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  • The Afghanisation of politics

    CALL it the Afghanisation of politics. You can guess what they don’t want, but you can’t really be certain about what they do want. And maybe it makes a kind of sense: you can’t ever be defeated if you never say what it is that you really want.

    Politics in Pakistan mirroring Pakistan on Afghanistan.

    What does Pakistan — the state of Pakistan — want in Afghanistan? Given how obsessed we are — or the state of Pakistan is — with Afghanistan, you’d think there would be an easy, capsule answer to toss out and pop in.

    Like: national security! India is the enemy! Politicians are corrupt!

    But it’s not all that easy with Afghanistan. You can say with high confidence that the state doesn’t want India in Afghanistan and does want the Taliban to be part of the ruling dispensation. But that’s not really saying all that much.

    The Pakistani state doesn’t want India in Afghanistan because it fears encirclement or whatever. Fine, at least it’s some kind of logic. But ‘no India in Afghanistan’ translates into what exactly?

    No physical presence? No military presence, but economic stuff acceptable? No presence meaning no influence? And no influence with whom: the Pakhtuns or the non-Pakhtuns? And if no influence anywhere, how do we negate India’s ties to the non-Pakhtuns in Afghanistan?

    The ‘Taliban in government’ stuff is difficult to flesh out, too. We seem sure — or we say so anyway — that we don’t want to go back to the late ’90s, ie the Taliban outright ruling Afghanistan. But if we don’t want them to rule 100 per cent, then what per cent of power do we want for the Taliban?

    Fifty per cent? 75? 25? 40? 10?

    Nobody knows. And maybe not even ourselves.

    If you don’t say what you want, you can never be defeated.

    Contrast that with the Americans and the Afghan government. Wild conspiracy aside, it’s pretty easy to say that the Americans would rather have defeated the Taliban than not. Maybe the Americans would have wanted a residual military presence in Afghanistan, maybe they’d have stuck around to keep an eye on Pakistan and our nukes.

    But you can pretty easily assert that the Americans, if they could have, would like to have militarily defeated the Taliban.

    Same with the Afghan government. If it could, the Afghan government would rather not have to make peace with the Taliban. The last Afghan government or this one would rather that the US military or, less likely, the Afghan army have defeated the Taliban, and the Afghan government get more power, more durability and become the long-term political solution in Afghanistan.

    You can quite clearly see that no Afghan government will get what it really wants. But at least you can be sure what it — this, the previous or any non-Taliban Afghan government — really wants.

    Not so with Pakistan.

    And now it has infected politics here. The Afghanisation of politics is really the mysteriousness of what’s going on here. As the government stumbles from crisis to crisis, as ministers begin to knife each other and confusion and chaos reign, it’s increasingly hard to figure out what this was and is all about.

    What do they want?

    We know that they don’t want Nawaz in. Fine. They hate it when one of their own turns on them — and few have belonged to and turned on as spectacularly as Nawaz has. But after Nawaz, what?

    Imran may have been the obvious alternative, but it’s become blindingly obvious that there was zero preparation. And you can’t really blame Imran for that: why should he prepare in the final months for something he had not really prepared for in 22 years?

    But at least they could have done some prep. And enforced some discipline.

    Aha, but the point is to keep all of them weak: Imran, Nawaz, Asif, whoever. Imran was just the latest beneficiary of the system’s periodic need for a new, or old but compliant, face. Again, plausible.

    But there’s weak and then there’s catastrophic. If nothing else, you need the civilian front to stop from collapsing in on itself. Because immediate collapse requires constant hand-holding and in that case no one gets anything done.

    Plus there’s the stuff with the other folk.

    What on earth is the Shahbaz thing all about? One possibility is that as Imran stumbles and the PTI lists, it’s become necessary to keep the pressure on the other side. Because you can’t afford for your precious experiment to be knocked over so soon.

    But Shahbaz? It’s like going out of your way to make an example and enemy of the one chap who was desperate to be your friend. And while he maybe can’t do much for you as your friend, he could do something to you as your enemy.

    What do they want?

    The Asif stuff is equally puzzling. The GDA was primed, ready and willing to eat into the PPP’s seat count in rural Sindh. If you were going to keep up the pressure on Zardari, as seems obvious before and since the election, then why allow him to sweep to total victory in Sindh?

    Of all the levers that you could want and you would want to deny your target, surely a total sweep of his base is a good idea to prevent. If they could do it to Nawaz in Punjab, why not Zardari in Sindh?

    What do they want?

    For now, we can only guess what they don’t want. The Afghanisation of politics has arrived. And it may be the greatest head-scratcher yet.

    The writer is a member of staff.
    Cyril Almeida one day will be kidnapped. Then if his body is found lying on a ditch, it will bear extreme torture marks, or maybe his body won't ever be found. There are things you don't do in Pakistan, and the prime of it is talk against the Pakistan Army.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!


    • Originally posted by Oracle View Post
      The Afghanisation of politics

      Cyril Almeida one day will be kidnapped. Then if his body is found lying on a ditch, it will bear extreme torture marks, or maybe his body won't ever be found. There are things you don't do in Pakistan, and the prime of it is talk against the Pakistan Army.
      He hasn't revealed anything here. He got into trouble last for revealing there was a rift between the civilan & military when it came to India policy.

      I wonder whether the key to the Americans getting out of Afghanistan lies in appeasing the Paks. No appeasement, no exit. Because there is no exit the Paks think the Americans have longer term designs in the region. To their mind, their way is the simplest way. Why else would the Americans reject it. heh. The Afghans for one would never accept it.

      There is always over land transit fees in the meantime
      Last edited by Double Edge; 10 Dec 18,, 14:31.


      • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
        He hasn't revealed anything here. He got into trouble last for revealing there was a rift between the civilan & military when it came to India policy.
        Since that incident he has been attacking the PA & ISI indirectly. You think they'd not notice. He isn't even a muslim, he's a goan christian. If he's alive till date, it is because the PA doesn't want another mess created by killing a famous minority. It might be an accident, or a shoot out, or some script, but he'll be dead for sure.

        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
        I wonder whether the key to the Americans getting out of Afghanistan lies in appeasing the Paks. No appeasement, no exit. Because there is no exit the Paks think the Americans have longer term designs in the region. To their mind, their way is the simplest way. Why else would the Americans reject it. heh. The Afghans for one would never accept it.
        Appeasing Paks? Long term designs? If the PA was so worried about US' long term designs, they would have helped the US finish Al-Qaida/Taliban, if not India facing groups, and let the US forces leave. The PA want the Americans to stay. They want to show the world, how this costly war was unwinnable from the start. How the Americans were short sighted. How 2 superpowers lost in Afghanistan. Well they have been saying the 2 superpowers losing the war in Afghanistan for some years now. And in the meantime, milk billions of dollars from US coffers. Now that aid has gone down to almost nil, Paks have started begging. Their status has been exposed. Begging is what they're good at, another being terrorism, in which they are number 1.

        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
        There is always over land transit fees in the meantime
        Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!


        • World Bank cancels $250m emergency relief loan

          Overseas Pakistanis to pay tax on additional cell phones: Fawad Chaudhry

          This is what happens when a country uses terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy and madrasah economics to run the country.
          Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!


          • US adds Pakistan, China to its blacklist for religious freedom violations

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            Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!


            • It's been a long war, at this point this war can have a drivers license. Pretty soon it will be old enough to vote

              Christine from back in April at her most candid.

              Moral hazard #1 : Does the US cut Pakistan off at the IMF otherwise the american tax payer will be subsidising Pakistan's loan servicing to the Chinese

              Moral hazard #2 : Does the US keep Pakistan from defaulting so the Paks don't give China access to Gwadar ala Hambantota or encourage Pakistan to engage in fiscal irresponsibility by continuing to support them at the IMF which means again subsidising the payout to the Chinese.

              India is in a similar situation with the Maldives.

              Those Chinese loans are looking pretty secure to date.
              Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Dec 18,, 01:26.


              • Vivek is being diplomatic here. It looks like Trump has tasked his envoy to find a way out of Afghanistan for the US

                If Trump want to halve forces in Afghanistan that is one thing, more important is the US subsidises the ANA to the tune of half a billion annual. Those funds have to continue. They will continue so long as there is some American presence in Afghanistan after that the tap will dry up. And there will be passing the hat around the world to make up the difference. Or it will be full on proxy warfare.
                Last edited by Double Edge; 23 Dec 18,, 20:43.


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                  So that's the Pak plan..


                  • Boots on the ground haven't been given any info about this drawdown (yet)

                    Marines Deployed Abroad Seek Answers Amid Washington’s Turmoil | WSJ | Dec 23 2018

                    By Ben Kesling
                    Dec. 23, 2018 9:00 a.m. ET
                    BOST AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—On a holiday visit to American troops overseas, Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, was asked by a Marine about President Trump’s orders to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

                    What, the Marine wanted to know, did the orders mean for those on combat deployments?

                    “That’s a really good question,” the commandant said. “And the honest answer is I have no idea.”

                    At every stop on his tour, Gen. Neller has faced questions about what the recent drawdown orders and the resignation of Defense SecretaryJim Mattis mean for Marines and for the broader U.S. military strategy in the Middle East.

                    The questions have come from Marines bundled in parkas while training in Norway as well as those sweating in the heat of Afghanistan, who are eager to know how the turmoil in Washington affects them.

                    “Are your families asking if you’re leaving?” he questioned a group of Marines in Helmand province. Many nodded yes.

                    “You’re not leaving,” he deadpanned, to laughs from troops midway through a months-long deployment.

                    At this point, commanders regardless of their rank have few details on Mr. Trump’s plans—with no timelines, hard numbers or orders to Pentagon brass about the matter. During the trip, Gen. Neller has worked to quash scuttlebutt and motivate troops, warning them to avoid complacency and homesickness.

                    The Marines have laughed with their leader and his honesty, but it belied a frustration among officers and personnel about the lack of details from Washington: If Gen. Neller, one of the highest-ranking officers in the American military doesn’t know what’s happening, who does?

                    Navy Secretary Richard Spencer joined Gen. Neller in Afghanistan for a leg of the holiday visit and in an interview said he had received no order from the White House or Pentagon on drawing down troops.

                    “Nothing formal, just tweets,” he said Saturday, adding that he might be in the dark because he’s been on the road for three days.

                    The head of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Miller, hadn’t been issued orders about the drawdown, according to multiple officers familiar with the matter. Morning intelligence briefings for days had focused on publicly available news stories because no official information was available internally.

                    “I don’t think anybody really knows exactly what’s going to happen,” Gen. Neller told one gathering of Marines, on Friday. “I’ve read the same stuff in the newspaper you did, I have a little more knowledge than that, but not a whole lot more.”

                    Mr. Trump last week tweeted that Islamic State in Syria had been defeated and ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops there. A day later, officials said he also had ordered the start of a withdrawal of approximately 7,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, about half the U.S. troops in the country.

                    In an interview Friday, the Marine Corps’ top officer said he wasn’t in a position to comment on the announced plans for troop withdrawals but said “the best military advice was offered and a decision was made.”

                    “I don’t make policy, I execute orders,” he added, not specifying what advice was given.

                    He likewise had little to say about Mr. Mattis’ resignation.

                    “He wrote a letter, I’m not going to comment on it,” Gen. Neller said. “I understand and respect his decision.”

                    Gen. Neller said the defense secretary isn’t scheduled to step down until late February, which can allow time for a successor to be appointed and confirmed by the Senate, and for adequate continuity at the top of the department.

                    At Bagram Air Field in northern Afghanistan, Gen. Neller spoke to a relatively small contingent of approximately 60 U.S. Marines, a fraction of the estimated 14,000 U.S. troops in the country. The Marines here advise, train and support hundreds of soldiers from the country of Georgia, who provide base security.

                    They also illustrate the complexity of troop withdrawals. While the few dozen Marines here seem like they might be able to be sent home with relative ease, the reality is more complicated.

                    The more than 500 Georgians here don’t just stand guard, but conduct routine patrols around the base, and need Marines or other U.S. troops to call in air support if they find themselves under attack. The U.S. relationship with the Georgian forces is part of a broader bilateral relationship. An abrupt U.S. pullout could sour an alliance with strategic repercussions as the U.S. faces down an ever-more aggressive Russia.

                    Maj. Richard Bates, the Marine contingent’s officer in charge, said that all they have heard about the drawdown has come from media reports.

                    “It was a surprise, but I’m sure it was a surprise for the guys who withdrew from OIF,” he said referring to the abrupt announcement by then-President Barack Obama in 2011 that most U.S. troops would leave Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

                    The Georgian troops have likewise had no word on what to expect, according to a person familiar with the matter.

                    For many, a withdrawal could mean a welcome end of a long overseas deployment. Marines across Afghanistan said family members have asked them when they’re coming home.

                    Maj. Bates said the word of Mr. Mattis’ resignation was the bigger news to him, seeing that the defense secretary, a retired Marine general, is held in high esteem by his fellow service members.

                    “His resignation is more devastating than the troop drawdown,” Maj. Bates said. “It’s going to be hard to fill those shoes.”
                    Bagram air base is defended by Georgians ? who knew


                    • Vivek's calling Trump out for going back on his word from Aug 2017

                      Marching out of Afghanistan | Tribune | Dec 25 2018

                      Vivek Katju
                      ex-secretary, Ministry of External Affairs

                      President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw around 7,000 of the 14,000 US troops from Afghanistan confirms his strategic desperation to close America’s longest and seemingly endless war. It was evident, ever since US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad began direct and open talks with the Taliban in October, that Trump had decisively retreated from his policy to put military pressure on the group. Instead he had accepted to negotiate almost on terms set by the Taliban. If that was showing weakness, and also a willingness to disregard the position of Afghanistan’s National Unity Government (NUG) led by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah, US troop withdrawal will almost certainly ensure Taliban intransigence encouraged by Pakistan and erode the credibility of both the US and the NUG.

                      As part of his Afghanistan and South Asia policy, which he had personally and publicly pronounced in August 2017, Trump had said, ‘A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions…We will not talk about number of troops or our plans for further military actions. Conditions on the ground — not arbitrary time-tables — will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out’. Clearly, Trump has now abandoned this ‘core pillar’ and the lesson that the Taliban will inevitably draw is that US stamina is exhausted and it simply wants out.

                      It is true that, unlike he has in Syria, Trump has not ordered all US troops to leave Afghanistan. US military commanders have begun to undertake damage control. Gen Scott Miller, US and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan, told Afghan officials, ‘Even if I have to get a little bit smaller, we will be okay’. US diplomats and officials will stress that they are not going to abandon the country to chaos. They will also, no doubt, underline that they have all along wanted a negotiated settlement between the NUG and the Taliban and that that remains their aim. While there may be an element of truth in all these positions, the fact is that the decision to withdraw the soldiers will create the perception that Trump wants to leave Afghanistan sooner rather than later and that will enormously strengthen the Taliban and Pakistan’s standing, especially in the Pashtun areas, and cause fear and dismay among non-Pashtuns. It will also feed the Taliban belief that Trump is on his way to accept its condition that all foreign forces should leave Afghanistan.

                      Trump’s decision came in the wake of Khalilzad’s meetings with Taliban representatives in the UAE a week ago. Pakistani, Saudi and UAE officials were also present in some of these meetings. Significantly, a team of NUG officials was also present at the hotel lobby where these meetings took place, but the Taliban refused to meet them. Obviously, their interest was to show that they were now negotiating directly with the US and that the NUG was an inferior entity that will accept any dish that this negotiation process eventually cooked up. Khalilzad had the choice to abandon his meeting with the Taliban representatives as they were not willing to meet the NUG people. By not doing so, he embarrassed and compromised the NUG position.

                      At this stage, Ghani and Abdullah seem to want to convey an assurance of resolve to the Afghan people to prevent any impression of NUG’s helplessness because of a perceived waning of US interest in its well-being. In this context, it is important to recall the impact of the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and later, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had led to the fragmentation of the support base of the then Afghan President Najibullah. There can be little doubt that the NUG leadership is aware of the lesson those developments hold for them. Hence, the need to act with confidence.

                      Ghani has done well to persuade Amrullah Saleh and Assadullah Khalid to join the NUG as interior and defence ministers, respectively. They have both been head of the Afghan intelligence apparatus and have their roots in the Afghan jihad and are staunch opponents of the Taliban. While they are respected by the Americans, the Pakistanis are wary of them. They will be an asset to the NUG at this time. However, their real test will be how the security forces acquit themselves in the field against the Taliban.

                      Pakistan has welcomed Trump’s decision. Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said it would help the US-Taliban talks in Abu Dhabi. He also said Pakistan had released some Taliban people in its custody to foster an enabling environment for the talks. This only confirms the Taliban-Pakistan nexus and Rawalpindi’s control over the Taliban. Naturally, with Trump now almost beseeching its help, Pakistan feels that it is back in the saddle on the Afghan issue.

                      The troop withdrawal only reinforces the need for India to play its cards extremely adroitly in Afghanistan. It must continue with its support for the NUG. The inclusion of Amrullah and Assadullah will provide India with more good interlocutors, for both know the good work that India has done in Afghanistan. One issue that will get greater attention is that of the Indian engineers who were kidnapped by the Taliban from Pul-i-Khumri in May. They seem to have dropped from the national consciousness.

                      India, like all other states, must maintain lines with the Taliban. India must also consult widely with other states on the Afghan situation. The visit of the Russian special envoy on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, was a welcome step at this stage.

                      Afghanistan is entering a critical stage and must become an Indian diplomatic priority.
                      Amrullah has become interior minister of the NUG : )


                      • Instead of being despondent over the turn of events in Afghanistan, India must understand that in Afghanistan, every endgame is only the beginning of a new ‘Great Game’ — Sushant Sareen

                        On US’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; India must be hard-headed | ORF | Dec 28 2018
                        Last edited by Double Edge; 31 Dec 18,, 00:45.


                        • Afghan NSA was over for a visit. In interviews he made the point that proposed pull out of 7000 troops would not make a difference as it was a recent addition, just over a year old and in 2014 100k troops were pulled out and the Afghan military has managed to cope. Don't know what to make of this NSA he isn't as flamboyant as Amrullah. Comes across more like a politician than a security guy. His replies in local interviews didn't give much away. Fairly young at 35

                          The Americans are in the process of working out terms of disengagement. Americans leaving takes away a primary plank of the Taliban, refusal to talks until the foreigners leave. We will find out in the coming months whether they want to take over the place or work with the present govt to find a solution. In either case the Afghan govt is in a better state than the last time around when the civil war had decimated infrastructure. According to the NSA, 89% f the Afghan population is under the protection of the state.

                          The Americans leaving means they are less dependent on the Paks and can tighten up some more. It also means Iran, Russia have more of a reason to work with the place and decide what they want rather than working at cross purposes just so the Americans fail. We will then see what these two really think of the Taliban.
                          Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Jan 19,, 10:24.


                          • H.R.73 - To terminate the designation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally, and for other purposes.

                            Bill to end Pak's MNNA status unless Trump certifies

                            (1) Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan;

                            (2) Pakistan has taken steps to demonstrate its commitment to prevent the Haqqani Network from using any Pakistani territory as a safe haven;

                            (3) the Government of Pakistan actively coordinates with the Government of Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, such as the Haqqani Network, along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; and

                            (4) Pakistan has shown progress in arresting and prosecuting Haqqani Network senior leaders and mid-level operatives.
                            No way the Paks will be able to escape this one
                            Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Jan 19,, 02:11.


                            • Decisions.....hmmm

                              India would do better to assert, but not ignore, its US opportunity | ET | Jan 15 2019

                              By Pranab Dhal Samanta, ET Bureau|Updated: Jan 15, 2019, 05.04 PM IST

                              India’s US policy is suddenly on test. Never in these Donald Trump years has India felt vulnerable in terms of security. The tussle has usually been over trade figures, Harley-Davidsons, digital commerce and, at times, the feed that American cows get. But never really on core security issues, especially Pakistan.

                              The situation has dramatically changed in the last few months. The Trump government wants Pakistan to broker a dialogue with the Taliban, so that the US can reduce its troops in Afghanistan. The last time something similar happened was two years ago.

                              In February 2016, the Barack Obama administration had cleared the sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan. The White House justified the proposal to underwrite the $699 million deal as necessary to provide the Pakistan Air Force with an all-weather capability to operate in Afghanistan. This was exactly a year after Obama had visited India as Republic Day chief guest.

                              India rushed in the messages, emphasised how Pakistan did not intend to use these capabilities against the Taliban but train them on India. It didn’t work. New Delhi then broadened its approach, mustered support from the US Congress and other stakeholders. The White House faced stiff opposition, until it shelved the idea of selling the F-16s. Obama, it’s believed, was quite upset by the manner in which India had sidestepped the White House. But then, India had to find away to drag the issue till the US presidential elections, and prevailed.

                              New Delhi has benefited immensely from the fact that its view on Pakistan as the principal abettor of terrorism has aligned better with Trump than any other US president. Most of Trump’s predecessors first tried their hand at comforting and convincing Pakistan, before making a course correction.

                              Trump, on the other hand, started from the opposite end. Which is why India never had to worry about what the US may think if New Delhi carried out cross-Line of Control (LoC) strikes and made it public. In fact, the US under Trump has encouraged India to take on more military responsibility in Afghanistan. Which also explains Trump’s recent snide remark about India ‘building a library’ in Afghanistan.

                              Being Kabullish
                              The problem, however, is Trump’s electoral promise of reducing troops in conflict zones like Afghanistan. While this may clash with the global strategic posture the Pentagon wants to maintain, the truth is that India knows that a US drawdown from Afghanistan is not a matter of ‘if ’ but ‘when’. In fairness, Trump and some of his now former aides like John McMaster and James Mattis have been urging India to increase its security footprint in Afghanistan.

                              India has also responded. It has given combat choppers, paid for the repair of old Soviet-era equipment in Afghanistan, and trained Afghan military personnel. There’s always scope for more. But it’s suffice to say that away from the glare, India’s security establishment has accelerated its work in Afghanistan over the past couple of years.

                              So, what’s the worry? The need to counter Pakistan’s newly found leverage with Washington, or at least to delay it. Trump has decided to explore the possibility of ‘workable peace’ with the Taliban against a body of advice. And to achieve that, Pakistan is vital. Trump’s Afghan-origin envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is on the job, building fresh equations with the new Pakistan government, its military and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

                              Any Pakistan-brokered peace with the Taliban is expected to be short-lived. But that’s unlikely to deter Trump’s domestic considerations. In many ways, it’s a high stakes political manoeuvre, in which Pakistan will be looking for big gains.

                              Let’s not forget that Pakistan today has a bigger F-16 problem. Not only does it want more of them, but it’s also in desperate need of spares for its existing fleet of 15. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have loosened their purse strings — $6 billion and $3 billion respectively — in the last three months. Islamabad will also step up pressure for direct US assistance, as well as International Monetary Fund (IMF) support.

                              The usual South Block reflex is to use the opportunity to counterbalance the US with Russia and China. That’s unlikely to work. Trump has already positioned himself aggressively on China, which is aligned with India’s strategic priorities. A shift requires sharp tactical responses both in and with Washington. This may be the appropriate time to underline national interests, and make payments for the S-400 missile defence system to Russia. And, by the same logic, push for defence co-production with the US, especially on the F-16s for which, at one stage, the Trump government was willing to relocate the entire supply chain to India, the line to Pakistan included.

                              Ahem, Here to Help
                              In short, South Block has its task cut out. The easy path would be to paint the US as unreliable on Pakistan and Trump as unpredictable. But that will shrink India to a bit player.

                              India may want to take a leaf out of Japan’s book, where Shinzo Abe is set to firm up a $50-55 billion defence package with the US that includes 100 F-35s. India doesn’t have to take Trump literally, but seriously enough to re-orbit its positioning in a world that’s moving towards fresh conflict and less order.


                              • 1. Afghanistan should not sign the BSA (Bilateral Secruity Arrangement) & SPA (Strategic Partnership Agreement) with America

                                2. The strategic gap emerging from not signing the (BSA) with the United States will be filled by Pakistan and China

                                3. Send 30% of the officers of the courts of justice to Islamabad for training

                                4. Create a joint mechanism for management of the border

                                5. Immediately start water negotiations

                                6. Give Pakistan access to central Asia [through Afghanistan] without demanding Pakistan to provide access to India

                                7. Evict India from East & South Afghanistan and allow them no humanitarian presence, no involvement in extractive industry & no diplomatic presence

                                8. Sign a strategic partnership deal with Pakistan

                                9. Stop all media outlets that say negative things about Pakistan

                                10.Sign a trilateral Pakistan-Afghanistan-China consortium

                                11. The consortium should have a monopoly over the entire extractive industry in Afghanistan.
                                If Afghanistan agrees to these demands then peace will come within six months.

                                This is what the Afghan president was told at a meeting (in October I am assuming) with the ISI & PA

                                Amrullah has recently resigned his post as Interior minister which he got only a couple of weeks back to become running mate with Ghani as VP in the next elections.
                                Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Jan 19,, 13:03.