US goes for the jugular in Pakistan: Times of India

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Comments posted on Time of India Website article: US goes for the jugular in Pakistan




“There is a grave lesson for Indian leaders, who should not rejoice in their neighbour Pakistan’s plight but think about their own future with a rogue state as their supposedly strategic partner. India is bound to suffer the same fate, if it is not careful. It must rise above local petty politics of the communal colouring and think about the overall future of the subcontinent as an independent identity and not give in to US arm twisting. US nuclear deal was nothing but arm twisting in disguise. One way or other, US wants to subjugate India and make India its colony, to exploit its resources, its people and its prestige around the world. Indian leaders have a sacred duty to safeguard all three. India must launch a preemptive ‘Quite Asia’ movement against the US warmongers.



Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai





US goes for the jugular in Pakistan


15 Apr 2008, 0030 hrs IST

, Chidanand Rajghatta , TNN



WASHINGTON: Finally acknowledging that Pakistan represents a clear and present danger to American and world security

, the Bush administration is trying to get a stranglehold on the country’s nuclear weapons.

In the latest move, Washington has sought direct access to Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority by posting an officer at the US embassy in Islamabad to liaise with the body that controls the country’s nuclear weapons.

The demand, first reported in Pakistani newspapers Jang and News, comes even as US president George Bush

said in a TV interview on the weekend that a future 9/11 kind of attack would most likely emanate from Pakistan, not Afghanistan.

Bush and high-ranking US officials had previously glossed over Pakistan’s role as the hub

of world terror while targeting Iraq.

Most major terror attacks in the world have emanated from Pakistan, and not from the usual US suspects like Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The US administration’s attempts to get a stranglehold on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons show that Washington now appears to have come out in the open about a country that has long been described by many analysts as the most dangerous place on earth and the ground zero of world terror.

Ironically, the change in the American thinking comes even as Pakistan’s vibrant civil society has forced a course correction by jettisoning a US-backed militaristic government in favour of a more democratic dispensation.

Although Washington appears to harbour more doubts about the new democratic government than about the previous military junta it allied with, its efforts to get a handle on Pakistan’s security predates the gradual transfer of power.

The latest attempt to get a fix on Pakistan’s nuclear assets

is the 12th in a series of demands aimed at establishing greater US oversight on what many commentators see as a dangerously unstable country. Last month, Washington issued a set of 11 demands that shocked Pakistan’s security establishment, which described it as highly intrusive and untenable.

The demands included allowing US personnel to enter Pakistan on the basis of national identity (like driver’s licence) and forgoing visas; accepting US licences, including arms licences, in Pakistan; US personnel being allowed to bear arms and wear their uniforms in Pakistan; application

of US criminal jurisdiction on American personnel in Pakistan etc.

Pakistan’s defence ministry, the foreign office and the law ministry were reported to have rejected the demands outright.

Pakistan’s security mavens have gone ballistic over the US security bear hug.

“The first step in dealing rationally with our indigenous terrorist problem holistically and credibly is to create space between ourselves and the US. As the US adage goes: ‘There is no free lunch.’ For Pakistan, lunching with the US has become unacceptably costly,” wrote Shireen Mazari, who heads the Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies.

While Mazari wants Islamabad to punish the US by denying it access to Afghanistan, other analysts point out that Pakistan will be toast within weeks without US financial and institutional support.

According to reports from Pakistan, the new request for an NCA liaison was made through verbal contact via an assistant secretary-level official.

Elizabeth Colton, the US embassy spokesperson in Islamabad, did not deny outright the story but told the Pakistani media: “We are in touch with all elements of the Pakistan government all the time. But we do not publish or discuss details of our diplomatic discussions and assignments.”



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