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January 15, 2012

RAW OPERATIONS AGAINST USA EXPOSED…PAKISTAN ALSO?

Filed under: india,ISI,memogate,Mossad,RAW,USA — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 11:19 am

Taj Mahal

RAW agents have obtained US government passwords and are conducting spy operations against American officials, according to US media reports.

The Indian hacker group that released Symantec anti-virus source code earlier this month now says it has more proof that Indian intelligence agencies are spying on the U.S. government.

Infosec Island’s Anthony M. Freed posted an article saying one of the Indian hackers, who calls himself “YamaTough,” gave him 68 sets of usernames and passwords for U.S. government network accounts.

YamaTough told Freed the account data is just a sample of the information the hacker group, the “Lords of Dharmaraja,” copied from Indian government servers.

“In the best interest of the federal, state and local municipalities and their constituents, Infosec Island will not publish the compromised account data,” Freed wrote. “We have provided the information to the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with law enforcement.”

This news of RAW spying on their supposed ally America comes just days after it was revealed that Mossad carried out false flag operations against the US which adds to the evidence supporting the fact that RAW and Mossad are working together to destabilise the Pak-American security relationship.

But that is not the only interesting piece of information in this latest report.

Later in the same article, the reporters reveal the existence of a series of memos which prove that RAW has ‘backdoors’ to RIM Blackberry devices.

Last week, the Lords of Dharmaraja publicly posted purported internal Indian military intelligence memos that said Apple, Nokia and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) had given India “backdoors” — secret keys to unlock encrypted communications sent and received by users of their handsets.

As a possible demonstration of the viability of those backdoors, the memos also included transcripts of emails between members of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), a congressional commission that analyzes and reports on bilateral American-Chinese relations. The memos said information revealed in the emails had resulted in Indian naval-intelligence operatives being sent to China.

Reuters said it got hold of a larger set of USCC emails, which it showed to two Indian security experts with ties to India’s government and two unnamed Americans “close to” the USCC. All four dismissed the memos as hoaxes possibly concocted by China or India’s arch-rival Pakistan.

Other Washington insiders told Reuters the memos seemed genuine.

Mansoor Ijaz RAW agent?This is important evidence of another scheme to destabilise Pakistan. Remember that the current crisis was started by the claims of the anti-Pakistan neo-con Mansoor Ijaz. It was later revealed that Mansoor Ijaz has offered to be an agent of RAW. What evidence has Mansoor Ijaz provided to support his claims? Blackberry transcripts. And now we learn that RAW has ‘backdoors’ to Blackberry devices.

What more ingenious way to destabilise Pakistan than to create suspicion and mistrust between Army and the government. And what more perfect way to carry out this scheme than to use hacked Blackberry devices, knowing that they can never be proven but will always cast a doubt between the Army and the government, keeping Pakistan divided against itself and weakened to Indian machinations?

 

January 14, 2012

ISRAEL’S FALSE FLAG ARROGANCE IS OPPORTUNITY FOR PAKISTAN

Israel false flag

A report in the American website Foreign Policy exposes for the first time the activities of Mossad conducting false flag operations to support terrorists in Balochistan. But the story may not be what you think, and it actually could provide an opportunity for Pakistan to set the record straight with a key ally.

According to the report published on Friday, former CIA officers have confirmed that Mossad has conducted false flag operations..AGAINST AMERICA.

Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

On discovering this betrayal, American CIA officers and even President George W Bush “went ballistic”.

“It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” the intelligence officer said. “Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.”

America has been suspected for years of recruiting, training and arming Jundullah militants in Balochistan to carry out attacks against Iran and to destabilise Pakistan. The US has always denied these claims, but circumstantial evidence including sources claiming to have dealt with CIA agents themselves always kept suspicions alive. Now, we know the truth. Israel had turned on their supposed ally America and was conducting false flag operations against them.

This knowledge raises to important points for Pakistan security interests. The first is to ask why Mossad would choose to so arrogantly betray their ally America, not even giving a damn what they thought. Obviously, Mossad is trying to stop Iran from achieving a nuclear asset. According to the report in Foreign Policy, they have been frustrated by the Americans unwillingness to allow attacks against Iranian targets.

Israel regularly proposes conducting covert operations targeting Iranians, but is just as regularly shut down, according to retired and current intelligence officers. “They come into the room and spread out their plans, and we just shake our heads,” one highly placed intelligence source said, “and we say to them — ‘Don’t even go there. The answer is no.’”

America also continues to work closely with Pakistan Army and ISI in the war on terror. Pakistan being the only Muslim nuclear state, this must also be a source of anger the Mossad who believe that no Muslim nation should possess a nuclear weapon. For this reason, Mossad would want to destabilise Pakistan and the Pakistan-American security cooperation also. By conducting false flag operations meant to make the Americans look like the ones responsible for recruiting and arming Jundallah militants in Balochistan, Mossad has created suspicion between Pakistan and American officers.

Military and intelligence officers should take this report immediately to their American counterparts and show them that Pakistan, not Israel, is America’s true ally in the war on terrorism. At the same time they should hand the CIA proofs of RAW’s same activities. America continues to say that a stable and secure Pakistan is their goal, and now they can help stop the killings and violence in Balochistan by marching to their contacts in RAW and Mossad and telling them that the game is up!

Removing RAW and Mossad’s source of destabilizing both Balochistan and the Pakistan-American military cooperation will help quickly end the war on terror which is hurting the interests of both Pakistan and America and only benefits Israel and India. Now that Mossad’s nefarious schemes stand exposed, it is time to end them for good.

September 5, 2011

ISPR: PAK-US COOPERATION NABS 3 AL QAEDA TERRORIST

Filed under: Defense,ISPR,USA — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 7:39 am
Senior Al Qaeda leader Younis Al Mauritani arrested in Quetta by Inter Services Intelligence

Senior Al Qaeda leader Younis Al Mauritani arrested in Quetta by Inter Services Intelligence working with US intelligence.

In an intelligence driven operation by Inter Services Intelligence in coordination with Frontier Corps Balochistan, a senior Al Qaeda leader, Younis Al Mauritani mainly responsible for planning and conduct of international operations, was nabbed alongwith two other senior Al Qaeda operatives, Abdul Ghaffar Al Shami (Bachar Chama) and Messara Al Shami (Mujahid Amino) from suburbs of Quetta. Al Mauritani was tasked personally by Osama Bin Ladan to focus on hitting targets of economical importance in United States of America, Europe and Australia. He was planning to target United States economic interests including gas/oil pipelines, power generating dams and strike ships/oil tankers through explosive laden speed boats in International waters.

Through this critical arrest yet another fatal blow has been delivered to Al Qaeda. This operation was planned and conducted with technical assistance of United State Intelligence Agencies with whom Inter Services Intelligence has a strong, historic intelligence relationship. Both Pakistan and United States intelligence agencies continue to work closely together to enhance security of their respective nations.The intimate cooperation between Pakistan and United States Intelligence agencies has resulted into prevention of number of high profile terrorist acts not only inside Pakistan/United States but elsewhere also in world.

SOURCE: http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=1827#pr_link1827

March 23, 2011

PNS Alamgir, OHP Class frigate to reach Pakistan

Filed under: Defense,USA — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 6:21 am

PNS AlmagirThe first Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) frigate set sail for Pakistan on Monday. The frigate was acquired by Pakistan Navy from the United States. The ship is formerly known as the USS McINERNEY (FFG-8) and was commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as the PNS ALAMGIR (FFG-260) on August, 31, 2010 during a huge ceremony at the Mayport, Naval Station. The ceremony was attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. After commissioning, the PNS ALAMGIR underwent modernization and refurbishment and the BAE System Shipyard in Jacksonville Florida. 18 officers and 218 CPO/ Sailors underwent a series of training sessions to be able to operate the ship.

The Ship Transfer and Assistance Team (STAT) contributed greatly in the training. The Pakistan Crew’s stay in the US, not only contributed to the better understanding on issues of mutual concern, but also strengthened the relations between the two nations. Captain Naveed Ashraf T.Bt TI(M) was announced as the first Commanding Officer of the PNS ALAMGIR.

The ship set sail for Pakistan on Monday, after the completion of the final trials and cre workup. The ship is scheduled to stop at Bermuda (UK), Azores (Portugal), Cadiz (Spain), Golcuk (Turkey), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Salalah (Oman) and would eventually reach Pakistan on 13 May 2011.

The PNS ALAMGIR will be a part of the 18th Frigate Squadron of the Pakistan Navy Fleet. Pakistan has become one of the important members of Global War on Terror (GWOT). Due to Pakistani government’s decision to fight terrorism, the Pakistan Navy joined the maritime coalition against terrorism which is led by the US. At the moment the Navy participates in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) which is one of the maritime components of the Global War on Terrorism. The CMCP encompasses operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The coalition forces work under the command of United States Naval Forces Central Command (US NAVCENT). The responsibility areas include the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Red Sea.

Despite the strong resource constraints, the Pakistan Navy has always been a number one participant in the CMCP. The Pakistan Navy was the first regional navy to form a part of the CMCP and has greatly contributed its assents to ensuring stability and peace in the region. The Pakistan Navy has so far contributed one frigate to Task Force 150 (TF-150) and a Type-21 frigate to Task Force 151 (TF-151).

The Pakistan Navy has commanded TF-150 f our times and is currently in charge of the TF-151 off the coast of Somalia, where they are countering piracy. Pakistan is also the first non-NATO country to command a Task Force.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates are being used by a lot of navies and their main strength is conducting Maritime Security Operations which have become the main concern of the nations. The PNS ALAMGIR is scheduled to augment Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Sea. Another of its goals is to support the Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet.

The PNS ALAMGIR has been named after Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir who was the sixth Muslim Ruler of Great Mughal Empire and is known to be one of the most fierce and experienced warriors, who protected his territories and was the Empire’s leader for nearly 50 years. Thanks to him the influence of the Mughal Empire was spread to the entire Indian Sub-continent.

October 20, 2010

USA To Increase Military Aid for Pakistan

Pakistan military equipped with US supplies

According to the American newspaper Wall Street Journal, the President Barack Hussain Obama is planning to increase military support for Pak Army.

The Obama administration is planning to ramp up military support to the Pakistani army as part of an effort to persuade Islamabad to do far more to combat Islamic militants.

According to the news report, this support will be more than USD$2 Billions (Rs.172 Billions) in military equipment.

The new military aid, which is contingent on congressional approval, is expected to amount to more than $2 billion over five years, would pay for equipment Pakistan can use for counterinsurgency and counterterror operations. U.S. officials say they hope the new aid could effectively eliminate Pakistan’s objections that it doesn’t have the equipment needed to launch more operations in tribal areas.

Department of Defense officials, including Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet on Wednesday with Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani at the Pentagon.

With the military stretched thin by dealing with flood relief, militants, and Indian aggression, this is a vital support to our national defense.

This also flies in the face of the false hypernationalists like Shireen Mazari who says that Pakistan should cut funding for Pakistan’s military and reject strategic relationships to US military. If Shireen Mazari and her kind had their way, Pakistan would be immediately vulnerable to Indian attacks! By strengthening our partnership with the USA we are able to improve our national defense by getting more military equipment and showing the Indian aggressors that WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.

June 18, 2010

The Nation Surrenders, But REAL Pakistanis Want to FIGHT

Filed under: Media,Taliban,USA — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 6:23 am

Pakistan Army

The Taliban’s unofficial newspaper, The Nation, has written an editorial today asking the military to surrender to Taliban but REAL Pakistani Nationalists want to FIGHT.

The article in today’s The Nation is called ‘A sinister enemy’ and indeed The Nation is a sinister enemy of Pakistan for what it writes.

In this backdrop, the straight option for the Pakistan Army is to give up its penchant for US military equipment and terminate the ongoing offensive.

Can you believe it??? The Nation is demanding that Pakistan Army give up. While The Nation is writing its surrender letter to Taliban, our brave soldiers are searching for troops that these very Taliban have kidnapped and are holding prisoner. The Nation would just give them up as dead.

But REAL Pakistani Nationalists will NEVER SURRENDER to these Talibans. Look at the new poll information that is reported in Dawn:

No Muslim country surveyed recorded majority support for suicide bombing, Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. In Pakistan, only ten per cent like Taliban and only 9 per cent support Al Qaeda.

As many as seventy per cent Pakistanis have unfavourable views of the Taliban and sixty-one per cent reject Al Qaeda openly.

Actually REAL Pakistani Nationalists do not want to give up American military support for surrender to Taliban.

It is not surprising that American cooperation with the Pakistani military is popular, given the confidence that Pakistanis have in it. As many as eighty-six per cent say the military is having a good influence on the country

So why The Nation wants to surrender? Because they are Taliban lovers, not Pakistanis.

March 25, 2010

US to speed up arms supply

USA Pakistan Dialogue

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday US pledged a $125 million aid to boost the energy sector in Pakistan, besides allowing Pakistani products access to US markets and speeding up military equipment transfers, Geo News reported.

In a joint press briefing with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here after holding the strategic dialogue with the Pakistani delegation, she termed the strategic sitting important not only for Pakistan but also for the US administration.

She pledged American assistance to develop the agriculture sector in Pakistan besides extending assistance to maximise the exports of Pakistan. ‘Pakistani products will now have access to US markets,’ she said, adding that the US would provide cooperation in the establishment of three thermal power plants to lessen the power crisis in Pakistan. The US would also help Pakistan expand the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), she said.

Clinton said that the US would sign a letter for ‘significant road infrastructure’ in Pakistan’s troubled northwest without offering a figure. ‘Pakistan is on the frontline of confronting violent extremism that threatens us all, and Pakistan’s civilian and security forces continue to bear the brunt of that fight,’ Clinton said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that US suspicions of his country have evaporated, with officials no longer questioning Islamabad’s commitment to fight extremism. Qureshi, who was holding a first-of-a-kind ‘strategic dialogue’ with the United States, said ‘the mood was completely different’ from previous visits to Washington.

‘I was at the Senate; I was at the House. It’s a 180-degree difference,’ he told a joint news conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ‘There were no more question marks, there was no suspicion, there was no ‘do more,” he said. ‘There was appreciation for what we had already done.’

‘We’ve agreed to fast-track our requests, that have been pending for months and years, on the transfer of military equipment to Pakistan,’ Qureshi told said. Hillary Clinton, earlier in the dialogue, said that the US supported dialogue between India and Pakistan, while Shah Mehmood Qureshi called for a ‘constructive engagement’ by the United States on Kashmir.

Asked about Qureshi’s remarks later at the joint news conference, Clinton said that the US supported reconciliation efforts between India and Pakistan. ‘The issues that are part of that dialogue need to be addressed and resolution of them between the two countries would certainly be in everyone’s best interest,’ she said, without explicitly mentioning Kashmir.

Clinton said that the United States wanted to be a partner of Pakistan on ‘a full range of matters.’ ‘We can’t dictate Pakistani foreign policy or Indian foreign policy. But we can encourage, as we do, the in-depth discussion between both countries that we think would benefit each of them with respect to security and development,’ she said.

Speaking at an early-morning ceremony, Hillary Clinton said the US had started a ‘new day’ with Pakistan in hearing its concerns. Clinton said she wanted to speak directly to its people, acknowledging that the two nations ‘have had our misunderstandings and disagreements in the past.’

‘There are sure to be more disagreements in the future, as there are between any friends or, frankly, any family members,’ she said. ‘But this is a new day. For the past year, the Obama administration has shown in our words and deeds a different approach and attitude toward Pakistan.’

‘The dialogue we seek is not only with the government of Pakistan, but you the people of Pakistan,’ she said, vowing that both she and President Barack Obama had a ‘personal commitment’ to building ties with Islamabad.

Clinton said stability of Pakistan was in the world’s interest. Pointing to Pakistan’s growing action against extremism, she pledged full support, saying, ‘Its struggles are our struggles.’ Reiterating US support in the fight against terror to the nation, she affirmed that the Taliban were trying to consolidate in Pakistan, and it would be a threat for humanity as well as for the region.

She said that the Taliban wanted to destabilise Pakistan, and ‘we have to work together for their complete eradication.’ She said that the both nations are looking for a successful composite dialogue, as it would not be a one time dialogue.

She also lauded the role of Pakistan towards the establishment of peace in South Asia and termed the security and stability of Pakistan a top priority. ‘Pakistan’s military has mounted successful military operations against terrorists. Pakistan’s security agencies have captured many notorious al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists,’ she said.

She made it clear that during the conversation, the United States will address Pakistan’s energy needs for the citizens of the nation. Clinton said that the stability and security of Pakistan was important for the world and the US would continue its maximum help to strengthen Pakistan.

She said, ‘We know that Pakistan is facing a severe problem due to the energy shortage in the country. And we will not let Pakistan alone in these intermingled problems and the US would always be on the side of Pakistan in its hour of need. The people are facing severe blackouts due to unavailability of electricity. Farmers are worried about the future of the agriculture sector due to the shortage of water in the country.’

Qureshi expressed gratitude for US assistance and pledged that Pakistan would keep up the fight against extremism. But he made it clear that Pakistan wanted benefits in return. Qureshi said that Pakistan was seeking ‘non-discriminatory’ access to energy resources as well as a ‘constructive’ role by the United States on its dispute with India over Kashmir. ‘Such a partnership, we are convinced, is good for Pakistan, good for America and good for international peace, security and prosperity,’ he said.

‘Pakistan is committed to doing its part to facilitate the world community’s effort for peace and stability in Afghanistan,’ Qureshi said. ‘We hope the world community will be equally responsive to our legitimate concerns and help advance common interests,’ he said.

He said the war against terrorism had seriously damaged Pakistan’s economy, as Pakistan has got nothing but bomb blasts in response to waging war against terrorism. Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, US defence Secretary Robert Gates and Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Chairman Joint Chiefs Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, senior advisers and officials attended the dialogue.

News Desk adds: The US has also agreed to pay Pakistan its military spending in anti-terror operations in two installments.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27958

March 14, 2010

Lahore: The Targeted Paradise

Filed under: Taliban,terrorism,Uncategorized,USA — Tags: — admin @ 11:24 am

Check out Sana’s new post on the recent attacks on Lahore.

Lahore is vivacious. It is the shining capital of the entire Punjab province, the heart and soul of Pakistani culture. The second-largest city (after Karachi) in Pakistan is known for its spirit and a certain zeal for vibrancy. Though the modernity is evident – in the bazaars, architecture and of course the people – Lahore’s ancient majesty can never be overlooked. There is a saying Lahoris like to say “Lahore, Lahore hain”… “Lahore is Lahore.”

The extremists know Lahore is special. They are after this city. For them, the culture exhibited in every street and smile in Lahore is disgusting. They oppose the personal choices and freedoms. For them Lahore is a city that needs to be “taught a lesson.” That is why recently Lahore has been the chosen city for some of the most horrendous terrorist attacks to date. The week of March 12 saw twin suicide attacks and a spate of bombings. The entire country is reeling, thrown off balance by the sheer number and magnitude of recent Lahore attacks, even though bombings have become something of an ugly commonplace.

Indeed Pakistanis living abroad have greeted each other with “Salaam” followed quickly by “Lahore mein kya hora hain?” or “What is happening in Lahore?”

We must acknowledge what is happening here: there is a full-on attack on Pakistani culture. Targeting the Pakistani cultural capital is a direct assault on all the wonderful things about Pakistan. Extremists hope to instill fear and paranoia in the people of Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, etc. “No one is safe” is their message.

In the midst of national mourning, the real test is what we do now. We can either play into their hands and become paranoid  (and blame India for the Lahore attacks, even though FM Qureshi says there is no evidence of that) or we can stand with our allies and focus on stopping future attacks in Pakistan (as Sec. Clinton promised to do).

Pakistanis will not allow a hateful ideology to overtake the brilliant history and culture of the nation. It is simply not an option. We must pray for strength and never look away from the goal: a peaceful, prosperous nation, inshallah.

March 6, 2010

USA Accepts Pakistan As Nuclear State

Can we stop the conspiracy theories about how the Americans are trying to steal our nuclear arsenal? It was silly to begin with to think that the country with the most nuclear weapons in the world would be trying to pickpocket our own arsenal. Obviously the people who made these conspiracy theories do not have military experience or expertise. But now, that is all a different story. Dawn‘s headline today solves this issue finally.

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has implicitly accepted Pakistan’s status as a declared nuclear weapons state, countering conspiracy theories that the United States is secretly plotting to seize the country’s nuclear assets, says a US media report.

Another media report says that President Barack Obama plans to host talks between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next month when they will be in Washington on April 12 for a nuclear security summit.

David Ignatius, a Washington Post associate editor, wrote in his newspaper on Thursday that the Obama administration had recently taken several steps to address Pakistani security concerns.

“One is to implicitly accept Pakistan’s status as a declared nuclear weapons state and thereby counter conspiracy theories that the United States is secretly plotting to seize Pakistani nukes.”

Mr Ignatius wrote that President “Obama made an early move in that direction when he told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper last June, ‘I have confidence that the Pakistani government has safeguarded its nuclear arsenal. It’s Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal’.”

While this move aims at allaying Pakistan’s fears that the United States may secretly try to undermine its nuclear programme, the hosting of talks with India reflects the US belief that improved relations between India and Pakistan will benefit the war against terror.

Diplomatic observers in Washington, however, say that since the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers will be meeting against the backdrop of the nuclear summit, “it is only natural that they will also discuss nuclear issues”.

Both India and the United States have expressed concern that any further deterioration in Pakistan could allow non-state actors to seize nuclear weapons.

Pakistan dismisses such concerns as unfounded and has urged the United States to offer it a nuclear deal like the one it concluded with India in 2008.

Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former ambassador to US, said that America’s ‘explicit recognition’ could be useful “only if stops such propaganda otherwise Pakistan is already a nuclear weapons state, with or without America’s recognition”.

She suggested that instead of stopping at the recognition, the Obama administration should negotiate a nuclear deal with Pakistan, as it did with India.

Last month, a US scholar wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal, backing this demand. “More so than conventional weapons or large sums of cash, a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of US intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism,” wrote C. Christine Fair, an assistant professor at Georgetown University.

The US media links new US efforts to improve ties with Pakistan to progress in anti-terror war, resulting in arrest of several Taliban leaders since late last month.

Until recently, the US-Pakistan alliance against terror has been marked by mutual distrust and lack of confidence in each other, with American officials often claiming that Islamabad has retained its links to the Taliban to use them as a back-up to counter Indian influence in Afghanistan after the US and Nato forces withdraw.

On Friday, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters at Forth Leavenworth’s army college that the United States had to continue to work at restoring trust among the Pakistanis after tensions caused by sanctions placed on the nation in the 1990s.

“If you don’t trust each other we’re not going to work together well,” he said.

Pakistan’s ambassador Husain Haqqani, after his meeting with Admiral Mullen, said the two nations were cooperating and had mutual interests in defeating the extremists, but relations would not be perfect with the United States just because of battlefield successes.

Mr Ignatius wrote that the US was also trying to combat Islamabad’s fears about covert US military or intelligence activities inside Pakistan.

“Ambassador Husain Haqqani has been negotiating measures for greater transparency, such as clearer labelling of official cargo. And the administration has repeated Mr Obama’s assurance last June (in his interview to Dawn) that “we have no intention of sending US troops into Pakistan,” wrote the Post’s associate editor.

The US media, however, noted that both sides still had some worries. The Pakistanis were now concerned that the United States might negotiate a peace deal with the Afghan Taliban that cut them out as an intermediary.

“In reconciliation talks, Pakistan must have a seat at the table,” said one Pakistani official. We should all be so lucky if this proves to be the biggest problem.

February 22, 2010

On an upward curve

The following article by Lieutenant-General (Retd) Talat Masood was originally published in The News on 22 February.

Pakistan and US FlagsThe military to military relations between the US and Pakistan seems to be gradually improving. There is a greater level of mutual confidence and less talk of ‘do more’. This has been achieved by enhanced cooperation at operational and intelligence level and is benefiting both sides. It seems sharing is taking place even at the planning stage to ensure greater synergy and to make sure that the operations undertaken by the US on the Afghan side do not have a negative fallout on Pakistan or vice-versa. The importance the US attaches to Pakistan is demonstrated by the frequency of visits by the US military leaders as well. General McChrystal, Commander of the US and ISAF forces, must have visited his counterpart no less than three to four times in one month alone. In addition, General Petraeus and Admiral Mullen, too, are keeping close contacts with General Kayani and other military and civilian leaders. This has resulted in expanded cooperation on a broad front. There is cooperation in training on new equipment and sharing of counter-insurgency doctrines and practices. Our army, although professionally capable, is constrained by the past and it is only through extensive training that we can prepare for the conflict that we are currently facing. This is even more relevant to the training of Frontier Corps whose role in counter-insurgency operations is expanding. Supply of weapons and equipment from the US has somewhat improved, but still there are shortages in critical areas like helicopters, surveillance equipment and specialised vehicles.

Similar momentum is being maintained by the US at a broader political and diplomatic level. General Jones the National Security Advisor has had meetings with the top civilian and military leaders in Pakistan to discuss Pakistan’s concerns about India’s involvement in Afghanistan and the renewal of India- Pakistan dialogue process. Ambassador Holbrooke has also made several visits and Senator John Kerry must have been to Pakistan about three times since the inception of the democratic government to see how civilian projects could be expedited.

The most pressing problem for the Americans is ensuring full cooperation for their current operations in Afghanistan. The spate of recent arrests of some top leaders of Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda including Mullah Ghani Baradar, Ameer Muawiya in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan is another strong indicator of the growing US-Pakistan cooperation. Whether this is going to be a transient phase of their relationship or a permanent inflexion in Pakistan’s policy paradigm may be early to determine. In all likelihood it appears that there is a growing realisation in Pakistan’s security establishment that the previous policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds may have run its course. The huge paradox of closely collaborating with the US, receiving substantial economic and military assistance from it on the one hand, and, at the same time being supportive of Afghan Taliban, is no more a viable policy. Besides, the lethal cocktail of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Afghan Taliban, Al Qaeda and other jihadi organisations such as LeT, LeJ etc. that were erstwhile considered strategic assets are turning out to be an existential threat to the state. When viewed in this context stakes in the success of the US and ISAF in Afghanistan for Pakistan are fairly high. In the event of US failure, civil war would surely follow and it will immediately trigger off a proxy war accompanied by a humanitarian crisis of great proportions. The last thing that Pakistan would like to see is a chaotic Afghanistan, needless to mention that the success of Afghan Taliban will create a reverse ideological and strategic depth in Pakistan. We do not have to remind that Taliban’s extremist ideology would be a huge setback for our modernisation and relevance to the world. For this reason it is not surprising that arrest of such a large number of Afghan Taliban is taking place in Pakistan. This could weaken Afghan Taliban and may induce them to agree to a negotiated settlement.

It is time a serious policy reappraisal is undertaken for reasons of our internal stability as well as for benefiting from a long term strategic partnership with the US. Pakistan’s military with the consent of Afghan government could use its unique position to persuade Afghan Taliban to agree to President Karzai’s reconciliation offer. A negotiated settlement would provide the US with an exit strategy and help in stabilising Afghanistan which is crucial for Pakistan’s own fight against militants. It is likely that Mullah Baradar could become a collaborator and help in the reintegration policy of the US and the reconciliation efforts of President Karzai. Islamabad’s interests are best served if it widens its engagement and interests with other power centers in Afghanistan and not confine it to only Taliban as was the case in the past. Taliban, too, have to grasp the reality that even in the event of their military victory, a war torn Afghanistan will not have peace or economic viability without support from the international community at least in the foreseeable future.

A subtle shift in the US policy is also discernable. Instead of blaming Pakistan it has started appreciating its contribution in the fight against insurgency. The best part is that several strands of relationship between them are gradually being made to match the set of expectations. If this trend continues, current relationship which could be characterised more of a coalition can be transformed into an alliance.

It seems Washington has played a discreet role in persuading India to recommence bilateral dialogue. This, however, does not imply that the US in any way would subordinate its vital strategic partnership with India to meet Pakistan’s concerns. To expect Washington to immerse in conflict resolution will not be compatible with its larger and more immediate objective of bringing stability to Afghanistan. It will nonetheless continue to encourage both India and Pakistan to engage bilaterally to find solutions to issues.

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