Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pakistan a real problem

There have been developments just since this Register editorial on Pakistan was published, but the fundamentals don't seem to have changed. Following a secret order signed by Bush, the U.S. has decided to conduct cross-border attacks against suspected al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan, including crossing the border from Afghanistan.

A raid Sept. 9 has been acknowledged, but the Pakistani government has said it will forcibly prevent further foreign fighters from coming into its sovereign territory, and there may even have been a shots-in-the-air confrontation between the Paki and U.S. militaries. Joint Chiefs chief Mike Mullen went over to reassure the Pakis, but an attack occurred anyway. We suggest stopping the attacks, and say the next president will have to do a ground-up reassessment of our relationship with Pakistan, with the option of a strategic withdrawal that would include an end to aid on the table. We're unlikely to neutralize al-Qaida the way we're going anyway. It's very complicated, and I'll expand on it for this weeks column.

I particularly enjoyed talking to Christine Fair of RAND for this piece. She's a pretty clear-eyed realist. Sovereignty, she scoffed, is a concept used only when it's convenient. Is Hamid Karzai really the sovereign ruler of Pakistan when he wouldn't last five minutes without foreign troops to bolster him? No Pakistani government has had effective control over the laughably named Federally Administered Tribal Areas, so is it really sovereign there? The Durand Line that marks the Afghan-Paki border was drawn by a British colonial official who probably didn't know that it ran right through a Pashtun tribal area. It not only might not deserve to be treated as sacred, it almost certainly creates conflict.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FIVE REGIONAL CITIES OF PAKISTAN should be upgraded with in the provinces in the country. Regional cities of Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP, Gawadar/ Qalat in Balouchistan, Sukkar/ Larkana in Upper Sind, Jehlam/ Rawalpindi and Multan in Punjab province. These regional cities have been ignored by the federal and provincial governments although these cities have their own history, culture and languages.Dera Ismail Khan in south of Pakhtun khwa/MWFP is under seige, Multan/DG Khan in south of Punjab is next target of religious extremists,Sukkar/ Larkana is being rule by criminals, Gawadar/ Qalat is trouble some. The people of these regions have to travel to provincial capitals for every small issue and requirement of the daily life which should be provided in nearby cities. A good number of population travel to big cities for their survival to earn livelihood as the local feudal own majority land and keep the common man as their slaves. Creation of regional government and upgrading of the regional cities will save a lot of money and time of the poor people of these regions. Circuit benches of the High Courts are already working in these areas and only requirement is the additional staff of different departments involved in additional work at the provincial capitals. The concern authorities should immediately consider to upgrade the regional cities. And immediate attention should be given upgrade/build the airports,TV station, civic center, libraries,hospitals, educational institutes and investment opportunities for Pakistanis living abroad and foreign firms to create jobs in the area as majority population in rural Pakistan do not have enough resources to survive. It’s remind me the condition of pre Islamic revolution of Iran in Shah time when the rural Iran was ignored and the capital Tehran was developed in a way to call it Paris of Middle East with modern life style. Couple of other big cities like Isfahan and Caspian sea was taken care of because of foreign tourists but rural area was ruled by cruel police and intelligence. Then what happen rural population supported the Islamic revolution and moved to Tehran and other big cities later on. The new government after revolution developed, built and upgraded the rural areas of Iran accordingly. A fund to upgrade/build these regional cities in Pakistan should be intoduced by public and private sector and Pakistani government, our foreign friends and Pakistanis living abroad may be asked to participate in this development mission in the country..KHWAJA AFTAB ALI,( former secretary, Iranian embassy, Saudi Arabia,1979-88) Advocate High Court & I.P. Attorney-first & the only Pakistani lawyer who earned Intellectual Property laws scholarship in USA,presently residing in Florida, USA.