Posts Tagged ‘Islamabad’

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The ‘Inevitable’ Clash

April 29, 2010

Sana Aijazi | Eastern Tribune

Would you like an atheist American as Chairman of WAPDA? A white City Nazim for Karachi or for that matter a British Director General of FIA in Punjab? Would you encourage wine shops and dance bars across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad? How would you react to roving half-naked girls at Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad and at Millennium Mall in Karachi? Just as you don’t want significant titles in your country given to westerners and your way of life swayed by secular thoughts, same is the case in United States, Europe and India. They don’t want their culture altered under the shadow of Islamic civilization.

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Afghan Crunch Time: Obama Must Decide Whether To Talk To The Taliban

April 27, 2010

Ahmed Rashid

Before President Hamid Karzai arrives in Washington next month, President Obama has to make clear key decisions on the course of war and peacemaking in Afghanistan.

Neighboring countries and most Afghans believe that the endgame has begun for a post-U.S. Afghanistan. There are just 14 months for the U.S. military surge to show results while Washington simultaneously prepares to begin its July 2011 troop withdrawal and handover to the Afghan government. Already, efforts to jockey for future control of Afghanistan have been seen among Pakistan, India, Iran and even Russia. Several NATO countries eager to withdraw forces are frustrated. It is clear in the region that someone will have to mediate with the Taliban, but in the absence of U.S. leadership, a tug of war is taking place over who will do it, when, how and where.

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‘Talk to Taliban with Pak, not India, in lead’

April 26, 2010

Washington: Arguing that some tactical successes will not defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, a top US thing tank has sought opening of talks with the militant group but said India should not be included in any such parleys as it would antagonise Pakistan, in particular its Army.

“The negotiating framework should be determined during a secret contact phase mediated by the Pakistani Army prior to the strictly diplomatic phase conducted under UN auspices,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a report yesterday.

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Pakistan Makes Surprise Offer Of Nuclear Fuel Services

April 14, 2010

Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has said that it has acquired advanced nuclear fuel cycle capability and can offer it to the rest of the world under IAEA safeguards.

The offer, contained in a national statement presented at a two-day summit which concluded in Washington on Tuesday, reflected Islamabad’s desire to gain recognition as a nuclear state.

“As a country with advanced fuel cycle capability, Pakistan is in a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under IAEA safeguards, and to participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel cycle assurance mechanism,” the document said.

At the summit, Pakistan also reiterated its proposals for establishing a strategic restraint regime in South Asia.

The policy paper released during the conference stressed that such a regime would “promote nuclear and missile restraint, a balance in conventional forces, and conflict resolution”.

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Pakistan Begins Its Largest Military Exercises In 20 Years

April 11, 2010

Sabrina Tavernise

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A month of military exercises began in Pakistan this weekend, the country’s biggest drills in 20 years, in what analysts said was a show of military muscle meant mainly to impress a domestic audience.

Pakistan conducts military exercises every year, an event that serves both as conventional warfare training for troops and as a display of force for India, Pakistan’s longtime rival. India, for its part, conducts similar exercises across the border.

But this year’s round is Pakistan’s largest since 1989, a military spokesman said, the year that the Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, and analysts say the timing is related to the military’s confidence and sense of accomplishment.

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Rejoinder To ‘General In The Hood’

April 10, 2010

Usman Ahsan

General in the ‘reverence’

ISLAMABAD: Kayani’s worldview is Pakistan centric; he is respected as his military has won victories against enemies where the superpower could not succeed; like all good military leaders, he has good political sense; having recognised the failure of pre-emptive kill-capture doctrine, the US and West are listening with more attention to his advice; the strategic and operational framework outlined by him for ongoing conflict is in-sync with the national interests and good news for Pakistan.

Having gone through the article ‘General in the hood’, one gets more convinced that a lot needs to be thought right first, before endeavouring to put right, between the two countries. The article reinforces the perception; ‘What is good for Pakistan gets portrayed as bad for India’. The urge to write became more compelling due to a deliberate effort of quoting issues, which actually form the basis of threat to Pakistan. Interestingly enough, Pakistan’s predicament is that if it is not successful against the extremists, it gets portrayed as epicentre of terrorism and threat to world, especially India, and if it succeeds, our neighbour still feels threatened and portrays these as back to Brass Tacks. The blame game continues, despite knowing far too well, the extent to which Pakistan has gone against the miscreants with tangible results.

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Afghan Officials Say Pakistan’s Arrest Of Taliban Leader Threatens Peace Talks

April 10, 2010

Joshua Partlow and Karen de Young

KABUL — Senior Afghan officials are now criticizing as counterproductive the arrest in Pakistan this year of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the No. 2 Taliban official. Its main effect, the Afghan officials say, has been to derail Afghan-led efforts to secure peace talks with the Taliban, making that peace ever more remote.

The episode offers a window into the mutual suspicions that still divide Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly because of Pakistan’s long history of support for the Taliban, as well as differences between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States about how best to seek reconciliation between insurgents and the Afghan government.

Senior Afghan officials in the military and presidential palace accuse Pakistan of orchestrating the arrest of Baradar and others to take down Taliban leaders most amenable to negotiations. Some of them say that Afghans had been in secret contact with Baradar before his arrest and that he was prepared to join the 1,400 people descending on Kabul next month for a peace conference. Despite Afghan requests, Pakistan has refused to hand over Baradar and other Taliban leaders.

Pakistani officials flatly deny that they intended to derail Taliban talks. Such an allegation, one Pakistani intelligence official said, is a “slur on us.”

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