Pakistan to America: What have you done for us lately?

Dark_Prince

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This article is not framed in a respectable fashion! It gives a sense that pakistan is some kind of "Mercenary", which is busy negotiation cost of its services in taming taliban (pakistan's brainchild) even after receiving 7.5 Bn $$ (+3 Bn $$ in line, including free military goodies)!!
 

nitesh

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U.S. Sees Hope in Pakistan Requests for Help

Pakistan sent a 56-page document to the U.S. ahead of strategic talks scheduled for Wednesday, seeking expanded military and economic aid in what some American officials believe is an implicit offer to crack down in return on the Afghan Taliban.

The previously undisclosed document includes requests ranging from U.S. help to alleviate Pakistan's chronic water and power shortages to pleas for surveillance aircraft and support in developing the country's civilian nuclear program.

U.S. officials say the document and the talks surrounding it could help redefine one of America's thorniest foreign-policy relationships, if it leads to a serious Pakistani clampdown on the Taliban.
So Pakistan demands again :D

Pakistan also wants a civilian nuclear energy cooperation deal with the U.S., and a role in any future peace talks between the Western-backed Afghan government and the Taliban.

Many U.S. officials remain wary of such deals with Pakistan. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., Pakistan has received more than $17.5 billion in U.S. aid, the majority earmarked for the military and security, while insisting it was doing all it could to combat the Taliban and its Islamist allies.
They recieved 17.5 billion dollars :D wonder where it is gone and US again says not interested

U.S. officials have complained that Pakistan's intelligence services continued to offer clandestine support for the Taliban, which it has long viewed as a proxy it could use to secure its influence in Afghanistan and keep archrival India out after an eventual U.S. withdrawal.

"Everything with the Pakistanis is two steps forward and one step back," said a senior U.S. military official involved in talks with the Pakistanis. "Anybody who expects straight linear progress out of a strategic dialogue between these two nations is really kind of naïve. What it will be is a step forward and then we'll see where they go with it."
here it explains the ground reality :D

Some of Pakistan's requests are likely non-starters. India has steadfastly refused any outside mediation in its decades-long dispute with Pakistan. And U.S. officials say a civilian nuclear deal would be a tough sell given Pakistan's history of nuclear weapons proliferation.
So what's happening on nuclear deal front :p
 

ajtr

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The chestnuts are our own

And by golly are they in a raging fire, no matter what anyone says. So let us say it straight. Rather than cursing the Americans for being in Afghanistan and making us fight the war against terror, we should be grateful that they forced the Pakistani establishment, at that time under the command of the Commando, to turn on its own creation.
To prove the point let us see what would have happened if our establishment had not made a U-turn as a direct consequence of the 9/11 attacks on New York and had refused to join the Americans. Let us also suppose that the Americans would not have bombed us to smithereens (or into the Stone Age, take your pick) for fear of further destabilising Pakistan and only making their own fight in Afghanistan that much more difficult.

Would we have gone on supporting the medieval Taliban and their government as theretofore, despite the horrors they visited upon the Afghan people specially women? For one, and if I recall correctly, an edict issued by Mullah Omar was that women (doctors, nurses, teachers) could not leave their homes, i.e. could not work. Another was that women could not go to see male doctors. So what were they to do then? Die quietly?

Let’s take another tack. There is no question that, even if we had not joined them, the Americans would have assaulted Afghanistan just the way they did, first from the air, and then from the ground in coalition with the Northern Alliance to rid it of the Taliban who were, by their own admission, shielding Al Qaeda. How, pray would Pakistan have handled the fallout of that assault? How would this country have faced the influx of the Afghan Taliban escaping the massive bombardment and land assault, pursued as they would have been by American forces and air power into Pakistan?

There is no question that that mad enterprise, had it taken place, would have resulted in complete disaster for Pakistan. Which is why it defies the senses to see good people like Imran Khan go on saying ad nauseam that this is not our war. And further, that all it will take for the Taliban to stop their brutal attacks on Pakistan is the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. How wrong is that, when there is every evidence that Taliban of every hue, and yes there are Punjabi Taliban too, are after only one prize: the takeover of the Pakistani state?

The evidence of this lies in the oft-repeated Taliban mantra of pan-Islamism à la organisations like the Hizbut Tahrir; the former al-Muhajiroun now called Islam4UK (who came up with the brilliantly stupid idea of protesting the respect given to fallen British servicemen and women by the city of Wootton Bassett in their adopted country, the UK, and from which they cravenly withdrew three days later), and other such crazies.

However, just to argue the demand made by people like Imran Khan, Gen Hamid Gul, Jamaat-i-Islami ameer Munawwar Hussain (Qazi Sahib come back) & Co, what if the Americans lost their mind and did leave Afghanistan tomorrow, festering wounds and all? How in heaven’s name will we survive the whirlwind that will come sweeping in then, marrying up with the storm brewing in the southern heartland of Punjab?

Which immediately reminds me: if we do not stand up and recognise that there is a deeply rooted and most brutal Taliban movement in Punjab itself how will we ever do anything about it? Reports from Bahawalpur and Jhang and environs suggest that the madressahs there are some of the most poisonous anywhere and that the local administration is petrified of the militant clerics and often covers up for them.

Let me add as an aside that there were many credible reports from credible and good people at the time that innocent men and women in poor, beautiful, ravaged Swat were being mercilessly slaughtered, that those from Punjab were the most brutal of the slaughterers.

I am a Punjabi, so it gives me no pleasure to say that some of my compatriots are mindlessly brutal: I say this because we have begun to think that all Taliban are Pakhtun; because we look at our Pakhtun brothers with suspicion and our police invariably target those who live in Punjab whenever something untoward takes place. We must remedy that by facing up to the fact that brutes can be found in any ethnic group: Punjabi, Pakhtun, Baloch, Sindhi, Mohajir, you name it.

We must also ensure that no government figure, be it Salman Taseer or Rana Sanaullah, ever again shares a podium with a member of a banned extremist organisation (they both did). Or that any plea is made to these brutes to spare one province or another: they only understand force and it is only with force that they will be subdued.

By the by, our too-clever-by-half security establishment ought to brace itself for certain disclosures soon to be made by Pakistani-American David Headley aka Daud Gillani, who has entered a plea bargain with US authorities for a reduced sentence and is reportedly singing like a canary. Let’s see which song he sings for the Indians when they grill him on Mumbai and other such ‘operations’. He has named certain names which are already public — we wait with bated breath for others.

I write this on World Water Day. The following is the laboratory report on water taken from the Wah springs, a once pristine source of fresh spring water from where the premier defence installation the Pakistan Ordnance Factories draws its drinking water. On Oct 23, 2007 the report had this to say: MPN (Most Probable Number) of coliforms: 18+/100ml; MPN of E. coli: 18+/100ml. On March 15, 2008: MPN of coliforms: 55/100ml; MPN of faecal coli-forms: 45/100ml; confirmed E. coli count: 45/100ml.

So there! We, the POFs and us who live in the area, are literally drinking human excreta! The huge jump in both readings (and the newest of these is fully two years old, mark) is due to the fact that houses and resultant soakage pits are coming up on the Wah hill from which flow the springs.

There is only one way to go about this. For the government through the POFs to acquire the portions of the Wah hill that house these springs and move the people who live on it to alternative accommodations. A very great contribution of the POFs would be to facilitate a fenced-in nature park on this hill containing a sanctuary for the once plentiful partridge, a bird that has been practically wiped out from the area.
 

ajtr

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The general’s DC wishlist

As General Ashfaq Kayani arrives in Washington this week to lead what has been billed as a comprehensive strategic dialogue with the United States, there is considerable anticipation in Rawalpindi about the goody bag that might await the Pakistan army chief.
With the Army GHQ in Pindi demanding strategic parity with India and primacy in Afghanistan in return for the recent services rendered to Washington, there is some concern in Delhi about where the US-Pakistan relationship is headed and what it might mean for the geopolitics of the region.

Pindi’s expectations from Washington as well as Delhi’s fears about the direction of the US-Pakistan relationship might, however, turn out to be somewhat exaggerated.

If there is always a big gulf between the Pakistan army’s reach and its grasp, the Indian foreign policy establishment has a habit of reading too much into Pakistan’s relations with the US.

While Delhi cannot stop Pindi from overplaying its hand, it must respond calmly to the likely results from the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue this week. Even more important, Delhi must prepare to shape the evolution of the US-Pakistan relationship rather than merely protest against it.

A self-confident India that builds on its own partnership with Washington and works its undervalued levers in Islamabad can explore the many contradictions in the current US-Pakistan partnership and influence its future direction.

For one, both the US and Pakistan say the purpose of their strategic dialogue is to construct an enduring relationship rather than an instrumental one. The Obama administration has indeed apologised for the past American habit of using and discarding the Pakistan army.

Only a bold man will bet that the US-Pakistan relationship will now evolve into something more than the marriage of convenience it has been for decades. After all, there are little commercial or societal ties that bind the US to Pakistan and it might be difficult to sustain the US-Pakistan partnership once the current expediency passes.

To be sure, the American interest in Pakistan will continue so long as it has troops in Afghanistan. This surely will not be a permanent condition.

In Washington, the rhetoric is all about looking beyond the military/ security relationship with Pakistan. The Obama administration wants to channel the expanded American assistance to Pakistan into such areas as agriculture and education. Any amount of money that America and the world might mobilise for Pakistan’s economic development will be a drop in the bucket.

Pakistan’s ruling party — the GHQ — is under no obligation to win political mandate from the people, let alone renew it periodically. It has little incentive, then, to promote economic and social transformation in Pakistan.

For all the American hopes to move the relationship beyond security cooperation, Kayani’s focus in Washington this week will be on geopolitics and not the social sector.

Given his recognition that the American connection might once again be a short-lived one, Kayani would naturally want to extract, quickly, whatever he can from the Obama administration on India and Afghanistan.

Although Pakistan’s leverage in Washington today is real, Kayani might be over-estimating its value. Kayani’s American wishlist is said to have four key demands. First, re-establish strategic parity with India in the atomic domain with a civil nuclear deal of the kind Delhi gained from President George W. Bush.

Second, Pindi wants substantive conventional weapons transfers to redress what it sees as India’s threatening military modernisation. Third, Kayani wants Washington to press India to make major concessions on its disputes with Pakistan, including the old one on Kashmir and the newly minted one on the Indus waters.

Finally, Pakistan wants the US recognition of its case for “strategic depth” in Afghanistan and to have a decisive say in the construction of new political arrangements across the Durand line.

There is no way the US can meet the entirety of Pakistan’s demands. Nor can the administration deliver on them unilaterally; some of them — like the nuclear deal — require congressional consensus as well as unanimity in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. There are others that are simply not possible — force Indian concessions on Kashmir.

On Afghanistan, where the US needs Kayani’s troops, there will be some give and take; but India will have to be super-paranoid to believe Washington will simply hand over Afghanistan to the Pakistan army.

The presumed endgame in Afghanistan will be a prolonged one and no final decisions are at hand in Washington this week. Having already written some big cheques to Pakistan since it came to power, the Obama administration too has demands on Pindi. These include more substantive army action against the Afghan Taliban and its associates and freedom of action for American use of force on Pakistan territory.

Since Kayani cannot return without a going-home present, India must expect that there will be some American rewards for him this week. Expanded supply of arms to Pakistan is certainly one possibility.

The temptation is strong in India to protest against any and all arms sales to Pakistan. Delhi must resist it, because such objections carry little credibility.

India’s main problem with Pakistan is not about a fragile conventional military balance that might be upset by American arms transfers. It is to change Pakistan’s belief that under the nuclear gun it can promote anti-India terror groups with impunity.

As it responds to the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue this week, Delhi’s message must be three-fold — global efforts aimed at a positive transformation of Pakistan are welcome; expanded economic and military assistance to Pakistan must be conditioned on Pindi’s commitment to dismantle its jehadi assets; India is ready to address all of Pakistan’s concerns — including Kashmir — if it gives up violent extremism as an instrument of state policy.
 

RPK

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If the war against terrorism is Pakistan's war (and it most certainly is) then all the investment required to fight the war should come from within Pakistan. Many would argue that it already has. Even head-in-the-sand ostriches in Pakistan's political spectrum would not argue the facts. Over 8,000 innocent civilians and nearly 3,000 military personnel have been martyred in this Pakistani war.

The Pakistani parliament allows its military an unscrutinised budget, which is why it is difficult to estimate the actual cost of this war to Pakistan. In his unabashed enthusiasm for finding more money for parliament to blindly authorise for the military, Ambassador Husain Haqqani has been on record quoting the figure of $50 billion as the price Pakistan has paid in this war. That represents roughly 30 per cent of Pakistan's annual GDP. Perhaps the ambassador has access to budget analysts that other Pakistanis do not. But even head-in-the-sand ostriches in Pakistan's economic spectrum would not argue the facts. This war against terrorism has cost Pakistan's economy -- in terms of both domestic consumption, and foreign direct investment. It has cost the economy dearly.

So in blood and in treasure, Pakistan is fighting a war that is Pakistan's war to fight. When the prolific President Zardari pens op-ed after op-ed essentially attempting to convince western readers that his country owns the war that it is fighting, he is essentially telling the truth. Whether war-weary Pakistanis that mistrust the United States like it or not, terrorism is consuming Pakistani blood, and Pakistani rupees. It is not a matter of choice, the issue of whether this is Pakistan's war or not. It is an imposition upon the Pakistani people by terrorists.

Given that this is Pakistan's war then, the entire notion of the need for a strategic dialogue with the United States seems misplaced and disingenuous. This strategic dialogue, as Richard Holbrooke himself has stated, is about security as much as it is about other things. The Pakistani state makes no secret of its desire to link this dialogue to security, allowing its military chief to convene and interview civilian bureaucrats -- the heads of twelve ministries -- none of whom would have sought the permission of their ministers to go to the General Headquarters of the Pakistan army.

You can either have the cake, or you can eat it. Pakistan's military and political elite have a compulsive disorder in which they want to have the cake, and eat it too. No wonder the system is chock-full of symptoms of indigestion.

Let's look at a small part of the Pakistani 'strategy' for these strategic talks. Pakistan wants $400 million for Munda Dam, it wants $40 million for Gomal Zam Dam, it wants $70 million for the Natural Gas Production & Efficiency Project, it wants $10 million for Satpara Dam, it wants $27 million for the Wind Energy Project in Sindh, it wants $65 million to rehabilitate Mangla Dam, and it wants $35 million to upgrade Warsak Dam. Total cost of this dam wish-list? $647 million.

Of course, if there is a calculator on the desks of any of the over one dozen South Asia and ****** leads within the Obama administration, they could easily respond to these kinds of requests from Pakistan. At roughly $40 million a pop, the still-pending delivery of 18 F-16 aircraft (from 2006) is a deal worth about $720 million. Instead of actually delivering these aircraft in June this year, as it plans to, the US government could tell the Pakistani government that it can choose. Either it can have a bunch of dams that will resolve the energy crisis, and save many hundreds, maybe thousands of lives in hospitals and clinics around the country. Or it can have a bunch of airplanes that are designed to kill people rather indiscriminately (meaning that not all of the victims of Pakistan's F-16s will be terrorists that have been tried and convicted in a court of law).

As a Pakistani, my vote is for the dams. I suspect I wouldn't be alone. But of course, the people of Pakistan don't have very much say in the direction that Pakistan's strategic dialogue takes in Washington DC.

This is where the Obama administration's Unique Selling Proposition (USP) should have kicked in. Largely on the back of an historic advocacy effort, the compelling narrative of Pakistan that Ambassador Haqqani has become renowned for in Washington DC articulates a simple truth. Repeated American support for Pakistan's military leaders, rather than elected civilian leaders, undermines US interests in Pakistan. Under an embassy run by Haqqani, and an administration whose South Asia strategy was written by ex-CIA officer Bruce Riedel (who once called Haqqani a hero of Pakistani democracy), America was supposed to be standing by the Pakistani people, instead of Pakistani generals. The Obama administration's USP in Pakistan was that it was going to be unlike Reagan or Bush, supporting army generals, and unlike Bush Senior or Clinton, ignoring democratic governments. After the wake-up call provided by the election fiasco in Pakistan's co-joined twin brother, Afghanistan, it seems that plan might be on hold. Now, as in previous eras in which Pakistani territory is seen as vital to US interests, the Pakistani military elite are, once again, indispensable.

That is why when faced with the ridiculous dual-faced Pakistani narrative of "this is our war" and "we are fighting your war so give us your money" the Americans have no response other than to delay and defer the payments which Pakistan is legitimately entitled to, while investing in public diplomacy programmes to see if a few adverts and talk shows can't turn the tide of a decidedly cynical Pakistani public opinion.

The proper American response to a strategic dialogue with Pakistan should have been to ask Pakistan to develop an approach to the dialogue on the basis of a robust parliamentary debate. America could then have expected Pakistani parliamentarians, including both the coalition and the opposition, to own the dialogue. That dialogue may not have been qualitatively very different from what is being presented in Washington DC today. This is because of the generic lack of confidence of parliamentarians, and the resulting ownership of the policymaking function by bureaucrats, rather than politicians. Still, such a process would have had the same stamp of legitimacy that Secretary Clinton so desperately seemed to want to invest in when she visited Pakistan last year.

Instead, the agenda for Washington DC has been scripted by the geniuses that presided over eight-years of Gen Musharraf's authoring of history here since 1999. That the chief of army staff is a member of the touring party will perhaps raise a few eyebrows among those interested in the construction of a sustainable democracy.

This is the problem with the construction of a war narrative. Once constructed, we have no choice but to actually back it up with action. People must not be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of "energy, education and health". Those issues are strategically unrelated to the interests of both the US and the Pakistani state. The only instrument of war in Pakistan is the Pakistani military. As much as this is Pakistan's war, it happens to be America's too. You can't demonise a country's military and intelligence services, and then expect them to fight their war, like it was your war. So, of course, the Americans are going to engage with, egg on, subsidise and endorse whatever requirements the Pakistani military has in this Pak-American war against terrorism. This convergence of interests is the exact opposite of a synergetic confluence.


http://e.thenews.com.pk/details.asp?id=230529
 

DaRk WaVe

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US-Pakistan seek to move beyond mistrust

The Obama administration is touting high level meetings with Pakistan in Washington this week as a major deepening of ties with its nuclear-armed ally but gaping mistrust lingers over issues from security to aid.

Only last week, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is leading the Pakistani side, complained that Washington must now follow through on its promises.

US officials also say it is taking time to restore trust that has been absent for decades but cite improvements in security cooperation, particularly after Pakistan's arrest of the Afghan Taliban's military commander earlier this year.

This is a work in progress," said UsS Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.

Wednesday's meetings, called a "strategic dialogue", will be led by foreign ministers but also attended by military, finance, agriculture, energy and other officials.

Pakistan's powerful Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will be there, indicating the military's central role in relations with Washington, particularly as the US steps up its campaign in neighbouring Afghanistan.

"How can you have a strategic dialogue without including the military?" said Holbrooke when asked to comment on Kayani's inclusion in the talks.

One cause of tensions is a widely-held belief that Washington will quickly abandon the region after its troops start to withdraw from Afghanistan from mid-2011, a goal announced by President Barack Obama in December.

ASSURANCES SOUGHT

"What I would be looking at is how the US can reassure Pakistan that it is not going to leave the way it did in the past. There have been periods of intense engagement followed by periods of neglect," Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, told Reuters.

Pakistan expert Alexander Thier said Obama's December speech was seen by many as a signal the United States would not be robustly in the region in the next few years.

"This is a battle of perception," said Thier, of the US Institute of Peace. "We are trying to convince them we are not going to pick up stakes and leave," he added.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who was meeting Kayani on Monday, said he would emphasize Washington's commitment.

"What we are interested in is looking at the long term in the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, how we can strengthen our relationship, and how we can help Pakistan in dealing with the security challenges that face them, but also face us, and NATO," Gates said before the meeting.

US and Pakistani officials said there would likely be greater details given of security help for Pakistan, with timetables on when funds and equipment would be delivered, as well as specifics on water, agriculture and energy projects.

However, Haqqani said this week's meetings were more about how the two nations could build confidence than aid packages.

"There has always been insufficient trust between us. This is a very important meeting in terms of building this trust."

INDIA'S ROLE

Another area Pakistan wants to cover in the talks is India's growing role in Afghanistan. Haqqani said Islamabad wanted to be certain that its own security concerns were addressed in the region.

Pakistan's recent help in reeling in the Afghan Taliban follows months of intense prodding by Washington and is seen by many as Islamabad's wish to play a bigger role in future negotiations with militants as the war comes to a close.

There is also growing anger over increased attacks in Pakistan on civilian targets and while opinion polls show strong anti-American sentiment, they also indicate decreasing support for the Taliban.

"The challenge for the United States is how to translate the changing Pakistani sentiment against the Taliban into a more positive sentiment towards the United States," a senior Pakistani official told Reuters.

But winning over the Pakistani public is a complicated business. A $7.5 billion, five-year civilian aid package passed by the US Congress last year was met with deep suspicion over US motives rather than the appreciation Washington wanted.

Final details of how that money will be spent are still being worked out. Plans to funnel more aid through Pakistani non-governmental organizations and the government have slowed down the process as Congress requires strict monitoring of US taxpayer funds.

Another round of high-level meetings is expected in Islamabad later in the year, possibly in June or August, although final dates were still being discussed.

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cu...stan-seek-to-move-beyond-mistrust_448156.html
 

nitesh

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Why Pakistan keeps begging other's to solve it's problems?
 

Vinod2070

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Actually this begging is preventing them from solving their problems, it just defers the need to solve them unless they become unsolvable. ;)
 

ajtr

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Thats coz they always want to be treated equal to india and they think that world has obligation towards pakistan to balance it against india in every term.be it economy/military /water.they want everything for free which india earn through its hard labour, by begging/borrowing or stealing.They have sense of entitlement and fake respect/pride which is not even there.IPL saga is point in case of entitlement they seek from india that we are world champions so they must be included in there. they feel hurt when most of pakistani's singled out in western airport for personal serach and indians are rarely get singled out so it hurts their pride.sense of fake pride can be gauged when they created scene at the time of kerry -lugar bill.they want money for no question asked. following 2 videos gives the sense of their fake pride and entitlement.

Nirupama Subramanian Indian Journalist on A morning with Farah


Reaction in Pakistan over rejection of its players in IPL

 
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nitesh

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some good refernce:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/23/should_pakistan_get_a_nuke_deal?page=full

and

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/p...rs_pour_cold_water_on_pakistani_nuclear_hopes

a snippet

Any objections?

Actually, yes.

On Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are still smarting from the last deal they made with Pakistan (when Pakistan complained about the billions of dollars U.S. taxpayers are giving them) and still fighting over who gets to spend those billions, the prospect of a sweeping new nuclear deal with Pakistan seems too far-fetched to even discuss right now.

"I don't think it's on the table right now considering all over the other issues we have to confront," Senate Foreign Relations chairman John Kerry, D-MA, told The Cable. "There are countless things that they would have to do in order to achieve it. If they're willing to do all those things, we'll see."

Kerry emphasized that he believed a nuclear deal was not "directly" part of the strategic dialogue this week.

"There are a lot of things that come first before that. It's really premature," he went on. "It's appropriate as something for them to aspire to and have as a goal out there, but I don't think it's realistic in the near term."

His words were echoed by his Republican counterpart Richard Lugar, D-IN, who told The Cable he believes the idea of a nuclear deal should be delinked from the strategic dialogue.

"I think it's premature. It's not likely to be part of the agenda at this time," he said.

Lugar said he totally understands Pakistan's desire for energy cooperation and even gets why the country would sign a gas pipeline deal with Iran, which could certainly irk the United States as it pursues petroleum sanctions against that very regime.
 

ajtr

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some good refernce:

Should Pakistan Get a Nuke Deal?

BY C. CHRISTINE FAIR
Well regarding Prof.CHRISTINE FAIR--she being the same lady who have supposed to spoke to a indian intelligence official in indian consulate at zidane in iran who confirmed to her that india is creating problem in balochistan.and it was the same time in march-april she came up an article about indias hidden hand in balochistan and usa must reign in india in afghanistan to ausage pakistan's fear.This news article was quickly lapped up by pakistan's media/politicians/army combined as proof that india is creating trouble in balochistan and started howling from the roof tops and then S-e-S happened.Around same time in november when she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs with responsibilities to work specifically on the India portfolio she declined by saying she is not liked by indians and at the same time she says--""I believe it to be true," she said, adding: "The problems with the Pakistanis is that they lie too much and so, that when they tell the truth, no one believes them.".now the question is Do pakistanis lie more than the Christine Fair or they just carry forward lies sprouted by her created out of thin air?Here is that particular article decide yourself.....


US: Expert who infuriated India offered key post

South Asia expert Christine Fair has been offered a top position in the Obama [ Images ] administration, and that too to specifically handle the India [ Images ] portfolio. The former Rand Corporation expert on South Asia infuriated New Delhi [ Images ] alleging that India was meddling in Balochistan.
Fair, currently assistant professor in security studies at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, has been offered the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs with responsibilities to work specifically on the India portfolio.

However, Fair told rediff.com that she would most likely decline the offer because she doesn't want to give up her academic research.

The administration, on the other hand, had not given up on her even though she informed Robert Blake, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, who had interviewed her and had subsequently offered her the job, that she would not be interested.

Apparently, the administration has asked her to reconsider and the position, which used to be held by Evan Feigenbaum -- currently with the Council on Foreign Relations -- during the Bush administration, is yet to be filled.

Fair told rediff.com, "I was so flattered and it was really a honour" to be offered this top post, "but I don't think it's the right job for me."

"I am much more of an academic and for me to take this job, I was going to have to give up a lot of academic collaborations, and it just didn't make sense to me," she said, but added, "Here is the reality. First I was really enthusiastic about the India portfolio because I am really burnt out on Pakistan. There's no question."

Fair, who -- before her stint with Rand as a senior political scientist -- served as a political officer to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, based in Kabul, and as a senior research associate in the US Institute of Peace's Centre for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, has travelled extensively in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

She said the administration, as a pre-condition for the job, "really wanted me to give up too much in terms of the stuff that I am really good at," and noted that "no one else is really doing the kind of stuff that I do, for example, the public opinion work in Pakistan."

"I am a mixed bag for Indians," she said. "I am not an advocate for any country. I am an advocate for my country."

In an online discussion earlier this year -- convened by the much-respected journal Foreign Affairs -- Fair had said that Pakistan had legitimate concerns about India's involvement in Afghanistan and that perhaps Islamabad's [ Images ] paranoia that New Delhi was fanning unrest in Balochistan was not unfounded.

'I think it is unfair to dismiss the notion that Pakistan's apprehensions about Afghanistan stem in part from its security competition with India,' she had then said, and noted, "Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity. Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Kandahar along the (Pak-Afghan) border.'

Fair also went on to claim, 'Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Balochistan. Kabul has encouraged India to engage in provocative activities such as using the Border Roads Organisation to build sensitive parts of the Rind Road and use the Indo-Tibetan police force for security.'

'India is also building schools on a sensitive part of the border in Kunar, across from Bajaur,' she said, alleging, 'Kabul's motivations for encouraging these activities are as obvious as India's interest in engaging in them.'

Fair contended that it would be 'a mistake to completely disregard Pakistan's regional perceptions due to doubts about Indian competence in executing covert operations.'

When reminded about the controversy her allegations on the Foreign Affairs discussion provoked, Fair still held to the credibility of her contention.

"I believe it to be true," she said, adding: "The problems with the Pakistanis is that they lie too much and so, that when they tell the truth, no one believes them."

She argued that "Actually, I am not normative about it -- India should be doing this and they should be doing more of it, if I may be so blunt. So, I've never said, 'Shame on the Indians.'"

But Fair asserted that "nothing that India could possibly do, without being observed as they tend to have not been observed, could ever rival what the Pakistanis have done, and it doesn't justify blowing up consulates and embassies and killing people."

"I stand by what I wrote..." Fair said, "Yes, I think the Indians are up to stuff in Balochistan, as they should be. (But) It's not what the Pakistanis say they are up to."

"Anyone who read what I wrote," she added, "would have seen exactly what I said. Yes, I said, the Pakistanis are exaggerating it, but they are not completely making it up either."

"Let me also be blunt with you," she said. "I think the Indo-US relationship is extremely important, but I know I am not the flavour of the day in India, and I think that it actually would have undermined our moving the relationship forward, if I were in that job. And, that's the reality of it."

Fair said she had told the State Department this "from the beginning, when they interviewed me. I said, 'Are you sure, you are interviewing the right person?'"

But she asserted, "What the Indians would have gotten in me is someone who is realistic. I don't believe in the (Richard) Holbrooke (Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan) crap about you solve Kashmir [ Images ] and you make Pakistan sane. I believe it's necessary albeit terribly insufficient condition to get Pakistanis to tell the army to lay off (in its machinations against India) if you resolve the Indo-Pakistani issue."

"Whether that can ever happen is irrelevant," she said.

"The Indians would have gotten in me someone who is more realistic about Pakistan," Fair reiterated.

Fair has continued to slam Islamabad consistently for taking massive American largesse and continuing to fund and arm the Afghan Taliban [ Images ].

Recently testifying before the US House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, she said, 'Having received $13 billion, if not more, from the United States to participate in the war on terrorism, Pakistan continues to support the Afghan Taliban. This means that Pakistan is undermining the very war on terrorism that it has received a handsome reward allegedly to support.'

Fair said the US inability to compel Pakistan to stop its funding and support to all extremist groups was actually what was behind the instability in South Asia, and pointed out, "Let's remember, that it was a Pakistan-based and backed terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, that attacked the Indian Parliament, which brought the largest mobilisation of forces throughout the country, both of them to a near-war crisis with the spectre of nuclear escalation."

"The Pakistan Taliban share overlapping membership with those very same groups that target India," she said, "and obviously, the Afghan Taliban, operating in Afghanistan. So, it can't defeat its own internal security threats -- which brings into question, Pakistan's national integrity and obviously its strategic assets -- until it is compelled to strategically abandon militancy."

Fair argued that the massive aid to Pakistan would not "fix Pakistan's chronically neuralgic sense of insecurity vis-a-vis India."

"I don't think what India does or does not do in Afghanistan is going to make Pakistan stop supporting the Taliban," she predicted. "I think we need to think very hard about what is Pakistan's genuine source of insecurity and put some things on the table that might be out of the box."
What i think is C. CHRISTINE FAIR has habit of floating trial balloons like balochistan,afghanistan and civil nuke deal so those can be lapped up by pakistan. even civil nuke deal to pakistan idea was at first floated by her only.Now the thing to understand is on who's agenda she is working .Is it Holbrook?there are whole lot of think tanks workink on the agenda like that of BY C. CHRISTINE FAIR...another name i can think of is cohen who regularly sprout the idea of india sacrificing on kashmir to stop terrorism from pakistan on india.another idea being floated like the solution of afghanistan lies in kashmir.USa /west is silippery eel and india has to be always weary of them.
 
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ajtr

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snippet of a comment under same article

History repeats itself...........
The History of US - Pakistan relations show that whenever the Americans gave aid to pakistan to further their own interests, the pakistanis mistook it as broad American support to Pakistan for their actions against India.Every American military aid that pakistan received was used against India although officially the americans said it was against communists (as they said in the 80s) and Islamists (like they are saying it now).But the Americans also knew that these weapons will be used against India.But in their bigger objective of defeating communism then or Islamism now, India is a small fry. Giving pakistan a nuclear deal to stop terrorism is like rewarding a snake by giving milk and expecting it wont bite afterwards. India got the deal because of its good behaviour.Now the suggestion is pakistan should get the deal because of its bad behaviour. For many years the Americans got miffed whenever the Indians talk about non-alignment between US and the Soveits.Now it is time for the Indians to tell the Americans that their owm Non-alignment between the Indians and pakistanis should stop.They have to choose on.They cannot hunt with the hound and run with the hare.The Americans needs to realise that this is a zero sum game and they have to choose one.
On its part, India should understand that if they want to tackle pakistan, they need to tackle America first.Without American support, pakistan is nothing (even after including the chinese and Saudi support). At this point of time India does not have any leverage against the Americans and they should develop one asap.
If you want to stop America coming to pakistan's rescue everytime, then
FIRST develop a ICBM that can hit America and then talk to the Americans.
SECOND, develop strong relations with Iran.An increased Indian-Iranian interactions will be helpful in Indian-American interactions.
THIRD Punish the American business who wants to do business with both India and pakistan.Lockheed martin and Boeing cannot sell weapons to pakistan and expect to be in the IAF tenders.
FOURTH, dont be shy to poke a finger in Uncle sam's eye, if the American's are not listening to you.Create a nuisance for the americans in the first place and then negotiate to reduce that nuisance without reducing it completely .The pakistanis have perfected this art like anything and this last tip is one of the few things which the Indians can learn from pakistanis.
 
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nitesh

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http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/26/give_pakistan_a_nuclear_deal


Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi came to Washington this week armed with a long list of topics to discuss. Or to be more accurate, he arrived with a hodgepodge wishlist of unrealistic propositions. However, the most unlikely proposal -- that Pakistan be given a civilian nuclear deal similar to the one India was granted in 2008 -- could be the one that finally wins those elusive "hearts and minds."

It has become a mantra of the war on terror that poverty, desperation, and hopelessness breed militancy. A population that is contented, it is said, will never strap on suicide vests. Solving Pakistan's power crisis, a source of great exasperation for many Pakistanis that is getting progressively worse with each passing year, should be a priority in Washington. And providing nuclear energy may be the cheapest, most efficient way to deal with this crisis.

A poll conducted by Gallup in July 2009 found that 53 percent of the Pakistani population goes without electricity for more than eight hours a day. Since then the electricity shortfall in the country has increased by 42 percent from 3,500 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts. The Pakistani government has tried a variety of piecemeal measures -- building a power plant here, placing pleading ads in the newspapers begging consumers to cut their consumption there -- but technical and financial constraints do not allow wholesale reform. There is also a lack of will on the part of political governments to invest in long-term solutions since the benefits of such investment would not be felt for many years to come. This is where the United States and its civilian nuclear deal could rush in and save the day.

The benefits to the United States of such a deal should be obvious. Millions of electricity-starved Pakistanis might be thankful to the United States for providing aid that has a tangible impact on their lives. The civilian and military aid currently provided by the United States has not touched the life of the average Pakistani. This will also allow the Obama administration to keep a closer watch on Pakistan's nuclear activities. By attaching the condition that all nuclear materials and technology provided under the agreement be monitored by the Americans, the U.S. government will gain greater knowledge of Pakistan's nuclear know-how. The Pakistani government, though, would have to spin such conditions to patriotic Pakistanis by boasting that Pakistan has been offered the same nuclear deal as the one given to India. The desire for parity with India should override questions of sovereignty, especially if the deal comes with a guarantee that Pakistan's existing nuclear capabilities will remain untouched and unmonitored. In the long run the United States could help avert the next regional war, which may well be over the water that Pakistan so desperately relies on for electricity generation -- water that Pakistan is now accusing India of withholding.

The most outlandish objection to a Pakistani nuclear deal is that the Taliban will take over Pakistan and with it the nuclear material provided by the United States. Given that the Taliban only control parts of the tribal areas in the country's rugged northwest -- land that has never been fully under the authority of the central government in Pakistan's history -- and that even the mainstream religious parties have never won more than 10 percent of the vote in general elections, this is an eventuality this is unlikely to come to pass. Then, there is the fear that Pakistani soldiers and officers with extremist sympathies could hand over a 'dirty' bomb to the Taliban, which somehow ignores the fact that the Pakistani army already has plenty of nukes to distribute to the Taliban if they so desired.

Pakistan might not "deserve" nuclear technology given its illegal past proliferation. By that standard, Pakistan also didn't ‘deserve' vast amounts of U.S. military aid to fight the Taliban considering its previous support for the regime. But international politics doesn't work on the principle of treating countries like schoolchildren. Give Pakistan the civilian nuclear deal and leave the demerit-badges-for-past-performance idea for the Boy Scouts.

Nadir Hassan is a journalist working for Newsline magazine in Pakistan.
 

ajtr

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http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/26/give_pakistan_a_nuclear_deal

It has become a mantra of the war on terror that poverty, desperation, and hopelessness breed militancy. A population that is contented, it is said, will never strap on suicide vests. Solving Pakistan's power crisis, a source of great exasperation for many Pakistanis that is getting progressively worse with each passing year, should be a priority in Washington. And providing nuclear energy may be the cheapest, most efficient way to deal with this crisis.
its something like younis khan said last year when most of the cricket team refused to visit pak,"by refusing to travel pakistan world teams are taking bat away from us.do they want pakistani players too leave cricket bat and pick-up guns to become terrorists".it is well known fact that most of the dreaded terrorists are well off.Or it is like pointing gun to ones own head and negotiating.
 
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ajtr

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Strategic dialogue

If grades were handed out for particular events in international relations, the recently concluded strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the US would get a B+. Public relations disasters were avoided, the smiles were wide, the handshakes warm and the two countries appeared to be reaching closer to that ever-elusive goal of understanding one another.

So is the strategic dialogue itself a good idea? Yes. But perhaps Pakistan needs to adapt its approach in future rounds of the dialogue to make them more result-oriented. First, the 56-page ‘wish list’ that the Pakistani government sent the US ahead of the dialogue was not the best idea. While the strategic dialogue is in fact meant to broaden the range of issues on which cooperation between the US and Pakistan is possible, putting too many things on the table simultaneously risks diluting the focus of both sides.

Second, Pakistani officials must be careful to avoid building up hype domestically over demands that the Americans are likely to baulk at. The possibility of Pakistan getting an India-style civil-nuclear deal any time soon is remote. If it was difficult during the Bush administration because it was tilted towards India, it may be even more difficult now and for a very different reason: the Obama administration has generally been keen to tighten the global proliferation regime, meaning that a sweetheart deal for Pakistan like the one India got is very unlikely. Of course, it is in Pakistan’s interests to get such a deal, and the government should keep reminding the Americans of Pakistan’s needs. However, domestic hype over this issue could threaten to overshadow other gains that are made and that must not be allowed to happen. The strategic dialogue is meant to be a process, so while one eye should be kept on distant desirables the focus on medium-term gains should not be lost.

For the rest, Pakistan must continue to build on at least one excellent thing it has done: articulate forthrightly what its security interests in the region are. No doubt, much of the recent American softening has to do with Pakistan’s substantial gains in the war against militancy, but there is also a sense that the two sides have stopped talking past each other and are increasingly talking to each other. Pakistan has spelled out what it wants in Afghanistan, what it wants from India and what it wants global powers to help Pakistan with. This is good. What isn’t good — from a democratic perspective — is that the civilian government has virtually surrendered the national-security domain to the Pakistan Army.
 

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one fine piece by irfan hussain on USA-Pak partnership which he calls Pak as being rentier state of usa.

Show me the money!


From the American perspective, it must be galling to see so much anti-American sentiment in a country in which they have sunk so much money over the years. –Photo by AP



If you think about it, much of the money that has built small pockets of affluence across Pakistan has its origins overseas. Ranging from heroin to exported workers, and from cash skimmed off arms deals to diverted aid, many fortunes in Pakistan rest on illegal foundations.
This is why the Pakistani ruling elites are forever on the prowl for new cash cows abroad. The United States, being the richest country in the world, is an obvious target. Luckily for us, American interests in the region bring this particular cow to the milking shed at regular intervals. And when, as happened after the American cow wandered off for a while when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, our rulers went into a terminal sulk with our perennial benefactors.


According to the theory of the rentier state, when a country derives most of its funds from abroad, it becomes disconnected from the wider society, and tends to become autocratic. This model is generally applied to oil-rich states in the Middle East and Africa to explain why the people of many of these countries remain so poor despite their immense oil reserves.

While Pakistan does not possess much oil, its location has given it leverage in the West that its rulers have exploited skilfully over the years. During the Cold War between the US and the USSR, it was accorded frontline status, and signed up to a number of anti-communist alliances. These pacts swelled our arsenals as well as the self-esteem of our generals. But after decades of being on the frontline and receiving billions of dollars worth of aid, there is little to show for it in terms of enhanced security or prosperity.

One problem with the rentier state is that it does not need to have an effective tax system to generate funds to sustain its rulers. Nor does it have to internalise and inculcate the virtues of hard work. True, the masses have to sweat just to keep body and soul together, but the state does not feel the need to provide a decent education or healthcare to its citizens. After all, the rulers send their children to private schools, and have private hospitals to tend to their maladies.

In this warped socio-economic scenario, the role model is the feudal who lives off the labour of his wretched haris. In a sense, Pakistan is an extended jagir where landlords and warlords live well while the vast majority scramble to achieve a hand-to mouth existence.

One reason the Kerry-Lugar Act has provoked so much opposition among the ruling elites is that it threatens to subvert a system that has worked well for them for so many years. By trying to get money directly to neglected areas like education and health, and bypassing sticky official fingers as well as the international consultancy mafia, the Americans have made many privileged Pakistanis nervous. For all their lofty talk about sovereignty and national honour, the bottom line is always about money, and who gets it.

Access to scarce resources reveals a lot about power and its distribution. In Pakistan, the military has traditionally devoured the bulk of our budgetary allocations, and the fact that military spending remains opaque, and those responsible largely unaccountable to parliament, says a lot about who’s in charge. This fact of life was hammered home by Gen Kayani’s prominent role in the current ‘strategic dialogue’ between the United States and Pakistan. He went along to make sure the military got its rightful share of the goodies about to flow from Washington.

In an incisive article about US aid, Mosharraf Zaidi wrote recently in a newspaper that the Pakistani wish-list carried by our team included power projects worth $647m. In the pipeline are F-16s worth $720m. As a Pakistani, he said he’d much rather have the former, and so would I. However, as a betting man, I think the chances of getting the jet fighters are far higher.

From the American perspective, it must be galling to see so much anti-American sentiment in a country in which they have sunk so much money over the years. However, they must realise that the public does not get to see the military hardware that has formed the bulk of their assistance. What matters is how aid touches the lives of ordinary people, and in our case, the answer is very little.

Another problem with this high volume of arms assistance is that it allows policy planners to adopt stances that would not be sustainable had they needed to find the resources internally. Grandiose dreams of ‘strategic depth’, and of flying the Pakistani flag over Delhi would have seen those who talked about them being frog-marched to the loony bin. Presently, however, they are given slots on TV.

There has been much talk in Washington recently about how our relationship will be transformed into a partnership. But a partnership implies equality, and the question to ask is what are we doing for America? True, we are fighting an enemy that often attacks Nato troops across the border in Afghanistan. But this is a war we must fight and win for our own survival, irrespective of American aid, or the presence of US troops in Afghanistan.

Years ago, a friend told me about a business trip to China where he had a meeting with an official. After the initial pleasantries, the bureaucrat said to the Pakistani businessman: “I’d like to be your friend.” Congratulating himself for the swift progress he had made in breaking the ice, my friend eagerly echoed the sentiment. “Ah,” said the Chinese official sadly, pointing at the ceiling. “But you are up there financially, and I’m down here. We can only be friends if you can raise me to your level so I can be your equal.”

As a demand for a bribe, I have seldom heard of a more elegantly phrased one. And while the Pakistani people cannot dream of being elevated to the high levels of American affluence, that is certainly the aspiration of our elites.

I remember a popular sign painted behind trucks and taxis in the 1990s: ‘Dalar ki talaash’ (‘searching for dollars’). Perhaps this can be our national slogan.
 

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^^ A realistic article. You can't be a beggar and expect to be treated as a friend at the same time.

Pakistanis with their 56 page begging list and trying to extort all they can (while they think the USA needs them) are not behaving as friends. Any expectation that the other side will behave more morally than them is typical but unlikely to fructify.
 

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Better Pakistan-US ties underpinned by Afghan aims

ISLAMABAD: US-Pakistani relations are being underpinned by converging interests over Afghanistan but strains could emerge if Pakistan's expectations for US help are not met and it feels it is being used.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were all smiles after their recent high-level talks in Washington aimed at reversing tempestuous ties between the allies.

The talks covered issues from security to energy and water projects, and while little in the way of new US help emerged, a heady tone was set, largely because of some common Afghan aims, analysts said.

“There is this over-arching convergence, we're on the same track, the same page,” said Ayaz Amir, a political analyst and opposition party member of parliament.

Pakistan sees the United States as desperate to get out of Afghanistan and sooner or later bound to have to enter some sort of peace deal with the Taliban.

Pakistan, battling its homegrown Taliban, is also looking for a negotiated Afghan settlement and wants to oversee any peace process to ensure a friendly government in Kabul and to minimise the influence of old rival India.

Not only is Pakistan the main conduit for US military supplies to Afghanistan, its sway over the Taliban could be key in nudging their old allies to talk.


The announcement last month of the arrest of a senior Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in a joint operation with US agents in the city of Karachi, has illustrated the crucial role Pakistan can play.

“Pakistan feels it is key to the entire situation, that without the role which the Pakistani army is playing, the whole American military presence in Afghanistan is undermined,” Amir said.

Many Pakistanis believe that the United States has used Pakistan as a tool to promote its interests and left the country in the lurch once those interests were served.

Bitter memories of the United States walking away from Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and leaving the country in chaos are still raw in Pakistan.

The United States has stressed long-term commitment, underscored by a $7.5 billion aid package.

As well as aid for its investment-starved economy, nuclear-armed Pakistan wants civilian nuclear cooperation with the United States and is pushing for the same kind of deal that India negotiated. But the United States is reluctant to discuss such cooperation.

Pakistan also wants the United States to press India to resume a peace process suspended after Pakistan-based militants attacked the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008.

While Pakistan realises US involvement in the dispute over the Kashmir region is unlikely because of Indian objections, Pakistan hopes US pressure will bring India to talk on other disputes including the sharing of cross-border river waters.

Ties between Pakistan and the United States should develop as long as both sides feel they are getting what they want, said analyst and former government minister Shafqat Mahmood.

“The relationship is likely to grow but the devil is in the detail,” Mahmood said, referring to upcoming talks at which US aid plans help will be fleshed out.

“I would only call it a good beginning.”

While US attention is focused on Afghanistan, it is also worried about militants in Pakistan and will want to see action.

In particular, the United States wants Pakistan to rein in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based faction responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

“Pakistan will have to make up its mind, that it can't use jihadi groups as proxies any more,” said security analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

Pakistanis are looking anxiously at the July 2011 deadline set by US President Barack Obama for US forces to start pulling out of Afghanistan, fearing that will result in waning interest in them.

“There is this underlying unease that after all we are doing, after all the key role vis a vis Afghanistan, that the Americans are really not giving enough and we'll again be left high and dry,” said Amir.
 

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Strategic dialogue or strategic farce?

Monday, March 29, 2010
Asif Ezdi

The writer is a former member of the Pakistan

Foreign Service.

Strategic relationship, Holbrooke admitted on his last visit to Pakistan, was a much-abused term. But he declared that Washington now really wanted such a partnership with Pakistan for the long term. Not many Pakistanis were convinced. After the “strategic dialogue” in Washington last week, their skepticism has been proved right.

Neither the term “strategic partnership” nor “strategic dialogue” is quite new in the history of Pakistan-US relationship. Not many of us recall that a “strategic partnership” was first announced by President Bush and Musharraf at their summit in March 2006. Three rounds of “strategic dialogue” were held between Pakistan and the Bush administration in the framework of this new partnership. Each of those meetings ended with the usual verbiage about the commitment of the two sides to a wide-ranging and long-term strategic partnership. A reaffirmation of this commitment was also contained in the joint statement issued after Gilani’s meeting with Bush in Washington in July 2008.

Under the Obama administration, the focal point of US foreign policy has shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan has acquired a place in Washington’s strategic calculations that it has not had since the Afghan jihad against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. During his visit to Pakistan last November, Gen James Jones, Obama’s national security adviser, conveyed a blunt warning that if Pakistan did not move aggressively against the Afghan Taliban on its soil, Washington itself would take action on the Pakistani side of the international border.

At the same time, in a classical case of carrot-and-stick diplomacy, Washington told Islamabad that if it complied with US wishes and stepped up “counterterrorism action,” Pakistan would be offered an expanded strategic partnership. This offer was made in a letter from Obama to Zardari. As the New York Times reported then, Obama promised Pakistani leaders what one US official described as a partnership of “unlimited potential” in which Washington would consider any proposal Islamabad puts on the table.

As usually happens on such occasions, the talks last week in the fourth round of the strategic dialogue, the first at ministerial level, were long on rhetoric. Hillary Clinton spoke of a new stage in bilateral relationship and our foreign minister proclaimed triumphantly, “We have upgraded the dialogue.” Qureshi needs to be reminded that upgrading the dialogue was not the end. The test of success is what we achieved at the dialogue, and the foremost issue on which success in forging a strategic partnership should be measured is the progress we make in getting access to civilian nuclear technology.

It should be clear to everyone from the outcome of the talks in Washington that the Obama administration is not prepared to seriously consider Pakistan’s demand for civilian nuclear cooperation, although it does not want to reject it outright publicly. At the joint press conference after her talks with Qureshi, Clinton said the US was prepared to listen to the Pakistani delegation on whatever issues it raises. But she carefully stopped short of saying that Washington would consider the Pakistani request.

Since then, an unnamed senior US official has made it clear that a civilian nuclear agreement with Pakistan is not on the table and that there are no plans for any formal talks on this issue. He noted that there was no reference to it in the joint statement issued after the talks. Kerry and Lugar, two leading US Senators, both of whom Qureshi met during his visit to Washington, have taken a position similar to that of the Obama administration. The reason, clearly, is that since Washington can buy Pakistan’s cooperation on Afghanistan quite cheaply and easily by giving increased economic and military assistance, it does not need to offer nuclear cooperation, a course that would put Washington’s newly forged strategic partnership with Delhi under great strain.

Some sections of the US media have openly voiced opposition. The Washington Post wrote in an editorial that a nuclear deal for Pakistan should be a non-starter for a host of reasons, including Pakistan’s failure to come clean about its involvement in the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Iraq and North Korea. The newspaper chose to ignore the steps which Pakistan has taken in the last five years to strengthen export controls in the country and which have been acknowledged internationally, including by US officials.

Among the US think tanks too, there are strong reservations over Pakistan’s request for peaceful nuclear technology. A major consideration is that it would upset India. At the same time, there are also some who favour using a possible nuclear deal as a bargaining tool (“a dangling carrot”) to get more cooperation from Pakistan.

Getting access to civilian nuclear technology will by no means be an easy task. There will be many hurdles we will have to cross: the reservations of the US administration, opposition in the Congress, the India lobby, the protagonists of non-proliferation and finally the NSG. India had the advantage of support from the nuclear industry which we will not have. We will therefore need a long and sustained effort. But we have not even started.

Pakistan is not without leverage in pursuing its demand for nuclear energy. Not only does Pakistan have a central role in the stabilisation of Afghanistan, our participation is needed in two key nuclear disarmament accords, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Fissile Material Treaty (FMT). The CTBT cannot enter into force without Pakistan’s ratification and Pakistan’s consent is needed to start negotiations on the FMT in the Conference on Disarmament. If Pakistan is not given access to peaceful nuclear technology, it will have very good reasons to refuse participation in both.

Pakistan has in the past linked its signature and ratification of the CTBT to India taking the same steps. That was before the nuclear deal with India. In the changed situation, our national leadership should make an unequivocal declaration that our becoming a party to the CTBT would furthermore be conditional upon Pakistan getting a similar nuclear deal.

As regards the FMT, as our permanent representative at Geneva has told the Conference on Disarmament, Pakistan’s concerns over a treaty that would freeze existing imbalances in fissile materials stockpiles have been heightened by the waiver given to India in 2008 from NSG guidelines. The waiver would enable that country to dedicate its own indigenous stocks for weapons production and thus threaten Pakistan’s security. Pakistan is therefore perfectly justified in opposing the commencement of negotiations on an FMT unless these concerns are addressed.

Our problem is not only US opposition to nuclear cooperation with Pakistan but equally the lack of commitment of our own national leadership. Musharraf was far too interested in retaining Washington’s support for his rule to raise a difficult bilateral issue. As William J Burns, then under secretary of state, said at a press conference, Musharraf conveyed to the US administration that he was “not unhappy” with the India-US nuclear deal.

Since Musharraf’s ouster, neither Zardari nor Gilani has taken up this subject with Obama. Zardari failed to bring it up, as he should have, in his reply to Obama’s letter last November in which the US president had offered a broader strategic partnership with Pakistan. Fortunately, there will be another opportunity very shortly at the Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by Obama in Washington next month.

Gilani should tell the US president and the other participating leaders that (a) unless Pakistan is given firm assurances of a waiver from NSG guidelines within a finite period, it would continue to oppose FMT negotiations in the CD; and (b) Pakistan would only sign or ratify the CTBT after India has done that, and after Pakistan gets access to civilian nuclear technology on the same terms as India. If Gilani does these things, he will not only compel the supplier countries to rethinks their duplicitous (munafiqana) nuclear policies towards Pakistan but also make his name in the country’s history.
 

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