Pakistan/Afghanistan long term? BBC1s Panorama

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by beemer007, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Along with other recent topics of conversation including Afghanistan/Iraq PRT/rebuilding/conflicts & what the future has for this AOR, Pakistan is constantly rearing it's head with the Pakistan Government insisting they have a grip on the situation???, especially the Swat Valley area?

    Bearing in mind Nato Forces have enough on their plate dealing with whats going on including the build up to the Aug elections in Helmand/Afghanistan being a complete nightmare, how long will it be before Nato has no other choice when diplomatic measures fail (realistic not optimistic) but to tackle Pakistan??

    Taliban take on Islamabad, full story:

    Constructive views & comments please
  2. With the new president in the USA, the aim seems to be to look for allies, not enemies. At one point over the past 6 months, I did think India and the US would invade Pakistan. That appears to be off the cards now. I do not know enough to feel confident in saying more than that.
  3. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    I'm not sure we could do much that the Pakistanis aren't already doing. Apparently they've lost over 1000 KIA to Taliban insurgents.

    It certainly doesn't sound as though they have things under control which doesn't mean to say they're losing the battle, just that insurgents are notoriously hard to beat.

    Just like Afghan it's going to be a long haul.
  4. I think you will find NATO's attitude is that its nothing to do with the non Anglo bits of NATO (apart from the Danes, Estonians, Poles and probably the Romulans).

    If Pakistan implodes as many believe it will then I think that NATO will disengage from the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan. Any forward policy into Pakistan will be US led with only a few rather reluctant Allies in tow.

    Do remember that the Afghan Pakistan border has no historical significance to the locals, its one of our constructs designed to give the Pakistan side the best defensive terrain should Imperial Russia have ever had rolled south to attack British India.

    Could the break up of Pakistan be on the cards?...Yes and in many ways its about time, the Pashtun should really have their own Country created out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The other various ethnic groupings of Pakistan will probably go independant, the more rational ones seeking good relations with India.

    But lets not forget the Nukes, its highly likely that at least one warhead has been stashed away from the official storage zone just in case the US decided to remove that problem from the chessboard.

    At least one of the 30-40 they have.
  5. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    For a good insight into the recent political situation in Pakistan, you can do a lot worse than read an article in a recent New York times by James Traub:

    Can Pakistan Be Governed?

    It's the story of the recent reinstatement of Chief Justice Chaudry, along with a lot of other info. His conclusion - probably, but again, probably not by the current President.

    Well worth a scan.
  6. Interesting prospect about the possible breakup of Pakistan, I remember seeing a map a while ago about something like that.

    If you ignore (or not) the other bits of the Muslim world that this map also talks about, I'd say its vision of what the Pakistan/Afghan area could turn out to be might not be so far-fetched...

  7. Good post. As we're talking long term I don't expect Pakistan to exist in fifty years time and I'm not entirely convinced it should have been created fifty odd years ago either. A lot of this mess comes out of the fairly clumsy way we went about disengaging from the sub continent. The biggest current problem is that encouraging religion for politcal ends as the US did with Afganistan a while back has created a genie that cannot be put pack in the bottle (and allowed their Saudi allies to export a particularly hardline version of Islam that is at odds with the version on the ground [perhaps now it's 'was at odds'...])
  8. There are more specific versions of that map based on the real ethnic lines but I don't have the time to dig them out now, the creation of Baluchistan could happen, it also sits on huge quantities of gas most of which is as yet untapped.

    The Baluch are seriously, seriously unhappy with rump Pakistan and with the right support (to keep the Iranians, Pashtun & Pakistanis at bay) could go independant and make a success of it.
  9. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    Its rather difficult not to notice that all the borders drawn up by well meaning British aristocrats, usually just after the second world war, seem to cause a rather unsettlingly high percentage of the worlds instability. Quite how east and west Pakistan were meant to work is beyond me....

    From memory we're committed to maintaining the borders of current states due to some treaty or other. There are many areas where more sensible lines in the ground would lead to mucho peace and happiness though.
  10. I think you will find that the borders were drawn up well before the Second World War throughout the Empire with exactly the intent to make sure that tribal instability would be a major factor. Best they fight each other rather than us don't you know, also then the Empire would be called in to settle disputes and be seen as an even hand.

    Don't knock it it worked for two hundred odd years, trouble being once we were out of there at the Yanks insistance, we were never ment to go back....

    Oh and Pakistan East and West were not our idea.
  11. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    I thought it was Lord Mountbatten who drew up the borders of East Pakistan. Lazy git just drew a line around the flood plain.

    Quite why they don't produce olympic class swimmers is beyond me...
  12. I suspect India will prop up what it can in Pakistan; the last thing Delhi will want is a civil war on its border with nuclear belligerents. If civil war does happen, India will quickly intervene under the pretense of pre-emption (our friends A-Q being behind the bomb attacks in India etc).

    I believe, however, that as long as A-Q target both Pakistan and Indian civilians, the two countries will simply harden their stance against A-Q and the Taliban. If Pakistan were to deploy more military to its border regions, A-Q would find themselves trapped, and possibly would be finished off.

    Afghanistan and Pakistan are modern nations; the people have had a taste of freedom and democracy in the last 30 years. They'll vote for that with their feet, ultimately.
  13. Ffyll India and Pakistan are mortal enemies, and produced their nuclear arsenals to see each other off if the need arises, I cannot see India wanting to get involved in anything in Pakistan. India still blames Pakistan for the Mumbai massacre, and has proof of the involvement of ISI in the organisation of the attack.

    Hopefully the US has made arrangements for the warheads to be de-activated and the active components held in a secure location away from Pakistan.
  14. Agreed, and- as I said on another thread- they also have a jolly nice port (Gwadar) and decent tank country all the way between it and the Taliban shura (and Pak Staff College...) in Quetta.