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Showing posts from July, 2011

Pakistan's ISI from the Inside!

Pakistan's ISI from the Inside
Steve Clemons, Atlantic Monthly, July 25, 2011

The best places to meet the world's most interesting national security and foreign policy personalities are no longer Washington or London or Paris. Rather, highest on the list are Beijing, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha.
Many years ago, I met Lt. General Asad Durrani in Beijing thanks to a conference organized by Australia's Monash University. We have been acquainted and communicating since. I remember arriving late to the conference and rushing in as the brash, younger-than-I-am-now upstart and sitting down at one of the lunch tables of ten. I quickly met everyone and heard that Durrani was a general from Pakistan. That's all I knew.

I asked him quickly not having known that he was essentially Pakistan's Karla, or George Smiley, depending on your perspective, "Do you think President Musharraf really doesn't control the ISI?" Several faces went white at the table. A jaw droppe…

Directionless Policing in Pakistan

Repeal of the Police Act: Sindh steps back to 19th Century
Tariq Khosa, The News, July 15, 2011

With one thoughtless and reckless stroke of pen the PPP-led Sindh Government has repealed the police law of 2002, thus reviving Police Act of 1861. This is a huge leap backwards that revives military model of Irish constabulary as well as bureaucratic control of the police.

The so-called democratic government has walked into the trap laid by devious baboos and their political patrons who do not want a politically neutral, democratically controlled and highly accountable police service. By a single notification, the police in Sindh have been turned into an oppressive force rather than a public service. It is time to rise against this retrogressive step.

This executive order may have been given under political compulsions but its implications have not been carefully examined. Revival of 1861 law is not only unconstitutional but also violates the principle of separation of the judiciary from…

The Future of U.S. - India Relations

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Hillary gives India points to ponder
Deccan Chronicle, July 21, 2011
U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s speech in Chennai on Wednesday, just a day after she held the second India-US strategic dialogue in New Delhi, was absorbing in a way that the official talks were not.
Indeed, if the secretary of state had done no more than dwell at some length on the key points she made in Chennai, especially those relating to East and Southeast Asia and South and Central Asia — and let the senior officials accompanying her engage with the nitty-gritty of the bilateral relationship with their Indian counterparts — the assessment of the second strategic dialogue between the two countries may have been more upbeat.
We can trust senior bureaucrats to mess things up, and in this case Indian and US officials did little to prove us wrong.

The joint statement at the end of the strategic dialogue was a limp affair, clearly failing to capture the spirit of the discussions, while in Chennai the secretary…

Human Rights Situation in Balochistan

Pakistan: Upsurge in Killings in Balochistan
Hold Military, Paramilitary Troops Accountable for Abuses
Human Rights Watch, July 13, 2011
(New York) - Pakistan's government should immediately act to end the epidemic of killings of suspected Baloch militants and opposition activists by the military, intelligence agencies, and the paramilitary Frontier Corps in the southwestern province of Balochistan, Human Rights Watch said today. Across Balochistan since January 2011, at least 150 people have been abducted and killed and their bodies abandoned - acts widely referred to as "kill and dump" operations, in which Pakistani security forces engaged in counterinsurgency operations may be responsible. Assailants have also carried out targeted killings of opposition leaders and activists. Human Rights Watch has extensively documented enforced disappearances by Pakistan's security forces in Balochistan, including several cases in which those "disappeared" have been found …

IS U.S. Military Aid to Pakistan in Doldrums ?

U.S. halt of aid to Pakistan risky
By Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press, July 12, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The decision to suspend more than one-third of American military aid to Pakistan could end up hurting Washington more than Islamabad as the United States seeks to navigate an end to the Afghanistan war and defeat al-Qaeda, former Pakistani officials and analysts warned Monday.

Holding back the $800 million in aid, they said, is unlikely to pressure Pakistan to increase cooperation with the United States and could strengthen those in Pakistan's government who argue that Washington is a fickle ally who can't be trusted.

"If you still need the relationship, which clearly the United States does, then it really doesn't make sense to take action at this time, because it leaves the United States with less, not more, influence with the Pakistani military," said Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States. "Cooperation cannot be coerced b…

Defeating Al-Qaeda - Refining U.S. Strategy ?

Obama Adviser Outlines Plans to Defeat Al Qaeda
By Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, New York Times, June 29, 2011

WASHINGTON — A week after President Obama announced the initial drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan, his top counterterrorism adviser described plans to rely more heavily on a largely landestine campaign to destroy Al Qaeda’s network, which he described as already “in its decline.”

The adviser, John O. Brennan, said Wednesday that military and intelligence operatives would deliver “targeted, surgical pressure” on militant groups intent on attacking the United States.

Laying out the administration’s plan to battle Al Qaeda in the era after Osama bin Laden and at a time of declining public support for costly wars, Mr. Brennan outlined a White House counterterrorism strategy that formalized a governmentwide approach that had been evolving in practice since Mr. Obama took office.

He talked of hitting Al Qaeda “hard enough and often enough” with in…