Archive for April, 2009

Faltering US strategy Part II

April 28th, 2009

The new US policymakers led by President Obama must now shelve the messy canvas that was left for them by George W Bush. That canvas is in shreds and beyond repair. In order to redeem the image of the great American nation in the eyes of the world the Obama’s administration will have to carve a new legacy for themselves distinctly different from the Bush legacy.

First, A resolution must come forth from all the stakeholders—i.e., the USA, the UN Security Council, NATO, the UK, other major EU and NATO countries, and from Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India—that they all resolve to bring peace to southwest Asia by replacing military activity with developmental activity. A unilateral ceasefire should be announced by US and NATO Forces saying that military operations, henceforth, will only be undertaken in self-defence. Simultaneously, the offer of peace talks must be made to the Taliban.

Secondly, The USA must also announce unilaterally that after the preliminary rounds of peace talks it shall relocate its forces in a non-combat posture as a prelude to an eventual and complete military evacuation within a foreseeable time frame.

Thirdly, the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan must be treated as a window of opportunity and it should be conducted by the Afghan people themselves, with the help of observers and expert teams from Islamic countries chosen by the Afghans, for the sake of neutrality. The US, although militarily present in Afghanistan, should voluntarily adopt the role of a non-interfering observer after having made it clear that violence will not be tolerated. The US should let it be the fairest of elections. Let anyone who the people of Afghanistan genuinely want to elect win those elections. Let even the Taliban put up their candidate(s) and let them all contest freely. Whatever government then comes into existence in Afghanistan must take up nation building activity of that war- ravaged nation in right earnest.
» More: Faltering US strategy Part II

Faltering US strategy Part I

April 23rd, 2009

The American drone attacks and other ill-advised offensive policies have acted as force multipliers for the Pakistani Taliban. But it must be said that Pakistan cannot put all the blame on the Americans because Pakistan itself has allowed the situation to get out of hand. Pakistan could have avoided being in the situation that it finds itself in today had Musharraf not thought that Washington’s support outweighed the support of the people of Pakistan.

The events of March 15-16, 2009, make clear that there is a new Pakistan that is progressive and fiercely independent. If this fact is not acknowledged by the US and the politicians of Pakistan the happenings of 1979 in Iran may well be repeated in Pakistan not long from now.

With a new administration in Washington Pakistanis hope for a new phase in US-Pakistan relations, which need to be built on an understanding by the US that Pakistan is a sovereign, dignified and self-respecting country that desires space to make its own decisions. Pakistan too will have to stand up on its own two feet and take upon its own shoulders the responsibilities of internal peace and the non-use of its territory for any aggressive act anywhere in the world.

There will be no point in any US secretary of state testifying before any US congressional committee in 2025 that they lost everything in southwest Asia because it was a mistake to have pushed Pakistan as much as the US actually did in the first decade of this century.
» More: Faltering US strategy Part I

Dire straits

April 7th, 2009

Having started a few years ago the ring of the alarm bells for Pakistan has been getting louder by the day but it does not seem to have reached a pitch that is loud enough to penetrate the well-padded eardrums of the Pakistani nation. The country stands devastated and is being ruthlessly ravaged. Yet, complacency has remained the order of the day through all these years. The Pakistani nation lives on in a state of denial regarding the fatal dangers the country faces.

The rocky mountains of Balochistan, the beautiful mountains and valleys of NWFP, Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas, the serene land of Sindh and of course the lovely plains of Punjab; all look back at the Pakistani nation pleadingly so that this great nation can somehow begin to feel the pain that is felt on every square inch of the motherland that we Pakistanis love so dearly but are so indifferent towards.

What is Pakistan waiting for? Bravado statements and illogical political rhetoric will not help. The evitable harm to Pakistan will soon become inevitable if the indifference to the motherland’s plight continues unabated. With dangers looking straight into Pakistan’s eyes and the motherland’s lap soaked in the blood of its own sons and daughters the time to act is running out very fast.
» More: Dire straits

ABN Chicago show with Masood Sharif Khan Khattak

April 5th, 2009

NOTE: The following media is in the Urdu language and NOT in English.

ABN Exclusive Presentation : Interview with Masood Sharif Khan Khattak, former VP Pakistan Peoples Party, Ex-DG Intelligence Branch. He was on our show to discuss the recent political turmoil that Pakistan is facing.

Usually your college lecturers and tutors give you a very clear indication of what they expect