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Pakistan General Dismisses North Waziristan ‘Hype’

Pakistan General Dismisses North Waziristan ‘Hype’

Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik


MOHAMAD GAT, Pakistan — A leading Pakistani commander on Wednesday sought to play down “media hype” over the prospect of an imminent military offensive to meet US interests in North Waziristan.


In the fallout from Osama bin Laden’s killing, US officials are said to have increased pressure on Pakistan to mount a major offensive in the district, considered the premier Taliban and Al-Qaeda fortress along the Afghan border.


Local newspaper The News reported this week that Pakistan had decided to launch a “careful and meticulous” military offensive in North Waziristan after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Islamabad.


But Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, the corps commander supervising all military operations in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told reporters: “We will undertake operation in North Waziristan when we want to.”


“There has been a lot of media hype about the operation,” said Malik in the Mohamad Gat area of tribal district Mohmand, where the military flew reporters to show off apparent progress in battles against homegrown Taliban.


“I do not operate on press reports. I get orders from my high command,” he said in response to a question.


“We will undertake such an operation when it is in our national interest militarily,” the general said, describing North Waziristan as “calm and peaceful as it was weeks ago”.


The remote, mountainous region has attracted major interest in the United States as a fiefdom of the Haqqani network, one of its most potent enemies across the border in Afghanistan and thought to have a core of 4,000 fighters.


The Al-Qaeda-linked group attacks only across the border in Afghanistan, and is said to have long-standing ties to Pakistan’s intelligence services.


Pakistani officials are said to believe they cannot win if they take on its leaders, who command considerable tribal support and are well-armed.


Set up by Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, the group is loyal to the Taliban and has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, including a suicide bombing in 2009 that killed seven CIA operatives.


But asked about the Haqqanis, Malik hit back: “We are misusing the word ‘network’. It does not become a network if four people sit together somewhere.”


Instead he said the military was focused on maintaining an already “stable” environment to undertake “developmental activity” in North Waziristan, and confirmed reports that a cadet college in the area had been reopened.


The army had closed the college at Razmak after Taliban militants briefly kidnapped 46 students and two staff in June 2009 as they were going home at the start of the summer holidays.


In the absence of a Pakistani military offensive, a covert CIA drone war on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked fighters has been concentrated in North Waziristan, and Western officials say it has dealt a major blow to militant capabilities.


But Pakistan is publicly opposed to the drones as a violation of sovereignty and parliament demanded an end to the attacks in the fallout over the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad by US troops.


Malik called the programme a “negative thing” that “creates instability and infringes” his relationships with local tribes, and rejected any question of a joint operation with US forces in North Waziristan or anywhere else.


Clinton last Friday urged Pakistan to take decisive steps to defeat Al-Qaeda, as she became the most senior US official to visit since US Navy SEALs found and killed bin Laden in the country on May 2.


The fact that the Al-Qaeda terror chief had been living in a garrison city just a stone’s throw from Pakistan’s top military academy raised disturbing questions about incompetence or complicity within the armed forces.


Under US pressure to crack down on Islamist havens on the Afghan border, Pakistan has been fighting for years against homegrown militants in much of the tribal belt, dubbed a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.


Pakistan has always maintained that any North Waziristan operation would be of its own time and choosing, arguing that its 140,000 troops committed to the northwest are already too overstretched fighting elsewhere.

Why build a $500 Million Embassy in Kabul?

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Why build a $500 Million Embassy in Kabul?

President Obama’s public announcements and private actions contradict each other. One the one hand, we had the surge, on the other had there is a withdrawal date. One the one had the US is talking to the Taliban, on the other hand, Washington is pressuring Islamabad to continue the war on the same Afghans. One the one hand Washington calls the US an ally, asking for help in a safe exit, on the other hand,  the US is bombing Pakistani cities. On the one hand the US is giving military aid to Pakistan, on the other hand, it has a 3000 strong “CIA Army” causing murder and mayhem in Pakistan

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry recently briefed the press about the new building that the US is constructing in Kabul.

The United States has announced it would spend $511 million to expand its embassy in Kabul.

Speaking at the construction site, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said the work would enable the United States “to carry out its pledge to maintain into the future its very significant security, government, economic, and civil society programs.”

He said the project, which is to be completed by 2014, started earlier this year and currently employs about 500 Afghans.

If the US is beginning the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, and the withdrawal is to be completed by 2014, the purpose of building the colossal fort in the heart of Kabul is a clear indication of American goals in the region.

The US had similar plans for Vietnam, but the huge Embassy complex in Saigon was run over by events and Saigon became Ho chi Minh City.

Analysts believe that once the withdrawal begins, the US will be unable to support this white elephant.

One wonders about he scenes? Will it be just like Saigon, or slightly different. The USSR did not allow any pictures of its withdrawal–will the US be able to hide them.

TEHRAN (FNA)- An Afghan academic figure dismissed the justifications cited by the US for expanding and enlarging its embassy in Kabul, and disclosed that Washington is setting up the largest espionage center in the occupied country.

“The new US embassy complex in Kabul would become CIA’s (the Central Intelligence Agency) major base in Afghanistan and Central Asia,” Deputy Head of Afghanistan’s Science Academy Mohammad Sharif Pakrai told FNA in Kabul on Saturday.

He pointed out that the United States’ claims that it intends to spend $550mln to expand the Kabul embassy for diplomatic objectives is a sheer lie since no common sense can accept that such a large budget is spent on such “an unnecessary move”.

“Given the current economic, security, military and cultural conditions of Afghanistan, the expansion of the US embassy has no diplomatic justification,” Pakrai stressed.

“The move is a complementary part of the six US military bases that are under construction and the center is due to command and control espionage and cultural activities in the region in future,” the Afghan figure cautioned.

The comments by Pakrai came after the United States announced on Wednesday that is bolstering its presence in Afghanistan with a 500 million dollar expansion of its Kabul embassy and the construction of two consulates.

Washington’s Kabul embassy is already its biggest in the world, with about 1,100 employees, projected to rise to 1,200 by the end of the year, officials said.

The United States and NATO have 150,000 troops in Afghanistan, following a military surge ordered by President Barack Obama.

The embassy expansion contract was worth 511 million dollars and had been awarded under US law to an American company, Caddell Construction Inc., ambassador Karl Eikenberry said.

Another two contracts, worth 20 million dollars each, have been awarded for the construction of consulates in Herat, the main city in Western Afghanistan, and Mazar-I-Sharif in the North, he said.

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Pakistan forces US to pressure India to disavow ‘Cold Start’

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The New York Times in a front page story tries to portray the impression that the Cold Start Strategy does not exist. It is amazing the Stephen Cohen one of the authors of “Cold Start Strategy” who has eulogized it on National Television now says that “Cold Start Strategy” does not exist. Many Bharati journals have been talking about it since Mumbai, and Bharat Verma has written multiple articles on it in the Indian Defense Journal.

  • Senior American military commanders have sought to press India to formally disavow a  military doctrine called Cold Start
  • Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, is among those who have warned internally about the dangers of Cold Start
  • Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, share these fears.
  • Pakistani officials have repeatedly stressed to the United States that worries about Cold Start are at the root of their refusal to redeploy forces away from the border with India
  • That point was made most recently during a visit to Washington last month by Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Much of this so called “Cold Start Strategy” is based on the Israeli strategy which it tried to implement in Lebanon. Israel was unable to implement its objectives in Lebanon and had to withdraw even from the Litani River. Israel failed to achieve its goals in Lebanon. In Lebanon, Israel was unable to stop the barrage of missiles from Lebanon even on the last day. Many consider this Israel’s defeat.India’s Cold start war strategy and the Pakistani Nuclear response.

Gen Kapoor’s provocative doctrine: Pakistani countermeasures

  • The essence of the Cold Start doctrine is reorganising the army’s offensive power that resides in the three strike corps into eight smaller division-sized integrated battle groups (IBGs) consisting of armour and mechanised infantry and artillery, closely supported by helicopter gunships, air force and airborne troops (parachute and heliborne).
  • The IBGs are to be positioned close to the border so that three to five are launched into Pakistan along different axes within 72 to 96 hours from the time mobilisation is ordered.
  • Cold Start thus envisages rapid thrusts even when the defensive corps’ deployment is yet to be completed, and high-speed operations conducted day and night until the designated objectives are achieved
  • The probable objective areas for Cold Start could be (1) Ravi-Chenab corridor from two directions, an IBG along Jammu-Sialkot-Daska axis and another across the Ravi to link up with the first IBG, and (2) in the south against Reti-Rahim Yar Khan-Kashmore complex.
  • To counter Cold Start, the Pakistan Army will have to create more armour-dominated brigade-sized reserves from the existing resources if possible, and a more flexible military system and structure.
  • For Pakistan the dimensions of time and space assume paramount importance as it lacks territorial depth, is opposed by a larger adversary and lacks the resources to fight a protracted war.
  • The strategy of pre-emption is thus imposed on Pakistan in the same way it was imposed on Israel prior to the 1967 war.
  • The fact that the Pakistani Army can occupy their wartime locations earlier than the Indian army confers on it the ability to pre-empt Cold Start;
  • failure to do so could lead to firing of low-yield tactical warheads at IBGs as they cross the start line or even earlier
  • Pakistani countermeasures to Cold Start Strategy–battle-ready nuclear weapons
  • India said on Monday it is monitoring the situation following media reports suggesting Pakistan is allegedly digging tunnels in Sargodha district
  • “We are attempting to establish the purpose of digging up such large tunnels,” an intelligence official was quoted as saying in the reports. “These clearly cannot be meant for transport as is obvious from the images available; they don’t lead on to roads,” he added.
  • Delhi’s Cold Start Strategy Frozen DOA (Dead on Arrival)

The US had taken up concerns by Pakistan on the perceived ‘Cold Start’ strategy of the Indian Army that envisages rapid deployment of troops on the western border to escalate to a full blown war within days but has been told that such a doctrine does not exist but is a term that has been fabricated by think tanks.

The matter was repeatedly taken up by senior US Defence delegations after Pakistan voiced concerns that diverting more troops to the Afghan border would not be feasible given the Indian ‘Cold Start’ strategy that could bring offensive elements of the Indian Army to its eastern border within four days.

While the US has been assured that no such doctrine exists, the Army has now come on record to say that ‘Cold Start’ is not part of its doctrine. Army Chief General V K Singh has told this newspaper that India’s basic military posture remains defensive.

NEW DELHI — Senior American military commanders have sought to press India to formally disavow a  military doctrine that they contend is fueling tensions between India and Pakistan and hindering the American war effort in Afghanistan.

But with President Obama arriving in India on Saturday for a closely watched three-day visit, administration officials said they did not expect him to broach the subject of the doctrine, known informally as Cold Start. At the most, these officials predicted, Mr. Obama will forecfully encourage India’s leaders to do what they can to cool tensions between these nuclear-armed neighbors.

India now denies the very existence of Cold Start, a plan to deploy new ground forces that could strike inside Pakistan quickly in the event of a conflict. India has argued strenuously that the United States, if it wants a wide-ranging partnership of leading democracies, has to stop viewing it through the lens of Pakistan and the Afghanistan war.

Some in the administration who agree that the United States and India should focus on broader concerns, including commercial ties, military sales, climate change and regional security. However vital the Afghan war effort, officials said, it has lost out in the internal debate to priorities like American jobs and the rising role of China.

“There are people in the administration who want us to engage India positively,” said an administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations. “They don’t care about Afghanistan. Then there are people, like Petraeus, who have wars to fight.” NY Times.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, is among those who have warned internally about the dangers of Cold Start, according to American and Indian officials. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, share these fears.

The strategy calls for India to create fast-moving battle groups that could deliver a contained but sharp retaliatory ground strike inside Pakistan within three days of suffering a terrorist attack by militants based in Pakistan, yet not do enough damage to set off a nuclear confrontation.

Pakistani officials have repeatedly stressed to the United States that worries about Cold Start are at the root of their refusal to redeploy forces away from the border with India so that they can fight Islamic militants in the frontier region near Afghanistan. That point was made most recently during a visit to Washington last month by Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. NY Times.

  • Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
  • Nuclear deterrence & Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) blunts Bharat’s Cold Start Strategy
  • Why India did not attack Pakistan in 2002 and 2008?
  • The India-Pakistan war
  • Delhi’s Cold Start Strategy Frozen DOA (Dead on Arrival)
  • Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
  • Pakistani response to “India’s Cold start strategy”: Limited strikes against targets vs Hot War leading to Nuclear Armageddon
  • Indian Airforce crying wolf? or facing shortage of jets?
  • India’s Cold War strategy guarantees hot war—Nuclear annihilation
  • India knows that it can never win a conventional warfare because of the Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). However it still harbors notions of winning a sort of a mini war. India may think it has a Cold Start Strategy, but it may end as a hot nuclear war. Indian Defense planners cannot guarantee that a limited strike will not escalte into a full fledged war. A full fledged war witha nuclear armed labor may destroy both countries. Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:

    While engaging the Kashmir question must be the priority, a much more serious problem is that in less than a decade India has twice threatened us with all-out war in less than a decade, in December 2002 and 2008, using terrorist action by non-state actors as a pretext both times. As the name suggests, the Indian “COLD START” strategy envisages moving Indian forces without any warning or mobilisation into unpredictable locations at high speeds against Pakistan (on the Israeli pattern of 1956 and 1967) seeking to defeat Pakistan by achieving total surprise at both the strategic and the operational levels (remember Pearl Harbour), striving for a decision before the US or China could intervene on Pakistan’s behalf. An unspoken assumption seems to be that “rapid operations would prevent India’s civilian leadership from halting military operations in progress, lest it have second thoughts or possess insufficient resolve”. Does this particular Indian military psyche conform to the so-called civilian control of the Indian military? Facing a foe having 3:1 superiority, and with such a history and such an offensive strategy, we may be forgiven for our “India fixation”.

    The military challenges for Pakistan posed by COLD START derails any resolve for sustained peace with India, re-constituting Pakistan’s strategy to take on all five of India’s “Strike Corps” with all our three “Army Reserve” formations presently occupied in FATA, Dir and Swat. Please forgive also our suspicions as to what the many Indian consulates in Afghanistan are doing on our western borders! Ikram Sehgal. The News

    The administration raised the issue of Cold Start last November when India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, visited Washington, Indian and American officials said. Indian officials told the United States that the strategy was not a government or military policy, and that India had no plans to attack Pakistan. Therefore, they added, it should have no place on Mr. Obama’s agenda in India.

    For Mr. Obama, politically wounded by the midterm elections and high unemployment at home, such deals are also important to bolster his argument that the relationship between the United States and India can create American jobs rather than simply siphoning them away.

    For all the talk of shared interests, India still lies at the nexus of America’s greatest foreign policy crisis. Its archrival, Pakistan, is a crucial  American ally in the war in Afghanistan. The United States has struggled to find a way to mediate between them.

    Some administration officials have argued that addressing Cold Start, developed in the aftermath of a failed attempt to mobilize troops in response to an attack on the Indian Parliament by Pakistani militants, could help break the logjam that has impeded talks between the countries.

    But India has mostly declined to discuss the topic. “We don’t know what Cold Start is,” said India’s defense secretary, Pradeep Kumar, in an interview on Thursday. “Our prime minister has said that Pakistan has nothing to fear. Pakistan can move its troops from the eastern border.”

    Indian officials and some analysts say Cold Start has taken on a nearly mythical status in the minds of Pakistani leaders, whom they suspect of inflating it as an excuse to avoid engaging militants on their own turf.

    “The Pakistanis will use everything they can to delay or drag out doing a serious reorientation of their military,” said Stephen P. Cohen, an expert on South Asia at the Brookings Institution.

    India’s ponderous strike forces, most of them based in the center of the country, took weeks to reach the border. By then Western diplomats had swooped in.

    The military began devising a plan to respond to future attacks. The response would have to be swift to avoid the traffic jam of international diplomacy, but also carefully calibrated — shallow enough to be punitive and embarrassing, but not an existential threat that would provoke nuclear retaliation.

    But American military officials and diplomats worry that even the existence of the strategy in any form could encourage Pakistan to make rapid improvements in its nuclear arsenal.

    When Pakistani military officials are asked to justify the huge investment in upgrading that arsenal, some respond that because Pakistan has no conventional means to deter Cold Start, nuclear weapons are its only option.

    Still, many analysts are skeptical that Cold Start could be the key for the Obama administration to promote talks between India and Pakistan, which have been stalled since Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008. Agencies and NY Times Reports. Lydia Polgreen reported from New Delhi, and Mark Landler from Washington. David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington. Obama Is Not Likely to Push India Hard on Pakistan. Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press. A sign in Mumbai on Friday signaled preparations in India for President Obama’s visit. Mumbai is his first stop on Saturday.  By LYDIA POLGREEN and MARK LANDLER. Published: November 5, 2010

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her campaign for the presidency of the United States mentioned “Pakistan’s paranoia” about India’s intentions about Pakistan. Pardon us Ms. Clinton but Bharat has threatened Pakistan will all out war, not once but twice in the past few years. Additionally, it was the Pakhtuns that liberated Azad Kashmir and it is Delhi that occupied Kashmir, Junagarh, Manvadar, Sir Creek and Siachin–not the Pakhtuns (aka Taliban).

    Terrorism across the borders works for Bharat–in China, Sikkim Bhutan, Nepal, Lanka, and Pakistan. RAW is good at hiring and sending mercenaries to murder innocent civilians–as witnessed in Karachi last week.

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    Tit for Tat Pakistan-China Civilian Nuclear deal: New 1G plant (C-5) for Pakistan

    November 8, 2010 1 comment

    Tit for Tat Pakistan-China Civilian Nuclear deal: New 1G plant (C-5) for Pakistan

    President Musharraf speaking to about 500 people in Edison NJ reiterated that he had signed an agreement with China for a 1G Civilian Nuclear Plant with China called Chasnupp-5 or C-5. President Musharraf also said that Pakistan has Uranium which it can and does mine for its own usage. Pakistan’s indigenous Uranium gives it a definite advantage over Bharat which is dependent on supplies from Australia and the US. This should put Pakistan in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG)!.

    World analysts have already said that President Obama’s high profile trip to Bharat pushes Pakistan into a tighter embrace with China. A recent story in Al-Jazeera had Chinese officials declaring openly that “Pakistan is China’s Israel”.  Pakistan is hoping to join the SCO with China and build a new organization with Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Russia to build local regional structures. Road and Rail links with Central Asia are on top the agenda with the Central Asian Republics (CARs).

    America’s pressure on Pakistan is limited.

    While the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear deal has languished in paperwork for a decade, China is ready to start work on the 5th Nuclear plant. C-1, and C-2 are in production and C-3 nears completion, C-4 is being constructed.

    In addition Pakistan is also working on a Plutonium plant in Kushab.

    The Indian Financial Times chose to report this old news its current edition–on the eve of President Obama’s visit to Delhi.

    China plans to supply Pakistan with a fifth nuclear energy reactor, accelerating Beijing’s commitments to its energy-starved south Asian ally, according to Pakistani government officials.

    Beijing’s growing support for Pakistan, including military hardware, poses a dilemma for Barack Obama, the US president, who arrived in India on Saturday. New Delhi is also becoming more concerned about Pakistan’s close relationship with China.

    The supply of a fifth nuclear reactor to Pakistan comes after confirmation this year of Beijing’s agreement to build two 650MW nuclear energy reactors at Chashma, in the central part of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

    China has already built one nuclear energy reactor at Chashma and is expected to complete a second at the same site next year. The Pakistan government declined to comment further on the plans for the fifth reactor.

    “We have an ongoing programme of co-operation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy with China,” said Ahmed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s defence minister.

    Washington’s relationship with New Delhi was cemented with an agreement in 2008 to supply civil nuclear reactors, even though India has yet to ratify some of the international safeguards to prevent proliferation.

    The US has waffled on a similar civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan, but is reluctant to say no.

    Analysts said Mr Obama was unlikely to criticise China’s supply of nuclear reactors to Pakistan publicly because Washington is probably sensitive to Islamabad’s desire for civil nuclear co-operation after the US-India civil nuclear deal. A Chinese official said in September there had been discussions between the two countries about building a 1GW plant in Pakistan, in addition to the two 300MW plants that Chinese companies are expected to build at Chashma.

    Not only is China keen to boost its ties with Pakistan, a long-standing ally, but the new deals also reflect Chinese commercial ambitions to become a significant player in the nuclear industry.

    Mark Hibbs, an expert on the nuclear industry at the Carnegie Endowment think-tank in Washington, said China could export smaller 300W reactors using technology that it controls.

    However, if it wanted to sell Pakistan, or any other country, 600MW or 1GW reactors, it would probably need the consent of western companies that have licensed Beijing to use key technologies. That would give those companies and their governments a certain amount of leverage, he said.

    Although China has been talking publicly for the past two months about its intention to build at least two more reactors in Pakistan, Chinese officials have not yet specified how they intend to get around the rules that bar the sale of nuclear technology to countries such as Pakistan that have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

    One option would be to argue that the initial agreement with Pakistan was signed in 2003, before China joined the body that regulates nuclear commerce. China plans fifth nuclear reactor for Pakistan.

    By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad, James Lamont in New Delhi, and Geoff Dyer in Beijing. Published: November 8 2010 02:59 | Last updated: November 8 2010 02:59

    Dr. Maleeha Lodhi and Senator Mushahid Hussain clearly said that the Civilian Nuclear dial between China and Pakistan is an internal matter between the two countries and the US cannot do much about it.

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    Obama doesn’t mention any political role for Delhi in Afghanistan

    November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

    Obama doesn’t mention any political role for Delhi in Afghanistan

    President Obama has again repeated that the Bharati role in Afghanistan should be focused on construction activities. Bharat‘s much heralded claim of spending $1.2 billion has come under much scrutiny and has been dis-proven. Most the so called expenditure has been made on Bharati companies which are used as contractors. The road built by Bharat is in total disarray, unnavigable, except by the Taliban who control it. The other buildings are over priced and display shoddy workmanship, much like the Commonwealth Village. The Bharati projects are on hold, pending the peace moves in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan has spent billions in hosting betwen 3 to 6 million Afghan refugees for decades, and also in building universities, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also spilled blood for their Afghan brethren which cannot be monetized.

    President Obama in carefully crafted words shied away from any political role for Bharat in Kabul. The story in the Hindu is a poignant reminder of how meticulously every word is weighed before it is uttered on Bharati soil.

    Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which Afghanistan situation is expected to come up, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday hailed India’s reconstruction efforts in the war-torn nation amid his assertion that a “stable Afghanistan is achievable“.

    He reiterated that the U.S. will start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan from next year but made it clear that all the American forces will not be pulled out immediately as such a step would depend on the situation on the ground.

    “India’s investment in the development of Afghanistan is appreciated… I do think that there are lessons that India has to show to not just countries like Afghanistan but countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” Mr. Obama said during an interaction with students of St Xavier’s College here.

    Citing the example of India’s achievements in agriculture sector, he said such experiments could be replicated in rural Afghanistan and even if farm produce in that country increased by 20 per cent it would go a long way in helping the nation.

    While talking about India’s positive role in Afghanistan, the U.S. President underlined that all the countries of the region, including Pakistan, have to share the responsibility of bringing about stability in that nation.

    “Pakistan has to be a partner in this process (of bringing about stability in Afghanistan). In fact, all countries of the region need to be partners in this process and the US welcomes them. We don’t think that we can do this alone,” he said, asserting that “a stable Afghanistan is achievable“.

    His comments came on the eve of his meeting with Singh when the two leaders would be exchanging notes on the situation in Afghanistan.

    India has invested 1.3 billion US dollars in Afghanistan and is undertaking a number of developmental and reconstruction projects there.

    Mr. Obama was asked whether his decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan from next year reflected acknowledgment that the U.S. was not winning the war.

    “When we went in seven years ago, Kabul was intact but rest of the country was deteriorating and we have been largely able to correct that. But, we don’t want to be in the same situation seven years from now,” he said.

    He reiterated the decision to pull out troops from Afghanistan from July 20111 but said complete pullout would depend on “military issues and politics“.

    Disagreeing with comparison of Afghanistan campaign with that of Iraq campaign, Mr. Obama said institutions in Afghanistan had not developed completely and civil service and police forces needed to be strengthened further before they can take charge.

    He supported Karzai government’s efforts to reach out to Pashtun and Taliban cadres who delink themselves from al-Qaeda but made it clear that those who refuse to dissociate would be dealt with firmly. Hindu.

    President Obama must have parity in its relations with Pakistan and Bharat. If the US tilts towards Bharat, it will give rise to Anti-Americanism and will  lead to the failure of US policy in Afghanistan.

    Keywords: India, U.S., Afghanistan, Indo-U.S. relations, bilateral ties, Obama visit

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    Euphimisms: Obama asks for ‘Kashmir’ resolution without using ‘K’ word

    November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

    Euphimisms: Obama asks for ‘Kashmir’ resolution without using ‘K’ word

    Marking the three regions of the Indian state ...Image via Wikipedia

    We know that Richard Holbrooke was prohibited from using th “K” word. It seems Obama is also not allowed to mention Kashmir publicly. He did however mention it. Everyone who understand the language of politics knew what Obama was alluding to when he talked about “more controversial issues”. White House officials have already dropped hints that Kashmir will be discussed in private.

    MUMBAI – President Barack Obama called on India on Sunday to bolster peace efforts with Pakistan, a country that he said was not acting quickly enough to deal with militancy within its borders.

    Obama faces a diplomatic tightrope in fostering ties with India as its economic and geopolitical importance grows while at the same time helping Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid and promoting wider peace in Afghanistan.

    “My hope is that over time, trust develops between the two countries, that dialogue begins, perhaps on less controversial issues, building up to more controversial issues,” Obama told a meeting of students at a college in Mumbai.

    “There are more Pakistanis who’ve been killed by terrorists inside Pakistan than probably anywhere else,” Obama said. (Reuters)

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    It is disgusting that President Obama has to go to such lengths to hide his discussions with the Bharati government. Kashmir is disputed territory per several UN resolutions and the US recognizes the dispute. President Obama has let down millions of Kashmiris and Sikhs during this trip by not addressing them while in the land of the Call Centers.

    Stephen Cohen: US’s biggest Pakistanphobe

    November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

    Stephen Cohen: US’s biggest Pakistanphobe

    US President Barack Obama’s arrival in India next weekend will be an important marker in the rapidly evolving ties between the two countries, which have more shared interests today than at any other time in the past.

    But can they break new ground on complex issues of the day, like the new clout that China wields or the dangerous stalemate on the AfghanistanPakistan front?

    Stephen P Cohen, currently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think-tank, who has written several books on the geopolitics of the region, discussed what’s possible, in an interview with DNA during a recent visit to Mumbai. Excerpts:

    What does the recent Chinese browbeating of Japan, forcing the release of a ship’s captain who had strayed into Japanese waters, indicate to us about how the geopolitics of the region is evolving? Do you see China becoming increasingly assertive?

    I’m not sure whether it was mismanagement by China or assertiveness by China. I remember at the beginning of the Bush administration, they brought down an American airplane, and it was seen to be an assertive, aggressive China, but it turned out to be the reaction of a single People’s Liberation Army (PLA) pilot. So I don’t think you can draw a large picture of the region from a single action.

    On the other hand, the Chinese have had an obsession with Japan for a long time. It’s part of their culture and history. They teach their kids in school about Japanese aggression during World War II and so forth.

    The American policy, as I understand it, is not to assume that China is necessarily going to be a hostile power as it rises.

    But given the size of China’s economy and military, isn’t it inevitable that Chinese influence will dominate the region? How can India match that?

    If India had grown as fast as China when China had started growing, it would have been a match for China. But India is 15 years behind China and it may not be able to close that gap. But it’s certainly a different India today than 15 years ago.

    Also, I think you have to measure influence and power in different categories. I don’t see the Chinese cultural influence spreading or the Chinese model emulated even in Chinese-speaking countries like Singapore.

    India on the other hand has always been a cultural superpower. From East Africa all the way to Southeast Asia, Indian culture, music, films, and sports like cricket are popular.

    So I think you can measure influence on different criteria. Take the quality of diplomacy. Here the Chinese are doing very well. I’ve just come from Pakistan, and it’s clear that the Chinese influence there is growing tremendously.

    Do you see a waning of US influence in Asia as we go forward?

    Our influence has been waning because we’ve been up to our noses in Iraq and now Afghanistan. I agree with the view that we have neglected East Asia and South Asia because of Iraq and Afghanistan. I think Iraq was the biggest strategic blunder in modern American history and pulling out of Afghanistan too early was an even bigger blunder.

    But once we sort those things out, and I think they are in the process of being sorted out, I can see the Americans and the Indians working closer together, especially to develop interoperability in naval co-operation.

    It’s theoretically possible that China will turn hostile 5 or 10 years from now, although I’m not predicting anything; so consultation and interoperability [between the US and Indian militaries] are important things to do now.

    But India-US ties always appear secondary to US interests in maintaining Pakistan as an ally. Can there be any change in this equation?

    Pakistan is half an ally, half a problem, and the ‘alliance’ has been one of convenience. We have not seen it as directed against India, but this was the major purpose of Pakistan in seeking US arms.

    We all want to see Pakistan moderate how it pursues its interests by supporting or tolerating extremist and terrorist groups. This is a big agenda for both the US and India, but Pakistan should not be seen as a zero-sum game by either.

    It is in India’s interests to make its peace with its neighbours; the country that benefits the most from intra-South Asian hostility is China.

    How reliable is Pakistan as an ally in the Afghanistan war?

    It’s an ambiguous alliance, because Pakistan is supporting us in Afghanistan and also opposing us by supporting the Taliban. I think this is an unsustainable situation. Even the India-Pakistan dispute is not sustainable; sooner or later it will break down into a crisis and people will realise that it is draining both countries of valuable resources, especially Pakistan. So I would hope that the US strategy would be to find ways in which India and Pakistan can co-operate not only on Kashmir but also Afghanistan.

    What will it take for the US to see a larger role for India in Afghanistan?

    I think India made a mistake rejecting [Richard] Holbrooke’s role as a regional emissary. They were afraid he would raise Kashmir. That’s a legitimate Indian concern, but on the other hand, India has a natural role to play in Afghanistan other than simply telling the Americans ‘you go fight the Taliban’.

    How does US financial indebtedness to China affect its influence in Asia? Are economic considerations overcoming the core values and ideas that the US purports to represent?

    It’s a factor, but I don’t think the only one. In terms of revolutionary change around the world, what may be more important is the way in which we’ve all acquired a new nervous system: the modern media, television, the internet, messaging, they are transforming the way people see the world and I think that’s probably more important than trade deficits.

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