April 30, 2012
April 18, 2011
COAS Gen Kayani announced on Monday that over 5,000 Baloch with become part of Pakistan army later this month. This is a positive and important move which will help increase national unity as the military service continues to better reflect the entire population.
The effort to increase representation of Balochistan in Army also comes at an important time when militancy is negatively affecting the province. By increasing the presence of Baloch soliders, the military will be able to better handle the important cultural and social considerations while ridding the area of foreign militants and other trouble makers.
Most importantly, this news demonstrates that the country has moved beyond the old provincialism and there is a strong national identity that unites Pakistanis regardless of class, ethnicity or religion. We are all Pakistani, and we stand together to protect our nation.
October 20, 2010
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.
August 4, 2010
The Hindu published a vicious attack on COAS Gen. Kayani this week saying that he is supporting jihadi elements, even while our troops are on the front lines of battle fighting these militants.
Ambassador Husain Haqqani has already made the point to NDTV that it is our own military – led by Gen. Kayani – that is making the greatest sacrifice to fighting extremism, and that we will not be intimidated by India in this fight.
Ambassador Haqqani: Pakistan’s Intelligence Services, Pakistan’s Military, and Pakistan’s Government have taken a very clear stand against terrorism and extremism. Over the last two years, more Pakistanis have died fighting terrorism than any other country’s military. We have already proven our sincerity in fighting terrorism through our actions. I don’t think that we will engage in a debate with anyone – an individual legislator in the United States, an individual political figure in India, or for that matter any of our individual critics in the region. Time will prove that Pakistan made a clear choice, and our choice was to rid our entire region and the world of terrorism, and we will not endure terrorist attacks in any part of the world, including in any of our neighbouring countries.
NDTV: Since a lot of what you do here in Washington as Pakistan’s Ambassador is impacted by the India-Pakistan-Afghanistan dynamic, what role do you think India can legitimately play in Afghanistan without causing Pakistan to feel buffeted in?
Ambassador Haqqani: I think that the best course for India in Afghanistan is to make sure that whatever they do there does not create misgivings in Pakistan, a little more transparency, a little more open discussion as neighbours that this is what we are about to do. It’s a part of the confidence building that we need to do to overcome the misgivings of the past. Look, we all know that there are always issues that each side can raise with one another, complaints that one can have towards one another, but if the intention is to have a stable Afghanistan, a stable Pakistan, and a stable India, playing their respective roles, working together, then I think we can find a way of reassuring each other. In Afghanistan, as long as there is no significant military intelligence activity that Pakistan finds threatening, India of course will remain a country with which the Afghans will do business, and similarly, at some point in future, Pakistan itself looks forward to a normal trade relationship with India, but until we get there, we have to have a more reassuring posture towards one another. There are things Pakistan has to take India into confidence over just to be reassuring, and similarly India has to understand that it had to do that.
Of course, it is not only The Hindu that is making such blatant attacks on our military force, but again the fifth-column in our borders called The Nation is up to its old tricks. Writing about Gen. Kayani’s extension, The Nation says it is a bad idea:
WHILE it was expected that General Kayani would get an extension, the unprecedented full three-year term extension came as a surprise, especially because it was granted by a civilian government. What was equally unprecedented was the Prime Minister announcing this extension of the COAS’s term through an address to the nation. The announcement for this address also came barely an hour before leading one to wonder why there was this haste to sew things up for General Kayani. No one can deny General Kayani’s professionalism and competency as well as his assiduous efforts to keep the military out of politics and back in the barracks in the post-Musharraf era. Having said that, the manner and timing of the extension, as well as the time period, all raise some serious issues.
Beyond these points of contention, there is the whole policy of extensions for senior civil and military bureaucrats that itself is highly contentious. Our problem in Pakistan has always been that institutional development has been thwarted by the rulers reliance on individuals rather than the institutions they serve. This renders institutional development superfluous. That in turn hinders a cohesive decision-making process to evolve and be strengthened and our policies only reflect the personal whims and preferences of individuals.
It almost sounds like the same people are writing for The Hindu and The Nation. Certainly both are against our military.
February 2, 2010
Pakistan is closer than it has ever been to establishing friendly, helpful relations with all of her neighbors.
Weeks ago, I blogged about the Tri-Nation Conference between Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. It was a remarkable event, resulting in a unanimous declaration that none of the nations would allow protection to extremists and all would work on coordination of anti-terrorism efforts. To ensure these initiatives would be carried out, a committee will be formed that will make policy recommendations and gather data as to better streamline efforts between the neighbors.
In today’s Daily Times comes a report that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani does not want a “Talibanised Afghanistan.”
“We can’t wish for anything for Afghanistan that we don’t wish for ourselves,” the COAS was quoted as saying. In his mind (as with Pakistanis in general), peace and stability in Afghanistan is crucial to reaching (and sustaining!) peace in Pakistan. There is no doubt that the Pakistani Army’s daring initiative into Waziristan in 2009 has greatly helped to improve the situation in Afghanistan.
General Kayani also offered to train the Afghan Army and police, “as we have the capacity and the wherewithal to do so.”
It is this spirit of compassion for one’s neighbor that is coming into play in the region from all sides, including India.
Pakistan is hosting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference on February 20th. Speaking about attending this conference Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram is quoted in today’s Dawn as saying ”I presume we will hold bilateral talks if there is an opportunity.”
It would be the first time an Indian Minister has visited Pakistan since the tragic 2008 Mumbai attacks.
SAARC has the potential to be a turning point in South Asian relations. It would truly signal a new era between not only Pakistan and India, but all the expected attendees: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
There are people in every country who strongly dislike the idea of cooperating with neighbors, and it is those people who put forth policies and opinions that keep the region mired in strife and hostility.
It is heartening to see that there are efforts being made throughout South Asia to bring us together instead of tearing us apart, to unite us in our goals for a better quality-of-life rather than shackle us to antiquated prejudice.
January 23, 2010
Chinese news Xinhua is reporting that USA is giving drone technology to Pakistan:
The United States will supply drone aircraft to Pakistan which will significantly enhance the country’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, visiting U. S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday. Talking to reporters in Islamabad, Gates said that 12 RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be part of one billion dollar allocation for Pakistan from its Coalition Support Fund.
He said weapons and equipment will also be provided to Pakistan for the war against terrorism.
In addition, the American Defense Secretary has said that the US will soon make a payment of $500 Million to support Pakistan’s military:
Gates also said the U.S. will soon make a payment of 500 million dollars from the Coalition Support Fund to reimburse Pakistan for its expenses in the war on terror.
This drone technology is far advanced of what Pakistan currently has and will allow for much improved intelligence gathering and reconnaissance against TTP militants, India, and any other aggressors who think that they can encroach on Pakistan’s territory.
President Zardari has been calling on the Americans to transfer drone technology to Pakistan for some time. While this is not the armed drone that is used to launch missiles against militants, it is a great step forward and shows that the Americans are working with us to defend our national security. Surely if we continue to show our military excellence – our military that the Americans are praising as an important partner.
Building this partnership will have two important results. First, it will strengthen our military access to advanced technologies like drones. Second, it will send a clear message to belligerents like Deepak Kapoor.
January 6, 2010
American General Stanley McChrystal was full of praise for Gen. Kayani and the Pakistani military when he spoke to reporters at the residence of the US Ambassador on Monday. Additionally, the US General said about the fight against Taliban that the Americans will be working jointly with Pakistan’s military to defeat the militants attacking Pakistan.
The Daily Times is encouraged by these developments as well as the changes to policy being made by American President Barack Obama. Still, though, the editors have some important suggestions for the Americans. Namely, they need to continue doing more to build trust among the people and show that they are not going to abandon them. Also they have some advice for those government officials who may try to use Taliban as an asset and part of its ‘strategic depth’ policy – this is undermining the Army’s efforts to stop the violent attacks.
Pakistan and the United States are working on a plan to take joint military action against Taliban and launch coordinated attacks on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border, according to Gen Stanley McChrystal, Commander of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan.
He was talking to reporters at the residence of the US ambassador on Monday evening after holding talks with military commanders here and visiting Swat.
“In fact, we are developing a joint campaign plan so that we approach the entire problem together and as much as possible we can make our efforts synergistic.”
Gen McChrystal said strong partnership between the US and Pakistan was critical for counter-insurgency operations on both sides of the border.
“The most important thing we can do is to coordinate our operations with the Pakistan Army and then there is, of course, going to be political coordination.”
In contrast to some other US officials, who have been lecturing Pakistanis on the need to ‘do more’ in the fight against extremist elements, Gen McChrystal repeatedly called for ‘partnership’ between the two countries and said that differences should not detract them from their aims.
Referring to the often-discussed trust deficit between the two countries, he said the level of mistrust had declined but it needed to be narrowed.
Surprisingly, Gen McChrystal, did not broach either the Haqqani Network or the Quetta Shura – the two problems that have posed serious challenges to cooperation between the two countries.
Pakistan Army, which is engaged in a campaign against militant groups operating from its soil, has been accused of ignoring Afghanistan-focussed groups, prompting critics to claim that Islamabad being fearful of growing Indian influence in the war-torn country, was trying to preserve these factions as future assets for keeping its influence in Afghanistan.
Gen McChrystal, who was all praise for the military’s counter-insurgency campaign and the leadership of Army Chief Gen Kayani, said he had no reasons to doubt Pakistan Army’s sincerity.
“I’m hopeful of the time when the Haqqani Network, which is causing damage inside Afghanistan, is taken on by both of us jointly to reduce the damage they are causing. It is important that we together do that.”
About the Quetta Shura, he said that the best course was cooperation with Pakistan military. He opposed any direct action against the Shura.
“Taliban that threaten Afghanistan need to be pressured everywhere … Partnership with Pakistan is the best road to that as we strengthen the strategic partnership … that is the best way I think.”
He said that successes against Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan were interlinked and could not be achieved in isolation. “If Afghanistan suffers from instability it is going to be contagious.
“Everybody has a stake in coming out well.” On the issue of India using Afghanistan to destabilise Pakistan, he said, the complaints needed to be addressed. Although he said he did not have enough information to confirm or deny the allegations.
“If perceptions drive people to mistrust then there is a need to work on them.”
Afghan Coalition Commander General Stanley McChrystal has said that the trust deficit between the US and Pakistan is shrinking, but things could get better. He said that enhanced cooperation in the war on terror between the two countries as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan could help bridge the trust deficit. McChrystal refuted the notion that there were any differences with Pakistan over the US troop surge in Afghanistan. Bridging the trust deficit between the two allies in the war on terror is critical if the Taliban and al Qaeda are to be eliminated. The terror threat cannot be eliminated until and unless the Pakistani establishment revisits its stance of deliberately or through neglect letting the Afghan Taliban operate from Pakistani soil. Though the Pakistan Army has launched a successful military offensive against the local Taliban, it may still consider the Afghan Taliban an asset and part of its ‘strategic depth’ policy. This has worsened the situation for Afghanistan and the foreign troops there. The military operations have undoubtedly put pressure on the border, which is why some of the key al Qaeda operatives have been forced to flee the area and take refuge in Yemen and elsewhere. This poses a threat to worldwide peace.
That said, it is also important to take a closer look at the US strategy in Afghanistan. President Obama may have adopted a different policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan but it has yet to prove itself in the field. Success in Afghanistan cannot be achieved until and unless some lacunae are addressed properly. The Bush administration’s military strategy was to seek out the enemy, which created some problems as the enemy was not only inherently elusive but could also melt into the local population with ease. This led to collateral damage and increased the anti-US sentiment in Afghanistan. Despite the troop surge, the Obama administration’s policy is more focused on protection of the Afghan people and development of the war-torn country. While this is a positive policy shift, President Obama must realise that such a one-sided strategy cannot be successful since it may end up abandoning large tracts of the uninhabited countryside to the Taliban. Winning the hearts and the minds of the Afghan people will not lead to a complete annihilation of the Taliban. For that, the US needs more boots on the ground. The US also needs a credible partner in Afghanistan on the political front. Karzai’s fraudulent elections have made him lose whatever credibility he had left. This in turn puts the Americans in a difficult situation. No amount of troop surge or new policies can succeed until and unless the government in Afghanistan is acceptable to the local people. The prospects of success in Afghanistan seem bleak for the moment.
November 19, 2009
It’s not often that enemies as crafty as Pakistan’s will show their true colors, but recently we have seen several let down their guard and reveal their true purposes. When the fog begins to clear, we begin to see the traitors in our midst and the foreigners who are helping them to tear down Pakistan.
Fifty years ago, Maududi opposed Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his struggle to secure the nation of Pakistan. Today, his anti-Pakistan legacy is continued by Jamaat-i-Islami leader Syed Munawwar Hasan. Today, The News reported a speech made by the JI Amir in which he claims that Taliban did not attack GHQ.
ISLAMABAD: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Central Amir, Syed Munawwar Hasan, on Wednesday claimed that the Taliban had not attacked the GHQ rather India and the United States were behind the attack.
This is the stupidest of lies. There is no question of responsibility, as TTP has claimed responsibility for the attacks on GHQ. TTP has also claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks on ISI headquarters in Peshawar. TTP has not only claimed responsibility for these acts, but sworn to continue killing innocent Pakistanis:
Qari Hussain, cousin of the TTP head Hakimullah Mahsud and known as the trainer of suicide bombers, threatened further attacks against the security forces and law-enforcement agencies.
He said the suicide bombings and other attacks would be carried out and there would be no letup in this campaign.
Of course, there are some elements in Pakistan, like JI, that are working to sow confusion among the Pakistani people so that we will not be unified in our resistance to these TTP butchers.
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal confirms that attacks on Pakistan are being carried out by foreigners:
“We faced stiff resistance from the insurgents,” said Brig. Mohammed Shafiq, who led the assault. He said most of the defenders were Uzbeks and Arabs, a common refrain from Pakistani commanders who have repeatedly stressed al Qaeda’s role in South Waziristan.
Pakistani Brigadier Farrukh Jamal added more evidence that there is a conspiracy by foreigners, but they are not Americans!
“We have also intercepted communications confirming the presence of large number of Arabs in the area,” Brig. Jamal said.
Even though TTP claims responsibility for suicide bombings, even though Pakistani military has evidence that attacks are being carried out by Uzbek and Arab militant recruits – still these Jamaatis and their kind are misleading the people and saying it is some conspiracy by America!
The military does not see America as a threat, though, and the top military officers know that any coups will result in Pakistan’s military being cut off from vital supplies necessary for Pakistan’s defense. If this JI-TTP conspiracy succeeds, Pakistan will be defenseless.
The prospect of a military takeover — long an option in Pakistan — is overblown, say officials in both the government and the military. Kayani is indeed ambitious but he understands the consequences of a military takeover, particularly with regard to continued U.S. military aid, said one official.
Still, this has not stopped conspiracy gossip from growing on our TV and news. It is so bad that even retired Gen. Mirza Aslam Baig has said that CIA, Mosad, RAW and Afghan Intelligence Agency Rawa are involved in a conspiracy against Pakistan and imposed a war on Pakistan.
But we should come to expect such lies from a figure such as Baig. How can we forget that this is the man who partnered with Hamid Gul to praise Taliban in 2001? In fact, it is during Gen. Baig’s time as Chief of Army Staff that these militants were allowed to build their base from which they now murder our people. Perhaps Gen. Baig should remember that he will find no Mehran Bank in Jannah.
There is a war against Pakistan. This war is being waged by butchers of women and children, and these butchers go by the name of TTP. How do we know this? They are so brazen as to call Geo TV and admit it! Still, though, the supporters of these TTP butchers like Syed Munawwar Hasan and Mirza Aslam Baig continue to mislead the people of Pakistan. They are the psychological warfare operation of their true allies, the Taliban.
But these TTP butchers and their psychological warfare will not prevail. Insha’Allah the eyes of Pakistan’s people will be clear and we will see through their lies and their killings and Pakistan will emerge victorious! Pakistan Zindabad!
October 19, 2009
Ahmed Quraishi’s article If fired, Haqqani threatens to unveil ‘reams’ of Pakistan’s secrets is a prime example of how this journalist is able to twist and manipulate facts in order to provoke hate and anger amongst the Pakistani community. As the title of Quraishi’s article states, it seems that if Ambassador Haqqani were to be removed from his post, he would threaten to disclose Pakistan’s secrets. Quraishi then tries to substantiate his argument by quoting the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.
The article in the Foreign Policy magazine that Quraishi refers to, does not at all, state that Ambassador Haqqani will be opening up a Pandora’s Box. It is highly unfortunate that Quraishi has yet again, through his writings, picked out sentences in order to sling mud on those he despises. Ironically, in the same article Josh Rogin articulates
“Insiders point out that the aid conditions, which require the U.S. government to report on the Pakistani military’s efforts to combat terrorist groups in their midst, were available for all to see well in advance. Moreover, they say, similar conditions were included in U.S. aid packages dating back to 2001, when President George W. Bush and President Pervez Musharraf were the respective leaders. Ironically, it is Musharraf’s allies, now in the opposition, who are now harping on such conditions.”
It is rather “ironic” that Ahmed Quraishi who is an avid supporter of General Musharraf suddenly has a change of heart – from previously supporting such conditions – and is now cursing the very essence of the Kerry-Lugar Bill. Why did Quraishi refuse to include the above excerpt in his article where he has written against the efforts of Ambassador Haqqani?
The sentence in Rogin’s article that Quraishi centered his editorial on is as follows
“sources also say that Haqqani has reams of documents that could embarrass the forces aligned against him and sacking him could open up a Pandora’s box of controversy that the government would not
appreciate, which he might do if forced to defend himself after being fired his article”
Firstly, any person holding an official government position has the ability to disclose state secrets. It is rather obvious that over time, Ambassadors come across and read classified documents that may be harmful for the state, if shared with the public. And secondly, to assume that Ambassador Haqqani would comprise Pakistan’s sovereignty by revealing “reams of documents” is a mere speculation that does not carry any weight.
Furthermore, Quraishi chose to not add a statement by the same source who stated, “most people don’t have the courage to tell the Pakistani people we need the United States”. This clearly explains that strengthening Pak-US ties is essential not the opposite. It is also regrettable that Quraishi failed to disclose that Rogin also articulated in his piece “his (Haqqani) U.S. ties are exactly what makes him an effective representative for Islamabad”.
Quraishi in his article also quotes a former US military officer who states “US officials do not know, that the problem is not the so-called ‘anti-American forces’ in Pakistan but the offensive language in the bill”. If this is the case then Ahmed Quraishi, you as a journalist have failed to do your job correctly by not being able to clearly identify the problems associated with the Kerry-Lugar Bill.
By coming out in public and stating that the US is not aware of the situation in Pakistan in regards to the Kerry-Lugar Bill, Quraishi is only making a fool of himself. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan is currently in Washington explaining the situation to none other than the Vice President of the United States and key members of the US Senate. General Kayani has explained his reservations over the Kerry-Lugar Bill to the top US military commander Admiral Mike Mullen. “US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson and the US military leadership are playing important roles in sensitizing President Obama to the controversial clauses of the proposed US aid bill that has triggered a crisis-like situation in Pakistan”. And yet Quraishi has the audacity to state that the US is not fully aware of the criticism and this is primarily due to Ambassador Haqqani misinforming the United States.
The main argument against the implementation of the Kerry-Lugar Bill in Pakistan is that the Bill threatens our national sovereignty. Today, Senator Kerry stated that the US Congress would “offer a new explanation and clarification” for those criticizing the Bill. I fail to understand how Quraishi has the ability to write “the problem is that American policymakers have been badly misinformed” when the sponsor of the Kerry-Lugar Bill is coming out and addressing the issues arising out of the Bill.
Quraishi’s article is proof of the kind of deplorable and controversial style of journalism he has become accustomed to. He has mastered the art of twisting facts around so brilliantly that many of us have lost sight of the truth and facts. This article is not an attempt to defame Quraishi but rather a request to stop spreading rumours which play with the hearts and minds of Pakistanis. My country has had enough of conspiracy theorists and it is time we enjoy the greatness of truth and accountability Quaid-e-Azam envisioned for us.