Tough Times For Pakistan
September 15, 2001 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Tough Times For Pakistan Please read all the articles. These articles explain in detail what has been going on in Pakistan since the attacks on Tuesday.
Once again my country is facing a tough time to make a decision. To succumb to international pressure and help the BIGGEST bully (US) and in return face the wrath of internal bullies. Last time Pakistan helped a US cause, we were left alienated to face the problems of Post-Afghan War era. God Bless Pakistan.
posted by adnanbwp (31 comments total)
Sounds like it's time for Pakistan to put up or shut up to me. These articles don't refer to the US as a bully. They speak of Pakistan's need to become part of the International community and of the fear that that will open them up to the very terror that the US faced this week. So which is it? I agree, God bless and help Pakistan. I don't envy her leaders at all. But what point are you trying to make here?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:22 PM on September 15, 2001

If this is even close to a valid representation of the current mindset in Pakistan, does it not seem that we have an excellent opportunity to build a relationship here far better than that which we have had, draining some of the tension from some other potentially VERY ugly situations (eg., two adjacent nuke-possessing countries at loggerheads) while securing the assistance we need to undertake our immediate task? It seems that the main thing Pakistan would require from us at this juncture is a show of good faith, a few direct and honorable commitments that are then followed up on exactly.

I don't know whether we can be successful even in seriously damaging the capacity of the world to manufacture and utilize terrorists against us and/or others; but it seems to me that we have a decent shot of strengthening and reapproaching some badly damaged diplomatic relationships in various parts of the world while we are making the attempt. Very difficult, with many, many quagmires...but worth attempting, surely?
posted by rushmc at 6:24 PM on September 15, 2001

The Taliban immediately demonstrated its true "friendship" with Pakistan, threatening to send guerilla armies into Pakistan if they cooperate with the US. I can understand the resentment that the US hit Afghanistan during the war with the USSR, then fled, leaving Pakistan to face the aftermath. But that was a different era, when the US aiding Pakistan directly might have prompted a firestorm of protest from the USSR. If the US openly wars against the Taliban it may, in the aftermath, be in a better position to help Pakistan.
posted by argybarg at 6:41 PM on September 15, 2001

The point I am trying to make is that the USA does not have a track record of going through with its efforts. The "attack and run away" approach of USA was responsible in the past to alienate Pakistan which was left to face Afghan Refugees, drugs, cocaine, klashenekov culture, extremism. The USA should take care of its allies. CIA has done it so many times that they have a term of it. Its called BLOWBACK.

Talking about building faith, lets hope USA starts by sending our F-16's that we have paid for in full.

God Bless Us All.
posted by adnanbwp at 6:49 PM on September 15, 2001

So certainly in return for aiding us, Pakistan certainly got some promises of protection from reprisals by the Taliban.

I wonder how India feels about this latest turn of events...
posted by fooljay at 7:09 PM on September 15, 2001

The "attack and run away" approach of USA was responsible in the past to alienate Pakistan which was left to face Afghan Refugees, drugs, cocaine, klashenekov culture, extremism.

Welcome to the world community, dude. What exactly do you think the US owes Pakistan, and why?
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:18 PM on September 15, 2001

I'm not quite sure if this is really a case of "put up or shut up" ... Due to their posession of nukes, Pakistan has joined a very select club that can say "no," and mean it.
posted by Ptrin at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2001

Pakistan Intelligence has been funding the Taliban and several violent Islamic groups for years....not to mention separatists in India. The Taliban were schooled and educated in Pakistan. It seems as if Pakistan's wards have decided to break from the nest.
posted by AsiaInsider at 7:45 PM on September 15, 2001

What America owes us ?

America owes us the decency, to clean up after its covert oprations and operatives. It is a known fact that this #1 enemy Osama Bin Laden was once on CIA's pay role.

America also owes us the F-16's that we have paid for in full and havent recieved them for 10 years.

etc. etc.

P.S. : Ignorance is only topped by Arrogance.
posted by adnanbwp at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2001

Due to their posession of nukes, Pakistan has joined a very select club that can say "no," and mean it

They possess them but as far as i'm aware are still a whisker away from developing the capabilities to deliver them. How far and how many i don't know.

Adnanbwp, could you possibly clarify that detail? Also, are you over there in Pakistan or are you an ex-pat?
posted by Kino at 7:57 PM on September 15, 2001

They possess them but as far as i'm aware are still a whisker away from developing the capabilities to deliver them. How far and how many i don't know.

They can deliver nukes strapped onto missiles based on the Chinese missile technology they acquired sometime back.
posted by riffola at 8:03 PM on September 15, 2001

Thanx Riffola. Do you, or anyone, have any links that mention they have the ability to synergize the two things into fully functional deliverable nuclear warheads at this time?

I've heard, even an hour ago on CNN, that they aren't yet capable of sending their nukes.
posted by Kino at 8:14 PM on September 15, 2001

And also, if they can, does anyone know the maximum range? I wish there was a resource on the web that lists each nuclear powers radius of threat.
posted by Kino at 8:20 PM on September 15, 2001

I think adnandbwp and these articles make a number of excellent points, and generally agree with them. In the US we fully understand the importance of our domestic politics, yet fail to respect them in other countries. Moreover, our ability to execute sustained and persistent actions is, unfortunately not a strength.

In general, our knowledge or other countries and cultures is utterly pathetic. There are a series of excellent articles on Atlantic Monthly's site written by a former CIA case operative that will make your blood boil. The CIA, for its international reputation sounds like a bunch of frat boys congratulating themselves at a party. "Oh, actual intelligence? We don't do that here."

And last but not least our inability to also address the unintended consequences of our past actions is largely what got us into this mess in the first place. Iraq, Iran, Osama bin Laden, the Palestinian mess are all our creations to one degree or another. We can't fix all of the problems out there, but at least we can try to clean up after ourselves properly.
posted by wpeyton at 8:26 PM on September 15, 2001

Kino: While I couldn't find something that talks about them using the missiles for the nukes or their range, here are some related articles.
Pak proliferating nuclear weapon tech
No negative impact of sanctions on Pakistan
Bush may ease curbs before meeting Vajpayee

The links are to Times Of India articles, but I am guess there are other newspapers that have reported these stories.
posted by riffola at 9:04 PM on September 15, 2001

Kino, I am an expat here.

Pakistan has the ability to deliver nuclear warheads through two missiles namely Shaheen and Hataf-II. The range is roughly between 800-1000 kilometers. Sorry didnt convert them into miles.

wpeyton, excellent closure.
posted by adnanbwp at 9:05 PM on September 15, 2001

hmmm @ the link to The India Times above.

The India Times quoting a Pakistani newspaper The Dawn, which in turn is quoting some report from the USA.

I dont think so.
posted by adnanbwp at 9:07 PM on September 15, 2001

P.S. : Ignorance is only topped by Arrogance.

I keep hearing this arrogance thing bandied about. I have a feeling that the ignorance is greater than you imagine and that, from the outside, it looks like arrogance.

Those who are educated would not be arrogant, at least not when it comes to World affairs.

Well, with one exception. Americans still believe to some extent in Manifest Destiny and I think it's ignorance which kills the execution of spreading freedom and democracy to all.

Think of it as a hopefully more benevolent or well-intentioned, albeit poorly executed American Crusade.
posted by fooljay at 9:23 PM on September 15, 2001

Those of you who seem to reject the very idea of our being appreciative of the cooperation given by Pakistan in what is for them a very difficult situation--why the attitude? Isn't it good to move forward, whatever has gone before on either side, and attempt to forge tighter bonds and create more trust and understanding? Who cares who did what or who owes whom--to the degree that any of that needs to be sorted out, it can be sorted out LATER, once we are in a better position to do so. The fact is, Pakistan came down on OUR side, which was not at all certain that they would do, and I for one think they deserve some credit for that, no matter the pressures that were put on them to reach that decision.

As for India, it is of course important that we take care not to make this about choosing sides. If we can deal with both countries equally, and with equal fairness and no favoritism, perhaps we can even work our way into a position where we can legitimately help mediate THEIR problems down the road before THEY flare up and instigate an international--and possibly nuclear--war. IF they ask us to.

The hot spot situations around the world may well be near-intractable, but I think we are discovering that we can neither ignore them and hope they go away NOR try to impose our own, American solutions upon other people from afar. That doesn't mean there isn't a role for us to play there, however.
posted by rushmc at 9:28 PM on September 15, 2001

Thanx for the links and info Riffola and Adnanbwp. About to have a delve into 'em. (And your ones Fooljay)

In general, our knowledge or other countries and cultures is utterly pathetic. There are a series of excellent articles on Atlantic Monthly's site written by a former CIA case operative that will make your blood boil.

Wpeyton, the jury's still out in my mind as to whether some of the Atlantic articles are themselves carefully constructed pieces of dissinformation tailored to bring about complacency in important, yet almost impossible areas to infiltrate. It just doesn't all ring true; as intriguing as it is, the tone often seems almost forced and a bit hammy in places (Denying that there's any degree of agent success in Peshawar, for instance, would be a very useful thing to have them believe if in fact there is)

Of course, i could just be in denial. Because if the insights are 100% true it's all a bit disheartening to say the least in light of the current situation. :/
posted by Kino at 9:31 PM on September 15, 2001

Good post Rushmc. It's becoming apparent that international diplomacy and respect for what's right is perhaps going to play a greater part in all of this than arms and threat of force could ever do. It's gonna take tactical genius and nerves of steel for many. I wish i had a god i could pray to in hope that this fragile situation can be turned into something positive for all nations and possibly bring together more countries in the imminent big shuffle than it sets apart. One can only hope.
posted by Kino at 9:39 PM on September 15, 2001

fooljay: Thankyou for posting that link about the American Crusade. Very enlightening indeed, also confirming my other research.

The world as we new has ceased to exist. Being a Muslim-American, I believe that Allah does not allow attacking innocent civilians, children, women and the elderly. (Allah is Arabic for God, its the same. I heard a child on ABC saying that the reason 9.11 happened was that their Allah is different from our God.)

I was born in Pakistan. But this is my country. I earn my bread here. I suffer pain and weep at this human loss with all Americans and the rest of the world. But I also suffer pain and weep for children, women and elderly in Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Yugoslavia, Syria and Jordan.

Sometimes I feel, I weep at every news. East or West.

God Bless Us All.
posted by adnanbwp at 9:52 PM on September 15, 2001

Could you please explain how this part of the Qur'an (from this translation) corresponds to your statements above Adnanbwp? It's been troubling me everytime i hear about Islam being peaceful and condemning attacking innocents. It makes me wonder about the definition of 'innocent' and whether non-believers are considered to be innocent? ...

'So, when you meet (in fight Jihâd in Allâh's Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islâm), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allâh to continue in carrying out Jihâd against the disbelievers till they embrace Islâm (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection], but if it had been Allâh's Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allâh, He will never let their deeds be lost. He will guide them and set right their state. And admit them to Paradise which He has made known to them (i.e. they will know their places in Paradise more than they used to know their houses in the world). O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allâh, He will help you, and make your foothold firm. But those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism), for them is destruction, and (Allâh) will make their deeds vain.'

Ps. Thanx for the blessings.
posted by Kino at 10:07 PM on September 15, 2001

An important thread. Now that the Taliban seems to be readying for war and Pakistan has pledged its aid, the US has a responsibility to consider the effects of our actions upon the other countries in the region while seeking justice. If further conflict breaks out after the punishment of bin Laden, the US cannot wash its hands of the situation. What strikes me is how extremely uncertain this situation is right now, and what enormous consequences rashness would have.
posted by Charmian at 10:09 PM on September 15, 2001

I wonder how India feels about this latest turn of events...

Maybe some uneasiness given that Pakistan is their arch-enemy and with whom they have fought three wars, and the fact that Pakistan harbors, trains, and sponsors terrorists who cause much mayhem, death, and destruction in the Indian state of Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

But hey, if they can help the US in their time of need, then I'm all for it. I would just hope that this doesn't strain US-India relationship (which has been strengthening over the last decade) which it shouldn't. India has been trying to engage the US for the longest time on the issue of stopping terrorism since India has been so frequently a target of it (both from home and abroad.) But until now, I guess, US either wouldn't or couldn't get involved.

I hope that US engagement and activity in the southeast Asia region will kill two birds with one stone: stopping terrorism for once and all and easing the (potential) nuclear conflict between the two arch-enemies, but I will take the first if I can get it.
posted by Rastafari at 10:15 PM on September 15, 2001

America also owes us the F-16's that we have paid for in full and havent recieved them for 10 years.

UUhhmm, sorry for being such an ARROGANT American prick here, but I'm seeing lots of Pakistani claims of this and no proof. Care to provide something independant?

etc. etc.

Yeah, that's informative and helpful.

It is a known fact that this #1 enemy Osama Bin Laden was once on CIA's pay role.

*sigh* Come on, you know that's not accurate. Osama (no need for the familial since his family has disowned him) was given and accepted funding to fight the Soviet aggressors in Afganistan. If you wish to blame America for that's effect on Pakistan, at least admit Pakistan's culpability in THAT conflict, before you bring up what I supposedly owe you.

Keep in mind that I actually like Pakistan. I have two Pakistani friends (outragious sense of humor and self, they have). I like their attitude (as long as they don't get too strident about their NEED to destroy India), I like their geography, and I really like the fact that they are considering joining the world community as an equal instead of an equal as long as India isn't at the table. What I'm not too happy with are those from other countries who are willing to hold America to a standard that they feel I am arrogant if I ask them to meet the same. Clue?
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:32 PM on September 15, 2001

seems to me that all of this is a little bit of everyone's fault.

yes the cia funded osama. yes pakistan now recognizes the taliban as a legitimate government. yes the taliban ruthlessly rules the afghani people. yes some people in america are blaming this on ALL muslims and ALL arabs. yes some people in other countries think ALL americans fully support every move that our government makes. yes some people think we should just "nuke that part of the world". yes some americans think that america is the best and can do no wrong. yes, you can name just about any belief, rational or irrational, and someone will most likely believe it. these ignorant assumptions are not the solution to our problems.

most people in most countries realize that there are ways to live and coexistence with all of our differences. what OUR job is, is to convince our leaders of that - to help form policies of consideration and cooperation. our job is to remember that we are ALL human, and even though we may, at times, have to work hard to overcome the bad that comes with being human, we CAN overcome the bad and elevate each other to that other, more wonderful, part of being human - the good. look at all of the good that has come out of this tragedy. all of the heroism and selflessness and cooperation. THAT is the solution!
posted by bakiwop at 11:18 PM on September 15, 2001

[Wipes a tear from his eye] Makes me wanna go stick a flower in the barrel of a loaded AK47 i tell ya.

If optimism was money the drinks would be on you Bakiwop. Everything just so uncertain though isn't it. Such a realistic chance that all the worst possible scenarios we've had at the back of our minds growing up in a cold war environment may now be upon us. The tensions of all the new realities that came after it with proliferation, modern terrorism and stuff are spiralling. It's happening before our very eyes. I hope everythings gonna be ok. I'm impressed by peoples abilities to sit here and elsewhere and rationally debate the current situation in a relatively calm and sometimes positive way. And inspired by the compassion and empathy that has risen amongst ordinary people in the face of such catastrophe. Human adaptivity and inner-goodness on the whole never ceases to amaze me. Then, of course, there's the downside of natural reactions - people angry enough to wanna go nuke the entire world. And there's the unfortunite ones - those not so headstrong who must be crumbling under the pressure of it all; I wonder how many reports there will be of people that have taken their own lives over the coming days seriously afraid that we're about to tumble headfirst into a nuclear armagedden. Many i would imagine. What a rollercoaster of an unpredictable topsy-turvy world on which we dwell. I live for diversity, i believe in it more than almost anything else. But sometimes it can just run right up and bite you in the arse.
posted by Kino at 12:11 AM on September 16, 2001

Sorry for the late reply. I had guests at home.

The translation quoted about does not include the chapter and verse numbers so I can not go in detail without more research. It has been my finding that Quranic translations when placed out of context seem to give a much different meaning. The nature of Quran is very peculiar. There are two main parts to the Quran. A part of the Quran, which was revealed by Allah to the Prophet during his stay in Mecca. The first years. This is a time when basics of Islam were being introduced. Extreme caution was practiced in practicing Islam. A time when Muslims were a minority and feared genocide.

The second main part of the Quran was revealed by Allah almighty to the Porphet during his stay in Medina. The time when Muslims were prosperous, had safer environments to practice Islam. This is also the time when the first Islamic wars were fought. Without deeper research of the translation, obviously due to missing chapter and verse numbers from the Quran, I think its safe to assume that the directions are to be kept in minding during a declared war. Acts of terrorism are not allowed in Islam. Suicide is Haram (illegal) and there is specific direction in the Quran not to hurt innocent civilian women, children and the elderly. That stands true even in a declared war situation.

Please keep up the research. Information is the only way to end confusions.

God Bless Us All
posted by adnanbwp at 12:12 AM on September 16, 2001

> Could you please explain how this part of the Qur'an
> (from this translation) corresponds to your statements...

Maybe it doesn't. And the Biblical God killing innocent people by the cityful doesn't jibe with the supposed all-loving God that Christians like to talk about. Religious tracts are mythologies written, edited, preserved, and continually reinterpreted for political and historical purposes. No one is going to get anywhere counting on the gods in any of these books.
posted by pracowity at 3:01 AM on September 16, 2001

At its best Islam is a source of extraordinary beauty and community. Within it flourishes Sufism, a profound mystical tradition. Living in a moslem community is to be deeply impressed with the faith.

Yet to my western mind, to read the Koran is to be shocked. In translation it appears beligerent, vindictive, and its continuous emphasis on Satan to deny Islam the status of monotheism.

I understand that the book is supposed to be untranslatable - but I wonder. Can it really provide a totally different message in another language?

We do no better. As a christian I am driven to despair when our foreign secretary speaks in parliament to expressly denounce the basic message of our faith.

Ho hum.
posted by grahamwell at 4:12 AM on September 16, 2001

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