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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.

August 4, 2010

The Nation or The Hindu? Hard To Tell Difference Sometimes

Filed under: india,Media — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:48 pm

The Hindu

The Nation

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.

January 29, 2010

Haqqani: Give Pakistan Armed Drones

The Americans have already pledged to transfer to Pakistan the UAV drone technology to do reconnaissance and intelligence. According to The Nation, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the USA Husain Haqqani is telling the Americans to give Pakistan the armed technology so that Pakistan can target the militants that are attacking us ourselves.

“The government of Pakistan has repeatedly said that we would like to have the capability to be able to identify and take out targets on ground,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani told National Public Radio. Pakistan, he stressed, prefers to do everything on the Pakistani side of the border itself.

“And the reason is very simple: We have a military capability in certain areas and in some areas we lack certain technical capabilities and we would like that technical capabilities for ourselves.”

The Pakistanis are committed to fighting militants in the Afghan border region but it is unfair to characterize Pakistan as a base for al-Qaeda-linked elements, since militants straddle both sides of the porous and challenging border, he clarified.

Haqqani made a very interesting statement also that people are against drone strikes because innocents are sometimes caught in the crossfire. If Pakistan’s military had the technology of armed drones then we would be able to target the militants with our better intelligence and eliminate the problem of innocent deaths while destroying the jihadis.

October 19, 2009

How ironic is ironic?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 11:37 am

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.

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