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Thread: Pakistan influence on Taliban commanders helped Afghan breakthrough

  1. #61
    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Pakistan was not responsible for the 'birth of the Taliban' - Pakistan did not 'create the Taliban' - the Taliban were an Afghan movement that Pakistan chose to support when they emerged as a potent and (relatively) popular force on the Afghan landscape.
    I choose to disagree with you on that point as I have seen evidence that prove otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    And the point behind highlighting Pakistan's role in cooperating with the US and assisting in negotiations with the Taliban is to counter arguments made in the past (by both Afghans and the West) that Pakistan was blocking US/Afghan dialog with the Taliban. The US wanted to negotiate with the Taliban, Pakistan assisted in bringing that about - why exactly are you complaining about Pakistani assistance to the US?
    I wasn't "complaining." I was pointing out the Pakistani creation and support of a "movement" which has done nothing but create havoc for the region since 9/11. With THAT said, it is Pakistani's duty to do anything in their power to dissolve the problem, without trying to show what an astound feat they have accomplished, since it was their devilish doings in the first place.

    But this is really MY problem. I do not respect Pakistan as a sovereign nation for the simple fact that it is two-headed. And by that I mean it has been shown to be controlled by it's military (ISI), with the elected President, or shoved in by a military coupe, just there as a showpiece, iterating whatever the ISI tells him to say. The President puts the beg on for money from other countries, and the ISI rakes it in and disperses it to objectives, i.e. madressas and terrorists training camps. A beggar and thief situation, if you will. Therefore, there is nothing sovereign about Pakistan as far as I'm concerned.

    If you can prove otherwise, please enlighten me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    You can't?
    Kill one more get born, win the battle but loose the war.

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    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    I choose to disagree with you on that point as I have seen evidence that prove otherwise.
    I will reply to the rest of your post (and 1980's) in more detail later when I have a little more time to spare, but what evidence are you referring to here (if it is different from the arguments made by 1980) that 'proves otherwise'?
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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Why simply assume that everything in the 'documentary' is true?

    X-Posting a critique from another thread on the same 'documentary':
    Pakistan Today vs BBC. Hmm... a tough one. Just note that i don't favor BBC and Guardian if there are other sources of the same rank.

    Call it the new style of reporting Pakistan’s ‘perfidy’. Go to Afghanistan, embed with the National Directorate of Security (NDS), interview alleged Taliban commanders, their faces covered, present their ‘confessions’ to the world as an ‘authentic’ story on what Pakistan and the Inter-Services Intelligence is doing, run an old sound-bite by Pakistani military spokesperson and, lest I forget, interview ‘impartial’ actors like former NDS chief Amrullah Saleh, former CIA officer Bruce Riedel and former British officer Col Richard Kemp and voila!
    Don't trust spooks much, OK. What about the soldiers? Their ass is on the line 24/7/365.

    That this should happen on BBC2 makes one shake one’s head.
    Damn, he is good

    Wait. We haven’t got to the facts section yet. The question here, as yet, is not about what Pakistan might be doing but whether the manner of presentation of this documentary passes some tests of good reporting. Simply put, it doesn’t.
    And now he gets twisted. He is not refuting the points, but rumbling on BBC reporting.

    • How could the BBC ensure the veracity of its story when the primary facilitator for it was the NDS? Pakistan has, in its custody, many Taliban commanders who have been trained in camps in Afghanistan. Would the BBC interview them and present that documentary as authentic proof of what several intelligence agencies in Afghanistan are doing to hurt Pakistan without corroborative reporting?
    So, NDS, former CIA and MIX is a bad start and only ISI has the correct versions of events?

    • Why did the BBC not feel the need to talk to Pakistani officials, resorting instead to running an old sound-bite by Maj Gen Athar Abbas, DG-ISPR? If that is correct then it is akin to deception?
    They interviewed that NYT reporter and decided it is a bad idea?

    • How does the BBC know for sure it spoke with Taliban commanders and not plants by the NDS? Does it have any independent proof of the IDs of those it spoke with, and who are incognito in the documentary, beyond the NDS’ word about them?
    Does the author have any proof they are not Taliban commanders?

    • Does the BBC not know the published views of Saleh and Riedel on Pakistan? Should that have been a concern for the channel?
    They have put a camera to their faces and people talked. I saw and heard them. Doubt BBC has methods to persuade them to say something they don't like.

    Nemo iudex in causa sua: it is a principle of natural justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest. In journalism, one has to deal with biased actors. But it is precisely for that reason that a reporter has to make that extra effort to sift the grain from the chaff. The BBC documentary, titled “Secret Pakistan”, fails most of the basics tests. That raises the obvious question: is this an attempt to frame Pakistan or just bad reporting?
    Yep, everyone is against Pakistan.

    Now to some facts.

    The documentary says there is no significant troop deployment in North Waziristan. This is a widely held misconception and I first tried to dispel it in a May 25, 2010 article in The Indian Express captioned, “A very long engagement”. This is what I wrote:

    “There are more troops deployed to and around North Waziristan than South Waziristan, where the army launched Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation) last October [2009]. Statistics compiled from media reports and local journalists, and corroborated with data from the military, show that since 2005, militants based in the area have launched between 70 and 80 raids on different army posts in North Waziristan. These attacks have resulted in about 200 casualties, including over 50 soldiers killed.”

    This was more than a year ago. There have been more attacks since then. There is a Division-plus with 5 Brigades deployed to the area which is over 30,000 troops. The Frontier Corps wings are in addition to this deployment. To call this deployment insignificant would take some doing.
    According to wiki PA has 140k soldiers +10k FC in the region. How is 30k more then 110k? Some facts,

    Then, of course, we have the supposed ISI generals monitoring training camps including suicide bombers. They come to these camps in uniform so that they can be ID-ed. These camps also have Al-Qaeda cadres, forget the number of top AQ leaders the ISI has captured and handed over to the US or killed. And while ISI ‘generals’ train AQ and Taliban commanders, AQ, TTP and their affiliate groups have attacked and killed nearly 300 ISI officials and blown up 5 ISI centres across Pakistan.
    Bad info?

    So, while the ISI trains Afghan Taliban, who is training those who are attacking the ISI here and also killing Pakistani civilians? According to data compiled by PIPS, from 2008 until Sept 2011, there have been 259 suicide attacks in Pakistan which have killed 4124 people and injured or disabled 10,216. The fact is that such camps exist on both sides of the Durand Line and suicide attacks have been a problem on both sides. If it is accepted that Pakistan is sending suicide bombers to Afghanistan, then who is sending the ones that come and attack Pakistan – the ISI?
    Why not? Please Sir, we need more funds to fight these...

    We already have the WikiLeaks saga with NDS reporting on alleged Pakistani activities, reports based on dubious sources and quite often contradictory. Sure, the NDS would do that. It’s part of its job. But it shouldn’t be the job of the BBC to swallow the NDS narrative hook, line and sinker and present it to the world as the ultimate truth on what Pakistan is doing.
    Yep, and CIA and MI and... Once again, it is everyone against Pakistan. Why?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  5. #65
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by payeng View Post
    Kill one more get born, win the battle but loose the war.
    That didn't stop US to win Germany and Japan.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  6. #66
    Contributor 1980s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    I am curious, let's say everything in this documentary is true, why the status quo? Why no slap on the Pak hands, why no sanctions, why no treats with intervention, why instead of that we have POTUS asking for increasing the aid to Pakistan?
    As transit through Iran is out of the question, the cheapest option for supply routes to Afghanistan runs through Pakistan. Despite the losses NATO has endured due to attacks along the Pakistani route outlined below, moving all supplies through the Northern Distribution Network isnt financially viable.

    But im sure once the withdrawal takes place at the end of 2014, all bets with Pakistan will be off, especially should anything happen to NATO/US personnel during the withdrawal through Pakistan (if they are to be withdrawn through there).

    The Taliban Torches a Lifeline
    By Ashfaq Yusufzai

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan , Jun 18 2013 (IPS) -
    The United States is laying meticulous plans ahead of its 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan, but it has clearly overlooked how its continued drones strikes on the tribal areas of neighbouring Pakistan will affect the much-anticipated pullout.

    Last week, a group of militants belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) torched three containers stuffed with supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan, as they trundled along the stony mountain pass known as Torkham Road in Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

    The militants claimed the attack on the convoy of 12 containers was payback for the drone strike on May 29 that killed TTP Deputy Leader Waliur Rehman in North Waziristan province, one of seven zones comprising the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

    The incident last month brought the total number of drone strikes on the region to over 355 since 2005. But while the U.S. government has hitherto been happy to turn a blind eye to various forms of protest against its campaign of remote warfare – from civilian marches, to government statements – the burning of NATO-bound vehicles might signal a turning point in its controversial foreign policy.

    Muhammad Mushtaq, an office-bearer of the NATO Suppliers Association – a local collective of drivers, cleaners and vehicle owners involved in the transport of supplies across the border – told IPS, “Since 2008, more than 5,000 NATO vehicles have been burnt down in Peshawar and the Khyber Agency, all of them en route to Afghanistan to replenish the forces engaged in a war against terrorism since 2002.”

    In the process, he said, not only have roughly 10 million dollars worth of equipment and supplies been reduced to ashes, but more than 500 people, including drivers and cleaners, have lost their lives.

    In December 2008, 160 NATO vehicles carrying Humvees destined for Afghanistan were burnt in a single attack near Peshawar, capital of the KP, Mushtaq said. The militants later paraded triumphantly amid billowing flames that blackened the sky.

    Most of the vehicles heading to Afghanistan carry military equipment, food, and other logistical supplies for the roughly 100,000 foreign troops stationed there, Retired Major Anwar Khan, a security analyst, told IPS.

    “This same route will also likely be used for the withdrawal of heavy military hardware as well as soldiers,” he said. Thus, if drone strikes continue, the U.S. risks leaving its main access and exit route vulnerable to attacks.

    Khan says that the U.S. and its coalition partners in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ must revisit their military strategy if they are determined to stick to the 2014 date. “Otherwise, the chances of their withdrawal and peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain a dream.”

    An eye for an eye

    When U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban government in Kabul in 2001, it signaled the beginning of a war that would drag on for over a decade.

    Members of the deposed regime, along with their supporters, fled en masse into the mountains that form the rugged 1,200-kilometre-long border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, prompting the latter to throw in its lot with the U.S. in the hopes of preventing the militants from taking root in its own, volatile tribal zones.

    But promises to destroy the Al Qaeda network charged with carrying out the bombing of the U.S.’s twin towers on Sep. 11, 2001, have failed to bear fruit, with many commentators observing that the militants are stronger than ever.

    Last May, against the backdrop of rising costs, a mounting death toll and loud public opposition to the war, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, agreeing to withdraw forces by 2014 and hand over power to the locally elected government.

    But experts like Pervez Jamal, professor of political science at the University of Peshawar, believe this plan will fall flat unless immediate measures are taken to appease the TTP.

    As Khan pointed out, “The burning of vehicles has already made the war against terrorism more expensive for the U.S. and its allies.”

    Currently, 70 percent of supplies for Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan come through Pakistan, where they arrive by ship at the Arabian Sea port of Karachi before travelling 3,000 kilometres to the Bagram Airfield in Kabul.

    In November 2011, the Pakistan government ordered the closure of this supply route when U.S. forces attacked a Pakistani security post in FATA’s Mohmand Agency, killing 24 soldiers.

    Deprived of a land route, the U.S. was forced to explore alternative, aerial routes through Russia and the former Soviet republics that border Afghanistan. During this time, the cost of transporting supplies went from 17 million dollars to 104 million dollars.

    Unable to sustain these costs, the U.S. government issued an apology for the attack, and the supply route was re-opened in 2012, with the understanding that it would remain functional until 2015, to facilitate a smooth withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    But this agreement is now in jeopardy.

    The burning of supplies also spells danger for the 10,000 troops tasked with remaining on the ground to assist the 350,000 Afghan National Security Forces with the political transition.

    The local security force currently lacks training and military equipment; without the promise of reinforcements, some experts say they will be no match for an attempted power grab by the militants.

    Javed Hasham, an Afghan war analyst based in Peshawar, told IPS that the Taliban are capable of destroying convoys very easily. Torkham Road is an exposed mountain pass, with no security outposts along the way. The Taliban, familiar with the terrain, have hideouts in hills and houses that overlook the winding road.

    Attacks on supply convoys had recorded a massive decrease over the past four months but have recently picked up again, keeping pace with increased drone strikes.

    Hasham believes it unlikely that even the Pakistan government, which is loathe to support the Taliban, will not chastise the militants for these attacks, as it, too, sees the drone strikes as a severe encroachment on national sovereignty.

    “The only way forward is for the U.S. to put its drone strikes on hold,” Hasham said.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    That didn't stop US to win Germany and Japan.
    Isn't it an exclusive kind of a war by itself?

    And Doktor, please give some courtesy to the allied people too

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    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    A critique of the talks, their regional impact and pessimism over their outcome from the Indian side:

    Afghan peace talks: India voices concern
    Indrani Bagchi, TNN | Jun 21, 2013, 09.43 PM IST

    NEW DELHI: In their briefings to India on the prospective talks with the Taliban, the US had assured India that it would not hold talks with the Haqqani network, the deadliest Taliban outfit that attacked the Indian embassy in Kabul and is known to be close to the Pakistan army.

    Yet, as the US try to put their talks with the Taliban in motion, its clear the Haqqanis will be part of the Taliban delegation. This will top the talks with Kerry here next week as India joined the clamour against the talks which Indian officials described as "opportunistic".

    Meanwhile, Kerry, fielding Afghanistan's anger, after the US opened peace talks with the Taliban in Doha, may stop over in Kabul to pacify Hamid Karzai. Pakistan backtracked somewhat on Friday, saying it "recognizes the government of President Hamid Karzai as the legitimate government of Afghanistan".

    The Taliban have adopted a talk/fight strategy, continuing their attacks against the Nato forces even as they reportedly readied themselves for talks. Sources tracking the Taliban say this is a new generation of leaders who may declare allegiance to Mullah Omar, but are different from the old Quetta Shura. This is a generation of taliban operatives who have a much closer dependence on the Pakistan army. Hence the importance of Kayani in getting the peace process with the Taliban under way.

    The Haqqani network, who work under the leadership of Sirajuddin Haqqani are part of the same Taliban and much closer to the Pakistan army than other Taliban factions. They are also the group used to attack Indian interests in Afghanistan. Indians fear that once they are legitimized by the peace process, there would be no stopping them.

    Earlier this week, US officials describing the Taliban office in Qatar, said, "We consider the Haqqani Network an especially dangerous element of the overall Taliban movement. So the Haqqanis declare themselves part of the overall (Taliban) movement, and we have all evidence that supports that claim... so we consider them a fully subordinate part of the overall insurgency. When the Taliban movement opens the office and is represented by its political commission, that political commission represents, as we understand it, the Haqqani elements as well. We don't know the exact makeup of the Taliban delegation, but we believe that it broadly represents, as authorized by Mullah Omar, the entire movement to include the Haqqanis."

    However, the ISAF commander had his reservations. "All I've seen of the Haqqanis would make it hard for me to believe they were reconcilable," International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander Gen. Joseph Dunford admitted at a pentagon press conference.

    More important was the US state department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, diluted the "red lines" further, saying an eventual cutting off of al-Qaeda ties by the Taliban was only an "end goal of the process". This contradicts the US' own previous line that first demanded that Taliban renounce ties with Al Qaeda before sitting for negotiations.

    In fact, ties between Taliban and Al Qaeda are not only close, but have grown in the past few years. Documents picked up from Osama bin Laden's house in Abbottabad have revealed close communication between him, Ayman Zawahiri and Mullah Omar. The idea, therefore, that Taliban can distance itself from Al Qaeda, said officials, is pure fiction.

    Separately, a new study by the International centre for the Study of Radicalization observes that there is no clear strategic rationale for holding peace talks with the Taliban. "A shift toward 'moderation' among the Taliban has been much overstated and not borne out by events on the ground. The real impetus for the tentative talks which have taken place are the major troop withdrawals that began in 2012. The internal dynamics of the Taliban movement are in flux but it is far from clear whether its future trajectory will make it more amenable to a peace deal."

    Afghan peace talks: India voices concern - The Times of India

    ==========================
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  9. #69
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1980s View Post
    You need to stop lying and go away and research about topics before trying to speak about them. The Taliban are not Wahhabis, and the Pakistani seminary to which their movement and ideology originates from was not 'funded by Gulf Arabs'. It is a seminary near Peshawar called Darul Uloom Haqqania that is run by a former Pakistani senator called Sami ul Haq (his father founded it in the 1940s) and teaches a radical Deoband school of Islamic thought.

    Not only did this seminary birth the Taliban, but here you can read from the horses mouth that it also had ties to Osama Bin Laden and that "Osama deserves to get aid from us rather than to give it".
    I am familiar with the topic enough to stand by my original comment that 'the Taliban (as a politico-religious movement) were not a creation of Pakistan/Pakistan did not give birth to the Taliban'. The Darul Uloom Haqqania was but one madrassa that functioned as a factory for churning out Mujahideen. The DUH did not function as any kind of 'strategic headquarters that planned and perpetrated the rise of the Taliban'. The DUH functioned similarly to the hundreds of other madrassas set up during the Jihad against the Soviets, many funded by the Saudis. The Mujahideen, and subsequently the Taliban movement, both drew recruits from these madrassas.

    The Taliban politico-religious movement, led by Mullah Omar, developed within Afghanistan on its own accord as a backlash to the anarchy, crime and violence that Afghanistan was suffering as part of the post-Soviet civil war, and nothing you have mentioned contradicts that point.
    Last edited by Agnostic Muslim; 21 Jun 13, at 20:18.
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  10. #70
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Pakistan Today vs BBC. Hmm... a tough one. Just note that i don't favor BBC and Guardian if there are other sources of the same rank.
    The source is not the question here as much as the actual arguments made by the source are. Ejaz is critiquing the methodology and arguments used by the BBC in developing the documentary in question,
    Don't trust spooks much, OK. What about the soldiers? Their ass is on the line 24/7/365.
    Soldiers deployed in combat are not the ones allegedly analyzing and developing intelligence are they? Ejaz correctly points out that the sources used by the BBC in developing a negative picture of Pakistan in the documentary all had existing biases against Pakistan as seen through first hand statements.

    And now he gets twisted. He is not refuting the points, but rumbling on BBC reporting.
    He is making an opening argument about what he finds to be disingenuous about the documentary.
    So, NDS, former CIA and MIX is a bad start and only ISI has the correct versions of events?
    Ejaz mentioned that 'the NDS was the primary facilitator', where did you get the CIA and MIX from?
    They interviewed that NYT reporter and decided it is a bad idea?
    Which would make their documentary one-sided, biased and lacking in objectivity, which is precisely the point Ejaz is making.
    Does the author have any proof they are not Taliban commanders?
    The individuals were allegedly in the custody of the NDS, it is up to the NDS to establish the identity of the individuals they claim are 'Taliban commanders', and it is the BBC's responsibility, as an 'objective and unbiased journalistic entity' to establish the veracity of the claims being made by the NDS regarding the identity of the individuals being presented, not least by obtaining the Pakistani intelligence/military views on said individuals and their accusations, which the BBC clearly failed to do.
    They have put a camera to their faces and people talked. I saw and heard them. Doubt BBC has methods to persuade them to say something they don't like.
    The author is referring to the extremely negative (about Pakistan) comments made by Saleh and Reidel in the past which do not support the BBC's use of the two as any kind of 'objective/unbiased' commentators.
    Yep, everyone is against Pakistan.
    How exactly did you manage to leap from Ejaz's arguments highlighting the biased and flawed reporting of the BBC in composing this documentary to the nonsense here?
    According to wiki PA has 140k soldiers +10k FC in the region. How is 30k more then 110k? Some facts,
    The author was providing numbers about PA and FC deployments in North Waziristan alone, at the time the article was composed - your numbers of 140K soldiers from Wiki appear to be for all of FATA, not just NW.
    Bad info?

    Why not? Please Sir, we need more funds to fight these...
    Sort of like repeated Taliban attacks on ISAF forces in Afghanistan are 'bad info' and a means for the NATO militaries to demand more funding? If you want to come up with paranoid conspiracy theories, please find some truthers.
    Yep, and CIA and MI and... Once again, it is everyone against Pakistan. Why?
    Again, the author referred to the NDS claims, where did the CIA and MI come from?
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  11. #71
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    Nobody's denying that tthe Taliban was born due specific Afghan conditions.The point is the movement was hijacked by certain elements in Pakistan and never cut their ties since then.


    About the Taliban cutting ties with AQ.Big deal.As if a promise uses much ink on paper.
    Consider it done.


    Dok,if you don't want it,you can't
    Last edited by Mihais; 21 Jun 13, at 20:27.
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  12. #72
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    I wasn't "complaining." I was pointing out the Pakistani creation and support of a "movement" which has done nothing but create havoc for the region since 9/11. With THAT said, it is Pakistani's duty to do anything in their power to dissolve the problem, without trying to show what an astound feat they have accomplished, since it was their devilish doings in the first place.
    How is Pakistan 'trying to show what an astound feat they have accomplished'? All I see is a foreign office statement stating that Pakistan facilitated the new talks initiative. How else would you have preferred it be worded or Pakistan's role mentioned?
    But this is really MY problem. I do not respect Pakistan as a sovereign nation for the simple fact that it is two-headed. And by that I mean it has been shown to be controlled by it's military (ISI), with the elected President, or shoved in by a military coupe, just there as a showpiece, iterating whatever the ISI tells him to say. The President puts the beg on for money from other countries, and the ISI rakes it in and disperses it to objectives, i.e. madressas and terrorists training camps. A beggar and thief situation, if you will. Therefore, there is nothing sovereign about Pakistan as far as I'm concerned.

    If you can prove otherwise, please enlighten me.
    There are a few things to address here:

    First, how Pakistan's government functions, who the major power players are and what influence they hold is the concern of Pakistan and Pakistanis alone. If the military wants to control Pakistani foreign policy, that is none of your business - it is for Pakistanis to determine how they want their country to be run and the nature/intricacies of the governance system put into place has no bearing on Pakistan's sovereignty.

    Second, where you, as a non-Pakistani, have the right to be concerned is when you think Pakistani policies impact you (the allegation of terrorist training camps, madrassas for example). With respect to dealing with the hodgepodge of terrorist/extremist groups in the country, it is a long term and complicated challenge that goes far beyond mere military operations, and nothing illustrates that better than the inability of the US/ISAF to accomplish 'total peace' in Afghanistan (and Iraq, for as long as the US was there), despite having many magnitudes more economic and military resources at her disposal.
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  13. #73
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    A Foreign Policy piece discussing China's contacts with the Afghan Taliban, her motivations and goals:
    Hamid Karzai's derailment of this week's planned U.S. peace talks with the Taliban may have been a disappointment to Washington's hopes of ending its longest war -- but it disappointed Beijing, too. China welcomed the breakthrough in the Qatar process, and sees a political settlement in Afghanistan as increasingly important for its economic and security interests in the region. As a result, China's support for reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban has become a fixture of its burgeoning diplomatic activity on Afghanistan's post-2014 future.

    Over the last year, China has been expanding its direct contacts with the Taliban and sounding them out on security issues that range from separatist groups in the Chinese region of Xinjiang to the protection of Chinese resource investments, according to interviews with officials and experts in Beijing, Washington, Kabul, Islamabad, and Peshawar. While Beijing would like to see the reconciliation talks succeed in preventing Afghanistan from falling back into civil war, it is not counting on their success, and thus is preparing to deal with whatever constellation of political forces emerges in Afghanistan after the United States withdraws.

    While even tentative U.S. and European meetings with the Taliban generate headlines, China's substantive dealings with them tend to slip under the radar. After the 9/11 attacks and the Taliban's fall from power, Beijing quietly maintained a relationship with the Quetta Shura, the Taliban's leadership council based across the border in Pakistan. In a conversation, one former Chinese official claimed that besides Pakistan, China was the only country to continue this contact. Over the last 18 months, exchanges have taken place more regularly, and China has started to admit their existence in meetings with U.S. officials, according to people familiar with the matter. The same sources said that Taliban representatives have held meetings with Chinese officials both in Pakistan and in China. Although the possibility of active Chinese support for peace talks has been discussed, it appears the focus has been on a narrower set of Chinese objectives: as one Pakistani expert noted, "it has so far been about mitigating [Chinese] security concerns rather than reconciliation."

    ...
    Why Is China Talking to the Taliban? - By Andrew Small | Foreign Policy
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  14. #74
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    First, how Pakistan's government functions, who the major power players are and what influence they hold is the concern of Pakistan and Pakistanis alone. If the military wants to control Pakistani foreign policy, that is none of your business - it is for Pakistanis to determine how they want their country to be run and the nature/intricacies of the governance system put into place has no bearing on Pakistan's sovereignty.
    That's just the point Pak public has no say whatsoever in the way foreign policy is conducted.

    Even you're elected representatives have to toe the line here. Unlike other countries where civvies outrank the military. Second, the state does not have a monopoly on violence, its very much an open market.

    This is why i wondered if enough people make the connection between the hardships over the last decade as a result of PA foreign policy whether things could change.

    But if the present situation continues we can expect more of the same.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 21 Jun 13, at 21:12.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    First, how Pakistan's government functions, who the major power players are and what influence they hold is the concern of Pakistan and Pakistanis alone. If the military wants to control Pakistani foreign policy, that is none of your business - it is for Pakistanis to determine how they want their country to be run and the nature/intricacies of the governance system put into place has no bearing on Pakistan's sovereignty.
    The Pakistani leadership can formulate national policy using a Ouija Board for all I care.

    However, when such governance negatively impacts regional and international interests, then Pakistani policy becomes a problem for all of us.

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