New President For Pakistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by In-Limbo, Sep 6, 2008.

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  1. So we've got a new chap in the hot seat for Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

    In a stroke of genius [?!?! - ED] Pakistan has elected a man with a few health issues.

    Now far be it for me to make predications, but is it likely to be the case that by next year we will have a chap who has spent 11 years in prison, suffering horrendous conditions in one international hot seat, and another rather important hot seat occupied by a gentleman who's served time at the Hanoi Hilton?

    Ye gads, perhaps this is a precedence. It might be a period of "mandella like" statesmanship, but then again.... 8O

    What exactly does this spell for foreign relations in the region?!

    It is Obama though who has been most critical of Pakistan throughout his campaign, and he has recently suggested that 10 Billion USD investment in Pakistan has been poured into the Indian/Kashmir border, preparing for War with India rather than the actual use it was always intended for, securing the Afghan border. If he gets in, "there will be a reckoning", he's saying.

    In other developments, the special forces operation a few miles over the border has caused the Pakistani Outrage bus to come rolling down from the hills. Some 3,000 tribal chappies have done an organised banner wave/flag burn/foam at mouth rant today after prayers in protest, stating that if this continues they will have to attack bases in Afghanistan.

    The point that they are already attacking our bases seems somewhat lost on many of them, but that's neither here nor there. :roll:

    Erstwhile, some of the tribal elements that were once offering much resistance to Pakistan military incursions now have switched sides and have begun fighting against Taliban with the Pak Mil. Suggestions are that increasing intervention by NATO over the border will undermine this "growing trend". Recent acts include fining those who shelter militants 1 million in Pak-Coinage and/or burning down their homes. And occasionally engaging in some armed conflict with actual enemy combatants, but Hey'Ho. We'll see how they get on.

    Certainly there are some in the chain of command who view the Risk & Return for these cross border ops as simply not worth it, and even potentially counterproductive as this juncture.

    Finally both sides of the Pakistani Parliament voted together to motion a bill which will (if passed) entreaty the Pakistani Military to "repel all borders". Passing or quashing this populous motion and controlling his parliament will likely be among the new presidents first acts.

    Interesting Times await...
  2. I dont think it matters who is president in that country, it is such a backward unruly place. It has been my opinion for many years that Al Qaeda and the Taleban were rooted in Pakistan, and protected by the political leadership of Musharraf.

    The political elite of Pakistan is riven with corruption, and whilst its a nuclear power (wonder why no big song and dance was made of that) the majority of its population is as poor as a church mouse, and uneducated.

    Cant see any way of improving such a shithole as Pakistan save for flattening it.
  3. Well that certainly remains one of the options (and I perciece we even have the very sneaky-beaky weapon to do it too), so we'll see how it pans out; US focus swings fully over to the stan from iraq in the next administration. About bloody time too.
  4. " polls showed the majority of Pakistan's 170 million-strong population remained deeply suspicious of Mr Zardari. While the Bush administration will probably welcome his climb to the presidency, given his stated intention to align closely with Washington in the war on terrorism, there are widespread fears that his elevation could lead to further instability in the nuclear-armed country.",25197,24300516-2703,00.html
  5. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Choose one. Because sure as hell both are not viable in the long term given the tribal, ethnic and religious realities around that work of fiction called the border. Payback for sloppy drafting by the British Empire of course, but that's all water under the bridge now.

    And if Pakistan goes, it is more likely than not that we give some real WMD to extremist Islamists. All this Tom Clancy crap about bombing them, stealing them isn't going to help us. Maybe we should actually think about our policy in that part of the world ?
  6. Now, let's not be silly and complicate matters...
  7. I reckon this is actually a fairly smart move - in the short term at least. Bhutto for all her faults did have a fair bit of popular appeal which they obviously hope will rub off. The Islamists were never going to be onside regardless of who got elected as they will only ever accept one of their own in the big seat. As for what I'll just call the anti-Musharraf coalition, it was bound to fall apart the moment he left but now that the main groups are not expecting this bloke to remain for long (bad health and all) there's less incentive to sink the ship since they'll get to vote a new captain in a few years' time.

    It won't solve the country's problems by any manner of means but it might just bring a bit of breathing space in which civil society south of the tribal areas can stabilise.
  8. "Yesterday Ahmed Mukhtar, his defence minister, announced that the country had stopped allowing supplies to Nato forces fighting in Afghanistan in protest at a series of US attacks on Pakistani territory over the past week."

    Add to it US stubborn push for Ukraine and Georgia NATO membership as well as US/Israeli prodded war in Georgia/Osetia that infuriated Russia to the point that "Moscow is considering the possibility of expanding the "nuclear assistance to Iran in response to U.S. insistence to send NATO on an "eastern trip." ... a source close to the Russian military circles said that "after the war in Georgia everything has changed . What seemed impossible before, now is quite possible, especially when our friends become our enemies, and our enemies become our friends." ...

    Vladimir Putin last week hinted that Russia would react calmly to the numerous visits of NATO ships to the Black Sea. While on a visit in Uzbekistan, Prime noted that "our response to the alliance will not be hysterical, it will be calm and it will definitely follow." Replying to a question about the nature of this response, the Russian leader replied: "You'll see."

    All this against a backdrop of Syria and Russia withdrawing their billions from US; US huge debt to China ; China and US at odds over Caspian oil and gas; Russia, China, Syria and Iran cosying up to each other in the face of continuing US threats to Russia and Iran as well as US heavy-handed meddling in the ME and Caucasus/Caspian region...

    Perhaps it is time US put aside its progect of "American century", returned to reality and started negotiating with the world instead of dictating to it.