Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Western Countries Ask Is Pakistan Doing Enough?

The news about Pakistan army protecting Osama and treating him as a state guest who lived in a palatial house right in the middle of their military town has angered many in the US. They have started asking the question that is Pakistan on our side or is it playing a double game. It must be noted most Indian's were telling US the same thing and most US generals knew abut the ISI and Pakistani armies two faced strategy.

Now th US lawmakers want to know if Pakistan is supporting the same militants that US is fighting and paying the Pakistani army to fight.

The United States has a "complicated but important relationship" with Pakistan, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

Carney told reporters that U.S. officials need to learn more about the "support network" that sustained bin Laden in Pakistan. But he also warned against "tarring" everyone in Pakistan's government because of the revelation that bin Laden had been living so close to Islamabad.
There has also been "a great deal of important cooperation" in the fight against Islamic extremism, he said. "The idea that these kinds of complications exist is not new."

But Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who is chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said "this can't be allowed to go on."
In comments Tuesday at a House subcommittee hearing on Pakistan, King noted that bin Laden's compound was near a headquarters for the Pakistani intelligence services.

"There are two possibilities and one answer," King said. "One is that it was a direct facilitation by elements of the Pakistani government, or Pakistani intelligence is entirely inept, and that has not proven to be the case over the years."
At the hearing, Seth Jones of the Rand Corporation told the panel that bin Laden's presence in Pakistan showed that "at the very least, there has not been a high priority in targeting senior al Qaeda leaders" in the country.

"Based on the threat streams coming from this area, those interests have to change in my view," Jones said. Another terrorism expert, Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, said mistrust between the United States and Pakistan runs both ways, with Pakistani officials fearful that the United States will abandon the region after eliminating bin Laden.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told House members Tuesday that any way you look at it, Pakistan's role in Osama bin Laden's whereabouts was troubling.
According to two sources in a closed door briefing, Panetta told lawmakers "either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be."

Panetta was responding to a question from a member of Congress about Pakistan, which was the first question of the hour-long classified briefing, the sources said.
He made clear that he and other administration officials are trying to get to the bottom of which it was -involvement or incompetence.

Bipartisan frustration had been boiling over from both parties when it became clear bin Laden's compound was in an urban area less than a mile from a major Pakistani military academy.
"It had everything except a neon sign sticking out there," Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said

Freshman Republican Allen West of Florida, who served in the army in Iraq and was a civilian officer in Afghanistan, told "there is no way that people in the ISI [Pakistan's Intelligence Agency] and military did not know that Osama bin Laden has been living there for quite some time."

Lautenberg and West are among several lawmakers who say Congress should cut off funding immediately, to try to force Pakistani officials to answer questions about what they knew about Bin Laden's location.

During the last few years, the U.S. has given Pakistan nearly $20 billion dollars in foreign aid, mostly to try to convince the tenuous ally to help combat terrorism. The State Department requested $3 billion more for next year. The Defense Department asked for $2.3 billion just for Pakistani counterterrorism efforts.

The United States has regarded Pakistan as a top ally in the fight against the Taliban, al Qaeda, the Haqqani Network and other Pakistan-based militants who have launched attacks against internationaland Afghan troops in Afghanistan. At Tuesday's hearing, experts also identified Lashkar-e-Taiba as a major emerging threat from Pakistan to the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

The administration and lawmakers have praised the Pakistanis for their anti-terrorism efforts, but at the same time some lawmakers suspect the country hasn't been robust enough in going after terrorists. Some say elements of Pakistan's intelligence services -- the Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI -- have close ties with militants.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agrees that they have been "good at going after some terrorists" but have "very subtly walked both sides of the street.That's of concern to many of us, I think, because you have to declare yourself," she told reporters, noting that the issue of Pakistan will be addressed by the committee.

Denis McDonough, who is President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser, told CNN that despite legitimate questions about what Pakistani authorities knew, the United States needed to maintain the relationship.

"We obviously recognize that nobody has sacrificed more in this war against al Qaeda than the Pakistanis," McDonough said. "Al Qaeda had declared war, in fact, on the Pakistani government, have threatened and continues to threaten to try to get their hands on nuclear material in that country. ... So they obviously have a lot at stake in this fight. So we're going to continue to work with them and continue to try to partner with them against al Qaeda, because we recognize that it's not only in our interests, but in their interests."

The Pakistani government on Tuesday "categorically" denied reports that its leadership "had any prior knowledge" of the U.S. operation against bin Laden
One ISI official denied any complicity in hiding bin Laden, saying one failure and embarrassment doesn't negate its "track record" of capturing more al Qaeda members than anyone else.
"Yes, we did fail to locate him. Yes, we are embarrassed. But that does not mean we are incompetent and straddling the fence," the official said. "Had we known that OBL was there we would have raided it and handed him over to the U.S. to silence the critics talking about the complicity of the ISI."

But she questions how bin Laden could "hide in plain sight in that kind of compound without the knowledge of high-ranking officials."

The Pakistan government and the ISI supported the Taliban when it controlled Afghanistan during the 1990s, but the government broke ties with the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks. American officials have consistently indicated that there are rogue ISI elements supportive of militants.
One reason Pakistanis also have supported militants in the tribal region is that the fighters are seen as serving as a bulwark for Pakistani interests. That includes a focus against the influence of longtime rival India in Afghanistan, Quarterman said.
"The Pakistanis are hedging their bets," he said. "They know the United States isn't there to stay."

Jamie Metzl, executive vice president of the Asia Society, said the onus will be on Pakistan to do a thorough investigation to assess what happened with bin Laden.
"If Pakistan denies any official involvement with bin Laden, it will be difficult to prevent a backlash among members of the U.S. Congress who will believe that Pakistan is playing a double game," Metzl said.

Metzl also says Pakistan's fear is that India will increase influence in Afghanistan and surround Pakistan, and that calculation has led Pakistan to keep militants under its sway.

Unfortunately that does not help us in India we always wanted peaceful relation with Pakistan but it continues to formant trouble in our country. If for one attack US can take such drastic measure then we in India must ask ourselves what about the countless cold-blooded murder of our civilians in thousands over the years and not counting the military casualties.

Shoudn't India look toward its own national interest rather than following American dictates. Is it foolish of our PM Manmohan Singh to turn a blind eye to Pakistani goal of dis-integrating India in the long run or the continuous support for militancy in India and Afghansitan or Pakistan's dream of controlling Afghanistan as a counter balance to India. Why is the Indian government so soft toward Pakistan? Is it true that just like the ISI is plays a double game in the same way India government talks about Indian Citizen but is actually run by the USA.

Reference
CNN
BBC
NDTV
TOI