General Kayani’s Calculus

By: Michael Hughes  

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’s army chief, certainly holds all the cards with respect to regional security in Central Asia, which is why the General occupies the 29th position on Forbes’s annual list of the world’s most powerful people.  But, as Michael O’Hanlon alluded to in a Foreign Policyarticle on Monday, the U.S. doesn’t have any idea how Kayani is going to use that power because after nine years of war, Americans still aren’t sure if Pakistan is with us or against us.

O’Hanlon also clearly lays out how the three major Afghan insurgent groups have sanctuaries in Pakistan that are generally beyond NATO’s reach:

Pakistan tolerates sanctuaries on its soil for the major insurgencies fighting in Afghanistan. These include the Afghan Taliban (otherwise known as the Quetta Shura Taliban because its principle base remains in Quetta in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan) as well as the Haqqani and Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HiG) networks. The Haqqanis straddle the border between the Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia, and Paktika as well as North Waziristan and other tribal areas within Pakistan; HiG is further north, operating in and around the Khyber Pass connecting Kabul and Jalalabad in Afghanistan with Peshawar and points east in Pakistan.

Since the war began in 2001 the U.S. has asked Pakistan to attack these safe havens, however, Kayani maintains that his forces are too bogged down fighting the Pakistani Taliban in other provinces.  As an Afghan intelligence analystassessed for me back in July:

The Pakistan army consists of 500,000 active duty troops and another 500,000 on reserve. If Pakistan truly wanted to capture the Haqqani Network they would be able to drag them out of their caves by their beards within a few days.

The operating term being wanted, because although many believe Pakistan could root-out the extremist leaders of these networks, there currently isn’t enough incentive to do so.  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.  O’Hanlon provides insight into Pakistan’s strategic thinking:

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.

Pakistan would rather have the Taliban and the Haqqanis back in power, especially in the country’s south and east, than any group like the former Northern Alliance, which it views as too close to New Delhi.

It is this strategic calculation, more than constrained Pakistani resources, that constitutes Obama’s main challenge in Afghanistan. And it could cost him the war.

The question for the ages then becomes: what will it take to influence the General’s calculus and get him to attack the Haqqanis and the Quetta Shura?  The author suggests Obama should make certain that Pakistan is confident that the U.S. will not abandon the region, and believes Obama should get creative and offer Pakistan free trade and civilian nuclear deals as the ultimate carrots.

This approach can work, but is dependent on the trust factor on two fronts:  the U.S. building trust with Kayani, while Pakistan and India repair or at least work towards improving their trust deficit. Other factors feeding into this equation include the fragile post-flood economic and political state of Pakistan, highlighted by elites starting to demand that Kayani intervene to shake-up the civilian government which appears ready to collapse.  Kayani also cannot afford to risk billions in U.S. aid at a time like this.

Ideological fear cannot be underestimated, however, because Pakistan might be dead-set on controlling southern and eastern Afghanistan – not only for purposes of strategic depth against India – but concern that traditional Pashtun leadership in those areas strongly reject the Durand Line and support the formation of a ‘Pashtunistan’.  Hence, Kayani might cling to Haqqani as an asset at what seems like any cost.

(Michael Hughes is a journalist and foreign policy strategist for the New World Strategies Coalition (NWSC), a think tank founded by Afghan natives focused on developing political, economic and cultural solutions for Afghanistan. Mr. Hughes writes regularly for The Huffington Post and his work has appeared in and Ruse the magazine. Michael graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in History).

NOTE:This is a cross post from


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  • Salman Abbasy  On November 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Ashfaq Pervez Kayani appears to be that rare bird – a thoroughly professional army chief. Keeping India out of Afghanistan is necessary to prevent the opening of a second hostile front. That’s basic strategy taught at every military academy in the world. The Americans do not inspire trust themselves. President Obama’s recent utterances designed to please his hosts in India simply served to reinforce Pakistani suspicions about American intentions.

  • Rafiq Mian  On November 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    War is an ugly and dirty game as we all know. Very few stake holders have truly come out of it as substantial victors. At times: Japan, Germany, Singapore are victors even though having been subjected to total-elimination.

    Theorizing about the stakeholders motives is equally in-deterministic. A determination in that regard even though having been made correctly one moment straight up – is likely to have been changed the next. And, for good reasons.

    Then wars in the likes of Afghanistan and the reaction of the protagonist’s thereunto are even super in-deterministic.

    Such has been the operational routines we have witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan and I hope not in Yemen – Gosh it is just almost ten years of us having been in this madness.

    Is Mr. Kyani that smart? Hey he is keeping his job – in twister upon twister infested governing order of our papa land. No, he stands out as an upright and forthright individual. As far as I am concerned, I will give him Swat. Beyond that, I do not know. Swat too – he must keep.

    I do seriously however expect that he should drop a few words “invitation unto sanity” in the ears of our government runners.

    The war entrusted upon Keyani, I don’t for sure know about its true handling routine, but I think cannot be speeded up. On one hand you have collator consequences and on the other you have loss of hindsight knowledge vis-à-vis your operations just completed. Remember – he is operating in his own country. He can not be brutal.

    So, help us Allah!

  • Michael Huighes  On November 11, 2010 at 3:33 am

    I was discussing General Kayani with a U.S. foreign policy expert earlier today, and among many within the West (save the neocons), he has garnered quite a bit of respect as an individual. I agree he seems both professional and upright. What strikes me the most is that supposedly many within Pakistan’s elites – the more noble of them at least – have been begging Kayani to intervene and do something about the mess the civilian government has made. It seems that the typical power-hungry military type would have taken power by now, but Kayani seems to have enough humility and wisdom to refrain from acting hastily.

    The truth is, we in the West can hardly blame Kayani for protecting and/or passively tolerating the Haqqanis and Quetta Shura. U.S. policy is so incoherent, how could one not hedge?

  • Zafar Akhtar  On November 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Atleast some in USA understands the ground realities.
    Zafar Akhtar

  • FM  On November 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

    o comments except that when Pakistan will be left high and dry to fight the menace alone: That will be the time when all theories will go for a six. We are committing our cards on Haqani will it be anti productive as time will pass is a big question.
    There will never be peace in Afghanistan and resultantly in FATA. Are we running after a Farce in chase of peace in FATA and Pakistan or in Afghanistan alone or none???

  • Major Shahid Rehman  On November 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm


  • Sarwar Sukhera  On November 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    There is nothing new here in this article. It’s common knowledge, man. Just look at Obama courting India and ignoring Pakistan. All Pakistan gets is the drone attacks. Keyani is right in having the reservations. USA is a super power for God’s sake. They have a million ‘Think? Tanks’ too. I only wish they had some common sense as well. If they had then they wouldn’t have to lose wars everywhere and end up asking Hollywood to do on screen what they couldn’t on the battlefields. Why does it not sink in that they are not liked (hated, in some cases) the world over — including countries like Britain and Canada? Is their intelligentsia on drugs or something?

  • Bajwa  On November 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    US media and think tanks forget one thing. What is US up to in Afghanistan in the long run. If they are going to pack up and go then Russia, China or Iran or combination thereof would move in. India is handicapped because they don’t have a common border with Afghanistan. Allies in war don’t always follow the same tactics. During the second world war Churchill wanted to open a Balkan front but Roosevelt did not accept it. Differences among allies are quite common. That at least is the lesson of history.

    Pakistan is got into ambivalent policy towards the Pashtoons and has never fully addressed it.Bacha Khan had a view.Ayub Khan never said: look most of us live in Pakistan so why don’t let the rest join us. He or his followers never encouraged Tajikistan to grab the Durri speaking regions or to look towards Dushambe.

    From Pakistanis you only hear that Durand line should be recognized by Afghanistan. If you tell the Foreign Office people that Durand line at points does follow the real boundary they change the subject. If you tell the Afghan intellectuals that in a revived Abdali empire Punjabi would be the dominant ethnic group, they change the subject.

    Americans, Afghans and Pakistanis have ” zones of silence” in their strategic policies that they are not willing to explode. So one can only watch how the events would unfold.


  • Javed Chaudhry  On November 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Afghan policy is not the only area where Pakistan has demonstrated confusion and ambivalence. Pakistan, in its 6 decade history has been ruled by incompetent rulers one after the other. None had insight into the realities of the world, none took a step towards nation building. They took control only for personal gains or to satisfy their egoistic whims.

    The present bunch in power is directly installed by the US and this bunch is least interested in what may happen to the country in the long run. Unfortunately now, as a consequence of Musharraf’s wrong policies and the American geopolitical interest in the region, the Pak army has become a rental tool for the Americans. Overall, the country is only digging its hole deeper. It may never come out of that hole – certainly not under the direction of the lot that is in power today and I do not see any one in the opposition with an iota of intelligence or plans for recovery when and if they get into the office.

    The Durand line and the Pashtoons on the east side of the line is, of course, many of the British Raj related problems that Pakistan had inherited, but the real concern is that none of the problems have been tackled in a professional way. As a result the problems have been multiplying, so has the population, but nothing has been done to improve the economy.

    Pakistan has been a rudderless boat for a very long time. Today, the poor economic conditions, lack of acceptable level of employment opportunities, dwindling businesses, the participation into the American wars (thanks to Musharraf’s lack of insight into every thing he touched), serious shortage of electrical power and food – the country has been turned into one big mass of hungry and frustrated people with dog eat dog mentality.

    A natural question here is what can be done or what must be done to save the country? The very first thing that needs to be done is, get rid of the current government. The second thing is, do not vote for any one who has been in the politics at any time in the past or at present. Get new, highly educated technocrats, intelligent, patriotic people who do not belong to any of the vaderas, jageerdar, Sirdars, feudal or a rich class – they work only for themselves. When push comes to shove, they will go to their personal heavens they have created in foreign countries by bilking the poor Pakistanis.


    • Bajwa  On November 12, 2010 at 3:54 am

      For those who have ruled Pakistan since the beginning it is pretty standard policy.For those outside the loop it might be rudderless.The right wing provided support to Zia in extending help to Americans in their intervention in Afghanistan. Neither Zia nor US had the courage to go into Afghanistan to fight the Russians. They could have at least taken over the regions occupied by the Pashtoons and settle for division on the Yugoslav pattern. Both Zia and US tried a soft option and are now paying for it through their nose.

      Akber just starved the Afghans to submission, Shah Jehan bribed them into cooperation. Earlier Mongols just crushed them.They were all pretty clear about what they wanted.So should be “Pakistan”. Pakistanis just don’t have the courage to think boldly or imperially.All you hear is it is very complex.Strategic policy or management is supposed to be “Gordian knots”. You should have the courage to cut them.


      • Javed Chaudhry  On November 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

        A standard policy or not, what needs to be assessed at the end of the day is what was accomplished in the interest of the country. What may appear as the standard policy is in fact, ‘no policy’ at all. A policy refers to a plan for a set of actions based upon a set of values representing an ideology to achieve a measureable and a desirable goal. The point that I have tried to make was no progress has been made by any military ruler or the civilian government. The standard of their governance seems to be going down with time, the current government being the most pathetic by any standards when compared to any of the previous governing bunch.

        The current government is perhaps the first in being the ‘Washington installed’ government in par with Karzai and Maliki governments in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively. The joke is that all three governments are shamelessly presented as the elected governments. What useful policy or a ‘good deed’ can possibly be expected from any of these compradors? In the past, the rulers have been only incompetent, but now they are incompetent as well as unpatriotic, hence, there is no end to the miseries for ordinary people in the country.

        The real concern is that they have no policy or plan of their own, it comes from Washington as a dictate.


  • Nasim Hassan  On November 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    If occupation of another country can be justified then calculus of Kayani is also correct.

    Every person with a little brain knows that Pakistan cannot change its geography. Pakistan and Afghanistan have lived for centuries and Pashtuns have long memories.

    The seed of animosity that are being sowed now will grow into mighty trees and years will pass before the people can become friends again.

    Nasim Hassan

  • Qamar Iqbal  On November 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    The route US is asking pose huge threat to Pakistan’s security and stability. If US cause is simply to make sure that Afghanistan and bordering areas of Pakistan do not provide safe heavens to groups such as Al-Quida then US should support Pakistan’s strategy. An Afghanistan which is friendly to Pakistan is more likely to offer security to the US, then an Afghanistan where Pakistan and India will be fighting to establish their influence and current US strategy apparently is to make India as her policeman in Afghanistan. That could never be accepted, at any cost, by Pakistan and many Pushtoon groups in Afghanistan. No matter what carrot and stick is used by the US. Pakistan is a cuntry, a nation of 180 million paeople, the entire nation completely side with the army and the government on a broder approach being followed. US should not treat Pakistan as some small hostile group which can be lured into settlement by using carrot and stick approach. US needs a wise friednly approach respecting Paksitan’s political and economic security.

    Best strategy for the US is to trust Pakistan’s sincerity as a friend, rather than cutting a double deal with India. Provide Pakistan with civilian socio-econimc development and security grants, generous and unconditional, at least as much as US does for Israel. Then within short period NATO/US armies can leave happily, and the region will have the most stability someone can expect from Afghanistan.

    M. Qamar Iqbal

  • Haidre  On November 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Of course Pakistan would never like America to leave behind our enemy, India, in control in Afghanistan. However, one important point the author of this article has ignored is the root cause of Indo-Pak enmity, that is Kashmir. Till such time this problem is not solved Pakistan will remain sensitive to whatever India does anywhere in the region.
    If and when Kashmir is settled and the two countries become peaceful neighbors, there should be no reason why Pakistan should mind India helping rebuild Afghanistan. But as it is, presently Indian presence in Afghanistan is being viewed here as an effort at encirclement of Pakistan rather than rebuilding of that country.

    • Yasmeen Ali  On November 12, 2010 at 8:55 am

      Well said Haidre.The crux of the problem!

  • S U Turkman  On November 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Sounds like, the writer does not believe Pakistan Army is backstabbing USA and the
    West through Taliban. May I ask, why Pakistan does not want India’s influence in Afghanistan?
    * Is Afghanistan a Province of Pakistan that should not have any relations with other countries without approval of Pakistan Army?
    * Why should Afghanistan be allowed to be a free country instead of being ruled by Pakistanis, the Pak Army Mercenaries called Taliban like they were for 5 years before US Invasion?
    Mr. Abbasy, what new War Front are you talking about? When has Afghanistan attacked Pakistan in last 63 of her existence that an independent Afghanistan would open up a new Front now just because she would have relations with India?
    Has India attacked through Afghanistan before in last 63 years that her influence in Afghanistan is so detrimental of existence of Pakistan?
    Mr. Mian, which war are you talking about?
    If Sneak Attack Terrorism of Pak Army Mercenaries, the Taliban and other JehaaDi Groups, who have killed only 2000 Foreign Troops in Afghanistan but have killed 40,000 Pakistanis and Afghans since 2004 is war then, actually they are at war with Moslims in disguise of war with the USA and Troops of 56 nations of the world. If USA had thought those Sneak Attack Terrorist Attacks really meant that they were at war with the world, USA would have already nuked them and bombed to Stone Age their backer, Pak Army.
    Mr. Huighes (a Fake name that I never heard before), I guess, you think, job of USA and the West is to just keep sending Charity of billions of dollars worth of Weapons to Pak Army to fight Taliban and Gen. Keyani’s job is to keep making excuses and begging for more. Very strange Logic.
    Mr. Rehman is screaming that USA is Afghanistan to take over Natural Resources of Central Asia but could he explain, when has USA done this in her history?
    He thinks, USA is just like Pakistan, who has been stealing Natural Gas of her Occupied State of Baluchistan and other States in northern areas for decades. He has a Very limited 16th Century brain.
    Mr. SUKHERA, if USA had enough brain, …
    * … she would have already bombed the shit out of back-stabbing Pak Army.
    * … she would not be the biggest Debtor Nation of the world.
    * … there would be no Economic Crisis in USA and shortage of jobs.
    Mr. SUKHERA wrote: “Just look at Obama courting India and ignoring Pakistan”
    TURKMAN: So, he wants Obama not to increase her export to India to earn tens of billions, when India pays cash and USA should keep bashing India for a Beggar Country, Pakistan living off her Charity since 1953 and Loans since 1955. Do you know, India pays cash for $ 30 to 40 billion imports from USA every year, while Pakistan imports less and exports more earning Foreign Exchange from USA every year? (FACTS: Pak Exports to USA $ 4 billion. Imports from USA $ 2 billion. India $ 35 billion)
    Mr. SUKHERA wrote: “All Pakistan gets is the drone attacks”
    TURKMAN: FACT: Pakistan, 3rd largest US Aid Receipent after Israel and Egypt.
    * Who got billions in Defense Charity and other Aid Charity?
    * Who’s Army was built from level of 16 Tanks to present level by USA?
    * Who’s Military Bases were built by USA in 1950’s and 60’s?
    * Who has been living off US Aid since 1953 and US Loans since 1955?
    * Who has been helped so much that her GDP, Per Capita Income and Export more than doubled in just 5 years after 2001 and Per Capita became higher than India’s? Not Pakistan?
    * What has USA ever done for India since last 63 years?
    * Is Pakistan getting Drone Attacks or the Taliban Terrorists?
    * Is this not happening because Pak Army is letting Pak Land used to attack troops of USA and 56 other countries or not?
    * How come half million Pak Troops can not control 10,000 Taliban if Pak Army is not behind them?
    How thankless can Pak Army and Pakis can be?
    Does not Allah see all this?
    JAVED Chaudhry wrote: “The present bunch in power is directly installed by the US and this bunch is least interested in what may happen to the country in the long run”
    TURKMAN: I guess, he was asleep, when Pakistanis were voting the ‘present bunch’ to power in this Army Staged Democracy, where un-elected Army Generals have Veto Power over Elected Government but he can not see that since he is wearing Army-gifted Goggles.
    JAVED wrote: “… Pak army has become a rental tool for the Americans”
    TURKMAN: Yeah a Tool that keeps bleeding USA instead of working. He doesn’t explain, why Pak Army does not refuse to be a Tool of USA and declares war at USA instead of keep begging for more and more Charity of Weapons in the name of taking care of Taliban that she instead actually finances, trains, arms and infiltrates in to Afghanistan to kill Americans. By accusing USA for Geopolitical Interests, he is also accusing USA that she has invaded Afghanistan to take over Natural Resources of Central Asia since this is what his own Pakistan does. If that’s true, should he tell me, why has not USA invaded Qatar, a country of 800,000 people that has more Oil and Gas than all the countries north of Afghanistan combined, instead?
    JAVED wrote: “The Durand line and the Pashtoons on the east side of the line is, of course, many of the British Raj related problems that Pakistan had inherited, but the real concern is that none of the problems have been tackled in a professional way”
    TURKMAN: So, what would have been the ‘Professional Way’? Pak Army take over of Afghanistan in 1947 just like take-over NWF Province of British Raj that should have gone back to Afghanistan?
    * Was NWF Province also gifted to Mr. Jinnah?
    * Was Durand Line on land that British had given to Mr. Jinnah causing it became Pakistan’s ‘inherited problem’?
    * Has not Pakistan been occupying areas that belong to Afghanistan 100 miles north of Islamabad according to Durand Line that Pakistan wants make her permanent Border?
    I guess, this Kid does not know facts and History of Pakistan but believes in giving his foolish opinions about it. He also thinks, Musharraf had lack of insight that he saved Pak Army from US attack in 2001. I agree, Musharraf should have let USA bomb his Army to free Pakistanis from Army Rule because Pak Army and most of charaterless Pakistanis are so thankless of him.
    JAVED wrote: “The very first thing that needs to be done is, get rid of the current government”.
    TURKMAN: Right, because Pak Army does not like it since it wants good relations with India and end of Taliban and JehaaDi Groups. Good relations would India would end reason and logic in minds of Pakistanis to keep letting it swallow half to 3/4th of their Budget every year for decades in the name of keeping it strong to defend against India, it never can. People have to help Army do this because Obama had refused to permit Gen. Keyani to get rid of Zardari this last year. Javed is advising Pakistanis to overthrow present Democratically Elected Government in violation of Constitution of Pakistan because this is what Army Generals want. He butters it up by advising that Pakistanis should elect honest new people but he does not explain, how could the ‘new people’ rule independently without his Army interfering in not only Domestic Affairs but also Foreign Affairs of the country?
    NASIM is such an ignorant Kid that he claims ‘Pakistan and Afghanistan have lived in peace for centuries’, when Pakistan did not even exist a century ago and there had been wars between Afghanistan and Ranjit Singh of what is now Pakistan in 1800’s. He had ruled Afghanistan and taken over Afghan city of Peshawar for good in 1834. Before that, Afghans had been invading Indian Sub Continent for centuries and taking our Daughters as Slaves to sell them in Iran and Middle East. He is just trying to rewrite history for us.
    IQBAL writes: “An Afghanistan which is friendly to Pakistan is more likely to offer security to the US, then an Afghanistan where Pakistan and India will be fighting to establish their influence and current US strategy apparently is to make India as her policeman in Afghanistan”
    TURKMAN: So, should USA gift Afghanistan to Pakistanis, the Mercenaries of Pak Army, the Taliban, who hate USA’s guts and had backed Osama so much that US Offer to let him stand trial in a 3rd Moslim Country was rejected by them?
    * In what danger was Pakistan from little Afghanistan, when India had all the influence it had wanted in Afghanistan prior to 1973 revolt in Afghanistan?
    * Were Afghan Terrorists killing 8,000 Pakistanis a year in Pakistan like Army Mercenaries, the Taliban and JehaaDi Groups to let Pak Army have more Charity of Weapons from USA in those days, like now?
    * What should USA do instead of making India become Policeman in the region, when Pak Army keeps playing role of a Criminal despite given 9 years to straighten out its act?
    He wrote: “That could never be accepted, at any cost, by Pakistan and many Pushtoon groups in Afghanistan”
    TURKMAN: How come it was accepted by them, when India had good relations with Afghanistan and Afghanistan was considered her Birth Enemy by Pak Army for decades leading up to 1973 Revolution in Afghanistan?
    * PushToons are only 40% of Afghanistan Population and Pak PushToons hate Taliban, their killers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    * Do not Afghans appreciate India that she has spent her $ 2 billion to build a Highway connecting Kabul to Chah Baagh, Iran and have built Clinics for them?
    * Do not Afghans hate Pakistan because she has always caused Death and Destruction in their country?
    Why are you lying? Is not lying a Basic Sin in Islam?
    IQBAL wrote: “No matter what carrot and stick is used by the US. Pakistan is a cuntry, a nation of 180 million paeople, the entire nation completely side with the army and the government on a broder approach being followed”
    TURKMAN: B.S. Majority of Pakistanis want to live in peace instead of being killed and exploited by Pak Army and its Staged Democracy. They do not share views of Pak Army that thinks, Afghanistan is a Pakistani Province and must be ruled by Pak Army Protege, the Taliban.
    IQBAL wrote: “US needs a wise friednly approach respecting Paksitan’s political and economic security”
    TURKMAN: And what is there that back-stabbing Pakistan would give to USA back that India can’t in return even if she invades Pakistan once again to solve the whole problem once for all times?
    IQBAL wrote: “Provide Pakistan with civilian socio-econimc development and security grants, generous and unconditional, at least as much as US does for Israel”
    TURKMAN: So, Pak Army can keep training Moslim Youth recruited by Mosque Imams all over the world to destroy the West, just like it thinks, it destroyed USSR, right?
    IQBAL wrote: “Then within short period NATO/US armies can leave happily, and the region will have the most stability someone can expect from Afghanistan”
    TURKMAN: Right. Then, Pakistan would not need to train JehaaDis arriving from all over the world. Then, they would be trained by Pak Army deputed to Talibani Afghanistan in complete control of Pakistan just like it was from 1996 to 2001. Good idea. Obama should immediately accept this logic.
    HAIDRE wrote: “Of course Pakistan would never like America to leave behind our enemy, India, in control in Afghanistan”
    TURKMAN: Oh sure, if an independent Afghanistan exists, India would be controlling it just like India is controlling Bangladesh by her Army since 1971, right?
    * When 56% of Pakistanis, now called Bangladeshis are not free for last 39 years, how could be Afghans be free, right?
    * All Pakistanis want Pak Army and its Protege to control Afghanistan like before US Invasion, right?
    * When Pakistanis don’t care, why are you telling Pakistan’s likes or dislikes?
    Oh I forgot. Pakistanis do not own their country. Pak Army does so, the world has to be told, what Pak Army likes as what Pakistan likes. Very simple.
    HAIDRE wrote: “If and when Kashmir is settled and the two countries become peaceful neighbors, there should be no reason why Pakistan should mind India helping rebuild Afghanistan”
    TURKMAN: Have you gotten approval for writing this sentence from ISI?
    So, you think, India should bribe Pakistan by letting her Moslim Kashmiri Citizens become Virtual Slaves of Pak Army Ruled Pakistan just like Kashmiris of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to help Moslims of Afghanistan that you claim then, Pak Army would not object to Indian Influence in Afghanistan.
    Could you tell us, why should India go through this pain on your words, when Pak Army has been proven to be a Liar on World State again and again for years?
    What the hell Pakistan can you do to stop India from invading Pakistan besides begging USA to stop her like Pakistan had in 1965, 1971, 1999 and 2002?
    May Allah help Pakistanis understand, what I have written and put Pakistan on the path to real Democracy, Justice, Civil Liberties, advancement and Progress …!

  • Bajwa  On November 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Mr Javed Chaudhry,
    For the ruling class a standard policy helps to maintain status quo in military as well as economic matters.

    All gov’ts in Pakistan have been Washington installed and Washington maintained. That has been the story from Ayub down to Musharaf.How present gov’t can be an exception. Parameters have not changed.Pakistan remains a junior partner in the American dominated coalition. Even UK or Canada cannot call the shots. The best option for Pakistan is to take a S Korean type of route and develop its economy.

    Pakistani right is confused because they can see the chickens coming home to roost. Taliban have not been able to shake Pakistan economically or politically. It is too big a country with too huge a population.

    Even the poor man is not attracted to Wahabi ideology. They are quite happy with the Data Darbar version.

    Pakistani right is obviously rattled and makes lot of noise on the media and mosques which they dominate.

    • Javed Chaudhry  On November 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm

      To an extent, yes, its true, Washington always had its sticky fingers in the Pakistani pie. But the present regime is truly a unique example and one of the worst example of any past government that the country had the misfortune to have. [consider how BB and AZ met with the Bush administration in 2007 and offered their services to be the better servants than Musharraf could ever be…. How Musharraf had to give in to Washington’s wishes … created NRO and the rest is the history we all know]

      Pakistan chose to be in the American camp in 1947 as the world had become bipolar right after the end of WWII in 1945. India went into the Soviet camp after independence. In many ways, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have become junior partners of the Imperial USA, but their membership in this club is not as insignificant as it is for Pakistan. The responsibility of this, of course, lies with various governments that had ruled Pakistan right from the beginning. I wish Jinnah had been around for a few more years to start a desirable political culture, as did Nehru in India.

      In today’s world, a nation has to earn its respect and importance through its technological and economic progress. Historically, Japan and USA have always been at odds with each other until after WWII, when the things changed dramatically. Japan planned and worked hard to earn a name for itself as a progressive country, developed its industry, manufactured every thing better than any one else and made lots of money for its people out of exports. South Korea is doing the same.

      I do not see any planning being done by the present government and perhaps will have difficulty in finding good examples from the past 60 years as well. The power and water management are two most important factors for industry and agriculture. Pakistan has come down to rental power arrangement and consequently the cost of electric power is so high that it cannot compete in the world market. During the last couple of years, there has been serious shortage of electricity even at the higher cost.

      In his 9 years, Musharraf did not do much in terms of building dams for water storage for agriculture as well as for power generation. The present government is not doing any thing at all either in that area. On top of every other problem, the corruption is at its peak; so much so that, higher the position of an individual in the government, more corrupt they happen to be.

      Regarding the religious intolerance, ethnic problems and all other social tribulations; they are all, in fact, the outcome of lack of education and general disillusionment out of poor economic conditions with no acceptable internal political culture. The handful few feudal families that have run the country so far are neither intelligent enough to take a step for the national progress nor are they bothered about it – they want to serve themselves, their families and friends at the cost of the whole country. I watch on TV every day how the parliamentarians, those in the government as well as in the opposition, defend their inactions and incompetence in every sphere of life. They have not offered a penny’s worth useful service to the country – all they are doing is lining up their own pockets and doing every thing possible to ensure they complete their term. Not that they are in the middle of a useful project for the country, they want to hang on to their offices to stash up a taller heap of the stolen fortune while the sun still shines.

      All I am trying to say is: look at the upper crust of today’s Pakistan and compare with any other half decent country on the globe – do you see any hope for the country without actually removing all these self proclaimed political leaders – in some cases, it’s the third generation of them licking the country.

      If Pakistan has to survive, it will have to remove the term, “the ruling class” from its vocabulary. The country does not need and can no longer support a ruling class. Every job requires its own qualifications and the top political jobs require top notch brains who can coordinate all disciplines and pull the nation together with each province in step with the other, also making sure national assets stay national and do not get transferred into their private foreign bank accounts. Most of those sitting in national or provincial assemblies today, do not belong to a modern government. They are out dated and 1000 years behind times. They get in those offices using their money and fooling the illiterate masses who are brought in by the truck loads to cast their votes as instructed. Pakistan cannot survive with such lot occupying the government higher offices.


  • Adeel Kazi  On November 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    US is not sure whether Pakistan is with them or not, but Pakistan is quite clear that the US is not.
    Any lingering doubts on that were laid to rest with Obama’s visit to India.
    This is really going to be the end of the US as we knew it.
    Exit from Afghanistan, the unnecessary pampering of India, which puts it on a collision course with China and leaving Pakistan high and dry…all gross blunders and all for the sake of gaining popularity back home.
    No different from 1989.
    Who will be the biggest loser here; India. The instability that we will see in the next few years has to flow eastwards as it has over the last 1000 years assisted by the festering wound in Kashmir which New Delhi ignores to its own peril.
    China will watch and help this happen
    And the huge market that the US plans to or will invest in, India, goes down the drain.
    Not that we will be living in complete harmony and peace, but US short-sightedness and arrogance will make this region more volatile than it is right now.

  • S U Turkman  On November 14, 2010 at 12:14 am

    BAJWA wrote:
    “All gov’ts in Pakistan have been Washington installed and maintained …”.
    So, when …
    * … Ayub kicked Americans out and got Pakistan out of SEATO and CENTO, he was being told to do that by USA, right?
    * … Anti USA Gen. Yahya took over, he was ‘installed’ by USA, right?
    * … USA had stopped all Charity of Aid and made Pakistan get Loans tougher, she was ‘maintaining’ him, right?
    * … Army dethroned Yahya and installed Z A Bhutto to hide its face for losing East Pakistan, USA had ‘installed’ Socialist anti USA Bhutto, a friend of China, right?
    * … USA had kept him starving of Charity of Aid and more Loans, USA was ‘maintaining’ him, right?
    * … Gen Zia dethroned Bhutto and became dictator of Pakistan instead of listening to USA and install Air Marshal Asghar Khan, he was actually ‘installed’ by USA, right?
    * … USA was pressuring Gen. Zia to hold fair and free Elections by not giving any more Charity of Aid and much Loans, she was ‘maintaining’ him, right?
    * … Gen. Zia refused to co-operate with JehaaDi Infiltration in Afghanistan, he was working for USA, right?
    * … Gen. Zia had called the money that USA offered for JehaaDi Afghanistan infiltration, ‘Peanuts’, he was working for USA very hard.
    * … Gen. Zia was repeatedly refusing to hold free and fair Elections and was playing games with Democracy, he was really, following US Orders, right?
    * … Benazir had not won fair and free Election in 1988, she was ‘installed’ by USA, right?
    * … Benazir, who had openly criticized USA after being dethroned by Pres. Ghulam
    Ishaq was obedient servant of USA, right?
    * … Nawaz Sharif had won Elections, he was actually ‘installed’ by USA, right?
    * … Nawaz Sharif, a Critic of USA was always following US Orders, right?
    * … USA had ‘installed’ Benazir back despite her nasty criticism of USA, right?
    * … Mutual Friend of NS and Benazir was appointed Interim Prime Minister by their mutual agreement, he was ‘installed’ by USA because he had a US Green Card, right?
    * … Nawaz Sharif, who had refused to take calls from US Pres. Clinton before exploding Nuclear Devices at Chaaghi, was following USA, right?
    * … USA was ‘maintaining’ Benazir by starving her for Charity of Aid and Loans, right?
    * … Pres. Laghari had not dismissed Benazir, it was USA, who had wanted to ‘install’ her critic, Nawaz Sharif again.
    * … USA, who had caused UN Sanctions against Gen. Musharraf’s take over of Pakistan, had actually ‘installed’ him without even his knowledge, right?
    * … USA was pressuring her own installed Gen. Musharraf to announce the exact date of his Departure, USA was maintaining him, right?
    * … Gen. Musharraf was ‘installed’ by USA and this is why, USA was starving him off Foreign Exchange and gotten Pakistan kicked out of Commonwealth, right?
    * … USA forced Gen. Musharraf to hold fair and free Elections, she was ‘maintaining’ him, right?
    * … Pakistanis elected PPP Rule, USA had ‘installed’ Zardari, right?
    * … Gen. Keyani was appointed C-in-C by Gen. Musharraf, he was actually ‘installed’ by USA, right?
    * … Obama refused to give permission to Gen. Keyani to overthrow an Elected PPP Government last year, he was not protecting Pak Constitution, he was ‘maintaining’ Zardari, right?
    Has lying become a part of Islam and is no more a Basic Sin for Savages of Pakistan?

  • S U Turkman  On November 14, 2010 at 12:48 am

    JAVED wrote:
    “Historically, Japan and USA have always been at odds with each other until after WWII, when the things changed dramatically”
    Oh yeah sure they have been just ‘at odds’. Japan had not committed the mistake of Sneak Attacking US Navy at Pearl Harbor destroying 1/4th of US Navy just in few minutes to cause a neutral USA to enter WW II. According to him, Japan was at ‘odds’ with USA though she had surrendered un-conditionally after Atomic Attack and had accepted new Constitution that was written by victorious US General Mc Arthur. He does not know, Japan has not changed so far, 65 years passed by. USA was ‘at odds’ with Japan, when she helped Japan rebuild her Economy after WW II, right? I have no idea, why this Kid has to talk about things, he has no knowledge of?
    He has also called USA ‘Imperial’, when there has been no King or Emperor in USA since 1776 or for 234 years, while Pakistan has been ruled by Nawabs like Liaqat Ali Khan, Gormani, Kala Baagh and rich Aristocratic Elite acting like Imperial Princes and Princesses. He is calling USA Imperial, where son of a Widowed Woman living off State Charity can become President (Clinton). To him a Democracy like USA is Imperial, where Government Charity helped an ordinary son of a Moslim Black African Immigrant Obama, who used to wear-out his Shows on streets of Chicago become Professor of Constitution Law and then become President.
    Could he tell me, which Pak Prime Minister has ever won an Election in Non Imperial Pakistan that was an ordinary person, not one of the Elite?

  • S U Turkman  On November 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

    KAZI wrote:
    “US is not sure whether Pakistan is with them or not, but Pakistan is quite clear that the US is not”
    He is right. Following acts of USA prove that she is not with Pakistan and has never been.
    * US Building Pak Armed forces from the level of 16 Tanks, no Air Force and Navy from 1950’s on for free.
    * Building Military Bases, Air Force Bases, Underground Hangers with Lifts to carry Jet Fighters underground for free.
    * Letting Pakistan to live off Charity of her Aid since 1953 and Loans since 1955.
    * Saving of Pakistan in 1965 by negotiating Cease Fire with USSR.
    * Saving West Pakistan in 1971 by negotiating Cease Fire with USSR again.
    * Saving Pakistan 3rd time in 1999 by negotiating withdrawal of Pak Army from Kargil with India, when Nawaz Sharif came begging.
    * Saving Pakistan 4th time by assuring India that Pakistan would stop infiltrating JehaaDis in 2003 after Indian Parliament Attack.
    * Doubling Pak GDP, Per Capita Income and Export just in 5 years after Musharraf agreed to stop backing Taliban.
    * Keep giving Charity of Aid and Military Aid 9 years after Pakistan has not complied with, what all the Charity she has been receiving.
    KAZI wrote:
    “Any lingering doubts on that were laid to rest with Obama’s visit to India. This is really going to be the end of the US as we knew it”
    Oh sure we all can see, now India is going to loot USA and then attack USA to ‘end’ her.
    KAZI wrote:
    “Exit from Afghanistan, the unnecessary pampering of India, which puts it on a collision course with China and leaving Pakistan high and dry…all gross blunders and all for the sake of gaining popularity back home. No different from 1989”
    Could I ask, why you must comment, when you do not know enough English, sir? Making an Importer India, who pays cash (unlike Pakistan) to buy US Products worth $ 30 to 40 a year, import another $ 40 billion is ‘pampering’ and it puts USA on collision course with China, who benefits from $ 200 to 300 billion worth of Imports by USA and is the Purchaser of half of China’s exports every year? Did anybody tell you China is not at war with India, only Pakistan is? Did anybody tell you USA is not at war with China, where all the factories of USA’s Capitalists are located, making China rich? How is Pakistan going to be ‘left high and dry’ if USA has good relations with India without paying any Black Mail Money that Pakistan has been collecting in the name of fake scare of Taliban Take Over? How long should USA keep paying Beggar Pakistan? 1989? Oh the year USA had stopped paying Charity to Pakistan for Afghan JehaaD against Afghan Communist Government because USSR had announced that it was pulling out of there. Oh sure, you were left ‘high’ on Heroin of JehaaD to conquer Afghanistan and then you did, through your Taliban. ‘Dry’ because USA did not give you any Charity for Kashmir and Afghanistan take over. I understand. Which world do you live in? Open your eyes …! Its not 16th Century.
    KAZI wrote:
    “Who will be the biggest loser here; India”
    Not really because India is not going to war with China and has good relations with her. Do you know, how much China has been helping India in her Agricultural and Economics Projects? I guess, no Pak Newspapers published such a bad news to make you sad.
    KAZI wrote:
    “The instability that we will see in the next few years has to flow eastwards as it has over the last 1000 years assisted by the festering wound in Kashmir which New Delhi ignores to its own peril”
    Yeah but you are not realizing that USA may not care to stop India from ending existence of Pakistan like last 4 times, if Pak Army starts bothering India again so go ahead and tell Pak Army to commit this suicide of creating a havoc in India through your Mercenaries like you have created against USA and Soldiers of 55 other nations including 6 Moslim Nations in Afghanistan. Rush to JunnaT fast and claim your 72 White Virgins and 28 Boys like Pearls …!
    KAZI wrote:
    “China will watch and help this happen”
    TURKMAN: No way. China wants help Karzai against your Pak Mercenaries, the Taliban in Afghanistan if USA leaves. China is dead against Islamic JehaaDis. She does not want to make USA mad and does not give a shit about lying cheating Pak Army. If China had trusted Pak Army, she would not have deployed her own Army in Gilgit to stop ISI from infiltrating JehaaDis in to Western China.
    KAZI wrote:
    “And the huge market that the US plans to or will invest in, India, goes down the drain”
    Why you worry about USA that India, with 4th largest Foreign Exchange Reserves of the world would go down the Drain? Pakistan is already in the Drain. Try to get Pakistan out of that Drain …!
    KAZI wrote:
    “Not that we will be living in complete harmony and peace, but US short-sightedness and arrogance will make this region more volatile than it is right now”
    Sure, sure. Conquering India to gift her to Pakistan would be the real far-sightedness of USA. Not listening to crazy Pakistanis is her arrogance. USA should listen to Pakistani volatile Beggar living off US Charity for decades that has Military Staged Democracy, where no Elected Government has ever completed its Term, where its Army Mercenaries are killing 8,000 Pakistanis and 4,000 Afghans a year, attacking Soldiers of 56 countries in Afghanistan and are causing Sneak Attack Terrorism not only India but all over the world by training JehaaDis arriving from all over the world. Who can make this region more and rest of the world more volatile than JehaaDi Pakistan? Definitely not India, that never had a Coup de tat and where Generals do not own the country and retire Multi Millionaires. Definitely not.

  • Imamat  On November 14, 2010 at 11:51 am

    America created a hypothetical enemy in OBL/Taliban and pitched
    Pakistan against it and look what have they done to us ?
    Now they want to pitch India against yet another self-created enemy,China.
    So Indians better watch out.

    • Idrees  On November 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      This is what happens when people play games. And all games are confusion,
      until decided.

  • Bajwa  On November 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I am glad that someone is managing the fort while the incompetent civilian Government is busy in petty matters. PAKISTAN Zindabad.


  • Atique  On November 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Well said KB. The Armed Forces of Pakistan are the only Institutions that work in Pakistan and can deliver results. I salute the Armed Forces of Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • sodomie  On November 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Thanks as a remedy for this nice article, it’s very acclaimed blogs

  • Asad Afzal  On November 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Dear Yasmeen Ali,

    I have seen your messages and comments on different people particularly about American Politics recently I have read Bob Woodward three books. Bush at war and The War with in and astonished to reach that when the big power without having any knowledge of the Country do not hesitate to attack them. I want to give an idea about Karachi and particulaly about Sucide Bombers and Target Killing.

    I have vited Karachi for the first time in 1946 when I came to work Electio of Muslim Leauge in Larkana for Mr. Khuro. It was a nice small city consisting of 2,30,000/- people and how nicely it was maintained after partition refugees camps and prepared to stay in Karachi, Hyderabad and other places and nicely accomendated by the local people.

    The first time big disturbance was held in the election which was arranged by General Ayub Khan against Miss Fatima Jinnah. After that sometime when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came into power he apointed his talented Cousin Mumtaz Bhutto as Cheif Minister of Sindh and he wanted that Sindhi Language should be used in all over sindh and Urdu should be taken out.

    After this when General Zia-ul-Haq taken up from Bhutto’s Jamate Students were given arms to dominate the Unions agaist all party in this way Muhajir Qomi Movment was created to safe gurard Muhajirs. When PPP after General Zia-ul-Haq death came into power they target shooting of workers and the MQM started and about three thousand people were killed.

    Mahajir Qomi Moment Changed his name to Mutahida Qomi Moment and got seats in National and Provintional Assembly . The flows of Pathan’s started and setteleted in Karachi at Sohrab Got and opened a market for imported goods to attract as they were doing near Peshawar and other places. Later on they established themself in Quaidabad and Road which goes to Blochistan. In this way they have controled the main road going out of Karachi that is Super High Way and National High Way.

    In the mean time they invited Taliban who are a big new sennce for the Country and started target shooting of MQM peoples. In addition to this land mafia and other mafia also came in to disturb the life of the people of Karachi. another area is Lyaree the stong holdof PPP.

    Though PPP are having Government in Sindh their peformance is very poor and target killing goes on upto date also bomb blasts at defferent places.

    This is some picture I have given to you undersand why Karachi is so much disturb.


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