Impact on Pakistan: withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Yasmeen Ali

Obama announced withdrawal of 30,000 forces from Afghanistan. With the withdrawal of 30,000 troops, roughly 68,000 troops will still remain in Afghanistan. What impact this will or will not have on Afghanistan, is another debate altogether.  This withdrawal is proposed in three steps,5000 troops in first instance, another 5000 in the second and 10000 in the third go. What is obvious, is, with the US elections round the corner, it is a cotton candy being held out to the people of America, having come into power in the flush of promise to “bring the boys home”. A promise that Obama failed to fulfill. Further, the exorbitant costs of foreign wars at the expense of the Americans has become difficult to justify. A lot of ink has been wasted on cotton candy, I am sure more will!

The point of concern is, the two forked strategy being followed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Whereas, talks are underway between US and Taliban to work out a power sharing relationship  in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, the reverse strategy is in place. I mean, is it ok to support prostitution in one area and oppose it at another? Weird psychology, no?

Pakistan launched offensives against the militants in Bajaur, and  in Swat. Millions remain displaced to this date. Now, there are new pressures to launch an offensive in North Waziristan. The drone policy, killing thousands of Pakistanis , mostly women ,children, and defenseless people. Collateral damage, we are told!

There are some hard questions the establishment in Pakistan must face:

1-      Are the interests of USA in complete line with those of Pakistan? If different on certain tangents, what cost to Pakistan to follow through?

A friend, a retired Senior Office from the Air Force , argued Pakistan Army & ISI should have balanced both. He asks the Army and wrote to me, ”When you knew the Americans were double playing on you from day one by aiding and abetting criminals from Baluchistan and giving them safe haven in Afghanistan ,why did you not do the same to Americans?”.

This anger and feeling of being cheated, is reflective of the general people of Pakistan.

2-     Is Pakistan been “compensated” enough to compromise her dignity & sovereignty?

Hussain Haqqani, in a recent meeting to allay American misunderstandings on Pakistan, pointed out ,in a diplomatic tone, that  peanuts are being fed to the US monkey. US claim to have given 18-20 $ billion in assistance.

“These funds, strictly speaking, are not assistance. These cover the cost of fuel, ordnance, etc. used by Pakistan in counter-terrorism operations. Of the remaining $6-8 billion, nearly half the assistance was military assistance some of it to the previous government. This leaves about $3 billion which the present government has ostensibly received. Even here the monies appropriated under the Kerry Lugar Berman legislation in FY 2010 have not been fully disbursed”.(Dawn News 17th June 2011).

America is following a policy of pressurizing Pakistan from every possible end. Though, Pakistan’s inefficiency on some fronts does not help things, it is a fact that over the past months, the war on terror has shifted to Pakistan.

What impact will this “soft” withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan will have on Pakistan? The answer is: Nothing.

If anything, it may come more sharply in focus and be placed under greater pressure than before on Pakistan.

Pakistan must stand on her feet and fight for her interests. She must stop being apologetic and where needed, clean up her backyard.

A friend wrote,” Our elders ” watered the tree of Independence by “their’ blood” so that our generation live with peace and honor…how much more blood
is to be let before we become an honorable people?”

I do not have the answer.

Do our leaders?

(The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore. She teaches in a University & may be reached at yasmeen.a.9@gmail.com).

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Comments

  • Moazzam Saleem  On June 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Nice. ISI is alredy plying a doble game with the US..OBL demise synched nicely with the already announced withdrawal schdl

  • Inam Khan  On June 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Pakistan has been given a raw deal which benefits USA clearly.Our past and present rulers have betrayed the nation for selfish motives with the result both military and civilians are suffering;there seems to be no end to this suffering.US withdrawal is symbolic and not substantive in nature, hoodwinking American , Afghan and Pakistani peoples………………………………………………………..Inam Khan

  • I.Zubair  On June 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Prior to showing up here for last several years my question has remained on this given subject:

    “These funds, strictly speaking, are not assistance. These cover the cost of fuel, ordnance, etc. used by Pakistan in counter-terrorism operations. Of the remaining $6-8 billion, nearly half the assistance was military assistance some of it to the previous government. This leaves about $3 billion which the present government has ostensibly received. Even here the monies appropriated under the Kerry Lugar Berman legislation in FY 2010 have not been fully disbursed”.(Dawn News 17th June 2011).

    While this also remained the same when twice Musharaf addressed citizens of Pakistan in Washington in his visits, he advised that the US system for replenishing of funds and clear billing for services has remained slow & behind and at that time they owed some large amounts for services they received, such as port services, transportation etc.
    My question has remained where do those funds come from that are paid to families of deceased and injured in carrying out these duties? there have been announcements of large sums of money for such affected families which total up to substantial amounts while all these services are being provided to a third party at cost shouldn’t they be responsible for paying up for losses of life and injuries as well as “collateral damanges” sustained due to given activitiy.
    Americans don’t just distribute money like assumed by them and many others from here to there, there is no doubt that there is a level of impropriety by those who handle & disburse these funds but that can’t make such huge difference.
    There is a lot of drum beating about the Americans pouring money in to Pakistan as “aid” but it is not quite like that and they still owe Pakistan quite a bit of money for past due bills

    AZ

  • GRK  On June 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    for god sake let us say good bye to these aid which appears to have not made any impact on our economy better.grk

  • Inam Khan  On June 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    ‘American Aid’ is a long tale of big time corruption at both ends.This is American officials and Pakistani Rulers Combine.30% is retained by Americans as administrative expenses,30% is taken out by Pakistan Bureaucracy,20% is taken by the Presidency and public gets only 20% , sometimes….Inam Khan

  • S. Cadri  On June 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Can you please authenticate these percentages please?

  • GRK  On June 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    please take my word. the americans are guided by israel and tremendous indian lobby that the real threat for global peace is pakistan and its nuclear arsenals. after afghanistan,they will not hesitate even to bomb the strategic sites. it is high time we start to shift our relation ship with china. surely chines will not come to fight for us but will be ready to provide arms and also technology for all economic sectors. yes they will not give cash in our govt hands. and surely it is will be better,hillary already has outlined for less military assistance. we should be bold enough to say thank you. yes chinese are worried about the increasing so called islam radicalisam.it should be the first duty of our govt and people to take this monster out of our system. the wahabi sect funded by saudi arabia has played havoc for the entire country. we should hold the bull from its neck and thrash out these rogues from our society. first thing should be ban on dharna by islamic parties to contain their influence.deweaponinzing can be and should be the first priority of govt and help of pakistan army should be taken for this.chines will assist us to stand on our feet in near future. but first we must remove the stigma of a rogue state. no body will like to get the problem in their own houses by helping us. let us start advocating this policy and also support our armed forces for this task to remove the radicals from all ranks. may god never forgive zia ul haq for what this most deceptive man i met has done for my country pakistan.grk

  • Azzam  On June 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    One may call this AID, I call it giving up some of your independence and freedom. Since when Muslims became the recipients of handout?

    • S. Cadri  On June 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Since 1958 then 1971 then 1979 then 1989 then 2001 then 2008. It goes on. Lets not pretend. Our state is what it is because “beggars are no chosers”. That is the reality. If you want to reverse the situ then start with Structural Reforms. YOu have to begin with land ceiling. Start. There could be light at the end of the tunnel if you begin the process. As Mao said first demolish so that we can build. So demolish feudalism with land ceiling then see where we zoom?

    • khan saheb  On June 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      This has got nothing to do with being a Muslim or kaafir !

      The stark reality is that PK is surviving on handouts. Its like getting oxygen through a respirator. No oxygen- no breathing. Simple enough. Take a look at the 57 OIC countries. Other Muslim nations are progressing towards self-reliance and economically independent. Excluding the oil-rich Arabs, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey are good examples. In fact, Bangladesh would be the best, considering it was part of us 40 years ago, before the surgical chop off.

      Unless, we develop the capability to look with our eyes as well as our minds, we will continue to walk around in haze.

      Kaheen pe nigahen, kaheen pe nishaana…….

      Siraj

  • khan saheb  On June 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Inam Sahib:I happen to have a fairly good handle on this subject, having been involved in a lot of these projects, as part of my livelihood. Not sure where you got these percentages and ratios from. The trickle down to the public is not even 20%. The admin overheads do not cross 10% because then it becomes too visible and consequently, questionable. The bulk of the aid is applied towards procurement of US goods and services. Its a package deal. The word “aid” is just a figure of speech and it should be taken more in the sense of american international development. In US, there is no such thing as a free lunch…..and why should there be?

    Siraj

  • Shaikh Mohammad  On June 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Iran a neighbour of Pakistan threw away American contractors and cut off relations with USA when the people overthrew Shah of Iran.

    Pakistan has now an opportunity to say NO to drone attacks. American bases should be closed and Pakistan should should say “Good bye to America”.

    Pakistan Army is the main stumbling block. The Generals are on the payroll of CIA and are serving the interests of USA.

    The only way out is for the people to come on the streets and overthrow Army’s control.

    We should remember that people power cannot be defeated. We should look at Greece, and Middle East countries.

    Shaikh Mohommad

  • Ali Kazim  On June 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Ms. Yasmeen has brought up a very IMPORTANT subject. Our Leaders(?) and our Army must start thinking on various strategies and tactical options when the withdrawl starts (I am sure The GHQ must have formulated and updating plans even before the announcement of President Obama). The point where I beg to differ with Ms. Yasmeen is where she writes ‘is Pakistan being “compensated” enough to compromise her dignity and sovereignty?’. In my opinion, Pakistan cannot quantify either of the two in terms of compensation. Neither sovereignty or dignity can be compensated at any price.

    Not claiming to be an expert defence analyst, I would be relieved on the US and Nato forces leaving Afghanistan, earlier the better. Undoubtedly it will put a heavier burden on our forces in terms of deploying more troops in NW and Baluchistan. NW to make the Durand line less porous and Baluchistan more secure. The Government, especially The Foreign Office will have to engage India in constant and meaningful dialouge to preclude or minimise any threat from the East. Re-affirm and reassure Iran of our historical friendship to solicit their help to lessen our burden in Baluchistan. Friends are most welcome to express their views and ideas on the suggestions put across by me, albeit not in details. Regds.

    Ali Kazim

  • Azhar Masood  On June 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Pakistan cleared the mess after Soviets’s departure from Afghanistan.Spillover of Afghanistan’s civil war during 90s caused huge economic losses to Pakistan’s economy.Now when the US has decided to withdraw Pakistan will further face economic difficulties.

    American games in Afghanistan has fractured Pakistan’s infra-structure,its economy runied and society gripped by fear of terrorism….

  • Rafiq Mian  On June 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    If we ever believed that US while pursuing its interests in our theater would earnestly keep our cause in balance – we must be morons. Whether we are – or not, that requires little scrutiny. We were scared stiff (into joining) at one juncture and began partly money hungry later on.

    Pakistan will never stand compensated enough. I am told that out of a $ coming our way – only 10-15 cents actually trickle down unto destination. The questions vis-s-vis dignity and benevolent sovereignty are academic subjects. Individuals who are engaged in daily rape and plunder of their motherland out of vested interests – such terms do not illuminate their vocabulary.

    US pressurizing Pakistan to do more has been and will always be there. But a worthwhile response therefor requires a decent spine and a head worthy of the terms on part of the recipient. You and I know better.

    No country has ever gone anywhere and stayed there for good. Laws of nature are against the scenario. Let us face it – US has to leave and will – per these plans or slightly protracted ones. US’s leaving in symbolic sense or fully – worries me a bit. Because it will throw the status quo into a period of indeterministic equilibrium. But then I also think that the vacuum there will cause to suck the ill mongering urchins from or midst.

    What will happen out there – is scary to even think about. Then again, I would hate to see an unsettled and unsound order in our immediate neighborhood. It will have the capacity to destabilize us.

    Let us take our homeland somewhere else —- ha, ha !!!!

    Blood and sweat shed by man while around is per his personal conviction and cause. At it, he relishes the regime. We can get sentimental about the notion but it is hardly any more than the routine of a man’s conventional livelihood. Yes, leaders and commanders make a big deal out of it – because they must recruit more and more to do the same – ironically for them and repeatedly !!!!!

    • Yasmeen Ali  On June 25, 2011 at 3:58 am

      Dear Rafiq
      As always, it is good to hear your voice.
      My take:
      For good or for worse,it is our country!
      Let us hope,saner sense will prevail.
      Regards
      YAA

      • Rafiq Mian  On June 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        My dear Yasmin

        Alf shukraan, as they say in my neighborhood out here. I do very earnestly agree with what you do and I admire your energies. Yes, you and I and the likes of us grieve – but this has been the saga of our kind – to let the tone and basis of history be determined.

        Let me share these with you:

        “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
        Ralph Waldo Emerson

        “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”
        Erma Bombeck

        I believe, you are at it !!!!!

        God bless you and regards,

        Rafiq Mian

  • siddiqui my  On June 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Ms Yasmeens write up expresses the pain and anguish of all thinking Pakistanis but our “illness” cannot be cured overnight or by simple pallatives; long term treatment is needed to cure our mulitiple ailments.
    Our major problem is ourselves; our lack of faith in ourselves; our disease is chronic and cannot be cured over night; it needs first of all self confidence in ourselves; we need to focus on our history and and see and analyse objectively how and why we have reached at this stage ? At the same time we must face the realities of life and not live in dream land.
    We must accept the fact that the US ( and not us ) today is certainly the mightiest military/industrial power known to history and we are at the lowest rung of history, for whatever reasons…own faults or contrived by others…… our saving grace is our strategic situation and that is God given not our creation !!so on the international chess board we are indispensable.
    It is futile to curse ourselves or to orchestrate a blame game. God has gifted us a wonderful land but HE is not coming to run it for us; as a nation ( in fact we are as yet not a Nation ) we are young and inexperienced (60 years or so is a crawling age )
    Our weakness is rooted in our (Pakistan ) history; soon after pakistan’s birth we became orphans…Quaid e Azam, a great statesman and shrewed politician died within a year; thereafter we had no one to guide and steer us; Liaquat too was murdered within 5 years of creation of Pakistan…..now available British documents clearly show that even beforePakistan was established, USA & Britain eyed NW Pakistan as a bulwark against USSR !! Few are left who saw the orphan Pakistan which had no infarstructure and no leader of stature……….no universities,no factories, no cenral bank, no experienced administrators and an armed forces without any worth while equipments…………….
    And then the Americans moved in…………they came in droves; our values and culture was attacked; our education system was destroyed and our time tested values were ridiculed………our pride and our self confidence was shaken………………and worst our political system and culture was disfigured and the armed forces were inducted into body politics of Pakistan….deadly virus was injected into body politics of our society !!
    So today what are we ? you tell me ? Are we Pakistanis or Americans ??
    My answer is we are monkeys !!
    So how do we deal with super duper military power ?
    Answer is not to be hopeless; look at korea, Japan, Viet nam, malayasia, Taiwan and now Turkey ( Islam is still kosher and vibrant !)
    But let us not be show offs; let us accept presently we are no match to USA; we have no leadership; indeed only institution which was not destroyed, as ” they” needed it, is the armed forces and now we are being brain washed to withdraw our support and demoralise the ONLY institution..
    Believe me, we can do all that which “they” have done…we made the nuclear device..did’nt we ?? Wiil, grit, confidence and above all Faith is needed. Presently we have to close ranks and suffer and endure and not to be brash and unduly hyper. Above all we must accept the realities of life and face them; bluster and false pride is of no use…often it is prudent and wise to step back rather than to lunge and be speared…………….

    Siddiqui, my

    PS: lest any of you think I am a defeatist, pl come and visit the Maritime Museum and the Navy Library at KARSAZ Road. Call me at 021 48503210.
    My Motto is ; “If they can do it so can we “!!!!

  • Bajwa  On June 25, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Pakistan was riding two horses: American and Taliban. They had heart on one side and pocket on the other.

    Karzai and Nothern Alliance were clearly against Taliban and with Americans.

    Let us see who is betting on the wrong horse.

    MAB.

  • Nisar ul Haq  On June 25, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Absolutely and fully agree with you. If we say, to hell with the aid, we will be a reformed society in 10 years.
    Nisar ul Haq

  • Nisar ul Haq  On June 25, 2011 at 3:01 am

    As Mao said first demolish so that we can build. So demolish feudalism with land ceiling then see where we zoom?
    Yes indeed that is the first step.I have no doubts, under the circumstanes and options available, Pakistan opted for the best. At the end of the day, Pakistan will come off better but bruised. ( Thanks to America, our friend, for the bruises in economy and law and order )
    Nisar ul Haq

  • S. Cadri  On June 25, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Thank you Nisar ul Haque Sahab. Hope all political parties have this in their manifesto – Urban Land Ceiling Act.

  • Tan  On June 25, 2011 at 3:41 am

    YAA,
    Another good write up from you. Keep going.
    Tan

  • Kausar Bajwa  On June 25, 2011 at 3:42 am

    An other of your masterpieces that is written in blood through serene Nationalism.
    Our leaders should have known at the very outset that American policies are based on cheating. We kept our price too low for the expected rape.
    You have asked the most befitting questions. Unfortunately our leaders are too busy in their future alignments.
    Pulling out of thirty thousand boys from Afghanistan is not going to make much difference mainly because these are the guys who were sent their a few months ago stating “we need to reinforce our troops to be effective. ” I feel all non essentials would be included in the 30000 so that Americans are not caught by surprise through the Vacuum that all so-called Defense Analysts keep screaming about.

    Again, an article that mirrors public minds.

  • Bashir A. Syed  On June 25, 2011 at 3:42 am

    The bases you call American Bases, all four in Pakistan , belong really to PAKISTAN, and were literally sold to US when after 9/11 U.S. threatened Pakistan at gun point to take them (as part of 7 demands as admitted by Pervez Musharraf in his book, ” IN THE LINE OF FIRE,” mentioned on pages 204 and 205. Self Respecting Pakistanis must DEMAND the returmn of these bases to Paskistan.

    B. Syed

  • Nadeem  On June 25, 2011 at 4:08 am

    YAA,

    Your heart, mind and words are in the right place. This theme needs to be further elaborated and repeated, till it sinks into our national psyche that we need to put our house in order and carry our own cross. We also need to shake off our ‘new’ master, who is out to harm us for its own interests.

  • veracitynow  On June 25, 2011 at 5:09 am

    The US withdrawal from Afghanistan will eliminate the biggest transgression of Pakistani sovereignty, the US drone attacks and black ops.

    For so long as American neo-colonialism had continued its so called “war on terror” inside Pakistan, their neo-fascism had denied Pakistan the one thing that has kept Pakistan united all these years – Islam.

    The American bias has made the pseudo secular state of Pakistan her illogical goal and consequently once the US is gone, Pakistan is free to decide whether to reintegrate Islam back into the government more openly.

    The Imperial US has let itself become more hindrance rather than help with regards to the prosperity, progress and stability of Pakistan by supporting her patsies to carry out terror attacks on innocent civilians inside Pakistan (Raymond Davis episode) thus parts of Pakistan are now said to be the virtual headquarters of the US created and financed terror organizations.

    The US does not want to admit that its long military engagement in Afghanistan has been a disaster of monumental proportions in strategic, economic and political realms. Strategically, it has seriously damaged its ally; Pakistan by putting forward plausible schemes and the use of unscrupulous trickery to defraud Pakistanis to secure empire’s future energy needs (Balochistan).

    As the U.S. looks ahead to its “phased” withdrawal from Afghanistan, even more attention will be directed toward Pakistan, as Obama administration officials say ”al-Qaida and its allies are still plotting attacks against the West”

    Since Pakistan effectively blocks American troops inside the country and has been a reluctant ally in targeting those the U.S. perceives as a threat, Washington has increasingly relied on illegal covert CIA drone missile strikes inside Pakistan, the future of the drone attacks in Pakistan could be threatened by pervasive anti-American sentiment and anger, thus Afghanistan could become a new significance for the U.S. as a base to launch illegal attacks against neighboring Pakistan.

  • Nawaz Ansari  On June 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

    The US withdrawal from Afghanistan will eliminate the biggest transgression of Pakistani sovereignty, the US drone attacks and black ops.

    For so long as American neo-colonialism had continued its so called “war on terror” inside Pakistan, their neo-fascism had denied Pakistan the one thing that has kept Pakistan united all these years – Islam.

    The American bias has made the pseudo secular state of Pakistan her illogical goal and consequently once the US is gone, Pakistan is free to decide whether to reintegrate Islam back into the government more openly.

    The Imperial US has let itself become more hindrance rather than help with regards to the prosperity, progress and stability of Pakistan by supporting her patsies to carry out terror attacks on innocent civilians inside Pakistan (Raymond Davis episode) thus parts of Pakistan are now said to be the virtual headquarters of the US created and financed terror organizations.

    The US does not want to admit that its long military engagement in Afghanistan has been a disaster of monumental proportions in strategic, economic and political realms. Strategically, it has seriously damaged its ally; Pakistan by putting forward plausible schemes and the use of unscrupulous trickery to defraud Pakistanis to secure empire’s future energy needs (Balochistan).

    As the U.S. looks ahead to its “phased” withdrawal from Afghanistan, even more attention will be directed toward Pakistan, as Obama administration officials say ”al-Qaida and its allies are still plotting attacks against the West”

    Since Pakistan effectively blocks American troops inside the country and has been a reluctant ally in targeting those the U.S. perceives as a threat, Washington has increasingly relied on illegal covert CIA drone missile strikes inside Pakistan, the future of the drone attacks in Pakistan could be threatened by pervasive anti-American sentiment and anger, thus Afghanistan could become a new significance for the U.S. as a base to launch illegal attacks against neighboring Pakistan.

    • Yasmeen Ali  On June 25, 2011 at 5:50 am

      Nawaz Ansari
      Withdrawal of 30000 will have NO impact. Actually I think that the drawdown will be barely noticeable. There are really some 240,000 western fighters in Afghanistan, remember, counting the 40,000 Europeans, and the 100,000 or so mercenaries paid by the US. Even if all the Europeans leave, and 35,000 Americans by the end of NEXT year, that still leaves 165,000 armed Americans and paid US mercenaries, which is a huge occupation army, and a reduction of only 31%.

  • Sqn Ldr S.Ausaf Husain (Retd)  On June 25, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Currently, America’s most immediate challenges are Afghanistan and Pakistan. Inthe background, in Washington’s power corridors, it is oil and not alQaeda. Oil is running out fast, it is threatening to knock America off
    the global leadership. The remaining oil, including new reserves, lie
    in other people’s lands, closure to China, Russia, Europe and other
    powers. America’s global supremacy rests on easy access to oil. If
    someone else gets that oil, America loses.
    General Ziaul Haque during his 11 years’ rule in Pakistan imposed a
    version of Islam that did not fully convince people because of the way
    it was imposed. But unfortunately it was supported by the US which
    wanted jihadis to fight and expel the invading Soviet Union from
    Afghanistan. The US achieved in its mission as jihadis succeeded in
    pushing out Soviets from Afghanistan. Gen Zia was hailed for liberating
    Afghanistan. But the ugly legacy left by him made not only Pakistan but
    the entire world to pay a heavy price.
    The Taliban government in Afghanistan was not an enemy of America. Its
    removal from Afghanistan was decided much before 9/11. But Taliban fell
    out of favour because they put terms and conditions on the pipelines
    that America oil giants planned to construct on Afghan territory.
    Pakistan was and continued to be the next target. Pakistan has to be
    subdued in order for America to secure Pakistani land route from the
    sea to Afghan border. US military intervention in the so-called war on
    terror inside Pakistan is also softening up the country through regular
    drone attacks. Similarly, instability in Balochistan disturbs Iran’s
    plan to lay down pipelines to Pakistan and beyond and also destroying
    China’s chances of using Gwadar port overlooking oil-rich Gulf, to dock
    its merchant and naval ships. Pakistan believes the U.S. is
    highly-likely to begin withdrawing, as Obama has announced, in July
    2011, which they believe will cause Afghanistan to descend further into
    chaos. Pakistan worries that President Barack Obama’s promise to start
    reducing U.S. troops in Afghanistan come July will lead to anarchy and
    civil conflict next door, and it is retaining proxies that it can use
    to ensure that its top goal in Afghanistan — keeping India out — can be
    accomplished come what may.
    When NATO allies volunteered military units to assist the United States
    in rooting out Al-Qaeda’s infrastructure in Afghanistan after 9/11,
    they figured they’d be home in a few months. Had their governments
    known that their troops would be in Afghanistan for a decade, they
    would have stayed home. The war on terror against terrorism in Pakistan
    has completed almost 10 years in which thousands have been killed and
    millions have been displaced yet the US is still pressing Pakistan to
    do more. Many believe that by disengaging US-led war on terror peace
    will be restored in Pakistan. But other factors feeding into this
    equation include the fragile post-flood economic and political state of
    Pakistan; the civilian government which appears ready to collapse also
    cannot afford to risk billions in U.S. aid at a time like this.
    Unfortunately, Pakistan has been dragged into a dangerous whirlpool of
    so-called US-led ‘war on terror’ which over time has become ‘War of
    terror’ from which it seems almost impossible to come out unless the US
    interests are met in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the United States is
    drama. Its impact on Pakistan are presently unpredictable. According to
    a report published in the International Herald Tribune on June 24,
    under the caption ‘U.S. thinking emphasizes new role for Afghanistan’,
    that ” Just shy of 10 years later, President Barack Obama’s
    announcement on Wednesday night ( June 24) that he was beginning the
    long-anticipated withdrawal from Afghanistan marked another step in the
    gradual reversal of that calculus. Though the president could not say
    so directly, one of the constraints on America’s retreat from a hard
    and bloody decade is the recognition that, more than ever, the United
    States will be relying on Afghanistan’s help to deal with the threats
    emerging from Pakistan. Yet Pakistan’s angry reaction to the Bin laden
    raid also makes it more urgent than ever that the United States
    maintain sites outside the country to launch drone and commando raids
    against the militant networks that remain in Pakistan , and to make
    sure that Pakistan’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal never falls into wrong hands”.

    So by playing the drama of withdrawal president Barack Obama has kept the triumph card with him. Hence, impact on Pakistan is quite clear that US troops will come back soon not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan.

  • Admiral Sirohey  On June 25, 2011 at 6:31 am

    While there may not be material effect on Pakistan by the withdrawal of 30,000 troops during the next year or so. It will correspondingly reduce the logistic needs of ISAF. However the return route will only be through Pakistan. The coalition forces traffic has ruined our roads and highways that will take years and billions of $ to repair. To remake one highway another highway has to be built for diversion. As far as I know this aspect has not been catered for in compensation clause. H Clinton has indicated reduction in Aid ( there has not been any) otherwise also all that has been given was used to fight a war that had never been of Pakistan. Pakistan has been sold cheap by every ruler of this country. This time it has been sold along with our ideology, dignity, honour and sovereignty. It has to be made good through their withdrawal. It should be aired in the NA and PAs of PK,PU. , and Sindh. There should be increase in demand for providing the Security of the Convoys. Each province shall demand its charges directly before the passage.

    We should adopt the language of the world on economic matters. There should no hesitation in dealing in a manner that protects our national interest. The charges for the remaining period of their stay for logistic support should be changed as determined at the time of transit. It should be increased keeping the inflation in view. In other words the damage of about 100 bn $ to our economy has to be made good to a reasonable extend. Accept no aid.

    The presence of US forces in Afghanistan after 2014 will continue. Mr Obama will no more be under pressure to do anything if he gets re elected if not then new incumbent may be pressurized by the American Public.

    In our case there has to be change in the policy, keeping China, Iran, India and emerging Afghanistan in the fore view. The present Compensation has proven its incompetence in every respect. Therefore its replacement is essential to do what I have proposed above. It can be done by immediate elections by an interim GOVT that should place all the required machinery in place to ensure fair election and mechanism to carry out quick and across the accountability. The opposition political parties and the media should do this favour to the suffering masses of the country.

    IAS

  • John Bose  On June 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I do not blame USA to draw the troops from Afghanistan in Pakistani news media they always print a false news about USA for an example if Talabans or Alqaida kills people in Afghanistan or in Pakistan pakistani news media will print the news lightly but if Doran attack in Pakistan or in Afghanistan and unfortunately some civilans got killed Pakistani news media print this news as a head line and Our Pakistani Muhllahs will give statments against the USA but these stupid Muhllahs wont say any thing against Talabans or Alqaida There is no use to have USA sodier get kill with no rewards so far Pakistan or Afgahnistan did not appearciate USA army Soldier Sacrifice for them, I will see if any of the country come forward to appearciate the Nato Or USA for their Sacrifies for Afghani or Pakistani People safety
    thanks John

  • siddiqui my  On June 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I think we are unduly obssesed with the US withdrawl and its dynamics…….we are merely audience and not the producer or director or actors. So let us cool it. US is involved in Big Game and we are too puny to interfere in it or affect it in any significent way. What is to happen will happen !
    Let us confine ourselves to what is within our reach ie ourselves and our immediate family and friends ( may be ). If this chain can be created then all should and would be well. It is like a big flood coming; one cannot stop it and wailing will not help but one must either strengthen the walls and roofs or take safety measures.
    What is in our power ? can any one of us on this blog can affect the march of events happening or likely to happen ? I am not being cynical !criticism comes easy but action is difficult….we criticise the society an abstract body….but do not look into ourselves as if we are outside the society ? It is something alien !
    Look at yourself., your conduct, your behaviour and look at your family, your child……………are you really better than others ? at home; within close and extended family and neighbours and friends; in the office: do you do days work diligently and honestly; are you kind and just to others……………it is you and I and him and they who make up what are WE !!
    Do the Americans, Europeans, Chinese or Japanese and Malayasians etc have different anatomy : two brains or something ?
    I have been reading here about the New Islam, old Islam,Turkish Islam and Pakistani Islam etc etc……….that is funny if not really tragic; there is ONLY ONE Islam as for as I know; there is ONLY ONE Quran and Only One Prophet Mohammad for us……but do we read the Quran the way one reads ones Law manual or Grey’s Anatomy ? or is it mosly hearsay and ignorance ? Any malpractice is not the fault of Islam; if one bashes a BMW against the wall it is not the fault of the car…
    Let us look into ourselves before we go shooting the others and for God’s sake take some positive actions even if it is ensuring the street is clean !! or I get to my office on time………….
    My request is we drop curtain on US policy in the region; it is beyond us and we are not even spectators. I am confident peoples who are charged with the matters are competent and qualified enough to deal with it; I have no grounds to doubt their competence and integrity and patriotism any less than mine or yours !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My apologies if I stepped on anyone’s toes
    Thank you and God bless you all; sleep well; I am sure nohing will happen to affect our health.

  • Minhaj  On June 26, 2011 at 4:03 am

    YAA,
    In my opinion, withdrawal is just a ploy to satisfy the demands from the American public and to score for the elections. Pls. remember that the target is Pakistan and they need fresh American troops to be ready to be deployed.
    MQ

  • Yasmeen Ali  On June 26, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Sir
    Not only that but the pressure to divert funds from foreign wars for the American people is immense.
    Pentagon has spent over $ 1 trillion in wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Still, the $1 trillion does not include about $95 billion in funds appropriated but still to put on contract or paid to personnel to cover operational costs over the rest of the fiscal year as well as procurement of replacement weapons systems and construction that take years to spend, said Amy Belasco, a Congressional Research Service budget expert.It also does not include about $100 billion the Pentagon excludes as not ‘war-related,’ such as intelligence, Belasco said. Nor does it include long-term costs for Veterans Administration care, disability costs for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, or all reconstruction funding for the war- damaged countries.
    YAA

  • siddiqui my  On June 26, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Dear Ms YAA,
    well, the americans have been printing dollar notes for decades now and printing few more trillions are of no concern as long as their might is right…………………..
    Ever since I first went to USA as a young officer and to this day I am convinced ( may be I am stupid ! ) that USA is a military state…it has always been so, ever since the days of george Washington, to this day…democracy is just a fine gimmick and window dressing to fool people…. Do you know US Army has a special school where they teach their officers how to “run govts”…..even Eisenhower bemoaned “Military-Industrial complex”……Remember ?????
    So Ms YAA, “they” will get all the money they want and need….you just watch…they will get it all !!!!!!!
    So pl let us move to some pleasant topics…..
    Good luck if you all wish to persist; I say good bye to this subject
    Thank you

    siddiqui my

    PS: is it by chance quiet a few of our Army Chiefs have been class mates of US chiefs of armed forces ?? somebody should do a little research work !!

  • S. Cadri  On June 26, 2011 at 8:45 am

    No Sir I don’t think we must suffer from this paronia created by some Conspiracy Theorists (CTs) unable to comprehend the world issues they come up with these CTs. I sincerely think we must look beyond CTs.

  • Nawaz Ansari  On June 27, 2011 at 8:14 am

    ^Yasmeen Ali

    Sure as shooting, yet another American facade in the face of an unpopular war and an upcoming re-election campaign, this withdrawal sure seems to be a politically motivated stunt on part of the Obama administration.

  • Zubair  On June 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    YAA
    A fair assessment of the situation. Who says the Americans will be withdrawing? In any case the rulers in Afghanistan are happy to have the US there. wWthout the US, the Karzai mafia wouldn’t last a day. As far as we are concerned, our rulers have been bending so low for so long that it hard to imagine how they are ever gong to stand. Those of our forefathers who watered this land with their blood are long gone and the subsequent rulers made sure that no blood line of those fine human beings remains in this land. The present rulers are the ones who took no part in creating Pakistan but have popped up to reap the benefits of independence. If ever there was a time for our rulers to stand up and face the devil, this is it. Personally I have a strong feeling that they will let us down again. As things go, they are on the right track to win elections again—–unless a miracle takes place.
    Zubair

  • Khan  On May 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Don’t compare Taliban with Prostitutes :-S,, they are Muslims and fighting for Islam, they are freedom fighters, fighting for their country against the evil power (USA). You should use any other proverb for our Muslim brothers rather than comparing them with the PROSTITUTES.

  • Khalid Rahim  On March 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Afghanistan is a ”Strategic Pivot ” in the greater interest of Uncle Sam. With six nations bordering Afghanistan each containing specific geo-political and socio-economic impact upon the US market. Therefore this so called withdrawl in 2014 will be a hogwash, more like making us play the blindman buff when we already are no better then the ostriches with our heads entrenched in the sand dunes. If we look at the map of Iraq she too is a strategic pivot surrounded by six nations and they impact the geo-political/socio-economic policies of both Israel and US. It will now depend on the new leadership of Pakistan they manoeuvre the ship through the turbulent and murky waters ensuring that we are not torpedoed.

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