The Wikileaks’ damning half-truths pertain to the anti-war movement within the US. This has caused embarrassment to the US war architects and stirred the military industrial complex and its cousin, the corporate and embedded media. Similarly, what has been said about the role of Pakistan and its globally famed Inter Services Agency (ISI) is not something that is really a revelation and is more or less an open secret. Three important questions need to be considered before Wikileaks can be taken seriously.
Do field reports from individual sources, especially disgruntled, anti-Pakistan Afghan nationals constitute ‘evidence’? No. Is there sufficient evidence to substantiate the startling sensational pieces of information? Perhaps not. Is the Pakistan-ISI role central in the Taliban insurgency within Afghanistan? No clear answers can be determined due to the complexity of the Taliban resistance and the involvement of multiple players.<!–more–>
The ‘leaks’ identify that Pakistan, India and Iran are fully involved in the Afghan drama and singling out the ISI is not the whole truth regardless of whatever the western media says. Afghanistan is an occupied and fragmented country, far more layered than the simplified views from Washington, Islamabad or New Delhi. Continue reading
NYT, March 24, 2010
By MICHAEL E. O’HANLON
Peshawar, Pakistan: WHAT are Americans to make of all the good news coming out of Pakistan in recent weeks?
First, the Afghan Taliban’s military chief, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was arrested in a raid in February. Around the same time, several of the Taliban’s “shadow governors” who operate out of Pakistan were captured by Pakistani forces. Last week, the C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, announced that thanks in large part to increased cooperation from Pakistan, drone strikes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border are “seriously disrupting Al Qaeda,” and one killed the terrorist suspected of planning an attack on an American base in December that caused the deaths of seven Americans. Meanwhile, Pakistan has mounted major operations against its own extremists in places ranging from the Swat Valley in the north of the country to Bajaur on the Afghan border to South Waziristan further south. Yes, extremists continue to do great damage, as at Lahore on March 14 when about 40 civilians were killed in bombings. But after traveling across the country in recent days as a guest of the Pakistani military, I was convinced that Pakistan has become much more committed to battling extremists over the last couple of years, as the country felt its own security directly threatened. Continue reading
Source: Institute of South Asian Studies, an autonomous research institute at the National University of Singapore
By Ishtiaq Ahmed
It is argued in this brief that the recent London conference on the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan was a major success for the Pakistani military in convincing the international community that its cooperation is vital to resolving the crisis in Afghanistan. It was achieved in light of the fact that the Pakistani military effectively combated Taliban terrorism on its own soil. The Pakistani military has also come out against the Taliban domination of Afghanistan in case of an early United States (US) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troop pullout, because it would threaten Pakistani security and national interests. Continue reading
by Bilal Qureshi
It has been obvious for a while now that the war in Afghanistan is not going well. After years of presence there, the Americans and NATO forces still face danger and attacks on daily basis. Some experts even suggest that the Taliban are becoming stronger, more brazen and are engaging allied forces more aggressively. So, what is the solution to this complex problem? “Pakistan is not doing enough” is the tried and tested response that Washington has mastered whenever questions are raised about the war in Afghanistan.
This is exactly what has happened again. A report in the Washington Post suggests that Pakistanis are not doing enough to defeat, control, curb, eliminate (use whatever term you see fit) the threat of the Taliban? Continue reading
I can’t think of anyone in any government in Pakistan has ever openly rejected anything proposed by Washington before Pakistan’s current President, Asif Zardari publicly and strongly rejected Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Speaking to Financial Times, President Zardari correctly pointed out when he said:
“Afghanistan and Pakistan are distinctly different countries and cannot be lumped together for any reason.”
In reality, Pakistan has always objected whenever Pakistan was linked with Afghanistan for a broad policy frame work to stabilize the region. Continue reading
Ziyad Faisal has sent this contribution for Pak Tea House with a preamble. We are publishing this to enrich the ongoing debate on drone attacks. Raza Rumi
This is the first piece of writing which I have ever submitted to Pak Tea House. Since PTH upholds the beautiful tradition of free debate nurtured at the original Pak Tea House (a small tea-shop in Lahore), I request the management of this blog to publish my humble response to a recent article on US drone attacks in Pakistan. Before I begin, I wish to assure my dear friends at PTH that whatever decision they might take, I will remain a loyal and regular reader. Since I am writing a response to an article by another writer, I would also like to assure the said writer that I mean no personal offence.
I also owe many thanks to Kathy Kelly, the acclaimed US peace activist who needs no introduction, for providing me with many valuable references on the issue of the drone attacks. As a Pakistani student, I salute her courage in organizing protests against drone attacks carried out by US armed forces against the Pakistani people. Kathy was recently arrested for protesting near a US base in Nevada, which is part of the command-and-control system for the drone attacks against Pakistan. It is a heartening sight to see veteran members of the US peace movement upholding the right of the Pakistani people to live free from NATO aggression. Continue reading
By Caren Bohan
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – It is too soon to gauge results of the revamped U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but its prospects for success should become clear within a year, a top White House official said on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama outlined a strategy in March that includes a troop increase for Afghanistan and more aid for that country and for neighboring Pakistan. He has also replaced the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan. Continue reading