Archive for the ‘Pakistan’ Category

Pakistan is Fighting But is This a Serious Effort To Destroy The Taliban?

May 12, 2009

FACED with catastrophe, Pakistan still has time to play the dead-man’s hand it holds. The question is whether its leaders are betting or bluffing.

The recent, belated military response to the Taliban’s dissection of the country, combined with the disgust locals feel over extremist excesses, offers a potential winning formula.

By Ralph Peters
New York Post

Unless Pakistan’s government chooses to lose.

First, consider the current offensive to drive Taliban fighters from Buner and parts of the Swat Valley. Sounds great. But we’ve already bought that used car, only to see it break down pulling out of the lot.

Yes, the Pakistani army and its paramilitary Rangers are fighting. But the key questions are “For how long?” and “How far will they go?” A limited operation will have limited results. The religious extremists must be destroyed if Islamabad wants a return of peace and order.

Overheated news reports focus on refugees and distant air strikes. But every battle seems like the big one to the inexperienced. You can’t tell what’s really gone down until the dust settles.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/05122009/po
stopinion/opedcolumnists/paks_p
oker_hand_168800.htm

Advertisements

Torture? Try Beheading Under Pakistan’s Taliban Islamic Sharia Law

May 10, 2009

Pakistan’s residents who once criticized the slow and corrupt state courts now fear the “Talibanization” of Islamic sharia law that is making inroads.

By Pamela Constable

Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, May 10, 2009

 ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 9 — When black-turbaned Taliban fighters demanded in January that Islamic sharia law be imposed in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, few alarm bells went off in this Muslim nation of about 170 million.

Sharia, after all, is the legal framework that guides the lives of all Muslims.

Officials said people in Swat were fed up with the slow and corrupt state courts, scholars said the sharia system would bring swift justice, and commentators said critics in the West had no right to interfere.

Today, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Swat and Pakistani troops launching an offensive to drive out the Taliban forces, the pendulum of public opinion has swung dramatically. The threat of “Talibanization” is being denounced in Parliament and on opinion pages, and the original defenders of an agreement that authorized sharia in Swat are in sheepish retreat.

The refugees are the “victims of ignorant cavemen masquerading as fighters of Islam,” columnist Shafqat Mahmood charged in the News International newspaper Friday. He said that the “barbarian horde” that invaded Swat never intended to implement a sharia-based judicial system and that they just used it as cover. “This is a fight for power, not Islam,” he wrote.

Such widely expressed views make a clear and careful distinction between the Taliban version of Islam — often described as narrow-minded, intolerant and punitive — and what might be called the mainstream Pakistani version of Islam, which is generally described as moderate and flexible.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy
n/content/article/2009/05/09/AR200
9050902518.html?hpid=topnews

US almost doubles military aid to Pakistan

May 8, 2009

The United States has earmarked $700 million in its budget for the next fiscal year for training and equipment to improve Pakistan’s counterinsurgency capability.

By Anwar Iqbal
Dawn Newspaper, Pakistan

This is a major increase from the $400 million set aside for this purpose in the current fiscal year which expires on Sept. 30.

This marks the first time since 2003 that the Afghan war funding surpassed the outlay for Iraq. The Pentagon is seeking $130 billion in war funds for 2010, including $65 billion for Afghanistan and $61 billion for Iraq. For 2009, the Pentagon had request $87 billion for Iraq and $47 billion for Afghanistan.

The move demonstrates a shift in US priorities as the Obama administration increases its focus on fighting the militants it holds responsible for planning and executing the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The proposed fund for Afghanistan covers the deployment of 21,000 additional US troops this year, raising the total to 68,000. More funds would be required if President Obama decides to meet the request of US commanders for 10,000 more troops next year.

The Pentagon’s $534 billion base budget is $21 billion, or four per cent, larger than last year’s. It includes key initiatives to reshape the US military to fight insurgencies across the world.

Major spending increases include $2 billion on intelligence and reconnaissance, $500 million to field and maintain helicopters, and funds to add 2,400 personnel to Special Operations Forces in 2010 as well as aircraft to support them. More will be spent on some modern weapons systems, with an increase in the purchase of littoral combat ships and the ‘fifth generation’ F-35 fighter jets.

The 2010 Pentagon eliminates $8.8 billion in weapons programmes that were in the 2009 budget. It would halt the programme for the F-22 fighter jet after 187 are manufactured.

Other major cuts include ending the $13 billion presidential helicopter programme, which has more than doubled in cost; the $19 billion transformational satellite programme; and the Air Force combat search-and-rescue helicopter programme, as well as cutting $1.2 billion from missile defence.

http://hotair.com/archives/20
09/05/08/pakistan-goes-to-war/

In Pakistan: Some Hope; But Much To Doubt

In Pakistan: Some Hope; But Much To Doubt

May 8, 2009

My Pakistani friend shrugged, “Even if the Taliban runs the government, we live in corruption.  These guys or Taliban — it makes no difference.”

So much for the democratically elected government of Pakistan.

The truth not told to Americans who pay most of the bills in Pakistan’s dubious war against terrorists is this: the people could care less and most have a very dim view of their government and ours.

Ours as in: most Pakistanis could care less about American lives.  Many cheered after 9/11.

I heard a very smart American talking head say on TV just the other day, “Prisident Zardari of Pakistan has every reason to win this war.  After all, the Taliban killed his wife Benazir Bhutto.”

One of my other Pakistani friends disputed this notion.

“Zardari gained more than anyone, even the Taliban, when his wife Benazir Bhutto was killed.  Who killed her doesn’t matter.  In Pakistan, what matters is, who is to gain?”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
US almost doubles military aid to Pakistan
Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari

Self Defeating U.S. War Strategy

May 8, 2009

THE most effective weapon terrorists have found to wield against us isn’t the headline-grabbing suicide bomber or even the deadly roadside bomb, the IED.

Such weapons can harm us, but they can’t stop us. Terror’s super-weapon is the lie.

Lying about civilian casualties is the one sure way to impede or even halt US (or Israeli) operations, to force such tight restrictions on our troops that they can’t win.

The casualty con’s so effective as both propaganda and tactic that terrorists everywhere have adopted the technique. It’s been so successful that our enemies long ago transitioned to the next phase: creating civilian casualties and blaming us.

It works. The media love the charge. Our troops and pilots are always guilty — even if proven innocent. Because so many on the left want us to be guilty.

Few journalists bother to investigate. If the Taliban, al Qaeda, Hezbollah or Hamas says it, it must be so. In Media Wonderland, terrorists never lie. Now every successful strike on a Taliban target generates the instant claim that the dead were all civilians.

And it isn’t just the media who back the Taliban. The Obama administration — a case study in instant foreign-policy ineptitude — signs up, too.

This week, Taliban terrorists publicly beheaded three civilians in Afghanistan’s Farah province, then herded women and children into compounds from which they fought government forces and US advisers.

With a vicious ground battle under way, the Talibs knew attack aircraft would appear. According to military sources, they set up the target. And, just in case, they slaughtered those women and children with grenades before any aircraft appeared. The entire massacre was a planned media event.

By Ralph Peters
The New York Post

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/05082009/
postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_casu
alty_con_168138.htm

Obama scrambles against militant threat in Afghanistan, Pakistan

May 6, 2009

The fuse that could ignite an explosion of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan is burning so fast that the Obama administration is scrambling to keep pace.

As Pakistan’s army finally opened a belated offensive against the advance of extremist Taliban fighters, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and his key security ministers huddled Wednesday with their Afghan and U.S. counterparts in all-day meetings in Washington.

By Steven R. Hurst
Associated Press

Afghan President Hamid Karzai started the day on a solemn note, acknowledging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s expressions of regret for the deaths of dozens of Afghan civilians killed during Monday’s battle between U.S. forces and the Taliban.

President Barack Obama demanded the meetings as part of his complex, costly and far-reaching strategy for Afghanistan that now links success there with stability in neighboring Pakistan.

It’s a huge undertaking in distant lands where fiercely independent people have a long history of outlasting foreign militaries and refusing to change their ways. The Washington sessions represent an early test of whether a U.S. president at the start of the 21st century has sufficient leverage and power to succeed where great empires have failed.

The fuse that could ignite an explosion of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan is burning so fast that the Obama administration is scrambling to keep pace.

As Pakistan’s army finally opened a belated offensive against the advance of extremist Taliban fighters, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and his key security ministers huddled Wednesday with their Afghan and U.S. counterparts in all-day meetings in Washington.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai started the day on a solemn note, acknowledging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s expressions of regret for the deaths of dozens of Afghan civilians killed during Monday’s battle between U.S. forces and the Taliban.

President Barack Obama demanded the meetings as part of his complex, costly and far-reaching strategy for Afghanistan that now links success there with stability in neighboring Pakistan.

It’s a huge undertaking in distant lands where fiercely independent people have a long history of outlasting foreign militaries and refusing to change their ways. The Washington sessions represent an early test of whether a U.S. president at the start of the 21st century has sufficient leverage and power to succeed where great empires have failed.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090506/ap_on_go_
pr_wh/us_us_afghanistan_pakistan_analysis;_ylt=A
oWl34bqY5KISRMN9GPsJWSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oD
MTM0cGIxNm8xBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNT
A2L3VzX3VzX2FmZ2hhbmlzdGFuX3Bha2lzd
GFuX2FuYWx5c2lzBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MD
NgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawN
hbmFseXNpc29iYW0

UN accepts Pakistan’s extended sea border

May 6, 2009

The UN has accepted Pakistan’s claim to extend its\ maritime exclusive economic zone to 350 nautical miles from 200 nautical miles. Addressing a news conference here Wednesday, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Azam Khan Swati said Pakistan filed its case at the UN on 30th of the last month and it got the historic success two day ago.
.
After the UN acceptance, Pakistan will have right on all the resources of this additional maritime zone. He said under the UN laws a complete survey of the area was conducted which indicates that Pakistan will get economic benefits from this extended maritime zone.
.
This will enable Pakistan to explore petroleum and mineral resources in general and benefit the offshore maritime industry and market in particular. The Federal Minister said that only twenty nine countries of the world have so far availed the right to file case in the UN.
.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York filed the claim to United Nations Commission on the Limit of Continental Shelf( UNCLOS) for extension of its continental shelf to 350 nautical miles from the present 200 nautical miles.
.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) was involved in the preparation of the claim for the last couple of years. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), an autonomous organization of the Ministry was entrusted the task to prepare the claim in accordance with the UN requirements. The case was prepared and submitted to Pakistani Mission in New York during April 2009 for submission before the deadline of 13th May 2009. The Pakistani Mission filed the claim on 30th April 2009.
.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 and came into force on 16 November 1994. Pakistan ratified the Convention on 26 February 1997. The Convention entered into force for Pakistan on 28 March 1997.
.
Under the UNCLOS, Pakistan presently has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending up to 200 nautical miles which would be extended up to 350 nautical miles on meeting some conditionalities. Therefore, recognizing this and taking opportunity of UNCLOS Article 76, MoST has been endeavoring to address and pursue this extremely important issue of national interest, to have Pakistan’s Continental Shelf extended from 200 to 350 nautical miles.
.
Pakistan would accrue substantial benefits from the extension as vast area of more than 50,000 km may be gained after the continental shelf extension. The data acquired during the project will provide a reliable and firm database and foundation, essential for future marine research and exploration of living and non-living marine resources.
>
It will also provide ‘a good basis for our scientists/ technicians to further promote and develop the marine geological and geophysical research and survey capabilities.

From The Daily Mail, Islamabad

The Truth Is: Team Obama and The National Media Have To Grow Up Fast

May 6, 2009

O.K. we’ve enjoyed the love fest and the photo ops of the “First 100 Days;” which is about as meaningful as “Cinco de Cuatro” or any Hallmark Moment.

Now there is real work to do and issues to face and some of us have serious doubt that the Obama Administration and the free press are up to the task.

Consider these few challenges on the president’s plate:

Today Barack Obama will meet with the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan to convince both that he needs them to play a greater role in fighting off al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorists: even though the word “terrorist” is practically banned inside the Obama government.  Reuters reporter David Alexander wrote that “Obama will warn that al Qaeda and its Talibanallies pose an existential threat and press Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to toughen their response.”

If the threat is existential, no warning from an outsider is required, right?  And if a threat is existential, the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan could better articulate how they planned to save their own skins without so many billions of U.S. dollars from us — not to mention the sweat and blood of our troops.

In the Middle East, the President is pressing Israel to accept a “two-state  solution” with the Palestinians, as a precondition for Washington’s continued dialogue with Iran about its nuclear program.  But Israel has stated clearly that Iran poses an existential threat and it has a plan to deal with that threat.  Israel needs no encouragement on its existential threat from Obama: Obama has to hold them back.

Too many dichotomies.

On taxes and spending, Obama has said we need to spend more and the future will take care of itself.  On one day he is for big business but on most days he is not.  He gave Chrysler to the auto unions and an Italian carmaker of dubious future growth and hatched a plan Monday to raise taxes on American companies widely engaged in the global economic system.

What happened to jobs and growth?

Fortunately even the Democratic Congress is showing signs of waking up.  The “no plan for Gitmo prisoners” request for $600 million plus was rejected by the House Appropriations Committee because there is no plan: just a request for money.

When the President of the United States says “cinco de cuatro” and the Vice President urges people not to travel while flu is in the air, in direct contradiction of the president’s policy, this indicates a certain lack of professionalism and thought at the top of the U.S. government.  These are not small warning signs: they are alarm bells.

When the CDC tells schools to close for two weeks at the first sign a flu and then reverses itself before the two weeks are up: one should wonder what the hell is going on?

And if allies have to be persuaded to save their own nations maybe we shouldn’t spend more or send more troops.

And why is all this going on?  Because the American media is in love with Obama.  Until that love story plays out we’ll continue to travel an uneven and nonsensical path…. Without the needed professionalism and thought.  And without reporters skilled at making reality of the promises: starting with the promise of transparency, professionalism and thought.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/05/
06/obamas-transparency-policy-do
nt-let-the-sunshine-in/

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/0
5/06/obama-to-force-israel-to-give-up-nukes/

Corruption In Obama Government Plus Loving Media is Taking us Where?

*****************************

Obama Is Causing Economic Recovery Delay: And Reshaping the Future Economy Forever?  For Worse?

From Peter Ferrara
The American Spectator

Even though American companies suffer the huge international competitive disadvantage of the second highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world, Obama continues to scorn doing anything about this as taking us “back to the failed ideas of the past.” On Monday, Obama was out promoting still more tax increases on corporate America. He foolishly thinks that imposing taxes on the overseas investments of American companies will force investment back to the USA. But this is just one more whupping stick in Obama’s arsenal that is going to create full scale capital flight from the U.S. before his term is over. Watch as alert, independent thinking executives start to transform American companies with investments overseas into foreign companies with tentative investments in America at least for now.

Read it all:
http://spectator.org/archives/200
9/05/06/is-obama-delaying-economic-rec

Obama Asking Afghanistan, Pakistan to “Buy Into” Existential Threat With American Money

May 6, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama will urge the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to put aside a history of mistrust and join Washington in an alliance against Islamic extremists at a White House meeting on Wednesday, senior administration officials said.

By David Alexander
Reuters

Offering billions of dollars in U.S. military and civilian aid, Obama will warn that al Qaeda and its Taliban allies pose an existential threat and press Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to toughen their response, the officials said.

“He’s going to make the obvious general points that have to be said and carry such enormous weight when they are said by the president of the United States — that these two countries have to work together for their mutual benefit, despite their history, despite the suspicions,” said one official.

The White House gathering, part of Obama’s new strategy for the U.S. war against al Qaeda, could produce specific agreements for cooperation on policing and border issues, the officials said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090506
/pl_nm/us_afghanistan_pakistan_usa_8

What holds back Pakistan?

May 6, 2009

So what holds back the rest of the Pakistan Army from pushing out the Taliban from their positions in the Swat valley? The initial response from military leaders has been consistent. The politicians in Islamabad, they say at army headquarters in Rawalpindi, believe they can negotiate with Taliban leaders in such a manner as to preserve the political support of Pushtun tribal elements overall.

By George H. Wittman
American Spectator

For its part, the Pakistan Army command has for many years worked closely with Pushtun militants: this was true against India and the Soviets in Afghanistan. These same groups now make up today’s Taliban. Parallel to this sense of loyalty to old comrades-in-arms is the thinking that civilian law enforcement, in concert with local paramilitary units, does nothing to follow-up the army’s initial victories. Hard won battles are perceived as undercut by civilian ineptitude.

In other words the army blames a lack of local follow-up and yet at the same time is itself hesitant to initiate a crushing blow on its old buddies who are now in the Taliban leadership. Many more explanations are available from General Staff in Rawalpindi, but the bottom line is always the same: “Our real enemy is India and always will be!”

To add to the arguments justifying army hesitancy for a large-scale attack on the Taliban, there is a continuing belief that the U.S. truly wishes to diminish the power of Islam in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Such views are rarely uttered to Western official representatives, but the depth of their feeling is often transmitted privately.

One factor acting as an obstacle of unstated but perhaps even greater importance is that American-trained General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, Chief of Army Staff, apparently has no immediate interest in heading a military action to take over once again from Pakistan’s ineffectual civilian leadership. Kiyani is quite satisfied with being able to shift potential blame for Islamic militancy and Taliban encroachment onto the civilian government.

Read the entire article:
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/
05/06/pakistans-time-of-troubles