Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Strategy And War In Pakistan And Afghanistan: Some Questions

On the heels of today's devastating attack in Lahore, which killed 45 people and injured about one hundred, we were treated to a front page article in the NYT that would be of interest to many Pakistanis. The article describes the Obama administration's efforts to cajole the Pakistan government and military to "do more". In essence, the message that has been delivered is: do the job, or get out of the way. The administration has explicitly threatened drone strikes in Quetta and boots on the ground in FATA if Pakistan doesn't act against those actors that threaten Afghanistan and allied forces, but not Pakistan directly. On cue, the NYT editorial page joins in the fun, and urges Pakistani military and civilian leaders to realize that this war is for the nation's survival, and that more must be done in confronting the so-called Afghan Taliban. Well, I love a good lecture from the NYT any time I can get one, so I'm grateful for that. But let's deal with some of the questions that this set of events has engendered.

1. What exactly will it take for opinion-makers and decision-makers in the West to draw a connection between their strategies and the enormous physical toll on Pakistan? To be clear, I am not arguing for or against particular strategies. What am I arguing for is a comprehensive evaluation of the implications of various theories of war and conflict. The NYT and Obama administration both have a theory of this war, and that's fine; everybody does, and who's to say, prima facie, who's right and who's wrong? But surely -- surely -- there should be some allusion to what Pakistanis are going through right now? Some signal that the some two and half thousand deaths in the last two years, the nearly five hundred dead in the last two months, somehow, some way, factor into the calculus?

The NYT editorial comes close, when discussing why the military doesn't strike against the Taliban in Balochistan when it says "In part, they are hesitating because of legitimate fears of retaliation." But why, pray tell, are these fears legitimate? Doesn't the NYT bear some responsibility for educating its readers to explain what real retaliation looks like? Real numbers, perhaps? This is not a minor quibble, though it may look like it is to outsiders because I am picking apart at a sentence or two in an entire editorial. The central point remains that people simply have no clue about the lives lost in this war in Pakistan. So let me help you with that:

AFP/Arif Ali

AP/K.M. Chaudary

AP/K.M. Chaudary

There are no candlelight vigils, no Facebook groups, and no Fareed Zakaria specials for Pakistani victims of militant violence. To some extent, this is the result of image problems. Pakistan is a "bad actor" in the international system, and as such, deserves little sympathy. After all, wasn't it Pakistan itself that gave rise to these groups in the first place? Indeed it was. But it is a strange moral and strategic compass that blames women and children shopping at Moon Market for the sins of GHQ and the ISI.

2. Do people understand that Balochistan is an entire problem unto itself? Newsflash, brainiacs at the NYT editorial board: there has been a low level civil war simmering in Balochistan since 2004. This follows the medium level civil war in Balochistan in the mid 1970s. Both times, the military went in, and both times, as the Pakistani military is wont to do, there wasn't a great deal of demonstrated concern for collateral damage.

The people of Balochistan have been denied basic political and economic rights, both by the central government and their nationalist so-called leaders for fifty years now. The last month has seen significant developments in this conflict, with the center -- in the hands of the PPP -- presenting a reform package aimed at placating Balochi nationalism, without much success (at least at this early juncture). If you opened a Pakistani newspaper in the last thirty days, you would know this. It has dominated the news, even more so than the Taliban war.

Why do I bring this up? Because launching drone strikes in Balochistan, and the inevitable civilian casualties that will result, will exacerbate this problem in very serious and predictable ways. I feel stupid even writing this. But apparently it is needed.

Here's how it will play out: Balochi grievances will congeal into both an anti-Pakistan narrative and an anti-anti-Taliban one. The storyline will be that the state has sold out Balochi land to foreign forces, when it wasn't even theirs to sell. Balochistan has long chafed under the hard-nosed attitude of Pakistani central governments, both military and civilian, toward provincial autonomy and federalism. Can you imagine how it will react if and when Pakistan gives the go-ahead for American drones to strike in Quetta? Or even less ambitiously, can you imagine the military making a foray into Balochistan again? At this time?

I don't mean to be rude, but for fuck's sake, NYT, get a goddamn clue.

3. Are the Obama administration's ultimatums empty threats? I have to say, upon reading the news article for the first time, that's what I thought. Why? Because surely they know that they cannot do either of the things they are threatening to do if Pakistan does not comply. They can't use drones without the explicit permission of the Pakistani government; that much is clear from the carefully calibrated ways in which the policy first got underway under the Bush-Mush partnership, and expanded considerably under the Barry-Zarry partnership. And they can't use Special Ops without risking considerable blowback from the Pakistani military especially; the last time it happened, the military leadership let them know in no uncertain terms that it was not on.

So if they can't do it, why would they threaten to do it? That was my logic the first time I read the piece. And then I sat back, and reflected. And it dawned on me that looking at the credibility of the threat is probably the wrong prism with which to analyze it.

No, what matters more here is the content of the threat: two very big sticks. The Obama administration has seriously broken with the Bush team on this in a significant way. The threats are louder and more ominous, but the sweet talk is gentler and more wide-ranging. While the Bushies generally cared only about the military status quo in the country, we hear time and again from this administration the potential of a broader strategic partnership. The NYT editorial even referenced Obama's promises of "what one aide described as a partnership of “unlimited potential” in which Washington would consider any proposal Islamabad puts on the table." Such promises lack the credibility of the threats above, perhaps even more so, but they do an adequate job of conveying a sense of urgency that was, I daresay, absent from the Americans before. Bigger sticks, yes, but also bigger carrots. The logic, I think, is that by raising the stakes of a bad strategic choice by the Pakistani military, you increase the likelihood of a good strategic choice.

Of course, all this assumes that this is a choice, which brings me to...

4. Is the Pakistan military not going after the Afghan Taliban because of a lack of willingness or a lack of ability? I've talked about this at length before, but it's not immediately clear to me why the military is not going after the Afghan Taliban at this point in time. The Americans seem to think it's because they don't want to and that they don't consider them a threat; to the contrary, the Americans believe that the Pakistani military thinks of the Afghan Taliban as a strategic ally in its rivalry with India. And certainly, there is little evidence disproving this hypothesis.

On the other hand, it is an hypothesis that is not falsifiable, at least right now. That is because assuming the military even wanted to, it couldn't do so. They are mired in a whack-a-mole war right now, jumping from Swat to the wider Malakand division to the northern areas of FATA (Bajaur, Khyber) to South Waziristan. All these operations have been undertaken against sworn enemies of the Pakistani state and groups involved in the killing of Pakistani civilians. In other words, they have their hands full with anti-Pakistan groups, rendering action against anti-US/NATO groups basically impossible. So as things stand, we simply cannot know if this is a matter of intentions or a matter of capabilities.

One piece of idle speculation: why are we so sure that the Pakistani military cannot turn against the Afghan Taliban for now, and then cultivate them later? To be clear, I am not arguing for this position by any stretch. But I do think we need to consider the military's incentives here.

Consider that the American theory of the military's goals is that they (the military) want an ally in post NATO Afghanistan, and thus are not acting against the Afghan Taliban right now. But why does that ally have to be this particular incarnation of the Afghan Taliban? Is it not at least plausible that if the Pakistani military leadership really did want to exert influence in Afghanistan through a local proxy, that they could cultivate that proxy at a later time? It's not as if they don't have the practice or know-how; hell, they've been doing it for nearly twenty years. Why not go after the Afghan Taliban now, satisfy the Americans, and then make a new Afghan Taliban in 2012 to make everyone's lives miserable?

Make no mistake, such a strategy would make everyone's lives miserable -- both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. But that's my view, one of a poor pathetic liberal who doesn't understand the world and the way it works. The Pakistani military could, and probably would, see things differently. So why does everybody assume a logic on behalf of the military that may not hold?


Minerva said...

Pakistan is a "bad actor" in the international system, and as such, deserves little sympathy.

Hundred percent agreed with you on that. We haven't played up on the suffering we're going through mainly because we're too fucked up policy-wise and just can't.seem.to.get.it.together.


I wish there was some way we could bring a change or hold a vigil of some kind or just ... I don't know. Get some sense, maybe. A better way to react to all the 'domore' balderdash the American administration is spewing.

Being an average citizen, you can't do much - which is worse because our leaders are absolutely worthless.

Minerva said...

The article btw was NOT a good read.

Seems stupidity runs amok in Obama's advisory board too.

Sakib Ahmad said...

Westernised members of Pakistan's effete middle class seem quite incapable of independence of thought. Is it the fear of giving offence to the Americans that makes them so timorous and scared? Yes, you want to disagree with the Americans and yet you dare not!

Do click the link below which will give you an alternative viewpoint - and do remember to read the comment thereon.


takhalus said...

the "bad actor" element extends to within Pakistan as well..i feel there is quite a discrepancy between how attacks are projected in Peshawar and in Punjab.. by the Pak media. You don't see the same level of coverage for whats going on in Peshawar compared to Pindi or Lahore. Nor do you see the same concern for the IDP's of Waziristan as compared to Swat.

Oh yeah i agree the article was poorly written! I mean the Corp commander Peshawar's son was killed in the pindi blast..when the say do more ..you do wonder what else do they want!?

On a side point to the Balochistan package..US attacks in pak besides further radicalising the Baloch (which lets not forget the yanks have an interest in using against the Iranians) may also widen the split between the pashtuns and Baloch (the Package for Balochistan has barely mentioned the Pashtun or hazara areas) .

Realistically the Americans need to give the establshment some sort of carrot with regard to relations with India..if pressure was eased on the eastern front it could free up troops.

Finally yeah you are right pakistan's establishment will find new proxy's given a chance..anyone remember former spook darling Hekmatyar?

Rabia said...

I don't think it's accurate to oppose drone attacks based on the possible Baloch nationalist reaction. The most vocal critics of the proposed drone attacks in Quetta have not been nationalist leaders but JUI-F and other religious leaders who are not really alienated from mainstream Pakistan. In fact, very much to the contrary, on this matter they represent the mainstream Pakistani view.

I think it's better to discuss the problems with drone attacks from a Pakistani nationalist perspective (there are plenty of legitimate problems from this perspective).

Ahsan said...


Yes, the feeling of helplessness is the worst thing about all this.


Yes, I agree on the Pashtun/Punjabi distinction, but only to an extent.

Sakib Ahmad:

By all means, continue to indulge in your armchair amateur psychoanalysis of us, but please stop hawking your blog when you do so. Every single one of your comments is an advertisement for your blog, and it's annoying.


Yeah, I agree. It's not means to be an either/or thing, but an in addition to thing.

Umair Javed said...

Oh at least the NYT did a piece on the carnage that took place in Lahore. The Guardian didn't bother this time around. they must have thought it was peshawar again and nobody's interested in reading about yet another bomb going off in peshawar. As far as the Afghan strategy is concerned, i dont know how safe it is to draw this distinction between the Afghan taliban and the Pakistani militants, im sure the lines are a lot more blurry and fluid, and in that sense maybe the military operation in Waziristan will only succeed in relocating the so-called Pakistani Taliban. I personally am all for the immediate withdrawal of the ISAF forces from Afghanistan which might lead to a gradual movement of the militants away from Pakistan back onto the other side of the Durand line. Plus, its really hard to have an opinion on any of the events going on primarily because theres a severe lack of independent reporting taking place from any of the fronts of the war. Everyone has to rely on Ather Abbas and the cronies at the ISPR for whats really happening

Rohith said...

"we simply cannot know if this is a
matter of intentions or a matter of capabilities"

even if it were a matter of capability, that would justify do-yourself-else-we-do-it rhetoric... the else part applies for both the possibilities i guess; only difference being one is a threat and other is an offer for partnership, if u can call it that... so the reason for not going after afghan taliban is a red herring acc to me.

secondly, u have whined out a lot seeking more sympathy... i think it does exist, just that the public posturing is different to match with the broader startegy and show a sense of urgency. Also, US is not the only player here [though it is the most vocal]...these interest should a) be taken care of the pak estbl and b) articulated in the same way as the americans are doing to bring reassurance to the public

Nabeel said...

Is there going to be any backlash from the Pakistani media for this? I'm waiting for someone in the industry to find the guts to call out the NYT for this nonsense.

Is there a remote possibility Shah Mehmood Qureshi might be a little more honest and straightforward in his next press conference? We need histrionics on the world stage to demonstrate how Pakistan has suffered. No one seems to get the message.

Anonymous said...

I think what US is essentially saying is that "this is our broad plan [strength of force, timeline, intentions]and this is the way we want to got about it. if u have any problem with the method and have an alternative, come out with it"

unfortunately your post does not do that.

Jaydev said...

"No Candle light vigil"
You gotta be kidding me..
Did you see sound bytes of the people whose brother,sister-in-law and nephews were killed in the attack..
..and culprits are IUI(Israel,US,India(I wish..duh!))
The sound bytes are from they guys who got to taste body splatter first hand..
sympathy for that guy..??
I forgot the link though..I read that sound byte in today's news..

Jaydev said...

About Strategy of turning against Taliban right now and then restarting it is obviously stupid..

I mean...if you look at the Lal Masjid episode..coz of the 200 or so fundo stick wielding girls killed in the operation by SSG(Culprit here is Chinese pressure not US)..that is why TTP was created...and you want to start war with another set of lunie tribesmen..?
Are you kidding me?..

I mean the right course for Pak right now is to let them be..infiltrate groups..create splits..and give external attack intel to India and Western countries of impending attack plans..this will build lots of credibility/trust of intentions..particularly..LeT and brigade 313 to India..and Haqqani-Al-Qaeda intel to US-NATO..

This jihadist mess is going to finish only if either whole Saud family is somehow massacred whole-sale or world moves from
oil to renewable energy.

Raza said...

Does anyone EVER investigate these fucking blasts? Forensics experts, explosives specialists, victim interviews--I mean, the cast of CSI Miami could do this shit. Out of the 7 buhzillion blasts we've had in the past month, is there not A SINGLE FUCKING LEAD as to exactly who did it? Not a SINGLE FUCKING arrest? They can't all be chilling Waziristan, right?

Oh wait, India/Israel/US did it. My bad.

thetrajectory said...

I completely agree with you that the negative image of the GHQ and ISI has overshadowed the security challenges facing common Pakistanis.
Though I have been critical of the policies of the Pakistani state, I hold that the current phase of civilian deaths requires international condemnation. According to me, even India has missed on extending humanitarian assistance to Pakistan at this juncture. http://thetrajectory.com/blogs/index.php/2009/11/india-misses-critical-outreach-opportunity-in-pakistan/
Even though relations between India and Pakistan are strained after 26/11, extending some form of medical and refugee assistance offers to Pakistan could really exhibit India's 'leadership' claim in the region.

smci60652 said...

1. On connecting US strategies to the civilian toll in Pakistan.

From the American perspective, dating back to when these TTP attacks started, the Pak Army and Government basically sat on their hands and tried to negotiate and bribe their way out of being a target for pissed-off Pak militants.

The view from K Street is basically that we had to beg and plead with the Pak leadership to do something about their own protection, and in response what they got was a Zardari government whose solution was to cede control to Sufi Muhammad in exchange for peace.

Amb. Haqqani literally tried to sell the agreement ceding SWAT in the US as a clever deal by Zardari to prove to the Pakistani Public that "you can't negotiate with these people." Basically saying that the reason the governement ceded its sovereign territory was to rally public support for an eventual push. Needless to say not many were impressed by Zardari's newfound 'brilliance.'

So the question is, how REALLY do you feel sympathy for a people that tolerate and 'duly-elect' such a dumb-assed government?

smci60652 said...

2. On Balochi problems

You're absolutely right about the expected reaction, but only to add that the "strategic calculus" the US is devising by requesting permission to strike Quetta has already changed. Many folks are now saying the 'Quetta Shura' is now the 'Karachi Shura,' and any attacks in Balochistan will just be killing innocent and unsuspecting people. The senior leadership of the Afghan Taliban is claiming publicly that they feel safe enough and have long ago moved back into Afghanistan proper, but others here seem convinced that they have been "moved" to Karachi for protection against any impending US strikes. So from a cost-benefit perspective, it just isn't feasible to open up another bag of crap for the Pakistani Governement, all for nothing accomplished in return.

smci60652 said...

3. On "Choices"

I agree with your "Two Big dandas vs Two Big gaajars" dichotomy. Even though I've been smacked with a gaajar before, and it wasn't pretty. Anyways, the fundamental misunderstanding by us Americans is just how deeply deeply mistrusted we are all across the political spectrum in Pakistan right now. Kerry/Lugar-esque proposals aside, we've pinned Pakistan's only reliable (however much that is) institution (the Army) into a corner.

If they approve the strikes, they have an increased militant and Baloch problem on their hands - where now effectively you have a Punjabi Army and Sindhi President fighting a two front war in Pashtunistan and Balochistan simultaneously.

If they reject the Obama proposal, God only knows how far the President is willing to take his 'hammer and anvil' strategy. This isn't 2001 anymore and he doesnt have 80+% of our public calling for heads after a devastating attack on the homeland. Issuing ultimatums now to Pakistan is NOTHING compared to issuing ultimatums in 2001 to Musharraf. We can't really back them up with threats of force anymore.

What's needed is a win-win counter proposal from the ISI. One that seriously considers some form of truce with the Afghan Taliban which involves a loose federal scheme in Afghanistan, and Taliban autonomy in the South and East, in exchange for a cease fire.

I know there've been a few articles in the US press alluding to this, but this scenario looks like lunacy to most people at this stage. The Afghan Taliban appears too weak to warrant such respect. But the above proposal will look like prophecy in about 12 to 24 months.

smci60652 said...

4. On new proxies

There isn't any verifiable source for this, but the word on the street is ALWAYS the same. The Afghan Taliban IS supported by the ISI and Pakistani Hawks in the 'Establishment.'

Where there is genuine debate in the US is about the lines of demarcation between Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban, Muqami Taliban and Al Qaeda foreign fighters. Some very well respected analysts (Steve Coll to name one) are convinced that the Afghan Taliban and TTP are pretty much one and the same, and this conclusion is their source of frustration over not understanding why the Pakistanis won't move on the 'Quetta Shura.'

Others such as the Center for American Progress are more careful and conclude that the groups are indeed different, and thus they don't have any trouble understanding why the Army can move on one group and simultaneously protect the other.

As for abandoning the Afghan Taliban at this stage, it would amount to the most wanton single act of treachery in the 21st Century. So if it IS being considered, one would respect why it takes such a long time to decide. Also, why trade something that is for sure right now, for some expectation of something doubtful later on? You honestly think the US or Indians, or Russians, or Iranis or the fledgling Afghan government is simply going to "let" Pakistan and Saudi create or bribe another proxy so easily? Heck no. Pakistan doesn't enjoy the same luxuries it did in the 90s.

smci60652 said...

I don't think we're concluding some faulty logic for the Pak military in as much as we're recognizing their logical thinking given their view of the world and their strategic planning. We've pinned them in a corner, and their screwed no matter what they do.

All in all, I think your article was great, because I too was annoyed by the Times article. And I think it's awesome that FP published your thoughts on their site.

Keep it up buddy!

Silversword said...

Ahsan sahib,

Western media and brainstrust will pay more attention to the plight of the innocent Pakistanis slaughtered in the "bad jihadi"-GHQ crossfire if:

(a) The general public in Pakistan begins to call out the jihadi tanzeemat and their GHQ backers instead of blaming RAW/Mossad/CIA reflexively

(b) The same people who are seen in heart rending situations start to donate their "Qurbani kay khaal" to the Edhi foundation in more numbers than they give to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its cover organizations

(c) Knowledgeable people like you stop giving the GHQ benefit of the doubt on their support for the Quetta shura and the Haqqani clan when there is a preponderance of evidence to indict the GHQ/ISI of the above

(d) Generals Kayani and Pasha come out publicly and refute the nonsensical "Blame CIA/Mossad/RAW" claims and admit that there are no "good" Taliban or "manageable" jihadis

I'll not hold my breath for any of the above to happen, and neither should anyone else...


galim said...


But it is a strange moral and strategic compass that blames women and children shopping at Moon Market for the sins of GHQ and the ISI

I understand your stand but you must also look at it from an outsider's viewpoint.

It is very convenient to lay all the blame to the “GHQ and the ISI” but if it wasn’t for the complicity (in action or by inaction) of the husbands of those women and the fathers of those children, would things have come to such a pass? IMO, blaming the GHQ and the ISI is only a little better than blaming the Yahood-Hanood axis for Pakistan’s ills—a clean escape into a lovely little fantasy world where “they” are responsible. To use a phrase that was often utilised to explain terror for so long by almost all Pakistanis (liberal or otherwise), you must understand the “root cause” of all this.

In a perfect world those children should not have to pay for the sins of their fathers but it is not a perfect world.

Pakistan (and Pakistanis) has long played with the fire that is religion in politics and a politics based on theological identity, and many have got burnt due to it. A lack of sympathy when Pakistanis get burned is unfortunate but is not surprising.

Anonymous said...

Jeeve Jeeve Pakistan!!

Pakistan Paindabad!!

Jo kamjarf humko 'sabzi' kahega hum uski 'sabzi' bana ke khaa jaayenge.

People are never killed in our land of the pure, woh sirf Shaheed hote hein...

Adam said...


I agree with most of what you said, however:

"The view from K Street is basically that we had to beg and plead with the Pak leadership to do something about their own protection, and in response what they got was a Zardari government whose solution was to cede control to Sufi Muhammad in exchange for peace."

Hopefully you realize how much pressure the Pakistan army exerts on the Zardari government. Look how the army reacted when Zardari wanted to put the ISI under civilian control, or wanted to cooperate with India after Mumbai.

Here's an interesting article: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-army-didnt-let-isi-chief-go-to-india-zardari/457746/0

Here's the last bit: 'Zardari also said that he was against the Swat peace deal with Taliban since he thought the militants were not “rational people”. “I don’t think there are any good Taliban. The world does, so that’s a defensive opinion.”'

"Issuing ultimatums now to Pakistan is NOTHING compared to issuing ultimatums in 2001 to Musharraf. We can't really back them up with threats of force anymore."

Drone attacks aren't even on the radar for most Americans. I think Obama has carte blanche with non-troop operations done in the name of fighting terrorism in this region, which I think is a good thing. So yeah there's not an impending invasion of Pakistan but why would America want to do that anyway?

Faiza said...

I can't believe some of the comments up there. No offence intended but I wonder why your blog attracts extremists from both sides. Or maybe they are few but just the most jarring comments. I agree with you, there should be a vigil and there is no need to discuss whether anyone deserves sympathy or not. If people can't find in themselves some sympathy for humanity in the face of this then that's their loss.

smci60652 said...


You're absolutely right about our ambivalence towards the drone strategy, but we can't forget that those drones have operating range, and up until a little while ago were taking off from Shamsi in Balochistan as well as Jalalabad.

If our strategy simply becomes one of using Afghan territory to launch drone attacks into Pakistan without the Pakistani Government's explicit (highly doubted) or hush- hush (usually the case, but increasingly doubtful) approval, then we risk further envigorating the Afghan Taliban's resistance because their Pakistani backers will have incontrivertable proof that the war is against them and not just the Taliban.

smci60652 said...

I think we're all 'Vigil-ed out'

There really wasn't any massive outpouring of grief or substantive governmental policy change over the London or Madrid bombings in the US either. Much less Bali.

The two wars we're responsible for have theaters that have suicide bombings and attacks almost everyday. I think the American people, and most people in the world, are just de-sensatized to violence that doesn't claim lives into the thousands in one swoop.

anoop said...

This piece talks about the Military as if its an entity on its own. An entity which has its own dynamics,its own priorities and method. THAT has got to change. It has to come under the leadership of the Civilian administration. Currently, the opinions and the way Civilians and military thinks is completely different.

I think the threat of drone attacks are a ways to force the Army to attack North Waziristan. They will put boots on the ground and attack North Waziristan but only after running out of choices. Pakistani army will be their 1st choice.

Anonymous said...

The authhor write "Pakistan is a "bad actor" in the international system, and as such, deserves little sympathy. After all, wasn't it Pakistan itself that gave rise to these groups in the first place? Indeed it was:.

This is hilarious. Why "bad actor" in quotes? Pakistan grew and sponsored terrorism on the people of India and Afghanistan. "moderate" pakis were having a good time demanding India should address core dispute, smugly looking the other way.

Now you are tasting your own bitter medicine. Beating your chest trying to be innocent victimss! Take the quotes off.

Now say with me pakistan IS A bad actor and gets no sympathy.

Brett said...

So if they can't do it, why would they threaten to do it? That was my logic the first time I read the piece. And then I sat back, and reflected. And it dawned on me that looking at the credibility of the threat is probably the wrong prism with which to analyze it.

I don't know if I'd read that much into it, Ahsan. What's more likely is that the Obama Administration is doing what I remember hearing from a different non-American - they're acting as if foreigners somehow don't read the news, and pandering to the domestic audience. Seeing as how this is Obama, who is fond of speeches and being everything to everybody, it is especially likely.

pc said...

you are good writer.

>this is the result of image problems. Pakistan is a "bad actor" in the international system,

may be it is not a "image" problem but just a plain and simple problem, resulting from legitimate reasons?

people deserve the govt they get, and the army and the terrorists too. Yes it applies to India and US as well.

Sakib Ahmad said...

Sabzi banaanay vaalay Ajnabi Sahib!

Pakistan ko aap jaisay sar-phiron ki zaroorat hai varna to hamaaray Umaraa aur Ashraaf ghairon ke ghulaam banay huway hain.

Parvaaz hai dono.n ki isee ek fazaa mei.n
Kargas ka jahaa.n aur hai shahee.n ka jahaa.n aur

Sohaib said...

New York Times ki taking karnay ka bohot bohot shukriya.se

Not Anonymous said...

To some extent, this is the result of image problems.


Yup, an image problem, that's what it is. Phew. Silly me thinking that we were brainwashed dumbasses---little automatons who find bumfuckking Ahmedis and liberating Kashmir more important then, oh I dunno, COMMON SENSE.

But you have opened my eyes. Thanks.

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Attach some real picture to make ur article look real..

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