Did anyone see the new Al-Qaida last night?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by razorman, Aug 9, 2005.

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  1. Good program showing the Pakistani contribution to the war on terror, including some combat footage, and some excellent interviews with Musharaf, the head of ISI anti-terrorism and a Pakistani general conducting operations in Waziristan. Food for thought for the 'Pakistan isn't doing enough' crowd.
  2. Yeah I caught that programme too. There was also one on Ch4 think it was dispatches called why bomb london I think...
    V interesting. Going back to the bbc2 programme should Musharaf ever get bumped off, as they keep trying to do, do you think we'll be in deep poo ??
  3. It made me wonder what sort of support, financial, weaponry etc. Pakistan is getting. Also whatever happened to the west's outcry when he became president without a democratic election. All conveniently forgotten now! Saying that, I wouldn't like to be in his shoes. His security people must be on a permenant knife edge.
  4. While Musharaf is indeed very important to Pakistan and the West, I don't believe that his death would be the catastophe that some have predicted. There have been many commentators who have espoused the view that if Musharaf were to fall, Pakistan (and its nuclear weapons) would fall into Islamist hands. There are several flaws in this theory.

    1 - Islamic parties are nowhere near as popular as some might think. Historically, before 1999, no Islamic party ever managed more than 5% of the vote in elections. It is true that in the last election (2002 I think), the MMA did make far greater gains, gaining control of NWFP. But there are several mitigating factors. Firstly, this result may have been simply a knee-jerk result of hostility to the War in Afghanistan, particularly amongst the Pashtuns of NWFP. MMA did not have anywhere like this success in Punjab, Sindh or elsewhere. Secondly, the overall election result saw MMA, despite their increased vote in NWFP, trailing behind the established popular parties of Pakistan. More pertinently, the turnout amongst the Pakistani people was very low. So the amount of people who voted for MMA was not particularly high, and mainly confined to the conservative NWFP province.

    2 - The military is the main power in Pakistan. Musharaf has purged any Islamist sympathisers from the higher ranks, and the senior generals below him share his 'enlightened moderation' outlook. It is the military which controls the nuclear weapons of Pakistan, thus any fears of them falling into the hands of Islamic radicals are wildly overblown.

    If Musharaf were to die, there would be 2 likely outcomes. Either a similarly pro-Western general would assume power and continue his policies, or in the event of a free election, one of the secular Pakistani parties (possibly affiliated to Bhutto/Sharif) would take power. The idea of a Al-quida take over in Pakistan is not grounded in reality.
  5. Razorman , quality post.

    Don't forget the other incentive though , all that slush money floating around from Defence manufacturers. They certainly wouldn't want to pass up their chance to get the nosebag on.
  6. Whether or not he was right to do what he did is another question but his leadership was ratified by the Pakistani parliament. How you think this came about are your own thoughts (slightly unsure myself) but his administration is recognised as legal.

    I did enjoy watching the US ambassador to Pakistan making a complete arse of himself. I've had hamsters make more constructive comments during interview. I can't make my mind up about what he was really trying to say but here are my guesses:

    "I don't really know what's going on. I just get paid to live here. Please don't ask any more questions."
    "Well actually what is going on is completely illegal but I can't drop the US in it so I won't say anything."
    "I know everything. It's all classified. Go away you journo scum. HAHAHA!"
  7. In terms of economic aid, there has been lifting of sanctions, various debt write-offs and an aid package from the US, along with renumeration for usage of Pakistani facilities by the US military. This, along with the policies of former finance minister and now PM Shaukat Aziz, has partly contributed to the Pakistani economy and forex reserves reaching record levels.

    In terms of military aid, there have been helicopter gunships for the army, Orions, Harpoon-IIs, Phalanx and a Spruance class DDG for the navy, and most importantly a deal in the pipeline for new F-16's (with AMRAAM) and MLU refits for Pakistan's old F-16 fleet - possible AWACS deal has been mooted as well.
  8. I bet that little lot has upset the Indians though (unless they got more of the same!)
  9. The Indians were well pissed off, and not much happier when the yanks offered to compensate them with F-18s - apparently because they had two more F and were therefore clearly superior!
  10. The Indian's are pissed off, not because Pakistan is being favoured (India has been offered military sales by the US as well) but because since military sanctions in 1990, Pakistan has been unable to secure high-tech aircraft, while India has been buying from Russia. Now Pakistan will be able to redress the technological balance, the Indians are moaning (as usual). Of course, if India starts buying big-ticket items from the US, they will piss off the Russians, who may then decide to start selling to Pakistan.
  11. Are they ever pissed off! This was all over the papers there when I was in Cochin at Xmas. Mind you the Indians have the Su-30 which is pretty snazzy.