Col’s remarks do not reflect UK govt policy on Pakistan

#1
'er but it is the truth !?!


ISLAMABAD: Mark Lyall Grant, the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, has said that the comments made by a Colonel of the UK Army regarding the presence of Taliban in Pakistan “in no way reflect the UK government’s policy”.

Colonel Chris Vernon, the chief of staff for southern Afghanistan, on Friday accused Pakistan of allowing the Taliban to use its territory as a headquarters for attacks on Western troops in Afghanistan.

“The British government is concerned about insurgent activity in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We know that the government of Pakistan shares this concern and is committed to dealing with the threat,” he said. Online
Original comments

Chief of staff for British forces in southern Afghanistan, Colonel Chris Vernon, has also said the Taliban was co-ordinating their campaign of violence in Afghanistan from the Pakistani city of Quetta.

He was quoted by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Friday as saying: "The thinking piece of the Taliban is out of Quetta in Pakistan. It’s the major headquarters. They use it to run a series of networks in Afghanistan."

He should have also mentioned Peshawar and *cough* Rawalpindi.


But since Karzai is doing his best to alienate the Pakistanis, it is rather unsuprising that certain elements in the Pak government would prefer a more Pak friendly regime. I think Musharraf's natural inclination would be to crush the Taliban, but Karzai's anti-Pak policies combined with growing anti-western feelings in certain provinces has meant a rethink.
 
#2
I think what's going on between Karzai and Musharraf is an elaborate diplomatic game, which both of them are fully aware that they're playing.

Karzai needs Musharraf to take much tighter control of the semi-autonomous Tribal Areas - they're a key locus in the ongoing destabilisation of Afghanistan. Closer control of these areas - while very difficult to enforce - would be one sure way for Musharraf to help Afghanistan. It's almost as though Karzai, by accusing Pakistan of not doing enough, is trying to goad them into action there.

Karzai, of course, is operating from a position of extreme weakness, trying to build a state without having a monopoly of force. He needs all the help he can get from other states - particularly Pakistan.

Don't forget the role ISI had in the rise of the Taliban (and obviously the anti-Soviet mudjahideen as well) - as well as the ongoing instability in the autonomous Tribal Areas, there's a very strong possibility that - at the least - 'rogue elements' in ISI/the Pakistani military - are supporting the anti-Karzai forces. One of the most unexpected results of September 11th was the complete shift in attitude by Pakistan, which was the first (and one of the only) government to recognise the Taliban: I'm not sure that that change in attitude has been fully completed.
 
#3
Afghanistan the Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower
Mohammad Yousaf, Mark Adkin



This book is very good and shows how large a part Pakistan played in encouraging the Russians to leave.

Mohammad Yousaf was a Pakistani Brigadier in the ISI (2IC I believe).

Cracking read.
 
#4
Erm, weren't ISI the guys who were involved in harbouring, arming and encouraging fundamentalist terrorists from Kashmir to Afghanistan?

Were these "rogue elements", or in fact the leadership in general?
 
#5
nodandawink said:
Erm, weren't ISI the guys who were involved in harbouring, arming and encouraging fundamentalist terrorists from Kashmir to Afghanistan?

Were these "rogue elements", or in fact the leadership in general?
It was a "secret service" type job so the Pakistani government could publically deny they were helping the Afghans. I read the book 3-4 years ago. I hope I have not got the initials wrong, but it was Pakistan secret service/special forces running the funding and training.
 
#6
smithie said:
I think what's going on between Karzai and Musharraf is an elaborate diplomatic game, which both of them are fully aware that they're playing..
I think you are being to genteel with your words its an out an out bitch fight

Karzai needs Musharraf to take much tighter control of the semi-autonomous Tribal Areas - they're a key locus in the ongoing destabilisation of Afghanistan. Closer control of these areas - while very difficult to enforce - would be one sure way for Musharraf to help Afghanistan. It's almost as though Karzai, by accusing Pakistan of not doing enough, is trying to goad them into action there.
Got to give it to the general that he has extended services and improved much of the infrastructure (something the tribes welcome) but the tribal areas weren't even under British control, they have always been autonomous, so bringing the NWFP under central government control is going to take time.
In addition, the Taliban does have familial ties with many of the most powerful Pushtoon tribes in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Therefore, though some of the tribes may have been quite happy to see the foreign fighters go, with many of the Taliban it is a matter of family.
Karzai also is not an innocent in this business, to gain support he has been talking about redrawing the Durand line and there is suspicion that with Indian he has been supporting the Sadars in Baluchistan.

Don't forget the role ISI had in the rise of the Taliban (and obviously the anti-Soviet mudjahideen as well) - as well as the ongoing instability in the autonomous Tribal Areas, there's a very strong possibility that - at the least - 'rogue elements' in ISI/the Pakistani military - are supporting the anti-Karzai forces. One of the most unexpected results of September 11th was the complete shift in attitude by Pakistan, which was the first (and one of the only) government to recognise the Taliban: I'm not sure that that change in attitude has been fully completed.
The Taliban are a double-edged sword for the Pakistanis, they were of course an ally who provided the country with access to Central Asia and of course, strategic depth but they as you say brought some instability and retardation to Pakistani society. Musharraf too has to walk a tight rope between increasingly unpopular foreign polic and western allies who are putting undue pressure on him for democratic reform.


Priam said:
Afghanistan the Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower
Mohammad Yousaf, Mark Adkin



This book is very good and shows how large a part Pakistan played in encouraging the Russians to leave.

Mohammad Yousaf was a Pakistani Brigadier in the ISI (2IC I believe).

Cracking read.
You are right is it a great book - narrative wise. But I think Yousaf could have been more critical about the ISI's mistakes and the stuff about Zia and the CIA was just mispalced and detracts from what is a useful insight into the then US-Pak relationship.
 
#7
History says the Pathan will fight any invader. Alexander had his work cut out with them. Britain had a 100 years of it and worked out a sort of liveable system, Bribery is a big help and cheaper then big armies and Troops lives.
The call to Allha, the Jiahd, big problem, some one needs to hire a better Mullha.
I read else where Tone says we are in Iraq for another four years, another 10 and we will still be nowhere with Fighting the Tribesmen, Bribery works in the Erotic Horient.
john
Ask Chairman Mao.
 

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