Friday, May 6, 2011

Pakistan seeks solace in the Kremlin

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari will make an unexpected three-day trip to Russia next week. The timing underscores that Moscow recognizes the central role that Islamabad plays in the Afghan situation - both share the view that any peace process should be "Afghan-led". While it is too early to say the "fizz" has gone out of the United States-Russia reset, Zardari will be keen to see how this affects Pakistan. Read my article in the Asia Times…


Subhas said...

Judiciary should not be above scrutiny. Excluding them from the liability is opening a way for politicians to plunder the spirit of the nation. At least the socialist elite must express their opinion on this matter.

Subhas said...

What if Abbottabad was a joint effort by Pak govt and US, bypassing the Pak Army? and now play good guy bad guy in front of Al quida? In that case the US Pak relationship is not actually strained but only strengthened against the fundamentalist underworld of terrorism. If that be so, where does Kremiln come in?

Atty said...

Great article Sir.Mr Subhas..there are some gaping holes in this Osama ‘trade off’ theory.It is suggested that the ISI turned over Osama to the CIA in a prearranged and set-up operation conducted by the Americans.Just a moment,let us answer some questions.Why did the Pak Army elite choose Abbottabad, a deeply entrenched town near the Pak capital for the purported ‘turn over’? Couldnt they choose a less risky,easily reachable place from among the many small towns along the Durrand line?The Special Force Op was very difficult,it could have failed also.Why would they ‘set-up’ such a difficult scenario? The graphic photos of three dead persons which have been leaked through the Pak press provide a chilling insight into how violent the episode was.Why was there such a ghastly firefight if the Osama hand-over had to be a ‘stage managed’ event?Why would the Americans risk it so much for a trade off…by going to Abbottabad? After all they lost a helicopter and who knows…may be some men too.Does a stage managed activity allow such losses? Secondly,as being inferred by some,the Osama turn-over at this time is unlikely to do much good to the Paki grand dream of strategic depth.Consider the following:
(a) Given the continuous downslide of US-Pak relations,is too much to assume that Pak and China have a Plan B for Afghanistan?Will Pak do something as
stupid as this if it has such a plan in mind?Handing over Osama will certainly give that much required sense of victory to fillip Prez Obama’s re-election prospects.That allows the administration to entrench deeper and longer in Afghanistan – on the pretext of the GWOT.After all they are not going to ‘pull-out’ or withdraw the way you think they would – it would be mere tokenism because America’s interests are long term and will not end with defeating Taliban.America has learnt from its past mistakes -it will leave no vacuum in Afghanistan like they did last time.
(b) What about the backlash that is bound to come on the Pak establishment from the TTP and its associated tanzeems?
(c) Has this not left the Pak top leadership looking completely
incompetent and lame duck in the eyes of their own
countrymen,particularly their main support -the Islamists?Which Army can afford this?Not the proud Pakistanis certainly.
(d) What strategic depth will you gain in Afghanistan when the entire
Pushtun resistance there will now be incensed by the ‘betrayal’ of the
Pak Army leadership?In fact they have recently given the war cry for a ‘spring offensive’ against the foreigners – it will extend to Pakistan too.
So when we scratch the surface of this ‘turn-in theory’,there are more questions than answers.Lets give it to the Americans – they did some fantastic Int gathering and followed it up with an equally spectacular mission.Pakis were simply caught napping.