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The Future of Pakistan?

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  Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Future of Pakistan?
    Posted: 07-Sep-2008 at 05:59
In concerns to the future of Pakistan I really deeply ponder what is going to happen since alot in the nation seems to be heading in a very negative direction with Pakistan facing a strong Islamic insurgency in the countryside to the West towards Afghanistan in conjecture to the frequent acts of militants against both government and civilian targets destabilizing the national government. combined now with a worsening economic crisis in which there seems to be little easy way out of. To make matters worse also political fighting and in the governmental bodies is occurring again after short-lived cooperation in addition to election of Bhutto's corrupt widow to the Presidency.

So with all of this I ponder what is going to occur in Pakistan in the coming months and couple of years with all of this posing a major crisis and with little way out, espeically due to the Pakistani governments political ineptness?             

Edited by Kevin - 07-Sep-2008 at 06:00
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2008 at 14:16

How might the future of Pakistan affect geopolitics along her borders and in the geographies nearest her interests?  Most specifically, how might it affect India?

Also, what may be the effects of Pakistan's ISI support for Islamists who now seem entrenched inside her sovereign territory?  Pakistan has been willing to permit this situation in order to redirect Islamist attention to counter great power influence in Afghanistan, whether USSR or NATO/US...both of whom have had favorable military relations with India.

I have not been convinced that either the USSR or NATO have been direct threats to Pakistan, but that is the way ISI sees it.  Maybe Sparten can elaborate on Pakistan's security concerns.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 07-Sep-2008 at 14:20
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2008 at 13:41
With Mr 10% incharge we are screwed economically and politically.
 
Strategically; Pakistans aims and objectives are set by institutions rather than individuals. The aims are to ensure a complient and non-threatening gov in Kabul, arrest and obstruct Indian influence in Gulf and S Asia generally and link up as much as possible with C Asian nations and their economys.
 
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2008 at 15:05
Developing econmic ties with central Asia seems a sound idea. Wanting a non-threatening government in Kabul is understandable, but I would have thought the best way to achieve that was simply not to interfere. But why 'compliant'?
 
And why, above all, to 'arrest and obstruct Indian influence in the Gulf and S. Asia generally'?
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2008 at 20:14
1) As far as Afghanistan is concerned, even a neutral friendly but not Pakistani-line toting government is seen as a threat since it could form alliences and have interests that are against us. Having India and China as neighbours, means that our resources meagre as they are, are anyways streched to the limit as it is, thus we need the west to be an asset. Also, many things in Afghan interests are detrimental to us, for example a dam on the Kabul river would be a boon to them, for both agriculture and power generation, yet a disaster for us since the Kabul is one of the main tributaries of the Indus. Most of Afghan consumer items, and foodstuff and machine tools are from Pakistan, we have a preferential trade agreement with them in all but name, for example we recently sold them several thousand tractors at rip off prices. Being a land locked country means that Afghan trade is carried out from Pakistani ports, under a very beneficial agreement, the last thing we want is too see that go to someone else.
 
Finally, the vex issue of Afghan claims to Pakistani lands, while Pakistani Pashtuns are highly integrated into Pakistani society, 4 Presidents have been Pashtun, the claims and the fillial ties can cause problems as seen in FATA recently.
 
2) In the gulf and C Asia, the Indians and we are often competeing for the same markets; and resources, the Indians have much more resources than we do. Both of us get most of our oil from the ME, unlike the Indians we have an agreement with the Saudis whereby in exchange for military hardware and expertise (we provided them with DU rounds when the US blackballed that IIRC), we get oil at discounted rates, and they buy our wheat, and factory products and invest in Pakistan generally. The Indian would love to have that; at our expense, and they are a much bigger market, keeping their influence at a minimum is thus a major aim.
The services sector in the gulf wants educated, english speaking, politically reliable (meaning non-western) professional, the only sources; us and the Indians, and usually where it  there are Pakistanis providing services (often the work is outsourced to Pakistani companys) there are no Indians and vice versa.
 
As for C Asia, the Indians see it as part of their orbit (at least the Southrern and Eastern States) and want to build up bases and influence there; they actually built an airbase in Tajikistan, until the Tajik gov under pressure from Pak Gov closed it down. Secondly, the Indians want access to its energy resources for their own needs, while we would like those resources to go through Pakistan (something they want to avoid) and ideally they would serve Pakistan first, once again since the size of India precludes an open competition, we have to employ other means.
 
 
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 01:38
Since Sparten's last post, there have been developments in Pakistan that are difficult to analyze.  See:
 
 
Is there a real possibility that Pakistan is now a failed state?  Have ISI and other clandestine services failed the country, or are Islamist interests in the ascendency in the security services?  Do the security services in fact run the military, and by extension the government?
 
How will the ascendency of Islamists in Pakistan, and the possibility of their seizing the mechanisms of the state affect geopolitics on the Subcontinent?
 
Who may wind up in control of the nuclear assets of the Pakistan military?
 
How is India going to view that?  (If the Taliban-style Pakis are not thinking about that, thay may want to start, and fast.)
 
What are the views here?
 
 
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 02:27
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

 Is there a real possibility that Pakistan is now a failed state? 


GAWD... i hate too think of it as such!


Have ISI and other clandestine services failed the country, or are Islamist interests in the ascendency in the security services?


I'm afraid it seems that way. Extremists in ISI has always had me concerned.


 Do the security services in fact run the military, and by extension the government?
 


I hope Spaten can clear that up with out me unduly speculating on that?


How will the ascendency of Islamists in Pakistan, and the possibility of their seizing the mechanisms of the state affect geopolitics on the Subcontinent?
 


This has never been a sole concern for the US alone. How it might affect the region depends on how Russia, China, India, Iran, US and to a certain extent Saudi Arabia handle this? This also might sound a little strange to mention at this point, but this might be the spur that gets the US and Iran too really start talking to each other? Then again, maybe not? But i think a bunch of Sunni extremists finally having nukes in their hands might actually scare the bejeebies out of Tehran to put their antagonist political rhetoric aside and open there eyes to the possible new reality of a so much possibly greater regional threat then the US has ever been to them?


Who may wind up in control of the nuclear assets of the Pakistan military?
 


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How is India going to view that?  (If the Taliban-style Pakis are not thinking about that, thay may want to start, and fast.)
 


I imagine... Pretty much nearly anything that it takes to keep that from happening?


What are the views here?


I think if a person was looking too make a killing with investments, then they might want too heavily invest in Eisai Inc. and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. stock? Specifically... Aciphex. Big smile
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 02:35

Is there a real possibility that Pakistan is now a failed state?  Have ISI and other clandestine services failed the country, or are Islamist interests in the ascendency in the security services?  Do the security services in fact run the military, and by extension the government?

I think there are Islamist sympathies, and a lack of other options. Democracy has been tried and failed, military coups have been tried, but aren't sufficient, there is probably a lot of people thinking why not give the Taliban a go? If you are a poor villager, you don't have anything to loose. Its only the educated wealthy that will experience a major downside.
How will the ascendency of Islamists in Pakistan, and the possibility of their seizing the mechanisms of the state affect geopolitics on the Subcontinent?

Not very much. The US will cease to be Pakistans ally, but we might see a strengthening of internal security in Pakistan. China is highly unlikely to change its stance, and Paks western border will quiten down. So the balance of power will probably remain fairly similar.
Who may wind up in control of the nuclear assets of the Pakistan military?

Even if Taliban take over, I doubt that the Pakistan military will be defeated. The Taliban do not have the strength to beat them in a straight fight. The military is much more likely to walk a neutral line, and therefore the nukes will remain in their control.
How is India going to view that?  (If the Taliban-style Pakis are not thinking about that, thay may want to start, and fast.)

What can India do about it? If they attack Pakistan, the military & Taliban will unite against India and the Talibs victory will be assured. If the Talibs take power, then India attacks, same deal.
Zadari is in my opinion too weak to survive against such opposition.

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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 02:40
One other thing may have been overlooked.  With the possibility of Islamist influences controlling Pakistan and it's nuclear weapons, what might be the concerns of the Chinese in all this?
 
Elements of China's Islamic population might be susceptible to influence from a nuclear armed Pakistani state either controlled by, or unduly influenced by, Islamist ideology.  Pakistan may go from a Chinese client/ally to an adversary that is viewed as a threat.
 
Hemmed in by 1,000,000,000 nuclear armed Hindu Indians to the south and east, and by 1,300,000,000 nuclear armed Chinese Communists to the north, any bets as to how a failed Pakistan will fare over time?
 
      
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 02:46
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

Is there a real possibility that Pakistan is now a failed state?  Have ISI and other clandestine services failed the country, or are Islamist interests in the ascendency in the security services?  Do the security services in fact run the military, and by extension the government?

I think there are Islamist sympathies, and a lack of other options. Democracy has been tried and failed, military coups have been tried, but aren't sufficient, there is probably a lot of people thinking why not give the Taliban a go? If you are a poor villager, you don't have anything to loose. Its only the educated wealthy that will experience a major downside.
How will the ascendency of Islamists in Pakistan, and the possibility of their seizing the mechanisms of the state affect geopolitics on the Subcontinent?

Not very much. The US will cease to be Pakistans ally, but we might see a strengthening of internal security in Pakistan. China is highly unlikely to change its stance, and Paks western border will quiten down. So the balance of power will probably remain fairly similar.
Who may wind up in control of the nuclear assets of the Pakistan military?

Even if Taliban take over, I doubt that the Pakistan military will be defeated. The Taliban do not have the strength to beat them in a straight fight. The military is much more likely to walk a neutral line, and therefore the nukes will remain in their control.
How is India going to view that?  (If the Taliban-style Pakis are not thinking about that, thay may want to start, and fast.)

What can India do about it? If they attack Pakistan, the military & Taliban will unite against India and the Talibs victory will be assured. If the Talibs take power, then India attacks, same deal.
Zadari is in my opinion too weak to survive against such opposition.

 
So, then Pakistan IS a failed state?  It will remain in some levitated condition as an uncertain (and therefore threatening) entity on two great powers' borders?  Those powers will be OK with that?
 
Is your opinion that Pakistan, in it's present condition, would be capable of waging a successful war against India?  Do the Indian elites, or the Chinese Communist Party give a crap about the desires of the poor villagers of Pakistan?
 
Doubtful.  A perceived threat is a threat, and poor villagers, in that event, will get it and have to take it as poor villagers always do.  If poor villagers are the constituency of importance in Pakistan, then it is a failed state.
 
 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 23-Apr-2009 at 02:52
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 02:52
I think the biggest question is: If the Taliban do take power in Pakistan how will they survive ideologically?
Will highly-diverse Pakistan change the Taliban?
 
I can't see an Afghan style Taliban government ruling cities like Karachi without a major dose of realism injected into them. How will they rule fuedal Punjab? How will they deal with India and Hindu minorities? China and Buddhist minorities?


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 23-Apr-2009 at 02:53
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 02:58
So, then Pakistan IS a failed state?  It will remain in some levitated condition as an uncertain (and therefore threatening) entity on two great powers' borders?  Those powers will be OK with that?

Define failed state.
I doubt they'd be threatening towards China, and Pakistan has always been threatening towards India.
Is your opinion that Pakistan, in it's present condition, would be capable of waging a successful war against India?  Do the Indian elites, or the Chinese Communist Party give a crap about the desires of the poor villagers of Pakistan?

No-one gives a crap about poor Pakistani villiagers, that's a large part of the problem. I do believe the Pakistan military is capable of waging a sucessful war against India, not that it would be in their best interests at the moment.
Fighting India is easier than fighting Taliban, entirely because the Indians fight conventional war, and no-one has pro-india sympathies. People have issues fighting against their own people.
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 03:12
Originally posted by Panther

Omar,

I guess a better question would be... do you want too see the US overthrown and governance replaced with a bunch of extremely, and most mentally unstable KKK members out for misplaced revenge?

It's the same thing.
The US government works. Even at its worst point it has never, for example, had a victorious political party punish a city that voted for the opposition by withdrawing all municipal services - and that happened 20 year ago.
If the KKK could provide security, and the US government was so corrupt that its non-functional, then maybe. They're both awful, which is worse than the other.
 
In Pakistan I have always been pro-military. Especially now only a dictatorship can provide a viable alternative to the Taliban


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 23-Apr-2009 at 03:16
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 13:06
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Since Sparten's last post, there have been developments in Pakistan that are difficult to analyze.  See:
 
 
Is there a real possibility that Pakistan is now a failed state?  Have ISI and other clandestine services failed the country, or are Islamist interests in the ascendency in the security services?  Do the security services in fact run the military, and by extension the government?
 
How will the ascendency of Islamists in Pakistan, and the possibility of their seizing the mechanisms of the state affect geopolitics on the Subcontinent?
 
Who may wind up in control of the nuclear assets of the Pakistan military?
 
How is India going to view that?  (If the Taliban-style Pakis are not thinking about that, thay may want to start, and fast.)
 
What are the views here?
 
 
Since my last post there is a situation where there is a different party in power in the Frontier and the Centre and they disagree on strategy. The Frontier Governmnet was against the operation and they foolishly agreed to the Swat compromise. Swat incidentally is different from the whole FATA issue and I'll get onto that in a minute.
 
As of right now a MASSIVE operation is going on in FATA with upto 5 divisions and the ENTIRE Northern Command of the Air Force committed
 
 
and
 
 
and
 
The armys opinion on the issue is that the centre of gravity is in FATA and that Swat is merely a result of the problems in FATA. That is why the concentration is in FATA as opposed to Swat. Once FATA is cleared (and there are encouraging signs, 5 of the seven agencys have been either cleared or are in the process of being). Swat will be settled then.
 
Incidentally, Obama insistance on sub serviance to India (as so eloquently put by Holbrooke) ihas pretty much ended hopes of Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan. He would be well advised to change his rhetoric, Holbrooke is known as the "great Balkeniser" and  that worries Pakistani officials.
 
*Swat was a princely state under British India and was ruled by Sharia. When it was annexed to Pakistan in 1969, Sharia was replaced with Pakistani law; a very unpopular move and various Federal Governments have agreed many times to restore Shariah and then renaged, the new Shariah agreement is a rehasing of previous agreements that were made (in the 80's and in 94) and then renaged on the promises. Which is why the Government has taken a kid glove approach to the issue, it is or at least was based upon popular demand and I have a sneaky suspicion that they want the thing to come to a head now.
 
 

 
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 14:08
Spartan,
 
Thanks for the information on that. 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 23-Apr-2009 at 14:09
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  Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 19:48
@Sparten
 
Dear Sparten so what do you say about the past proposed alliance between the two nations (PAC) now?
 
I am sure that most of the people around have realized that it's nearly impossible to deal Afghanistan without considering Pakistan and vice versa.
 
The situation in Pakistan today is considered worse than of Afghanistan, as the bigger your governmental is divided, the easier it's infiletrated.
I mean when you share your power with a force which made itself to be recognized, would mean sharing your country and dividing it in two fronts.
 
One held by the so called conservative extreamists and the other again divided into several parties, where they have a fight of there own for the rule of their piece.
 
The same condition could had been applied on a Taleb-Karzai alliance, but the only difference is that both Taleb and Karzai are more conservative rather than liberal, while the two fronts in Pakistan are like Sky and Land, one pure conservative and the other a pure liberal.
How could they reside side by side in a situation where the Pak Taleban are on offense and the government on defense.
 
I am sure that considering a confederation between Afghan-Pak is way out of question now rather then 1-2 years back when things could had changed if both nations had helped each other.
 
Now the only concern is that how long will it take the US to confront the harsh reality and start its offense agaist the Pak Taleban with the help of Pak government?


Edited by Gharanai - 23-Apr-2009 at 19:52


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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 19:54
As a reminder, we need to keep the topic on geopolitics and neither dwell on the passions involved, nor on what "might have been."
 
Just a reminder, that's all.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 23-Apr-2009 at 22:57
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 01:01
Originally posted by Gharanai


The same condition could had been applied on a Taleb-Karzai alliance, but the only difference is that both Taleb and Karzai are more conservative rather than liberal, while the two fronts in Pakistan are like Sky and Land, one pure conservative and the other a pure liberal.
How could they reside side by side in a situation where the Pak Taleban are on offense and the government on defense.

This is precisely my worry.
Treating Afghanistan & Pakistan as the same entity. The Taliban on both sides are seemingly united, or at least united behind the same goal. Their opposition is totally divided and hardly even talking to each other. Karzai & Musharaf didn't get along, Mushy was ousted by civilian pressure inside Pakistan, that pressure itself is highly divided, the PPP & Muslim League are more interested in their own power struggle and their own personal gain. No-one trusts the US, and the US doesn't know who it can trust.
Not a good situation.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 22:27

The US is being an idiot in this, and so is everyone. I spoke to a friend of mine in Buner (the so called conqered district) and apparently it was a couple of hundred Taliban who came and are now retreating. The media is making this sound worse than it really is. Please, 30 Taliban in one place, not a collapse make.

 

It seems that a military operation is on the cards now.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/nwfp/04-military-operation-against-swat-militants-on-the-cards-qs-01

PS. Looks like FC has tanks now, or at least the T-69 which has been retired from the army for about 15 years.
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 23:17
Originally posted by Sparten


 The media is making this sound worse than it really is. Please, 30 Taliban in one place, not a collapse make.

They do seem to have a knack for it! It used to be trust, but verify. Now it's verify before you trust! Censored

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