The Zardari dilemma

Balancing the pushes

If Asif Zardari doesn’t push back against the Americans, Cyril Almeida, a columnist at Dawn argues, he will be “pushed out by the army.”

What Mr Almeida doesn’t consider, and what must be weighing on President Zardari’s mind, are the implications of pushing back against the Americans.

The Americans won’t merely push. They’ll shove.

19 thoughts on “The Zardari dilemma”

  1. Information in the public domain indicates that the Pakistan government is financially soluble thanks to the Americans and the Saudis. Does anyone know the split between the two?

    If the Americans decide that their money is all of a sudden dearer and cut down (partially or completely) on the ‘aid’ they’re giving Pakistan, how long before the Pakistani economy goes splat?

  2. NRA,

    Not when those nukes don’t directly threaten the US.

    IMO, post 9-11, the major concession Mushy made to Armitage wasn’t a U turn on the taliban (that would’ve happened anyway under ‘regular’ US pressure) but rather giving up sole control over Packee N-bums (took the ‘bomb ya back to ’em stone ages’ kinda shove to get this thing done). Also, what are the odds AQ Khan was never granted access to by Pak for the Americans?

    /
    Admittedly, mere speculation on my part onlee.

  3. “Isnt there a limit to which the Americans can push or shove a state with nuclear weapons?”

    Maybe the nukes have been compromised in someway?

  4. The Americans won’t merely push. They’ll shove.

    Agree. The stakes are high. With Wall Street in turmoil the US cannot afford another terrorist attack on its soil.

    There seems to be a pattern targeting the ISI: Narayanan first; NYT “leaks”; Bush to Gilani; indicting Kayani (ex-ISI) on the Kabul embassy bombing; Boucher yesterday. Could it be that the US+India (+Israel?) axis is really serious about clipping these guys’ wings?

  5. Shaunak: If the Americans decide that their money is all of a sudden dearer and cut down (partially or completely) on the ‘aid’ they’re giving Pakistan, how long before the Pakistani economy goes splat?

    Likely 2-4 months. Hypothetical scenario though. While the dole _is_ a lot of money for Pakistan, it’s chump-change compared to the cost of US military deployments in Afghanistan or Iraq. Essentially outsourcing the Afghan war on the eastern front on the cheap. Problem is that outsourcing is not working well at all. Bringing that problem “in-house” amounts to an invasion of FATA – not an option given the Pak Army stand. So the US is stuck with reluctantly doling out cash to the duplicitous Pak army to retain what muddled leverage they have. The cost of losing that leverage is evident with the way the US has to deal with Iran.

  6. Libertarian – “Could it be that the US+India (+Israel?) axis is really serious about clipping these guys’ wings?”

    From your lips to Jehovah’s ears.

  7. @Everyone-Who -Replied:
    So if Paki nukes are not a problem now, why has US been going gaga over them in the last few years? Paki nukes have never had the capability of reaching US. What has changed now that US is not afraid of pushing and shoving? US elections? Zardari’s presidency? Compromised control of Paki nukes?

    Even if its all three, I hope he and US do realize that there is a line that Pak army wont allow to be crossed. Does that mean Pak Army is now tame enough to not push back against US? Perhaps, its business interests are now so dependent on American monies that its hard for it to let go of the greed.

    and no, firing on American raiding parties is not that line because Pak Army has enough deniability about it, what with tribes and villagers carrying enough weapons in those areas.

    Regarding the economic angle, here are two interesting figures on Pakistan:
    http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displayStory.cfm?source=hptextfeature&story_id=12209394

  8. I’m guessing what the Americans are most worried about in Paki N bums is jihadi detonated suitcase bums, IMO. Even if the US has neutered KNOWN packee nukes using some joint control mechanism or compromised delivery systems, there’s no saying whether china hasn’t passed on a few new babies to populate the empty packee N cupboard.

    Again, having Pak collapse isn’t very difficult for the US to do, its just that they haven’t made up their mind on it yet. There’re strong Pak linkages in the Pentagon and the CIA going back to the 80s heydays. That generation of cold warriors will pass on. After that, the deluge.

  9. Libertarian: “Could it be that the US+India (+Israel?) axis is really serious about clipping these guys’ wings?”

    Unlikely. The first item on Israel’s wing-clipping agenda will be Iran since Iran is much more of an existential threat to it. If push does come to shove, the US and Israel would prefer to deal with Iran first and then, after the radioactive dust settles down, to swat Pakistan.

    Besides, selling an attack on Iran to the American people would be comparatively easier for the US government than selling an attack on “an ally” – Pakistan.

  10. For the consideration of democratic forces, intelligentsia, writers, academicians, poets, journalists, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and civil society, columnists, print and electronic media of Pakistan

    Government of the people, by the people and for the people is democracy. Today in 21st century there are twenty two forms of democracy prevailing in the world. Democracy is the only form of governance in modern world which advocates that sovereignty belongs to the people. From representative democracy to totalitarian democracy all the definitions are around people and their social, economical, cultural, educational, developmental, democratic constitutional and human rights. People throughout the world have waged historical struggle to have their rights. From the divine rights of King to right of vote is a struggle contains centuries of peaceful struggle and some time it is full of bloodshed, killings, hangings, humiliation and massacre in various parts of the world, but people never abandon struggle of their rights. After Second World War the entire Asian and African continent get emancipation of imperialism. After that another period of exploitation, nepotism, personal liking and disliking and humiliation of human beings have been started at the hands of local masters or the ruling establishment from Saudi Arabia to Sudan, and from Mauritania to Pakistan.
    We have seen the results of struggle and commitment in recent Nepalese people resistance movement led by Maoists. 240 years old monarchy has had to quit. And one no of deposed Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan has changed entire scenario of Pakistani politics in 2007 and 2008. According to many political intellectuals, writers, civil society actors, Media persons, and independent think thanks the great sacrifice of leader of Pakistan People’s Party and twice prime minister of Pakistan Mohtrima Benazir Bhutto have had great impact and in fact according to her own words that her death will be catalyst of change in Pakistan came true on 18th of August-2008. Eight years of a tyrannical and totalitarian rule of self imposed president Musharraf has fallen and bowed before people’s power.
    Indeed people of Pakistan and regional stakeholders have mixed reaction in this regard. Some critics says that all Coalition partners have different political agendas, for instance PML (N), was and is fighting of personal enmity with Musharraf, Pakistan People’s Party wanted to accommodate her political workers who have been marginalized and targeted by military establishment since long. JUI ( F) want to safe its Madrassas in different parts of Pakistan which are still creed and breed of fanaticism and extremism in the country and that Awami National Party ( ANP), which claim itself secular, progressive political party have discharged different stance on some controversial issues like growing influence of local Taliban’s in North Western Frontier of Pakistan ( NWFP), that they supported the idea of implementing Sharia (Islamic Jurisprudence ) in the area, and after that weak policy the Shia minority in some parts fall victim of Sunni ( Whabi) majority. The top most priority of ANP was to get change the name of the province from NWFP to Pushtoonkhwa. Having negotiations with political forces is a political strategy, but to compromise on the political philosophy is paradigm shift in the display of ANP.
    We would like to remind Coalition partners their historical responsibility of giving people their fundamental rights which are agreed and signed by the Government of Pakistan under various international agreements and conventions.
    That:
    1- We demand a new constitution for Pakistan in 21st century
    2- To abolish all blasphemy laws from the constitution of existing constitution of Pakistan of 1973.
    3- All those contradictory amendments must be removed from the constitution of 1973 which bars freedom of thought and freedom of religion in the country
    4- The rights of minorities must be preserved under state constitution and its impartial implementation.
    5- Those who advocate, publish, speak, and propagate religious hatred must ban and state would have to be vigilant if they use the same ideology under different names, flags and slogans in the country.
    6- To equalize the educational system the curriculum of the state must be renewed by all and that it should discourage religious fanaticism, extremism and promotion of single school of thought.
    7- Local languages be given equal opportunity to flourish in free and healthy environment and that the pseudo culture of national language must be discouraged.
    8- Religious minorities like Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, and others be protected and those who violate state jurisdiction in this regard must brought to justice publicly.
    9- Concurrent list be reviewed and except currency, defense and foreign affairs provinces must be given autonomy to legislate in the public interest.
    10- Culture of nepotism, personal liking and disliking must be discouraged now.
    11- All retired military officers who are occupying key posts in public offices removed now and that civil servant are given equal opportunities of promotion without any discrimination of cast, color, and creed, social or political orientation.
    12- To end feudal culture millions of shelter less people be given lands so that they can construct their livelihoods and can live with dignity and honor as equal citizens of the country.
    13- That the local people are the sole masters of natural resources and royalty be given to the them so that they can utilize it on their empowerment and living standard.
    14- Juvenile’s courts and separate judicial system be formed immediately.
    15- States has to take the responsibility of dignified life of its citizens and that unemployment allowance is granted to educated youth so that they can live with honor until employment.
    16- Basic health facilities and hygienic education be given to each citizen.
    17- Women and children must be given special focus as they are most vulnerable in rural areas of the country where basic health, education, clean drinking water and infrastructure is still a dream.
    18- Universal Declaration of Human Rights is made part of curriculum in the country.

    Regarding Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan we are demanding that:

    1- Unrepresentative forums like as ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas be finished.
    2- The status of legislative Assembly of Azad Kashmir be changed into Constitutional Assembly so that electrols can draft a complete constitution despite living and acting under a constitutional act.
    3- The royalty of Mangla dam be given to local people and those who sacrificed their lands is given alternative place or resources to rehabilitate after so many years. Majority of those effected people are still demanding in this regard.
    4- That the official slogan of Kashmir bane ga Pakistan (Kashmir will be the part of Pakistan) be removed from all educational institutions and public places.
    5- Powerful lent officers called back from Muzaffarabad and local officers should given opportunity and promotion of Chief Secretary, Inspector General of Police, Secretary Finance, and Director General of Health.
    6- Culture of personal liking and disliking and pick and choose must be discouraged now.
    7- Local franchise be held in the area so that locals could have alternative leadership.
    8- Role of secret agencies in manipulating local politics must stop now.
    9- It must be ensured at every level that funds allocated by Government and international donors are utilized properly for the well being of the locals and that those who are given that fund are accountable before the law and the public.
    10- Merit in local jobs be restricted and that the formation of public service commission should be on impartial and honest people rather than on the basis of political or religious affiliation adherent to the ideology of Pakistan.
    11- All foreign nationals who are illegally residing in the area must send back to their native areas. Terrorist infrastructure must be dismantled now, that we have serious concerns over the presence of foreign nationals in borders areas which can escalate the situation any time according to independent media reports from those areas adjacent to the line of control.
    12- Industries should be set up in the area so that local people could be consumed and that the local authorities should have statistics of ratio of unemployment in the area.
    13- That we support peace process between India and Pakistan and therefore, we demand that openness of more trade routes, economical activity across the line of control and people to people contact would further strengthen and harmonize current fragile environment between both arch rivals.
    14- We have serious concern on the failure of Government of Pakistan, local authorities at Muzaffarabad, ERRA (Earthquake Relief and Rehabilitation Authority), and SERA, officials after three years of devastation. According to sources stakeholders nothing did beautifully but have bought luxury vehicles with the funds allocated to them for the resettlement and rehabilitation of effected people. Misuses of those precious resources are made accountable and any further misuse of earth quake funds be stopped.
    15- Plundering of precious forests and minerals be stopped and those natural resources are utilized on the development of the area.
    16- Implementation of merit be assured on all state jobs and that oath of faithfulness to the ideology of Pakistan be abolished from that procedure.
    17- A complete university be established for each district of Azad Kashmir whose population is increasing day by day.
    18- Kashmir studies should be made part of national curriculum from primary to higher classes.
    19- Special schools and technical institutions must be established for disabled and physically challenged children and youth.
    20- Hospital should be established in each district of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
    21- That we don’t endorse Karachi agreement between non locals of Gilgit Baltistan and Government of Pakistan and it is however contradictory to the UNCIP resolution which Pakistan ostensibly claims to be implemented.
    22- That pro people political leadership and civil society of the Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir would not allow Government of Pakistan to lease any part of that region to any country without the will of the inhabitants of that region.
    23- Until the final settlement of that region the exploitation of natural resources of that region must stop now and that water resources royalty be given to and utilized at the social and economical development of that region.
    24- Those who are illegally kidnapped from Azad Kashmir by the secret agencies of Pakistan be recovered and those who found perpetrators must brought to justice.
    25- That the construction of all major water reservoirs and dams immediately halted which is scheduled to be constructed in Gilgit Baltistan, and upraising of Mangla Dam in Pakistani Administered Kashmir be halted as well

    Yours sincerely,

    Jamil Maqsood
    General Secretary
    United Kashmir Peoples National Party (UKPNP) Belgium
    Cell: +32 484 062 952

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