Tag Archives: Nuclear Weapons

Engaging Pakistan

Cross-post from Frontline, Feb 27 – Mar 12, 2010

By Praful Bidwai
India must open a broad-horizon dialogue with Pakistan on all issues including Afghanistan to achieve real progress in bilateral relations.
As New Delhi and Islamabad prepare to resume their bilateral dialogue, India’s policy towards its western neighbourhood faces an unprecedented challenge. How India crafts its response to the complex and rapidly changing situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan will influence to a major extent the fate of one of the most volatile regions of the world, indeed a part of the crucible in which global history is being made. Rising to the challenge demands a radical reorientat ion of some of the fundamental premises and priorities of India’s foreign policy. Consider Afghanistan first.
A major shift is taking place in the balance of forces in Afghanistan. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces led by the United States and troops of the Afghan National Army have launched Operation Mushtarak (“together” in Dari), one of the biggest assaults by Western troops since the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. The operation, with 15,000 troops, began with the storming of Marjah (population: 80,000) in the Southern Helmand province, a stronghold of the Taliban for many years. Unlike other military missions by the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Operation Mushtarak is meant to create a new model that goes beyond the clearing of the Taliban. It aims to re-establish Afghan sovereignty by installing a civilian government, which provides public services and can win popular support and legitimacy. Over the past eight years, most cities and towns cleared of the Taliban–Al Qaeda by ISAF troops have seen the militants return and re-establish themselves. This time around, the troops will bring in an Afghan government including the police and stay on to support them. As General Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander, put it: “We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in.” Continue reading


Filed under Afghanistan, India, Pakistan

Political Absolutism

Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf

US Strategic mind is obsessed with dominance. A constant drift from a measured military response to countervailing strategic dominance is visible. At the heart of such thought is the containment and control of Eurasia in which Pakistan constitutes the formidable Southern Front.Past fifty years have witnessed the gradual rise of neo strategists who believe that use of covert violent activities can achieve political objectives both in tandem and whilst bypassing the defence establishment. They reflect aspirations of cartels, energy giants and economic czars riding the technological edge. This primacy of civilian leadership over military affairs ignited a new debate during the Korean and Cold War especially in formulation of evolving nuclear doctrines. The mathematicians and social scientists were the first generation of civilian nuclear strategists. At the extreme, Ken Booth had hypothetically assessed a development as scary as Nuclear Absolutism. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

Defending the Arsenal

In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?

by Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, November 16, 2009

America’s dealings with Pakistan may be increasing the risk of radicalization.

Taliban In the tumultuous days leading up to the Pakistan Army’s ground offensive in the tribal area of South Waziristan, which began on October 17th, the Pakistani Taliban attacked what should have been some of the country’s best-guarded targets. In the most brazen strike, ten gunmen penetrated the Army’s main headquarters, in Rawalpindi, instigating a twenty-two-hour standoff that left twenty-three dead and the military thoroughly embarrassed. The terrorists had been dressed in Army uniforms. There were also attacks on police installations in Peshawar and Lahore, and, once the offensive began, an Army general was shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles on the streets of Islamabad, the capital. The assassins clearly had advance knowledge of the general’s route, indicating that they had contacts and allies inside the security forces. Continue reading


Filed under Afghanistan, Obama, Pakistan, USA, War On Terror, Zardari

Pakistan-India Joint Statement

Text of Pakistan-India joint statement SHARM EL SHEIKH: Following is the text of the joint statement issued here on Thursday at the conclusion of the meeting between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan