Pak gives US 56-page wish list to counter India's might

ajtr

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Pakistan satisfied with US nuclear talks

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's foreign minister said on Thursday his delegation had “very satisfactory” talks with Washington on civilian nuclear cooperation and that the case of a Pakistani scientist was “behind us.”
Pakistan is pressing for a nuclear cooperation arrangement similar to one its key rival India has with the United States but Washington has so far been reluctant to enter into any formal talks on the issue.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told Reuters in an interview that meetings with US officials on nuclear cooperation, nonproliferation and export controls had gone well.

“I am quite satisfied with the discussions we had,” Qureshi said when asked about the nuclear cooperation issue. “I would not like to expand on it at this stage.”

He added that “the talks were very satisfactory” but declined to specify the kind of cooperation Pakistan sought.

The two days of high-level talks in Washington were aimed at boosting ties between the often uneasy allies as the United States relies on cooperation from Pakistan in its fight against Taliban and al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan.

Washington has been dubious about talks on sharing nuclear technology, partly because of fears it would upset India but also due to concerns over the case a Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

“I think that is behind us,” Qureshi said when asked about the Khan case. “I think they understand the new command-control structures we have in place. I think they are pretty satisfied with security and safety systems in place in Pakistan and there is recognition of that.”

Just days before the “strategic dialogue” talks in Washington, Pakistan's government filed a court petition to investigate the Khan case.

POWER CRISIS

Asked whether his country wanted the same kind of nuclear deal that Washington has with India, Qureshi said: “I am against discrimination.”

Pakistan faces daily blackouts and the power shortage has weighed heavily on the economy as well as public patience.

Qureshi said his country was looking at a multi-pronged approach to the energy crisis and that included boosting the current small capacity for nuclear power.

“We have to modernize and tap on indigenous resources like hydro, coal. We have to bring in renewables — solar, wind — and we also have the capability of producing nuclear energy and we are doing it.”. — Reuters
 

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Pakistan questions India's concerns over nuclear deal

Anita Joshua
In 2008, Pranab said India favoured Washington cooperating with Islamabad in civil nuclear area

It will be unfair to see strategic dialogue through the prism of nuclear agreement

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday questioned the concerns expressed by India over the possibility of a United States-Pakistan civil nuclear deal and referred to a 2008 statement by the former External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, to expose the frequent shifts in the Indian position.

Amid reports of the U.S. being open to hearing out Pakistan's case for a civil nuclear deal, official sources in India said on Monday: “We hope the international community would strike the right balance between meeting energy needs of any country while taking on board its track record with regard to proliferation of nuclear technology and weapons of mass destruction.”

Responding to questions on this stance taken by India on a possible Pakistan-U.S. civil nuclear deal — similar to the one America has with India — Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said every sovereign country had a right to strengthen its bilateral relations.

Further, Mr. Basit noted that Mr. Mukherjee had in 2008 said that India was in favour of Washington cooperating with Islamabad in the civil nuclear area.

“In respect of civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S., we would like to encourage civil nuclear cooperation — its full use of nuclear energy — as we believe every country has its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Mr. Mukherjee had said in Washington.

Though the U.S. has been non-committal on such a deal with Pakistan, Mr. Basit said it would be unfair to see the latest round of strategic dialogue solely through the prism of a civil nuclear agreement.

“This dialogue has many dimensions and energy is one of the areas where the two countries are exploring the scope for cooperation,” he said.

Describing the strategic dialogue — the fourth in a series that began in 2006 after then U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Pakistan — as “unprecedented,” Mr. Basit was optimistic about the outcome. This is the first time the dialogue is being held at the ministerial level and Mr. Basit pointed out that both countries have a mutual desire to take the existing relations to a higher level.
 

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Army ready to forgo hardware: Kayani

WASHINGTON: Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Thursday that the military was willing to forgo its requests for hardware to ensure that Pakistan’s energy and economic needs were met.

At a briefing at the Pakistan Embassy, Gen Kayani also said that there had been a marked change in the US attitude towards Pakistan because of the army’s success in South Waziristan and Swat.

“I told Senator John Kerry and Senator Richard Lugar that in order to make sure that Pakistan’s economy and energy needs are met, we are willing to forgo the military equipment that we have asked for,” he said.

“The most important concerns for Pakistan today are economy and energy and we have emphasised that with the American administration that these are the needs that need to be met,” he added.

Gen Kayani met the two senators earlier this week when he arrived in Washington for the two-day strategic dialogue, which concluded on Thursday.
 

Yusuf

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Did that 56 page beg list also have in it the pakistanis ask for say a couple of Ohio class boats with the full complement of trident missile with warheads? And also bring the kitty hawk out of retirement along with all the tomcats refurbished?

Also read that the envoy of the US in UK drove four hours to save Qureshi from being exposed, I wonder why pakistan didn't ask for a guard of honor too along with gun salute. After all MMS was given a very warm and well covered reception. There has to be parity there as well.
 

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Pak-US talks a good beginning

The optics after the first round of the strategic dialogue in Washington are better than the results announced.

If ever a picture said a thousand words, it was that of a beaming Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan's foreign minister, and the American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. No stiff body language here; much camaraderie, many words of friendship.

The results at first glance appear meagre: a few energy projects, assistance for the Benazir Income Support Programme and a fast track to some military hardware. Also, an apparent firm no to nuclear power plants, and hands off on an American role in promoting India-Pakistan dialogue.

This does not seem like a breakthrough or the beginning of a new strategic relationship. If anything, after the hype that preceded the dialogue, it seems more like a stalemate. But there is obviously more to it than meets the eye.

A few ground realities have to be recognised. The US needs Pakistan and Pakistan needs the United States.

First, why is Pakistan vital to US interests in this region? On two levels, the possibility of honourable settlement for it in Afghanistan hinges on Pakistan's cooperation. The supply line of its troops and that of the Nato forces runs through this country. Without Pakistan's cooperation, it can grind to a halt. And there are no viable alternatives.

Secondly, the conflict in Afghanistan is not of a kind where a straightforward military victory is possible. The fighting can only prepare the ground for a political settlement that allows the Americans to declare victory and leave. Pakistan has a role in both.

On the military side, it can, and has begun, to tighten the screws on the Afghan Taliban. It is no longer willing to provide them safe havens when the pressure gets to be too much in Afghanistan. This is designed to force them to think dialogue.

Politically, Pakistan started to circumscribe the space available to the Afghan Taliban leadership in this country. Whether the arrest of Mullah Baradar and others is part of a chess game to stop them from cutting separate deals or a genuine attempt to hold them to account, the fact remains that as a player in the "dialogue with the Taliban" equation, Pakistan cannot be ignored.

The other side of the Pakistan-US relationship is also equally important. Pakistan needs US support and assistance in a number of areas. In Afghanistan, it has a vital interest in its stability and a government that is not hostile to it. The much-maligned strategic depth concept, in its current formulation, is nothing more than an Afghanistan friendly to Pakistan.

This is where India's presence in Afghanistan becomes an issue for Pakistan. As long as the current state of hostility exists between the two, Pakistan fears that India would make every attempt to turn the Afghans against it. It would also use its presence to foment trouble in Balochistan and, in a manner of speaking, encircle the country.

As an occupying power in Afghanistan, Pakistan believes, the United States can restrict Indian presence in that country. It can also ensure that no anti-Pakistan activity takes place on Afghan soil. This includes denying sanctuary to Baloch dissidents like Brahmdagh Bugti.

The India-Pakistan rivalry has thus become an important subplot for the US in the Afghan situation and in the region as a whole. Pakistan wants to leverage this to make India move forward on the composite dialogue process and on Kashmir. The US has been doing precisely that, without acknowledging it publicly.

Pakistan also wants the US to accept its nuclear status and conclude an arrangement similar to that it has with India. This is a tricky area and may not happen, but it helps to seek some alternatives, such as a nuclear power plant or conventional armaments. At least on the arms side, it appears that some progress has been made.

The big elephant in the negotiating room is Pakistan's dire economic straits. This has many dimensions, including budgetary deficits, energy problems, poverty issues and support for infrastructure projects. The current US commitment of $1.5 billion is too little, given the size of the problem, and Pakistan would be seeking more.

US help would also be vital in multilateral forums. It is not a secret that without its nod institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF do not move. Pakistan would be seeking more assistance and an easing of conditions. The last aspect is vital because IMF support is conditional and some of the stringent ones are hard to meet.

To sum up, both Pakistan and the US need each other. The game is to leverage advantages and play on the vulnerabilities to gain the maximum. There are no friends among nations, just a coming together of mutual interests. There seems to be recognition on both sides that such congruence is possible. Hence, the happy optics.

A few words on the process. According to press reports, Pakistan, for once, did its homework and prepared a comprehensive document, as many as 56 pages, to outline its interests. This was made available to the Americans well before the talks giving, them time to circulate it within their system. This ensured proper consideration and well-thought-out responses.

The management of the dialogue was also done better. Instead of cursory meetings with various centres of power and little cohesion, the talks were attended by all the principle agencies and interlocutors. The fact that the secretaries of state and defence, plus representatives from the military, the National Security Council and aid agencies, were present made the process meaningful.

The presence of Gen Kayani from the Pakistani side was equally important. This was reflected in the meetings he had prior to the talks, which prepared the ground for a meaningful military cooperation. It may not correspond to pristine notions of democracy, but the military is the most powerful institution in Pakistan. The participation by its chief gave the talks the necessary gravitas to make them consequential.

What happens next? Are we entering a new and more substantive phase of Pakistan-US relations? The truthful answer is that it is too early to tell. Some broad principles may be agreed to in the Washington talks, but this will just be a beginning. It is the follow-up, working-group-type meetings that will determine the outcome.

Reports are that the next phase is likely to be in April, and probably in Islamabad. My guess is that this will not be as high-level as the current meeting, but more detailed, and will get into nuts and bolts. It is only then that the final contours of any long-term strategic partnership will become visible.
 

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America's Pakistan strategy

There is no reason for India to be alarmed over the newly launched U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue. There is no need to worry, as some have begun to do, that this week's talks in Washington mark the beginning of a new phase in the re-hypenation of Delhi and Islamabad. In the run-up to the dialogue, Indian officials allowed themselves to be blindsided by the well-publicised wish list the Pakistanis said they were taking with them. The demands included American mediation over the Kashmir dispute with India as well as a civil nuclear energy agreement to allow the country to access global nuclear technology and fuel. In the context of the high decibel campaign (within Pakistan) of water theft by India, U.S. intervention was solicited to help effect a better water-sharing arrangement. On all of these counts, Pakistan's delegation will have to return empty handed. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who led the U.S. side in the strategic dialogue, promised help in increasing the efficiency of Pakistani energy and water utilisation; but she was clear and forthright in emphasising the importance of bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan in the quest for solutions to outstanding issues. As for nuclear energy, Pakistan was told that a deal of the kind India got in 2005 is not on the table.

In courting Islamabad, President Barack Obama has been careful not to squander the gains Washington has made in building up a ‘strategic partnership' with India over the past decade. Mediation and other forms of interference are non-starters and the U.S. knows this. But in its search for an exit route from the quagmire of Afghanistan, the Obama administration is in danger of becoming over-dependent on Pakistan. This is where the danger for India, and, ultimately for the U.S. and the rest of the international community, lies. The presence of Pakistan's army and intelligence chiefs at the strategic dialogue underlined the abnormality of the situation. Terrorism and extremist politics in the AfPak region are mainly the product of the Pakistani military establishment, which nurtured and patronised jihadi groups as a force multiplier. Despite this, a solution is now being sought by valorising and even strengthening the role of this establishment at the expense of Pakistan's civilian structures of governance. If it was clear that the military had learnt its lessons and decided to change course irrevocably, the American approach might have some merit. But the continuing links between the army and the ISI, on the one hand, and terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, on the other, are too well-known to ignore. The U.S. knows this and is using the strategic dialogue as a lever to influence Islamabad. The danger, of course, is that the lever may work the other way.
 

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Pakistanis feel cheated by DC, and so they now need to do their standard nautanki of reinforcing border with india :)

Pakistan reinforces troops on Indian border
Published: March 26 2010 05:08

Pakistan has sent extra troops to its border with India, saying rising tensions with its neighbour prevent it from expanding its military campaign against Taliban militants on its western border.

Islamabad’s envoy to London told the Financial Times that assertiveness by New Delhi was sapping his country’s ability to fight Pakistani Taliban militants. He said Islamabad had been unsettled by pressure on its eastern border created by the building of military cantonments close to the sensitive frontier over the past year.

“This is taking away from our defence capabilities on the Afghan border,” Mr Hasan said. “We really wish the international community would intervene, but nobody has said anything to the Indians."

Pakistani officials said the number of troops the army had deployed was modest and declined to give details, though the reinforcements are estimated to be in the hundreds.

"This is more of a political and diplomatic problem rather than a strategic one,” said a western diplomat based in Islamabad. “Every time Pakistan has to defend itself on criticism for gaps in its campaign, they bring up India. The campaigns in Waziristan cannot be expanded because of India, for example, is one issue".

“We have enough problems of our own on our eastern border,” said Mr Kasuri (Khurshid Kasuri, a former Pakistani foreign minister). “We are concerned about India. Resolve the problems with India and then [our security orientation] could change.”
 

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India very recently removed 35000 troops from kashmir. So that smacks in the face to the liars in pakistan. Nothing that the west doesn't know about. Normal pak strategy to put pressure on the west regarding kashmir.
 

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Also read that the envoy of the US in UK drove four hours to save Qureshi from being exposed, I wonder why pakistan didn't ask for a guard of honor too along with gun salute. After all MMS was given a very warm and well covered reception. There has to be parity there as well.
ROFL, I thought MMS was the PM where as Qureshi is a Foreign Minister ;)
 

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Actually I am hoping that those guys really try another 26/11, only this time we foil the plan and then use that to knock over some targets that we know are vital to terrorists.
 

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Surprisingly, there are no voices against this blatant begging by Pakistan within the country! Unlike the "thes" to honor and dignity that was so much being bandied about for the Kerry Lugar bill (something that was quickly buried as well). Everyone seems to be eager to get as much alms as possible while the going is good.

They almost expect USA to kick them out after the Afghan pullout and another round of sanctions.
 

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So, this round of begging was not so fruitful it seems. Where will the high flying foreign minister Qureshi will hide his face behind. Even Kayani presence at the strategic meeting didn't bring anything substantial to Pakistan except some roads & power plants. All the nuclear deal talk went puff and no promises were made that US will mediate between India and Pakistan on a range of issues. Very unsuccessful meet I should say.
 

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Surprisingly, there are no voices against this blatant begging by Pakistan within the country! Unlike the "thes" to honor and dignity that was so much being bandied about for the Kerry Lugar bill (something that was quickly buried as well). Everyone seems to be eager to get as much alms as possible while the going is good.

They almost expect USA to kick them out after the Afghan pullout and another round of sanctions.
Coz this beggig is specially done by kiyani in command so not any noise.Kerry-lugar begging was done by civilians in command and was the acheivement of pakistani Ambassador to usa hussain Haqqani who is not liked by army and mullahs so there was lot of noise against kerry lugar bill.
 

Vinod2070

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Yes, the noise was inspired by the military and was quickly buried when they were given an earful by the USA and the money started flowing in.

Many in Pakistan expect miracles from General Kayani. Let's see what he can do for them in the time he has left. So far his record is far from impressive.
 

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Surprisingly, there are no voices against this blatant begging by Pakistan within the country! Unlike the "thes" to honor and dignity that was so much being bandied about for the Kerry Lugar bill (something that was quickly buried as well). Everyone seems to be eager to get as much alms as possible while the going is good.

They almost expect USA to kick them out after the Afghan pullout and another round of sanctions.
Vinod,

There was no opposition because the PA and the ever powerful ISI were a part of this begging spree unlike in the past when they were being sidelined by the Americans so even after a no show in the US their usual belligerent media is dumb founded, one wonders what happened to the usual conspiracy theorists, the Ahmed Qureshi’s and the Shireen Mazari’s.

Imagine a similar no show had there been no PA, and the ISI, and oh the story would have been one of traitors selling all the stakes of the country with media all critical of this meet and with them shouting out the only viable option to save the nation, another round of dictatorship.

You don’t bark at or bite the hand that feeds you and so remains the story of Pakistan media and their masters the PA, and when the going gets good for the PA, then so remains the story between PA and their masters the US.

All the talk of “H&D” is a load of crap!
 

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Another thing that strikes one is the sense of entitlement on th part of Pakistanis. They want the world (and especially USA) to acknowledge their sacrifices! Their own internal terror (that was promoted by the same PA/ISI combine) came home to roost and they want to be paid for the nautanki of fighting their own terrorists in their own country!

Also they come up with some random figure of $35 billion that is supposed to be their economic loss because of this home grown terror and they want it to be made good as well! If India were to force them to pay for all the lives lost due to Pakistani terror in our country, where will they go?

Some strange world these people live in. They seem to be behaving like mercenaries expecting to be paid for fighting their own wars.
 
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Yusuf

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ROFL, I thought MMS was the PM where as Qureshi is a Foreign Minister ;)
Well yes, MMS is the pm and Qureshi is the FM. But then India is also at a higher pedestal but pakistan still wants parity. Imagine what would have happened if Qureshi had got all that. It would have been called the welcome of the century by pakistani establishment.
 

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I think we can see who is benefiting from chaos and conflict in Pakistan and trying to capitalize shamelessly. Utter shame. Kiyani has shown the colors on his feathers now.
 

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