Pakistan political discussions

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by A.V., Feb 16, 2009.

  1. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    'Like a blessing from God'

    Elsewhere in Pakistan, though, Islamic extremists are making headway in winning support.

    In Muridke, 75 miles northeast of Faisalabad, a charity affiliated with the extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba — which the Pakistani government says was responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attacks — is providing services the government doesn't. Jamat Ud Dawah, which the U.S. Congressional Research Service calls an "incarnation" of Lashkar, runs a hospital in Muridke for the poor.

    "For us, they are like a blessing from God," shopkeeper Abdul Hameed says. "In this era of high inflation, poor people can't afford to seek medical treatment, even for kids."

    Even in bad times, Pakistani militant groups draw donations from sympathizers across the country and in the oil-rich Middle East; some also make money from criminal enterprises. "Their economy doesn't go down — their narcotics, their smuggling, their kidnappings," Masood says.

    "The militants have plenty of money and can simply offer either income to the unemployed or a better income" for those who have jobs, says Shaun Gregory, director of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at Britain's University of Bradford. And joining militant groups also "carries much great status and honor than most menial jobs."

    In Pakistan's Swat Valley, just 100 miles from Islamabad, Taliban militants have grown so powerful that the government decided this month to stop military offensives there.

    It's unclear whether Pakistan's government is capable of reversing the rot. Most other governments in the world — from New Delhi to Seoul to Washington — have reacted to the economic crisis by slashing interest rates, cutting taxes and pumping up spending on infrastructure. Pakistan is doing just the opposite, though: raising interest rates and cutting government spending.

    Those are the terms of a $7.5 billion loan it secured in November from the International Monetary Fund, which demanded Pakistan's government control its budget deficit and bring inflation down from its 20% pace. The IMF acknowledged that the "measures could further intensify existing social tensions."

    One solution would be to collect more taxes, but that's not easy in a country that, in a recent ranking of perceived corruption levels by the Berlin-based organization Transparency International, came in 134th among 180 countries, with 180th being the most corrupt. Meanwhile, cutting defense spending is next to impossible for Zardari, who took office last year after nine years of military rule — especially at a time when the Taliban is on the rise and tensions are running high with rival India.

    So the government is reportedly tightening social spending — on just the kind of projects that could help ease poverty in the short and longer term. According to the newspaper Dawn, the government spent less than $900 million of the $2.5 billion it had expected to spend on development in the second half of 2008.

    "We're creating a problem for ourselves," says Fasih Uddin, retired chief economist for the Pakistani government and author of a book criticizing IMF policies toward Pakistan. "Raising interest rates when everyone else is cutting? The world economy is in recession right now. … Defense spending cannot be cut. What is left is development expenditure — health, education, power, sanitation. They are being gutted."

    Some miss military rule

    Meanwhile, Zardari's hold on power is weakening. The widower of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto won elections a year ago in a wave of sympathy after she was assassinated. But the IRI poll last fall showed that 63% of Pakistanis disapproved of his performance. Only 19% said they'd support his Peoples Party if there was another election, down from 50% in January 2008.

    That's bad news in a country where democracy has a tenuous grip. For more than half its 61-year existence, Pakistan has been governed by the army, including the nine-year regime of former president Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup.

    Some Pakistanis even miss military rule, fewer than six months after the unpopular Musharraf was forced out. "A military government at least is organized," says Mian Muhammad Shabbir, who owns a textile spinning mill outside the Punjbai city Lahore.

    Gregory, author of the forthcoming book Pakistan: Securing the Insecure State, believes the crisis could deteriorate quickly: "If the demonstrations grow in number and frequency and the government can't address food and fuel issues in particular, then a momentum against the government might build."

    If that happens, Gregory says the military — which proved largely ineffective at combating militants under Musharraf — could try to seize power. He says the key will be whether there are more incidents such as the one at the Treats bakery. He says Punjab region's recent volatility is a "test" for what might be to come.

    In Faisalabad, Gulzar Ahmed, a 70-year-old worker at a cotton recycling plant, sees only dark days ahead. His monthly income has plunged by half. "I'm fed up," he says, his face covered with the white lint that floats around the factory. "Everyone is angry."

    Contributing: Zafar M. Sheikh
     
  2. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sharif brothers declared ineligible, Shahbaz no more Punjab CM

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    [​IMG]

    ISLAMABAD: The three-member Bench of Supreme Court has disposed off Sharif brothers’ electoral eligibility case by declaring them ineligible for contesting elections in its two-line short order announced here.

    Shahbaz Sharif under this verdict has lost his seat in the provincial assembly and being no longer member of the Punjab House, he is no more Punjab chief minister, as SC has annulled the earlier notification about his being chief minister.

    This case was under hearing of the SC three-member Bench headed by Justice Musa K. Laghari for the last eight months, in which, the Attorney General of Pakistan, Latif Khosa giving his arguments said that Punjab chief secretary and speaker were not the party in the case. Attorney General said that all the judges have taken oaths under the constitution and talking about the oath of the interim constitution was irrelevant.

    He said that Nawaz Sharif’s proposer and seconder could become parties in the case if the court permits them and their becoming parties was not necessary. He further said that it was the discretion of the judge to withdraw from the Bench and no one could direct him to pull out.

    On conclusion of the arguments, after a short break, the Bench disposing off the Sharif brothers’ eligibility case declared them ineligible.

    Following the verdict, Sharif brothers’ lawyer, Akram Sheikh told media that the decision was as expected, as the government was giving dictation to the judges. He said that Sharif brothers were declared ineligible on the orders of President Zardari. He said that the judges would be made accountable on the Day of Judgement. Akram Shiekh said that now it was up to the people to decide if the verdict was on merit. He said that he couldn’t comment on the incomplete two-line judgment. This decision would be presented as bouquet to President Asif Zardari on his return from the China tour.

    ML-N workers in sizable number were present on the occasion of the announcement of verdict raising slogans in favour of long march and Sharif brothers. Security arrangement remain tightened in the capital city here.

    http://www.geo.tv/2-25-2009/35931.htm
     
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Taking on the Taliban (shiite-sunni war)

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=164403

    Taking on the Taliban


    The first battle of a war is psychologically an important one. Pakistan has lost not only the first battle, that for the control of Waziristan, but also the second, for Swat. Agreements cobbled together following both battles have attempted to mask what is a patent fact: the defeat of the army at the hands of the Taliban and the passing of these areas and their inhabitants into the Taliban fold. Further setbacks are likely unless the instruments of war are forged again and a leadership emerges that has the wisdom and will to confront the challenge.

    But all is not lost. As they move further east, the Taliban will meet greater resistance from the populace, especially in the cities, where they are loathed. The Wahhabi brand of Islam that the Taliban espouse has never managed to gain traction beyond the deserts of Saudi Arabia, not even among the Arab Diaspora. Had Zia-ul-Haq not embraced it Pakistan too would have been spared. In the 30-or-so million Shias of Pakistan the Taliban face a determined enemy, as they do in Punjab and Sindh and beyond where Sufi Islam predominates. Hence, the danger that the murderous and fanatical cadres of the Taliban pose is less to the creed of the masses and more to the political and economic stability of the country and the institutions of the state.

    Had the Taliban been willing to participate in the political life of the country by holding public meetings and jalsas, instead of having recourse to Qurbani Chowks to convey their bloody message or to project their agenda through the media, some sort of compromise might have been possible. (Although that too is doubtful, considering that even the moderates of their ilk, like Sufi Mohammed, believe that democracy is a pernicious Western import and balloting to choose leaders un-Islamic.) Instead, the Taliban are emphatic, as their actions over the course of six years proved in Afghanistan that only their concepts of governance, law, religion, justice and politics will prevail. Happily, their determination to inflict their credo on the country is no fiercer than that of the majority of Pakistanis to resist as the Swatis proved by their brave resistance before they were sold out by the ANP, whose leader remains in hiding in Islamabad. Fortunately, the Taliban by their actions have left few people in any doubt that Pakistan will not be rid of the presence of foreign forces, be able to attract foreign investment, become a hub for regional trade, avoid isolation, ridicule and contempt, and develop, unless they are repulsed. And, likewise, their terrorist ghettos recaptured and cleansed.

    The Taliban wage war much as they guard their peace through acts of terror, rape, executions and murder like some other insurgencies such as the ongoing one in Somalia and that of the erstwhile Mau Mau in Kenya. They seek to engender hate and fear amongst the populace so that the government appears helpless, unable to afford protection to the citizenry and hence undeserving of loyalty or support. Specifically targeted are those essential to the functioning of an organised political society such as the police, teachers, health workers, district officials. Having driven away or killed them they create an alternative administration to which the hapless population turn for their needs. The insurgency meanwhile continues until a weak government capitulates or sues for peace which is what happened in Swat and FATA.

    How then can the Taliban be defeated?

    There is no prescription for certain success. Genocide or the relocation of the entire population, a tactic used by Stalin against the Chechens eight decades ago is unthinkable, for obvious reasons. The "nation building" advocated by counterinsurgency experts is a panacea presently in vogue, but given Pakistan's dismal record of nation building in peaceful areas, to say nothing of war zones, it is a tall order. "Killing every insurgent" is also not the answer because it is normally accompanied by the excessive use of force resulting in collateral damage which generates resentment, gives rise to cries for revenge and acts as a recruiting spur for fresh Taliban inductees. What the Americans term as "legitimation"--i.e., the creation of an authority comprising persons acceptable to both sides--is a more promising idea. As the Taliban refuse to recognise any authority but their own as legitimate and regard Pakistanis as foreigners, it is a non-starter. What therefore remains is to confront the Taliban politically and militarily, and to do so with gusto, imagination and skill, in other words, to fight fiercely when necessary and negotiate purposefully when so required in the hope that eventually reason and reality will win out.

    Pakistan is doing neither at present. The fighting effort thus far has at best been half-hearted; and capitulation aptly depicts the current negotiation strategy. Sentiments such as "we cannot fight our own people" are excuses and explanations rather than reasons for the lack of determination in prosecuting the war. And irresolution is responsible for the haste to sue for peace. Surrender of the Swat type will no doubt bring peace. History shows that defeat and surrender do indeed usher in peace but that of the victor not the vanquished, which Pakistan cannot afford. We would do well to remember that when the Taliban conquered Afghanistan in 1996 we too celebrated the peace that ensued. But, as Afghans will confirm, the peace that the Taliban brought was that of the grave. And it is to the grave that our dreams of a progressive, tolerant Pakistan now seem consigned with each Taliban success. The government still has the time to prove its mettle; but if it fails to do so it is more than likely that the populace will take matters into their own hands to ward off the Taliban scourge. There are signs that this dreadful prospect is already happening in at least one of our major cities. The resulting civil war could be catastrophic for Pakistan's well being.
     
  4. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-n...f-115-countries-India-at-46th-Bdesh-at-bottom

    Pak ranks 90 out of 115 countries; India at 46th; B'desh at bottom
    Source: OUR STAFF REPORTER submitted 1 day 7 hours ago

    LAHORE - The countries that protect physical and intellectual property rights enjoy nine times higher GDP per capita than countries ranking lowest in property rights protections.
    In a study released in Pakistan by Alternate Solutions Institute, the 2009 International Property Rights Index (IPRI), compared the protections of physical and intellectual property to economic stability in 115 countries representing 96 per cent of the world’s GDP. Alternate Solutions Institute and 54 organizations from six continents as members of the Property Rights Alliance based in Washington, DC which through its Hernando de Soto Fellowship program prepares the Index, are releasing the IPRI 2009.
    “It is protection of one’ property that incentives the creation of wealth, whereas in Pakistan in the absence of an efficient system of justice, not only the protection of property rights but protection of property itself continues to be a challenge for the government,” said Dr. Khalil Ahmad, Executive Director of the Institute.
    This year Pakistan’s score on the scale of IPRI rose to 4.0 from last year’s 3.9 (out of 10), and its rank improved to 90 from 93 (out of 115 countries). But in “Legal and Political Environment” component that studies Judicial Independence, Rule of Law, Political Stability, and Control of Corruption, Pakistan performed badly. In this component, Pakistan’s score declined from 3.0 to 2.7. Though in other two components, Physical Property Rights and Intellectual Property Rights Pakistan has improved its position from 5.8 to 6.0 and 2.8 to 3.3 respectively, but as the authors of the Index too admit, “Pakistan has slightly improved the overall IPRI score and climbed up the ranking, however, for the greater improvement of the protection of the property rights, the legal and the political environment is a main contributory factor.” In Gender Equality for property rights, Pakistan and Bangladesh are in close affinity: Pakistan is ranked at 81 out of 90 countries with a score of 4.9, and Bangladesh at 89 with a score of 5.0. In the same area, India is far ahead of Pakistan with a score of 6.6 and ranking at 49. In Intellectual Property Rights, India ranks at 49, Pakistan and Bangladesh lagging behind at 97 and 111 respectively. In Physical Property Rights, India is at 36, whereas Pakistan at 48 and Bangladesh at 115. Surprisingly, in Legal and Political Environment, Bangladesh is ahead of Pakistan with its ranking at 108, while Pakistan stands at 107th position. In the same area India is at 53.
     
  5. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    why is this........................

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KB26Df01.html

    Zardari draws a blank from China visit
    By Syed Fazl-e-Haider

    QUETTA, Pakistan - Asif Ali Zardari, president of cash-strapped Pakistan, has returned home from Beijing for the second time in a few months virtually empty-handed, without any commitment from China for aid.

    During his first visit as president last October, Zardari failed to secure financial support from Beijing to stave off a balance of payments crisis, with the Chinese government rebuffing a request for concessional loans.

    This time, the two countries signed cooperation agreements for hydropower generation and agriculture development, but there was no firm commitment from Beijing about writing off some of


    Islamabad's debt or extending additional aid.

    Zardari's four-day visit, which included trips to Hubei province and Shanghai, overlapped with and was overshadowed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the Chinese capital.

    After China's rebuff in October, Pakistan reluctantly reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a US$7.6 billion loan facility, which in turn paved the way for Beijing to grant $500 million in loans. That compares with the estimated $14 billion some economists say is needed to get Pakistan back on its feet.

    "China has been providing help, within its own capability, to Pakistan's economic and social development," AP quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying last week.

    Even so, Pakistan's financial distress and worsening internal security may be cooling China's perception of its neighbor.

    "Instead of increasing assistance to its old ally, Beijing has apparently been keeping a distance from Islamabad," Time magazine reported last week.

    "Pakistan today needs China more than China needs Pakistan - that is why there is more enthusiasm in Pakistan about its relations with China than vice-versa," the magazine quoted Shabbir Cheema, director of the Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative, as saying.

    While economic issues were at the heart of Zardari's visit, it took place in the shadow of the intensifying US "war on terror" in Afghanistan, also involving Pakistan's western border areas, and amid continuing questions on Pakistan's involvement in terrorist attacks in India's financial center, Mumbai, last November.

    In a telephone conversation with President Hu Jintao on Tuesday, Zardari thanked him for China's support to Pakistan's stance on the Mumbai incident, over which Islamabad has had to fend of Indian charges of complicity. The two leaders agreed to work together to build a strong economic and political partnership.

    "The visit assumes significance as Islamabad had given a blank check to China to intercede on its behalf with India on the Mumbai terror attacks," Press Trust of India reported.

    Zardari sought during his latest visit to highlight the benefits his country offered China. In an interview with Chinese media, he said companies based in central China would gain from trading through Pakistani ports, which are nearer to the sea than their own country's ports such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.

    "We will encourage Chinese companies to come to Pakistan as Pakistan is geo-strategically located and provides them access to the rest of the world through our warm waters," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Zardari as saying.

    The two sides agreed that establishing trans-border economic zones and a Pakistan-China rail link would go a long way in strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

    Pakistan wants "to initiate rail links as well in addition to existing road and sea links". Pakistan Press International quoted Zardari as saying. Addressing Chinese heads of major financial institutions and banks, he said the government would also provide maximum support to Chinese investors to enhance links between the two countries. The opening of branches by Chinese banks in Pakistan, would further expand financial interaction.

    "We also have a free-trade agreement with China and hope to finalize a trade agreement in services shortly", China Daily reported Zardari as saying. "Once we get our economic fundamentals right we can be a useful economic partner, a significant market and a profitable destination for investment." Pakistan is the first country with which China has signed a free trade agreement (FTA). The first phase of an FTA in goods and investment was completed last July.

    Investment by China and provision of easier access for Pakistani goods into the Chinese market could help boost trade between the two countries. Last year, bilateral trade volume rose a mere 1.3% to $6.9 billion.

    Zardari acknowledged the assistance China has already given to his country.

    "China has helped Pakistan’s economic development. Chinese assistance and enterprise has been invaluable in areas as diverse as construction of nuclear power plants to dams, roads and industrial estates. The port of Gwadar on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast is a testament to China’s friendship with Pakistan," he said.

    At the mouth of the Persian Gulf and opposite the Strait of Hormuz, Gwadar port is being funded and built by China and is intended to serve as a corridor for energy, cargo and services between Central Asia, the Gulf and other surrounding regions. Islamabad has awarded the US$70 million construction contract for an international airport at Gwadar to China Harbour Engineering Company. Under a memorandum of understanding signed during Zardari's latest visit, the Chinese company is to support the National Dredging Corporation of Pakistan in its dredging work - silting is a considerable problem at, for example, Gwadar.

    Over 3,000 Chinese nationals have their presence in Pakistan, and concern is rising over their safety given the increased numbers of terrorist incidents in the country, which has included the deaths of Chinese engineers involved in the Gwadar port project.

    "Terrorists have specifically targeted some of our Chinese friends who were working in Pakistan to drive a wedge between the two countries and peoples," China Daily quoted Zardari as saying. "The sacrifice of these Chinese citizens for Pakistan’s cause is an abiding reminder to us Pakistanis of China's friendship with our country."

    Zardari identified possible areas of co-operation between Pakistan and China in hybrid seed development and other agriculture technology such as water management and use of solar technology, Business Recorder reported, citing a statement by the Pakistan Embassy in China.

    Under a joint breeding programme, China’s Hubei Seed Group will transfer germplasm technology to boost productivity of hybrid rice. Pakistani scientists will also be trained in agronomy and oilseed production.

    The two sides also signed an agreement under which China will provide technical assistance to Pakistan in hydro-power generation. Zardari visited the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam.

    "Pakistan has not benefited to the extent that it should from its relations with China. We would like China to help us in the construction of a dam similar to this one," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted the Pakistani president as saying.

    Syed Fazl-e-Haider, [email protected], is a Quetta-based development analyst in Pakistan. He is the author of six books, including The Economic Development of Balochistan, published in May 2004.

    (Copyright 2009 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)
     
  6. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Daw...rld/us-detects-double-billing-by-pak-navy--bi

    US detects double billing by Pak Navy
    Arshad Sharif
    Thursday, 26 Feb, 2009 | 03:37 AM PST |

    ISLAMABAD: A recent report by the US Government Accountability Office accuses Pakistan Navy of submitting duplicative charges for transport facilities it provided in aid of war against terror.

    The duplicative charges were detected during an audit by the Office of the Defence Reprsentative at the US Embassy which pointed out that Pakistan Navy charged $19,000 per vehicle per month as reimbursement claims for a fleet of at least twenty passenger vehicles.

    ‘These claims appeared to contain duplicative charges for a fleet of fewer than 20 passenger vehicles,’ says the GAO report.

    The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), titled ‘SECURING, STABILISING, AND DEVELOPING PAKISTAN'S BORDER AREA WITH AFGHANISTAN,’ contains details of re-imbursements made available to Pakistan's military.

    According to the report, Pakistan's military has been the largest recipient of US funding from 2002 to 2008 with estimated 70 per cent of $12.3 billion going to the defence coffers as reimbursements or assistance.

    The report reveals that of the total $12.3 billion assistance to Pakistan, Pakistan's military received $8.7 billion as reimbursements and assistance since 2002, an amount provided in addition to the covert funding provided for intelligence operations.

    The report by the US Government Accountability Office raises serious questions about billions of dollars which Pakistan's Army claims it did not receive.

    However, a two star general of Pakistan's military said, ‘Pakistan Army did not receive more than 10 per cent of the much talked about coalition support fund of $6.4 billion.’

    However, if the details made public by the investigative arm of the US Congress are to be believed, there are serious differences over the payment issues between Pakistan's military and the US.

    The $8.7 billion payments, which the report says were made to Pakistan's military to advance the US strategic goals in Pakistan, included $1.5 billion as foreign military financing and $6.5 billion as Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

    CSF payments have been used since fiscal year 2002 to reimburse a broad range of Pakistani military operations, including navy support for maritime patrols and interdiction operations; air force support for combat air patrols, reconnaissance and close air support missions, airlift support, and air traffic control; army military operations in the Fata; and increased management requirements at the Joint Staff Headquarters.

    Reimbursements have also been made for what the report says is Operation Al Mizan, a major deployment of the Pakistani army to combat Taliban and al Qaeda.

    The report says Pakistan is the largest recipient of US Coalition Support Fund used to reimburse 27 coalition allies. But despite six years of US and Pakistani government efforts, al Qaeda has regenerated its ability to attack the United States and continues to maintain a safe haven in Pakistan's Fata.

    As Pakistan's military claims it is yet to get a full re-imbursement of its coalition support activities, the GAO report highlights reasons for holding back some of the payments pending implementation of stringent verification procedures.

    ‘Where audits have been completed covering about $5.7 billion in military and development assistance, GAO and the Defense and USAID inspectors general have raised accountability and oversight concerns, such as the ability of the US government to work with the Pakistani government to validate the use of US funds,’ says the report.

    The report says the US Defence Department did not obtain detailed documentation to verify that claimed costs were valid, actually incurred, or correctly calculated.

    Citing an example, the report says that as of May 2008, the US Defence Department paid over $2 billion in Pakistani reimbursement claims for military activities covering January 2004 through June 2007 without obtaining sufficient information that would enable a third party to recalculate these costs.

    To overcome the problems of accountability, the report says Pakistan and the US have agreed to meet every six months to discuss the issues relating to Coalition Support Funds. As part of the agreement, a new review of Pakistan's claims was to take place in the month of February this year.

    The new measures for processing claims of Pakistan military to which the Pakistani officials have agreed to include: provision of a monthly operational summary of Pakistan Army, Air Force and Navy actions in support of US military operations; additional documentation and cost methodology information for the May 2008 claim; feedback on the proposed submission format within 30 days of receipt; and beginning with the May 2008 claim, provide additional information or documentation for all disputed claims within 90 days to substantiate claims deferred or disallowed by Office of the Defence Representative in the U.S Embassy, CENTCOM, or the Defense Comptroller.

    The report points out that Pakistan has used Foreign Military Financing to purchase military equipment, such as Cobra helicopters, Harris radios, and upgrades to its F-16 fighter aircraft.

    Interestingly the report points out that the US plans to train, equip and establish 16 new Frontier Corps units of about 650 personnel each has been delayed due to a deteriorating security situation in Frontier where the training centre had to be established.

    Moreover, the US Defense Security Development Plan faces a shortfall of approximately $167.5 million, about 73 per cent of its funding goal for fiscal year 2009.
     
  7. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Is this is the reason China is not providing funding, this is something I don't understand why they are doing this to there best allies

     
  8. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009/02/26/story_26-2-2009_pg1_15

    Experts say Pakistan is on trajectory to failure

    * Private foreign affairs group says Pakistan can turn back from ‘brink’ if given ‘tools and finances’

    WASHINGTON: Pakistan is on a rapid trajectory to failure as a stable, democratic state and needs a boost of $4 billion in US aid and loans each year to begin turning around, a private foreign affairs group has concluded.

    “Time is running out,” said the Atlantic Council, which urged more training and deployment of 15,000 Pakistani police within six months to bring order to the country.

    Chance: “Given the tools and the financing, Pakistan can turn back from the brink,” the report said. “But for that to happen, it needs help now.”

    The Pakistan government has six to 12 months to implement economic and security policies, or “face the very real prospect of considerable domestic and political turbulence”, said the report.

    The US has given Pakistan about $12.3 billion in military and economic aid. The US Government Accountability Office says the US lacks a coordinated strategy in disbursing the aid and warns that Al Qaeda ‘continues to operate freely in Pakistan’s un-policed Tribal Areas’.

    Vice President Joe Biden, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the panel’s senior Republican, proposed last summer authorising $7.5 billion over five years in non-military aid for Pakistan. Similar legislation sponsored by Lugar and the new committee chairman, Democratic Senator John Kerry, is expected this year.

    Kerry and Republican former Sen Chuck Hagel are the Atlantic Council’s honorary chairmen. Hagel, having left the Senate, is now council chairman.

    The Obama administration, meanwhile, began a policy review this week with senior officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Here for the talks, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday he was pleased with moves to increase US assistance to his country. “We need economic stability,” said Qureshi in an interview with The Associated Press. “Until we have economic stability we will not be able to get political stability.” He would not put a price tag on Pakistan’s needs.

    The report itself said it was sounding an alarm “that we are running out of time to help Pakistan change its present course toward increasing economic and political instability, and even ultimate failure”. The situation has grown even more urgent, it said, with the November terror attacks in Mumbai. The report urged Pakistan to show it is serious in pursuing the perpetrators and other terrorists and terror organisations.

    “The Mumbai crisis has yet to run its course,” said the report. “The use of military force or other coercive action must be avoided.”

    Another concern in the report is that Pakistan might feel forced to enter negotiations with the Taliban and other insurgent groups and ‘grant further freedom of movement to insurgents’.

    The report warned that Al Qaeda and other radical groups could be emboldened “with frightening consequences for vulnerable targets in Britain, Europe and even the United States”. Compared with the hundreds of billions of dollars poured into Iraq and the many billions into Afghanistan, aid to Pakistan has been ‘relatively miserly’, said the report. And the stakes in Pakistan are far larger and more important to long-term US interests, the report said. ap
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    pakistan will fail when they big powers do not need it any longer to do their dirty work.
     
  10. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    Yes, What sickens me is that How the white man Manipulates the sick Politicians and lunatics in third world countries for their own Benefits.

    The Pakistani populance must wake up and do something.
     
  11. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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  12. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Ahmed I kinda don't agree with this statement, the point is why to blame others for own failures. I mean the populace chooses it's leaders and the leaders decide what is the way forward. In this why to blame the White men. Every body works in his/her own interest and what is wrong with that.

    Sorry Nitesh, instead of quote i clicked edit!
     
  13. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Pakistan wants to discuss US drone attacks

    Pakistan said Wednesday it wanted to discuss ending controversial US drone attacks inside its territory as it launches a three-way "war on terror" review with Afghanistan.
    Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met for a joint dinner with his Afghan counterpart and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before their formal session on Thursday.

    Ahead of the talks, Qureshi said he wanted to discuss the attacks in Pakistan by US unmanned drones which have apparently killed wanted Al-Qaeda militants but also numerous civilians.

    "It has alienated people and to win this fight, we need to win the hearts and minds of people," Qureshi said in an interview on CNN.

    "What I've suggested is let's weigh the advantages and the disadvantages. If the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, then we are reviewing the whole strategy and this should be on the table as well," he said.

    Qureshi called for the United States to let Pakistan carry out attacks, saying it would resolve disputes on sovereignty.

    The three-way session comes as President Barack Obama's administration puts a new focus on fighting extremism in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, where he is sending 17,000 more US troops.

    Qureshi said that while he understood the US desire to stabilize Afghanistan, the three-way review should also look at any "implications for Pakistan."

    Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants forced out of Afghanistan have holed up in lawless parts of Pakistan, which has come under growing fire in Washington for not eliminating the haven.

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Pakistan_wants_to_discuss_US_drone_attacks_999.html
     
  14. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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  15. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    It's geo politics mate we all know the things how soviets made life miserable for US in Vietnam they did the same with Soviets in Afghanistan.The issue is once US left the area Pakistani establishment used these guys for doing there dirty work and paying the price for it :)
     
  16. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    US ignores Pak's plea to end drone attacks

    WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has rejected Pakistan’s plea that the US end its drone operations in the badlands in its lawless frontier
    region, much less let Islamabad in on the action as a participant or give it predator technology to go after terrorist targets by itself.

    The drone issue figured prominently in talks between Pakistan’s top political and military establishment this week, but Washington has decisively dismissed any change in policy despite Islamabad’s complaints about its diminishing credibility because of “collateral damage” from predator attacks in the Frontier region.

    “Nothing has changed our efforts to go after terrorists and nothing will change those efforts. We are continuing at a level of action that is on a par with the challenges we're confronting,” the new CIA Director Leon Panetta said bluntly about the predator strikes and the Pakistani plea in his first formal interaction with reporters after taking over, adding. “None of that has diminished and none of it will,” he added.

    Panetta’s brusque response came after a series of blundering statements by Pakistan when it first protested the strikes, and then suggested it would be happy to take control and conduct the strikes itself if the US consented to it, and better still, supplied it with predators.

    The new tack came during Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s talks in Washington after Islamabad has earlier been embarrassed by US Senator Dianne Feinstein who suggested the drones were operating from Pakistani air bases with Islamabad’s knowledge and compliance.

    “If they (drone strikes) are necessary, if they are a necessity, then I think we are suggesting that technology should be transferred to Pakistan and that will resolve quite a few issues with the people of Pakistan,” Qureshi said in a television interview.

    Asked what answer he got from the administration on that suggestion, Qureshi said, “Well, I'm sure they'll consider it. I don't know what the answer is yet.”

    The answer from Panetta came soon after. Over at the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs, when asked about Pakistan’s request to take control of the strikes, said cryptically, “It seems enough in the overall architecture of said strikes that I will honor the long-held tradition of not talking publicly about that.”

    Qureshi, who was summoned to Washington along with Pakistan’s top military generals for a review of US policy towards the troubled region it calls Af-Pak, was also put on the defensive in television interviews over Pakistan’s deals with the Taliban in Swat.

    Qureshi insisted that the “arrangement” is not with the Taliban but with the local people of Swat. “It is a local solution to a local problem,” he said, despite widespread reports and criticism within Pakistan about the government caving in to dark, medieval forces of extremism.

    US officials, analysts, and commentators too have been horrified at the deal. Calling it an insult to the Obama administration, the Washington Times said in an editorial that Pakistan had “surrendered to the Taliban and al Qaeda, putting the entire world in danger.”

    “President Obama would be wise to respond quickly and punish the Pakistani government. They have thrown in with terrorists and killers, and the United States cannot accept that, nor should any responsible country,” it said.

    CIA Director Panetta himself said he remained skeptical about the deal.


    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...plea-on-drone-attacks/articleshow/4198020.cms
     
  17. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Problem as I see is the jarred zardari image as he carries too much of a burden of being seen as more pro-west than some one who is in the laps of the chinese or for that matter the pak establishment (PE). He is someone who most of the times toes the line of the west which hardly ever concurs with the strategy of the chinese or for that matter PE, and all this makes him seen as a western agent in his own country. In foreign relations there is always a give and take and at the moment there is nothing substantial for zardari to offer to the chinese so they are also in no mood to oblige in any which way. Now if by any chance zardari is made the paper stamp president which he ought to be and if gilani who is the official spokesperson of the PE takes the center stage then one will see the goodies flowing in not only from the chinese but even the saudis. Zardari, like musharraf sees US as his saviour, and he might be correct in the present context, as if there is a coup then he can at least assure his survival like what mush was successful in doing, and for the moment it is US which is coming to his and his country's rescue, be it either the loan from imf, wb, adb, or the recent announcement of military aid from the US, and all is happening at the behest of the US, and this clearly has irked the chinese, and saudis alike.


    Chinese can be best defined by a term in hindi “guna”, they silently keep observing whith out any “halla”, like we in the subcontinent have a habit of doing, and they strike when the iron is hot.
     
  18. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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  19. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    the next city is karanchi now

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/holnus/001200902281312.htm

    'Taliban could take Karachi hostage at any point'

    Karachi (PTI): Taliban have established secret hideouts in the southern financial hub of Karachi and its militants "could take the city hostage at any point," according to Pakistani police.

    The CID Special Branch of police has highlighted the presence of Taliban in Karachi in a report submitted to the Sindh government and the provincial police chief.

    The Taliban have "huge caches" of weapons and ammunition and "could take the city hostage at any point," the report said.

    The report provides details about secret Taliban hideouts and their presence in areas like Sohrab Goth and Quaidabad.

    Besides living in small motels in these areas, the Taliban are hiding in the hills of Manghopir and Orangi town and in other low-income areas and slums, the Daily Times newspaper quoted the police report as saying.

    The daily also quoted sources as saying that the deputy chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban, Hasan Mahmood, was hiding in Karachi.

    The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which is part of the coalition government in Sindh province, has often warned authorities that the Taliban had established a presence in Karachi. The Daily Times said the Special Branch report had "terrified" police and security personnel.

    Recently, personnel of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell had raided a guesthouse in Sohrab Goth but the Taliban apprehended them instead.

    The militants were trying to execute the policemen when another police party intervened.

    Two policemen were killed in the operation while a SSP and 11 other policemen were seriously injured.

    Police also arrested eight men who were said to be pro-Taliban militants.

    On the directives of the Sindh government, a survey has been conducted of guesthouses across Karachi and senior police officials have asked for surveillance of these facilities.
     
  20. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    The similarity between india and pakistan at present.

    I’m sipping on an iced mocha in Espreso, a coffee bar off MM Alam Road, in the heart of Lahore. Opposite me sits a friend, who must remain nameless.

    For the purposes of our story, let’s call her Ayesha. She’s a professional, educated in an Ivy League college and has just about everything going for her.

    The bar can’t be called well-lit, but it’s not dim either. Around us, sit a few couples — women in groups of three and two — and single women as well. Some are smoking. The conversation is easy.

    Espreso could easily be in Delhi’s Select City Walk Mall, or a bar in Bandra, Mumbai.

    But this is Pakistan, where President Zardari told a Western TV station only the other day that the fundos were poised to take over.

    I tell Ayesha about the scenes played over and over again on Indian TV recently: Pramod Muthalik and his goons of the Sri Rama Sene pulling out and bashing up women from a pub in Mangalore.

    Ayesha is shocked. I tell her that all you need is a bunch of four or five people to ransack a chic place like the basement coffee bar in which we are sitting.

    What happened in Mangalore could well happen in Lahore. Like Muthalik and Co., the fundos here had warned young couples against celebrating Valentine’s Day.

    The conversation turns to Swat: Ayesha tells me it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth — a tourist paradise where she has been on work and pleasure.

    It would be grossly unfair, I guess, to compare Muthalik to Mullah Fazlullah aka Mullah Radio for his Islamist FM radio broadcasts, and his hordes, who have turned the Valley of Swat into the Valley of Death.

    The Mullah in Swat is armed to the teeth, but Muthalik in Bangalore, at the moment, has only a few goons. But they are united on one issue: that women (and men) need to live and behave according to their designs.

    Tailpiece: Before going to the coffee bar, I had dinner the previous night at Dhaba, which is on MM Alam Road. The brain curry was excellent; the road is otherwise dotted with fancy eating places. For those interested in Google history, M.M. Alam is Muhammad Mahmood Alam — a fighter ace of Bengali origin — who won laurels for his country in 1965. In the 1971 war, however, this Pakistan Air Force pilot was grounded along with others who were Bengalis, if Wikipedia is to be believed



    Amit Baruah, Hindustan Times
     

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