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Thread: Pakistan in Crisis

  1. #1
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    Pakistan in Crisis

    The current situation in Pakistan is a matter of grave concern to all. Don't know if the military is going to intervene.

    U.S. Military Chief ‘Extremely Concerned’ by Pakistan Crisis
    March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he is “extremely concerned” by the political crisis in nuclear-armed Pakistan and that officials are closely monitoring opposition protests there.

    The situation “continues to deteriorate very, very slowly under a political leadership which is very challenged because of the totality of the crisis,” Mullen said in an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose broadcast late yesterday.

    President Asif Ali Zardari is trying to quell protests by the main opposition party and lawyers demanding he reinstate judges fired by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007. His government is struggling against a slumping economy and trying to control Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants who have seized broad swathes of Pakistani territory in recent months. ....
    US and British diplomats scramble to defuse Pakistan crisis
    Mar 12, 2009 [Times] US and British diplomats were scrambling to broker a truce between Pakistan’s feuding political leaders tonight as thousands of black-suited lawyers defied a government ban to launch a mass protest across the country.

    Richard Holbrooke, the new US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, telephoned Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s President, to discuss the unrest, which has raised fears that the army could take power once again.

    “Mr Holbrooke conveyed the anxiety of the US Administration over the worsening political crisis and asked the president to find ways to end the strife,” a senior Pakistani official told The Times.

    David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, also spoke to Mr Zardari as lawyers and opposition activists clashed with police at the start of a “long march” from major cities towards Islamabad, the capital. ...
    Last edited by Merlin; 13 Mar 09, at 07:47.

  2. #2
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    Sigh! Is this going to be of any use at this crisis time?

    US lawmakers: Pakistan must give access to nuclear scientist

    Mar 13, 2009 WASHINGTON (AFP) US lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation aiming to cut off military aid to Pakistan unless US officials are able to question alleged nuclear proliferator Abdul Qadeer Khan.

    Khan, released from house arrest in early February, "is again a loose nuke scientist with proven ability to sell the worst weapons to the worst people," said Democratic Representative Jane Harman, a lead author of the bill.

    The legislation would also tie continued US military aid -- equipment, supplies, and training -- to getting satisfactory assurances from Islamabad that it is monitoring Khan's movements and activities. ...

  3. #3
    Military Professional Deltacamelately's Avatar
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    Why flog the wrong horse for so long.
    Is it even believable that a single scientist has the means, resource, access and most notably the requirements to proliferate things as critical as nuclear knowhow to tainted states? The PA had to know and facilitate the proliferation through state sponsored agencies and well...are we ignorant how the Hatf Series SSMs came into being. Scapegoatism won't curb the menace for once and all.
    And on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

  4. #4
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    The army, together with the US and UK, are stepping in to make a 24-hr 'deal' now.

    Army gives Pak PM 24 hrs to 'convince' Zardari

    Mar 13, 2009 Islamabad: In a bid to bring down the "political temperature", Pakistan's army along with the US and UK has backed a new deal giving a 24-hour deadline to Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani to "convince" President Asif Ali Zardari to defuse the situation, a media report said on Friday.

    The deal has been "quietly" conveyed to Gilani, who has been asked to immediately convince the beleaguered President to "demonstrate the flexibility required to break the present deadlock" before the long march by the lawyers' movement and opposition parties for reinstatement of sacked judges reaches Islamabad on March 16, 'The News' daily reported. ...

    Punjab Governor Salman Taseer would be a "likely casualty of the deal" and he "might be shown the door," the report said.

    Like Zardari, Taseer is seen as a major hurdle to the normalisation of the working relationship between the PPP and the PML-N. ...

    The Pakistan Army will act as a guarantor of the arrangement's success, The News quoted unnamed sources as saying. ...
    Last edited by Merlin; 13 Mar 09, at 14:58.

  5. #5
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    This commentry goes to the crux of matter, the grave danger confronting a burning Pakistan. (Bold highlighting below is mine.)

    Burning Pakistan

    Mar 12, 2009 [FinancialTimes] To the victor the spoils. That is the reductive, zero-sum philosophy that underlies politics in Pakistan. It is giving a dangerous new dimension to the crisis in Pakistan, where government and opposition are going at each other as if their country were not fighting for its very survival.

    Barely a year after the restoration of civilian rule, and hardly six months after the final exit of General Pervez Musharraf, a new power struggle has erupted between the government of Asif Ali Zardari and the opposition led by Nawaz Sharif.

    The issue at stake – the principle of an independent judiciary – is very important. But the way it is being tackled by Pakistan’s political elite – looking for factional advantage while jihadis and insurgents overrun swaths of the country – is breathtakingly irresponsible

    While Pakistan is not about to fall to the Taliban, it is fraying at the edges. Ethnosectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia; insurgency in resource-rich but dirt-poor Baluchistan; an Islamist-tinged Pashtun rebellion in North-West Frontier province that has created an indigenous Taliban as well as a haven for al-Qaeda; and home-grown jihadis licensed to harry Indian forces in Kashmir that have now turned their guns on their erstwhile masters in Pakistan’s army – Pakistan burns while its purported rulers scrabble for scraps of power.

    The US and its allies are not in a terribly strong position to influence them. Overinvested in their strongman’s ostensible support for the “war on terror”, they failed fully to register the advance of jihadi extremism under Gen Musharraf’s rule, or to develop real links with any institution except the army. ...
    Last edited by Merlin; 14 Mar 09, at 02:13.

  6. #6

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    charlie Rose

    This is Adm. Mullen's appearance on Charlie Rose. Comments related to Pakistan begin at the 9:00 mark or so. Some Iraq...then this.

    Interesting views with a lot of close association over the last year with Kiyani (ten times according to Mullen).

    Charlie Rose-Mullen Appearance
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    good interview, i like it. Notice how he carefully not to step out-of-line and speak for the Obama administration.

  8. #8

    Military Professional
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    Xinhui Reply

    Andy,

    This stuff was a message to Kiyani to do what he thinks best, IMHO. They know that Amb. Haqqani's staff portfolio includes monitoring a laundry list of people for comments.

    I think, given the upcoming march, that Charlie was used as a vehicle.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  9. #9
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    The situation is very serious. This is a country with nuclear weapons and the world's second largest Muslim population. And it has potential to collapse into a failed state. (Bold highlightings below are mine).

    The tribal areas are already a failed state and a safe haven for terrorists.

    Barack Obama told: help Pakistan or risk a repeat of 9/11 in America or Britain

    Barack Obama, the US president, is to be told that to avoid a repeat of the devastating 9/11 attacks on America or Britain he must dramatically step up aid to Pakistan.

    14 Mar 2009 [Telegraph] A team headed by Bruce Riedel, a former CIA Middle East expert, asked to overhaul US policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, has concluded that stabilising Pakistan is now the higher priority, a source familiar with the discussions has revealed.

    The report, prepared in conjunction with the National Security Council, will focus on the need to co-opt moderate Taliban elements and shut down militant safe havens in Pakistan's he lawless northwest border region. It will also urge a sharp increase in military and civil assistance.

    But The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the need to prevent a repeat of the September 11 attacks has become the driving force behind the review, which could be published as early as this week.

    Mr Riedel, who served on the NSC under three previous presidents, believes that unless serious action is taken, Pakistan will become a "terrorist university", posing a far greater threat to the security of the US and Europe than Afghanistan before the September 11 atrocities.

    Recent "apocalyptic" intelligence on the situation in Pakistan has sent shockwaves through the upper echelons of the Obama administration and convinced Mr Riedel's review team that radicals trained in Pakistan are the greatest threat to Western security. ....
    Last edited by Merlin; 15 Mar 09, at 14:39.

  10. #10
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    what is the "Serious action" threatened here..? ..sanctions ?

  11. #11
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
    what is the "Serious action" threatened here..? ..sanctions ?
    It is mentioned in the linked article. Sanctions would clearly not work in this case.
    Last edited by Merlin; 15 Mar 09, at 17:02.

  12. #12
    nebula82's Avatar
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    It's clear the Zardari government is losing its grip on the country.

    Is there a chance General Kayani will feel obligated to intervene if things worsen, and thus, return Pakistan to military rule?

    I know he's undertaken steps to ensure the military steers clear of politics but as everybody can see Pakistan is headed for big trouble at this rate.

    Nebula82.
    Last edited by nebula82; 15 Mar 09, at 18:39.

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