Pakistan- what next?

#1
#2
Be handy if it distracted 'foriegn fighters' from crossing over the border to our neck of the woods.

I fear we're still the preferred target though.

What are Chaudry's political leanings?

If there is conflict in Pakistan, will that affect the number crossing into Afghanistan, or the focus of the extremist groups in the area?
 
#3
http://usembassy.state.gov/pakistan/secstate_rice_mfa_05_03_17.html

03/17/2005...
SECRETARY RICE:...we continue to work with Pakistan and we look forward to the evolution of a democratic path toward elections in 2007 for Pakistan.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0630/p07s02-wosc.html

June 30, 2006...
In a visit as short as it was secretive, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swept through Islamabad this week with a firm reminder for President Gen. Pervez Musharraf: Ensure free and fair elections in 2007.

Pakistan's foreign ministry delivered a blunt response: "On the democratic processes in Pakistan, we do not require advice from the outside," adding that the leadership intends to hold "free and fair elections."
What next? Likely Pakistan will remain a dictatorship and USA will support the dictator.

However, there is another option

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21378237-2703,00.html

THE US has indicated for the first time that it might be willing to back plans by elite echelons of the military in Islamabad to oust Pervez Musharraf from power
In this case though the affair could end by hard-core islamists at power in Islamabad. Taking into account that Pakistan has nuclear weapons...

So, any interference is too risky.
 
#4
Good links Sergei. More here: http://www.antiwar.com/regions/regions.php?c=Pakistan
click bottom for more.

Essential question is, is Mush keeping a lid on the Islamists, or is his dictatorship encouraging them by stifling legitimate political dissent?

Are we in a lose-lose situation here?

If Pakistan fell apart, would there be an argument for a Pashtunistan, composed of the ungovernable S. of Afg and the ungovernable N. of Pak? Hermetically sealed from the rest of the world, and non-nuclear...

I reckon Central Asia needs a Congress of Berlin, sharpish. Our UK/Russian Great Gaming (plus Stalin's redrawing of map in the various 'Stans) wasn't greatly handled, in retrospect...
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
What next? Likely Pakistan will remain a dictatorship and USA will support the dictator.

So, any interference is too risky.
Sister Condy can say what she likes pour encourager les autres but the reality is that the US is 'fur coat and no knickers'. She knows that they won't take a blind bit of notice and neither would she want them to. Musharraf may not be quite the military strongman they would want but he is their military strongman.
 
#6
Rumpelstiltskin said:
Good links Sergei. More here: http://www.antiwar.com/regions/regions.php?c=Pakistan
click bottom for more.

Essential question is, is Mush keeping a lid on the Islamists, or is his dictatorship encouraging them by stifling legitimate political dissent?
I suppose that gen.Musharraf is controlling the islamists by allowing (if not ecouraging) to faight agains USA and NATO in Afghanistan. So their energy is being spent mainly not in internal political battlefield but outside the country.

Rumpelstiltskin said:
Are we in a lose-lose situation here?
It depends on the definitions of 'victory' and 'defeat' in Pakistan. If the main objective is American interests (and it's a logical objective) then there are good chances to 'win'. If so called 'true democracy' is meant then the most probable result is the 'defeat'.

Rumpelstiltskin said:
If Pakistan fell apart, would there be an argument for a Pashtunistan, composed of the ungovernable S. of Afg and the ungovernable N. of Pak? Hermetically sealed from the rest of the world, and non-nuclear...
I don't think that Pakistan would break up (at least in the near future).

Rumpelstiltskin said:
I reckon Central Asia needs a Congress of Berlin, sharpish. Our UK/Russian Great Gaming (plus Stalin's redrawing of map in the various 'Stans) wasn't greatly handled, in retrospect...
I believe that the best solution would be preseving of current borders in central Asia. There are too many other problems in the region to create new ones.
 
#7
radioactiveman said:
KGB_resident said:
What next? Likely Pakistan will remain a dictatorship and USA will support the dictator.

So, any interference is too risky.
Sister Condy can say what she likes pour encourager les autres but the reality is that the US is 'fur coat and no knickers'. She knows that they won't take a blind bit of notice and neither would she want them to. Musharraf may not be quite the military strongman they would want but he is their military strongman.
Rather they would want he is their b@s+@**
 
#8
When you consider that more than 50% of Pakistan's territory (IIRC) is in more or less open armed revolt against the state, I'd suggest its stability leaves much to be desired.

And, further north, aren't the ineptly-drawn borders part of the problem? Though I recognise Russia has every reason to leave this Pandora's Box well alone. Ditto China & Xinjiang/E Turkestan
 
#9
KGB_resident said:
radioactiveman said:
KGB_resident said:
What next? Likely Pakistan will remain a dictatorship and USA will support the dictator.

So, any interference is too risky.
Sister Condy can say what she likes pour encourager les autres but the reality is that the US is 'fur coat and no knickers'. She knows that they won't take a blind bit of notice and neither would she want them to. Musharraf may not be quite the military strongman they would want but he is their military strongman.
Rather they would want he is their b@s+@**
Absolutely. I'm sure the US would be well aware that they play with the hornets' nest that is Pakistan at their peril. Lose Musharraf and as sure as night follows day the military will get back involved properly and one general isn't necessarily like another. Remember it was Zia that brought in Sharia law.
 
#10
Rumpelstiltskin said:
When you consider that more than 50% of Pakistan's territory (IIRC) is in more or less open armed revolt against the state, I'd suggest its stability leaves much to be desired.

And, further north, aren't the ineptly-drawn borders part of the problem? Though I recognise Russia has every reason to leave this Pandora's Box well alone. Ditto China & Xinjiang/E Turkestan
I guess that stability of the borders in the region is in common interests. While there are more Tadjiks in Afghanistan than in Tadjikistan unlikely the Great Tadjikistan would emerge and Afghani Uzbesks unlikely would join to Uzbekistan. Pushtuns always have their state - Afghanistan. Pushtuns in tribal areas of Pakistan don't want independence (at least there is no movement for it). They rather seek more autonomy.

Indeed Russia (it was called Soviet union that time) had a very negative expereince in Afghanistan. While from military point of view the war was essentially successfull, politically it was a disaster and in fact stimulated collapse of USSR.

Russia just has agreed new gas and oil pipe-lines with Turkmenistan and Kazakstan. So Russian influence in central Asia rather is growing.

Influnce of China in the region still is not huge. For China Kazakhstan is the most interesting country form many points of view. Kazakstan is a stable state with fast developing economy. However, Chinese investments here are not very big. I suppose that China would be more involved in central Asia, but later.

As for USA, then our American friends are losing their position in the region step by step and inevitable withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan would be another mark of this process.
 
#11
From the Telegraph.

This can't be good news.

Pakistan has atomic weapons and the means to deliver them.

It has, up until now, either been compliant or capable of making a satisfactory pretense of being compliant with the wishes of Washington.

Chaos gripped the streets of Karachi yesterday as gun battles left at least 31 people dead and hundreds more injured, threatening a complete breakdown of law and order in Pakistan's largest and most volatile city.

It was the bloodiest escalation of the two-month long saga which began when the president attempted to sack the country's chief justice in March. The ensuing challenge by lawyers and opposition parties to Gen Musharraf's eight-year rule has left the president - a key Western ally in the "war on terror" - desperately clinging to power.

Opponents believe he had hoped to create a compliant judiciary ahead of elections which he has promised to hold later this year. But what started as a political confrontation has now lit Karachi's tinderbox of ethnic rivalry.

Yesterday's violence erupted as Iftikhar Chaudhry, the suspended chief justice, flew in to Karachi Jinah International Airport to address a rally.


"Pakistan on brink of disaster as Karachi burns" by Isambard Wilkinson and Massoud Ansari in Karachi, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:37pm BST 12/05/2007
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...CFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/05/13/wpak13.xml
 
#12
Agree with you there Dixie....... Any unstable nation with a nuclear capability is not a good idea. Be interesting to see what the US says about this... not doubt it wil park a carrier fleet off said nations shores and threaten them with UN Sanctions 8O 8O
 
#14
tomahawk6 said:
Probably should have the Indians go in during the chaos and grab the nuclear weapons. :)
The U.S. would most definatly encourage Indian attacks on Pakistan if it thought it in its own short and blinkered interest. But not one to smile about I would have thought.
 
#15
#16
KGB_resident said:
http://usembassy.state.gov/pakistan/secstate_rice_mfa_05_03_17.html

03/17/2005...
SECRETARY RICE:...we continue to work with Pakistan and we look forward to the evolution of a democratic path toward elections in 2007 for Pakistan.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0630/p07s02-wosc.html

June 30, 2006...
In a visit as short as it was secretive, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swept through Islamabad this week with a firm reminder for President Gen. Pervez Musharraf: Ensure free and fair elections in 2007.

Pakistan's foreign ministry delivered a blunt response: "On the democratic processes in Pakistan, we do not require advice from the outside," adding that the leadership intends to hold "free and fair elections."
What next? Likely Pakistan will remain a dictatorship and USA will support the dictator.

However, there is another option

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21378237-2703,00.html

THE US has indicated for the first time that it might be willing to back plans by elite echelons of the military in Islamabad to oust Pervez Musharraf from power


In this case though the affair could end by hard-core islamists at power in Islamabad.
Taking into account that Pakistan has nuclear weapons...

So, any interference is too risky.
The military doesn't have much time for the Islamists at the moment, it spends most of its time and resources on internal security against them. If the military oust Musharraf, they're more likely to replace him with another of the same than cut a deal with the clerics. The violence is just too handy an excuse for holding on to power.

The general population have also voted in secular governments each time they've been allowed a say, I'm not sure, all things being equal, there's any real taste for a Sharia state north of the Sutlej. Most likely a free transition to democratic government would result in a return to the normal state of barely-contained chaos that w know and love.

What would help the Islamist cause is a too-obvious involvement of the west (especially US) in the transition. That could severely compromise the standing of any new government that arose.
 
#17
I can't see the US or the OK doing to much to rock th boat in Pakistan. The worsening situation in Afghan means they need dependable poeple in Islamabad, even if Mush can't promise safe passage through the North of the courntry, having him onside makes the whole thing look a bit more legit.
 
#18
Interesting posts on this interesting forum (a Pakistani Arrse, though without the NAAFI Bar... :D ) such as, growth of radicalism:

http://pakistanidefenceforum.com/index.php?showtopic=66729

How to beat off a US invasion:

http://pakistanidefenceforum.com/index.php?showtopic=64553

And who's to blame for Karachi violence:

http://pakistanidefenceforum.com/index.php?showtopic=66741

Also this: Pakistan Supreme Court official shot dead at home
14 May 2007 10:21:16 GMT
Source: Reuters


ISLAMABAD, May 14 (Reuters) - Gunmen shot dead a senior official of Pakistan's Supreme Court at his home in the capital, Islamabad, early on Monday, police and relatives said.

Syed Hammad Raza, an additional registrar of the Supreme Court, was shot at point-blank range by two or three gunmen just before dawn, police said.

"Investigations are going on. Presently, we don't know about the motive," a police official said.

Pakistan's suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry visited the house of the dead man to condole with the grief-stricken widow and family.

"You called him to Islamabad. You should have protected him, and now my children need protection as well," Shadana, Raza's widow, told Chaudhry.

Raza was stationed in the southwestern province of Baluchistan before being reassigned to the Supreme Court. Chaudhry was also raised in Baluchistan and served there as a judge.

The judge, who has been at the centre of a judicial and political crisis since President Pervez Musharraf moved to sack him two months ago over undisclosed allegations of misconduct, expressed his sorrow and asked the widow to be patient.

Shadana told Reuters that she was convinced it was a targeted killing as there was no attempt at robbery.

"They just came and shot him. He opened the door and they shot him and ran away."

A judge, who visited Raza's residence in Islamabad, told reporters the Supreme Court had summoned police officials on Tuesday to know how swiftly they responded to the killing.

"For a common man, it is a matter of great insecurity," Justice Javed Iqbal said.

British High Commission officials have visited the dead man's family at the behest of his widow, who says she holds British citizenship.

Reckon Mush is cracking down hard?
 
#19
How does Benazir Bhutto (sp?) fit into the bigger picture here?

She is - allegedly - manoeuvring for a come-back (tho' I can't see it myself).
 
#20
More on Bhutto, according to www.thenews.com.pk (an Englsih-language Pakistani paper):

Another matter which is most disturbing for the President is the reported secret deal between him and Benazir Bhutto. Although spokesmen of both the leaders are denying that such a deal has been clinched but Benazir Bhutto has clearly defined the salient features of the deal in a newspaper interview which is a rare example of "unprincipled policies" for a marriage of convenience between President Musharraf and PPP. Benazir Bhutto claims that as a result of the deal, PPP will support President Musharraf in his re-election in uniform by the present Assemblies. In return, the President will withdraw all cases of corruption filed against her and her husband in national and international courts. She will return to the country and will participate in general elections. If this deal goes through, both President Musharraf and PPP Chairperson may gain some political mileage but the loss of face and erosion of credibility that this will result in will be awesome for them both in the country and abroad.
 

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