islamabad and in foreign ministries around the world) are always anchored around platitudes about better governance -- stronger police services, better schools, and courts that dispense fast and real justice. But these are bread-and-butter issues in every developing country. Bad governance and dysfunctional service-delivery instruments and cultures are not unique to Pakistan. Why, for example, shouldn't donor money go to Indonesia, or Nigeria, or even India -- all places with as many or more poor people than Pakistan? The easy answer to this question is simply not good enough. The argument that service delivery and state effectiveness issues are more urgent in Pakistan because the state's failure to protect and serve citizens is somehow lending legitimacy to the Taliban to inflict fatal body blows to the Pakistani state doesn't wash. Fragile and aging governance infrastructures in many postcolonial states routinely fail to serve and protect their citizens -- both from the decayed falling debris of state software and hardware owing to neglect and incompetence, and the deliberate destruction inflicted on the state by violent extremists. But the equation that the Pakistani government is trying to sell doesn't add up.

    Basically, neither state ineffectiveness nor violent extremism is unique or peculiar to Pakistan. The international migraine is not because Pakistan has these problems, but because of the specific context of Pakistan's violent extremists, the al Qaeda-incubated Taliban. These fascist Flintstones are not aiming for specific political rights, or for better resource allocation to their people or areas. They are aiming for an abstract and ill-defined global domination. If they weren't the murderous thugs and gangsters that they are, they would almost inspire the same kind of giggles that Austin Powers' alter-ego, Dr. Evil does.

    There's nothing funny, however, about how Pakistan is dealing with the challenge they pose. The deal cut by the government with the militant Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, or TNSM, in the Swat district illustrates a style of governance, more than it does any kind of temporal weakness of the state in Pakistan. Using shortcuts, both to acquire power and to formulate policy, is what led former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to be nicknamed Short Cut. He may no longer be in the saddle, but his style remains deeply popular, with both the Taliban and key members of the Zardari administration adopting it as their weapon of choice.

    Yet blaming Mr. Zardari alone for this mess is missing the point. Putting out brush fires with all its might, whilst ignoring a raging forest fire is the archetypal state response to problems in Pakistan. Led by the military elite, politicians and bureaucrats brush one problem after another underneath the thin veneer of a carpet that covers up less and less space in Pakistan. Perpetually postponing the big ticket reform items is how Pakistan has landed in the royal mess it finds itself in.

    By appealing to the cute and cuddly development-wallahs through issues like education, Pakistan is deliberately delaying action on core structural problems. The joke is on those that choose to buy-in to the mythical notion of more aid money being able to cure Pakistan's most urgent diseases. Pakistan does not need cash to address these core structural issues. It needs political will. Of that, there is almost none. The PPP's big difficult decision moment came in Swat. When it caved, it did what comes naturally to a party with rapidly declining numbers that is now on the long and slippery path where it will do almost anything to retain power.

    That is a tragic loss for Pakistan and for the international community. The core structural issues facing Pakistan have never been clearer. If there was ever a burning platform around which the country's diverse ethnic, political and social groups could coalesce, the 2009 version of Pakistan is it. Pakistan needs to do three things that can help inoculate the country from the cancer of helplessness and ineffectiveness that has proven to be a critical lifeline for the al Qaeda-incubated terrorists that are now routinely playing a daring game of chicken with the Pakistan state.

    First, Pakistan must loosen the straight-jacket federalism that invests too much power at the center and takes away too much from the provinces. Treating the four provinces -- Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and Balochistan -- in exactly the same way is a recipe for disaster. Even from the perspective of population it is clear that a more tailored approach is needed. (The provinces have populations of 85 million, 50 million, 25 million and 10 million, respectively.) This disaster is intimately linked with the military's domination of resource allocation, the insecurity of national institutions as informed by Pakistan's definition of itself in relation to India, and the growing nationalist sentiment of the smaller ethnic groups. Simply put, Pakistan needs to treat its different provinces, quite differently. It needs to disabuse itself of the false notion that rigid central control and appropriation of resources will help construct a strong and stable state. The evidence from 62 years suggests exactly the opposite.

    Second, Pakistan must reverse the dictatorial contamination of its constitution, and restore parliamentary rule in the country. The ceremonial office of the president must be restored to its natural state, and the executive authority of the prime minister returned to the office. Only an effective and strong parliament can help sustain Pakistan's struggling democracy to a stable condition. As long as the president continues to usurp prime ministerial powers, the parliament cannot be strong. A weak body of representatives of the people translates to a weak people. The world cannot afford any sustained weakness in Pakistan.

    Finally, third and perhaps most importantly, Pakistan must rid itself of the shackles and handcuffs imposed on its decision makers and implementers by the Basic Pay Scale regime of employment in the public sector. By providing tenured positions to three generations of political workers, Pakistan's political parties have created an unmovable beast of a state machinery. It is completely incapable of dealing with Pakistani challenges, completely unaccountable to anyone except their local political bosses, and completely and utterly in love with the entitlements that public sector employment affords them.

    These three things don't require billions in foreign aid. They require a steely resolve to ensure that the Pakistani state is an effective one. If the government in Pakistan does not have this kind of resolve, the least the country's "friends" could do is to refuse to enable its continued reticence to reform. Perhaps the worst part of it is that two of the three items listed --increased provincial autonomy and giving the office of prime minister back its constitutional powers -- were signed and sealed as a national reform agenda called the Charter of Democracy, by the late Benazir Bhutto and the present chief of Pakistan's main opposition party, Nawaz Sharif. By issuing carte blanche to this government, without insisting that it fulfill its own promises to the Pakistani people, the Friends of Pakistan forum has not only put hard-earned global taxpayer money at great fiduciary risk, it has invested in what effectively amounts to sustained dysfunction.

    ---

    Mr. Zaidi writes for the News (Pakistan), and for Al-Shorouk (Egypt). He is also an international development expert.
     
  19. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Is that..'pity about your english'(grammar) or ..'pity about you're English' ie.being English?:wink:

    The Question is: ..Am I English ,or indeed British. ???
     
  20. Auberon

    Auberon Regular Member

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    Reminds me of a quote I read - There is a certain kind of Englishman, to whom only the East is home ;):D
     
  21. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Mad dogs and Englishmen Auberon?

    And Dave, I think the English language should have a capital letter too, as does the country.
    But I admit it was just to point out your er deficiency in the language.
     

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