Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: Where to now for Pakistan?

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dublin South-East
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default Where to now for Pakistan?

    After the storming of the Red Mosque, the position of General Pervez Musharraf's regime seems more tenuous than ever.

    Violence has flared up in the North again:

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC (see [url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6899621.stm
    here[/url])]Pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region say they have ended their truce with the government.

    In a statement issued in Miranshah, the main town, the militants accused the government of breaking the agreement.

    It came as Pakistan deployed more troops in the area fearing "holy war" after the storming of the militant Red Mosque last week that left 102 dead.

    At least 45 Pakistanis, including soldiers and police recruits, have died in three attacks in the last two days.

    Last September's truce ended two years of clashes and was aimed at stopping cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.
    The Pakistani press was quite biting in its assessment of the Red Mosque Operation:

    Quote Originally Posted by [i
    Islam[/i]]Levels of law and order in some parts of the country have fallen... After the Red Mosque operation, attacks on security forces in tribal areas have intensified... Can the situation everywhere be brought to normal through the use of force?
    Quote Originally Posted by [i
    The Post[/i]]The role of the security and intelligence services in the whole affair needs explaining as it seems incredible that the Red Mosque brigade was able to gather fighters and an arsenal of weapons right under the noses of the authorities in the federal capital itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by [i
    Ausaf[/i]]The entire nation is grieving... Only the USA wanted what happened and proof of that is that the storming operation was celebrated at the White House and Pentagon rather than at General Musharraf's HQ.
    This all follows on after the violent clashes in Karachi in May of this year which saw about 40 people killed. In the northern tribal regions it appears some tribes are already trying to extend and fortify their positions in preparations for the power scrabble that inevitably follows the collapse of a government. The Red Mosque radicals, it would appear, were about far more than hardline Islam. The BBC Islamabad correspondant, Barbara Plett, reported that as well as kidnapping prostitutes the vigilante students also "championed the case of rape victims whose attackers were wealthy, powerful and above the law." This sense that the Taliban provide a sense of justice, as rough as it is, appears to have a strong appeal to many whose side the state never supports.

    Already the US has transferred much of its reliance in this region to India in recent years- which seems crass as the conflict in Afghanistan rumbles on. I somehow doubt Musharraf can hold on without US patronage, he will just be left with the unpopularity association with the US necessitates in this region of the world with none of the military or financial support that it generally brings. Is the worst yet to come to Pakistan?
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dublin West
    Posts
    10,302
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: Where to now for Pakistan?

    [quote=St Disibod]After the storming of the Red Mosque, the position of General Pervez Musharraf's regime seems more tenuous than ever.

    Violence has flared up in the North again:

    Quote Originally Posted by "BBC (see [url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6899621.stm
    here[/url])":1nfxnimy]Pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region say they have ended their truce with the government.

    In a statement issued in Miranshah, the main town, the militants accused the government of breaking the agreement.

    It came as Pakistan deployed more troops in the area fearing "holy war" after the storming of the militant Red Mosque last week that left 102 dead.

    At least 45 Pakistanis, including soldiers and police recruits, have died in three attacks in the last two days.

    Last September's truce ended two years of clashes and was aimed at stopping cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.
    The Pakistani press was quite biting in its assessment of the Red Mosque Operation:

    Quote Originally Posted by [i
    Islam[/i]]Levels of law and order in some parts of the country have fallen... After the Red Mosque operation, attacks on security forces in tribal areas have intensified... Can the situation everywhere be brought to normal through the use of force?
    Quote Originally Posted by [i
    The Post[/i]]The role of the security and intelligence services in the whole affair needs explaining as it seems incredible that the Red Mosque brigade was able to gather fighters and an arsenal of weapons right under the noses of the authorities in the federal capital itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by [i
    Ausaf[/i]]The entire nation is grieving... Only the USA wanted what happened and proof of that is that the storming operation was celebrated at the White House and Pentagon rather than at General Musharraf's HQ.
    This all follows on after the violent clashes in Karachi in May of this year which saw about 40 people killed. In the northern tribal regions it appears some tribes are already trying to extend and fortify their positions in preparations for the power scrabble that inevitably follows the collapse of a government. The Red Mosque radicals, it would appear, were about far more than hardline Islam. The BBC Islamabad correspondant, Barbara Plett, reported that as well as kidnapping prostitutes the vigilante students also "championed the case of rape victims whose attackers were wealthy, powerful and above the law." This sense that the Taliban provide a sense of justice, as rough as it is, appears to have a strong appeal to many whose side the state never supports.

    Already the US has transferred much of its reliance in this region to India in recent years- which seems crass as the conflict in Afghanistan rumbles on. I somehow doubt Musharraf can hold on without US patronage, he will just be left with the unpopularity association with the US necessitates in this region of the world with none of the military or financial support that it generally brings. Is the worst yet to come to Pakistan?[/quote:1nfxnimy]

    Possibly - but who would want the job anyway? Musharraf might be in an invidious position but he must know that there are few in the military that would envy his role right now.

    The North West Frontier has always been semi autonomous and difficult to handle by the central Government - it was the same when the British ran the show there too.

    I think a more likely scenario if he goes down the tubes is Pakistan fracturing into an Islamic version of Yugoslavia.

    They say the Americans have a snatch team of indeterminate size ready to go if an Islamic takeover or a collapse of central government takes place in order to seize the Nukes and render them inoperable – now that could be a show stopper! :twisted:

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kildare/Dublin
    Posts
    6,475
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: Where to now for Pakistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod
    I somehow doubt Musharraf can hold on without US patronage, he will just be left with the unpopularity association with the US necessitates in this region of the world with none of the military or financial support that it generally brings. Is the worst yet to come to Pakistan?
    He does not have to rely on the West for patronage. Any analysis of Pakisans foreign relations shows strong ties to China, both historically and increasingly recently. The Red Mosque can be painted any colour by the media, but the fact is Pakistan acted under diplomatic pressure from China. The students of the Mosque targeted almost exclusivley Chinese nationals commercial interests in Islamabad. The Red Mosques actions are only the most recent actions in an ongoing campaign by militants against Chinese nationals in Pakistan.

    That said I am not 100% sure Musharraf can surivive a wide spread revolution. But then again I am not sure that is whats going to happen. The border regions have been inflamed for months with tribal groups at odds with foreign Taliban. There have also been threats from Iran because of anti-Shia actions by militants along its Pakistani border.

    With India to the East, Iran to the West and Afghanistan/China to the north, could any full scale revolution against the Pakistani government manage to get the materials needed for a long term militarty campaign to topple the government? I dont think so.

    What may have happened is that Musharraf will get the support of a currently critical Pakistani media, who would be well aware of what their fate would be if the Talibanist forces beat government. I would include all 'liberal' elements in Pakistani society in that statement.

    The students of the Red Mosque may have succeeded in galvanising much support behind Mussharraf and also isolated their movement from outside help. If only all Islamic revolutionaries were so helpful.

    ps. Managed to get through that entire post without mentioning America. Spooky!
    g4 ... e5
    f3 ... Qh4#

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    57
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    What the **** is he supposed to do when a bunch of religious loonies take hostages?
    "If the Germans land in Ireland they will be welcomed as liberators".

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    15,583
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    From todays' Observer:

    Failure in Afghanistan risks rise in terror, say generals : Military chiefs warn No.10 that defeat could lead to change of regime in Pakistan.

    Britain's most senior generals have issued a blunt warning to Downing Street that the military campaign in Afghanistan is facing a catastrophic failure, a development that could lead to an Islamist government seizing power in neighbouring Pakistan.

    Amid fears that London and Washington are taking their eye off Afghanistan as they grapple with Iraq, the generals have told Number 10 that the collapse of the government in Afghanistan, headed by Hamid Karzai, would present a grave threat to the security of Britain.

    .....

    'The consequences of failure in Afghanistan are far greater than in Iraq,' he said. 'If we fail in Afghanistan then Pakistan goes down. The security problems for Britain would be massively multiplied. I think you could not then stop a widening regional war that would start off in warlordism but it would become essentially a war in the end between Sunni and Shia right across the Middle East.'

    .....

    Ashdown said two mistakes were being made: a lack of a co-ordinated military command because of the multinational 'hearts and minds' Nato campaign and the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom offensive campaign against the Taliban. There was also insufficient civic support on, for example, providing clean water.

    Ashdown warned: 'Unless we put this right, unless we have a unitary system of command, we are going to lose. The battle for this is the battle of public opinion. The polls are slipping. Once they go on the slide it is almost impossible to win it back. You can only do it with the support of the local population.
    "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

    “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” Napoléon Bonaparte

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dublin South-East
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: Where to now for Pakistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man
    The Red Mosque can be painted any colour by the media, but the fact is Pakistan acted under diplomatic pressure from China. The students of the Mosque targeted almost exclusivley Chinese nationals commercial interests in Islamabad. The Red Mosques actions are only the most recent actions in an ongoing campaign by militants against Chinese nationals in Pakistan.
    I think you overestimate the Chinese factor in all this.

    I was quite surprised when China entered the fray, because I was quite surprised China would lobby on behalf of its emigrants. But it seems that they did and with noticeable effect. But that forced Musharraf to guarantee more protection for Chinese nationals and there business interests, and it also probably meant he had to contain the trends embodied by the Red Mosque. But I don't think that meant he had to storm the Red Mosque.

    I certainly disagree that the students isolated their support base. Perhaps their actions, and with them the army's response, has further polarised the country. But that is quite another thing.

    Saying all that, I prefer Musharraf to the Islamic extremists. I think he presents a more favourable medium to the future than the Taliban would. But I do understand why the Taliban's base is growing: they apply their laws- as draconian as they are- across society. The students in the Mosque seemed to hit a chord in Pakistan by highlighting how the state only looks after an elite minority.

    I do think there is more to this than China.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dublin South-East
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    From the BBC (see here):

    Bomb at Pakistan lawyers' rally

    At least seven people have been killed in a bombing at a lawyers' rally in Islamabad, Pakistani police say.
    Ousted chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was due to address the rally in the capital, but was not present at the time of the blast, officials said.

    Television footage showed blood at the scene of the explosion and several people lying motionless on the ground. Some reports put the death toll higher.

    Police in Islamabad say that a suicide bomber was responsible for the attack.

    A number of people were also injured in the explosion near a stage which had been erected for the rally close to the Supreme Court.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dublin South-East
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    The situation in the North appears to be deteriorating fast, the BBC has more (see here):

    Pakistan troops killed in ambush

    At least 17 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in an ambush by militants near the Afghan border, officials say.

    The clash happened in the tribal area of North Waziristan about 25km (15 miles) from the town of Miranshah.

    President Musharraf has again ruled out declaring an emergency. There have been a spate of attacks since soldiers stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad.

    The mosque assault prompted militants along the border to scrap controversial peace accords with the government.

    A military spokesman said that in addition to the soldiers killed on Wednesday, another 14 had been injured in the ambush in the Lwara Mundi area of North Waziristan.
    I find myself nodding with the information SPN highlights. Paddy Ashdown was on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning suggesting that defeat in Afghanistan would be of greater consequence for the UK than defeat in Iraq (with the latter now appearing more of a 'when' than an 'if' in my view- it was de facto lost quite a while ago). Where Afghanistan goes Pakistan will likely follow- they are either stable or unstable together. Things are rapidly going downhill in Afghanistan, with NATO losing popular support and politicians, right up to Karzai, having to criticise allied troops to placate their base. The tipping point might not be far off- and that will allow regional conflict arc all the way from the Mediterranean to India. And that, I imagine, qualifies as something greater than a regional conflict.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dublin South-East
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    From the BBC (see here):

    Dozens killed in Pakistan blasts

    At least 33 people have been killed in two separate bomb attacks in Pakistan, officials say.

    Twenty-six people are said to have died in the southern town of Hub, 35km (23 miles) north of Karachi, in an attack apparently targeting Chinese workers.

    Initial reports said all the dead were Pakistani nationals.

    Meanwhile, at least seven people were killed and more than 20 injured in a suicide car bombing at a police college in the north-western town of Hangu.

    Police said the attacker blew his car up after guards tried to stop him crashing through the building's gates as recruits went out on parade.

    The two explosions, at opposite ends of the country, are not thought to be related.
    There are two big worries here. Firstly, Pakistan does seem to be slipping down the slope into becoming a failed state. Secondly, some of the bombings over the last few days are not really keeping with the type of attacks usually seen in Pakistan, or indeed Afghanistan traditionally. It seems more likely the techniques learned and developed in Iraq are being exported by terrorist networks. This was feared initially when suicide bombing went from being an extremely unusual event to an almost daily one in Afghanistan. Now as the technique spreads to Pakistan, can the defenders of the Iraq invasion still hold out for the good news apparently and persistently 'around the corner', or better still 'in the light of history'?

    We have taken an isolated problem, Iraq, made it much, much worse for Iraqis and removed the slight virtue of isolation. Now Afghanistan is shakier than we thought it was, and Pakistan is becoming less stable by the day in large part as a result of Iraq.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kildare/Dublin
    Posts
    6,475
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod
    We have taken an isolated problem, Iraq, made it much, much worse for Iraqis and removed the slight virtue of isolation. Now Afghanistan is shakier than we thought it was, and Pakistan is becoming less stable by the day in large part as a result of Iraq.
    I don't think a real link exists between Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, not one that is the root cause anyway. Targeted suicide bombing was already in use under the Taliban, limited only by a lack of targets (or news worthy targets). Most of the problems Pakistan is now facing are the result of the previous governments cultivation of extremists for export. These extremist problems include Shia separatists in the north, Iranian expats in Baluchistan, Islamic militants in northern Kashmir, Pashtun Taliban who straddle the Pakistan/Afghan border and foreign militants who fled Afghanistan after the American invasion of that country (not Iraq). The last two of those had receieved generous sponsorship from the Pakistan government.

    Mussaraff is having to deal with that mess and it is not the responsibility of the US to help alievate that internal pressure in Pakistan by allowing the Taliban vent into Afghanistan. No more than it is the responsibility of the Indian government to invite Kashmiri militants into the disputed territories they hold.

    Many Arab Muslim countries (like Jordan and Syria) would suffer a huge increase in internal stability, simular to Pakistans, if they cracked down completely on militants in their own state. How to deal with the problem of these states stability and that of their neighbours, while at the same time quelling Islamic militancy is not an easy task.
    g4 ... e5
    f3 ... Qh4#

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •