What did Pakistan know?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by A.V., May 6, 2011.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    That a dozy hilltop town, home to the Sandhurst of Pakistan, was also home to Osama bin Laden should not surprise anyone. What is surprising is why all those clever analysts sitting in London and Washington don’t really understand (or pretend not to understand) the reality of the Pakistan-American relationship.

    First the capture: It makes sense that bin Laden was found in Pakistan. If every significant Al Qaeda capture has taken place in that country, then why not this one? Al Qaeda operates in Pakistan with a degree of ease that it does not enjoy in other countries. And there are good reasons for this, which start and end with the country’s army.

    It also makes sense that bin Laden was living close to the military. It’s no secret that he is admired among large sections of the general population. What matters more is that this includes a small number of influential officials in the military, in military intelligence and in the nuclear apparatus. The numbers are likely small: but powerful enough to provide the Al Qaeda founder with a base in a part of the country where you don’t get to live in a military-run housing complex unless you have the right connections.

    It is too early to say what the terms of bin Laden’s residence would have been. One likely scenario may have been a form of house arrest, similar to that experienced by Pakistan’s disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan: another hero who enjoys top-level support from within military intelligence, but is persona non grata abroad. Except that there is scant evidence of security, or soldiers at the time of the raid. It is more likely that bin Laden was a guest and not an inmate.

    The discovery of bin Laden’s Abbotabad lair should at least dispel two myths. Myth number one is that Pakistan’s army does not, as David Cameron claims, look both ways. It only looks one way: and that is in the direction of its own national security. Myth number two: there is one country that the Pakistani military genuinely fears; genuinely believes is a threat to its security and its state religion. That country, more than India, is America.

    Pakistan is a faith-based state. It was created largely for people of one faith. Its constitution says that laws must be based on religion. If a man or woman applies to join the army of such a state, they will have signed a covenant that says: We are the citizens of an Islamic state. If any country or individual threatens either our families, or our faith, then we are prepared to die defending both. India in the eyes of the military threatens Pakistan’s borders, but largely because of a shared history that goes back centuries, there is no deep ideological conflict between the two countries. America, on the other hand, is seen by the military to threaten, both the country’s borders, but also its state religion. It doesn’t matter how many times President Obama says that there is no war on Islam. None of the Pakistani soldiers fighting alongside those of the US believes this.

    Bearing this in mind, one critical feature of western foreign policy now looks incredibly naïve at best; at worst, a disaster. This was the courting of Pervez Musharraf. General Musharraf is about the last ally the west needed in its war on terror. He promised the kind of support to the US that was practically impossible for his country to deliver. But when someone puts a suitcase containing billions of dollars of free money on your desk, and asks in exchange for the Moon, you are not going to immediately turn it away.

    If America wants Pakistan on side; if it wants to see a stable Pakistan that is not a haven for terrorists and that doesn’t export terrorism, then it needs to recognise that it (America) is the elephant in the room. It is not merely an observer; but a player, and a player whose military presence in the country is having a heavily destabilising effect.

    If President Obama genuinely wants to help that country, then he needs to convince his defence establishment to keep out of the country’s affairs for at least a generation. Keeping out of Pakistan’s affairs is not the same as withdrawal, Somalia-style. America could adopt a more intelligent engagement. The US could build as many schools as it can afford to and there will still be more to build. It could run high-tech hospitals, create elite universities and send plane-loads of American Muslims to speak at Islamic conferences. But what it absolutely must do is keep away from security and governance.

    That is of course easier said than done. Why? Because there are huge vested interests which will be threatened on both sides.

    The US military is the world’s most powerful. There is an argument that it needs to be able to interfere in the affairs of other nations at the very least to maintain spending at current levels. The Pakistani military, too, has a disproportionate amount of influence in society. As in Egypt, as in Indonesia before the fall of Suharto; like Turkey before Erdogan, it is not only a fighting force, but a state within a state. It has tentacles reaching into all sectors and all levels of society. It runs factories, hospitals, schools and universities. It has an investment arm and its own philanthropic foundation. It has its own real-estate division that parcels out land and housing to military families and those who can claim connections.

    But both the US and Pakistan need to decide what is more important: is it more important to keep their soldiers busy fighting wars that mess up the rest of the world. Or is it more important to think intelligently and decide on a course of action that could benefit everyone.

    Barack Obama has shown that he can pull a trigger when needed. He has earned the title of Commander in Chief. Now more than ever he needs to use the rest of his famously professorial brain and save us all from the American and Pakistani hawks who would like to suck us all into their war games.

    reproduced under creative commons guidelines for non commercial use.
    article owned by :- Ehsan Masood
     
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  3. iqra6500

    iqra6500 Regular Member

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    It is the bad luck of nation of Pakistan that the fake leaders are leading this country. As the result terrorism, inflation, Battles, unemployment and energy crises are increasing . If a true leader come to Pak and then he can make this country as diamond. It is rich country and has a lot of natural resources.
     
  4. Abhishek Tanwar

    Abhishek Tanwar New Member

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    Sorry man , but iam not agree with your point leader of your county is a good man but leader of your army is sick of mind because he leads your army to train teariest and many more scam things , and your army hates us not even our army even Indian civilian too.
     
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  5. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is funny that the author think "absence" of Americans will somehow create a wonderful outcome for Pakistan. Pakistani blames everybody except himself. Pakistan suffers from a deep feudal culture where accountability is zero. Pakistan is going where other countries of this ilk has gone before - buried below ground. There is no hope for Pakistan. Any Pakistani who "hopes" should be sent to an asylum.
     
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  6. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    First point : You leaders or your people never felt to develop the region. In their minds Pakistan is a temporary place, they must conquer India. Pakistani land is a launch pad for Jihad against infidels.

    Second Point: It is a system that produces the leaders, Leaders do not come from some where else, they come from people among you.

    Third Point: When there are no strong institutions and the rule of law in almost half of the country and country tries to imitate others and define themselves as anti India, what kind of strategic vision they can implement.

    Fourth point: You people run for aid money, It is this weakness that is exploited by US, Saudis and used it for their advantage.

    Fifth point: Your nation cannot define itself , identity crisis. How can you people identify the problems and what the nation wants. Confusion every where.

    Sixth point: Religion and radicalisation, You people always find yourself on the wrong side because of the radical ideologies. This will do more harm and damage for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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