Stories about NATO

Islamabad diary: ‘Neto, Zadari’ rhetoric and nothing else to say

The first thing you notice at a rally organised by religious parties is that they are not very good at spellings. Placards at the Jamaatud Dawa protest at Aabpara on Friday were long on enthusiasm but short on literacy. They demanded that “Neto” must go, vociferously “condomed” its attack and called on “Zadari” to resign. Their synchronised singing wasn’t much better. Chants against the US would have been easier to make out had the participants started and ended their sloganeering at roughly the same time. For such a party, the JuD at least managed a good turn out and ...

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The US media’s (biased) version of the NATO attack

While the Pakistani media paid serious attention to NATO strikes on a check-post near the Afghan border, the US media seemed to defend the incident with its biased reporting. A blog on the TIME magazine website rejected the concept of a proper border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The post states that: “there is no well-defined difference between the Pakistani military and anti-American insurgents crowded along (the) rugged frontier.” The report by Mark Thompson concludes that the American forces mistook Pakistani forces as Taliban militants by accident and were confused about the border demarcation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Perhaps Thompson does not know that the ...

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Qaddafi: From hero to devil

The late Moamer Qaddafi was regarded a hero in Libya till the uprising started against his regime in February this year. People respected him as one of their spiritual and even revolutionary leaders. Nobody in Libya thought even in their wildest dreams that one day Qaddafi would not only be removed from power, but also killed ruthlessly and that too at the hands of Libyans themselves. Early on Thursday, Qaddafi was killed when new regime forces launched a final assault on his home town Sirte. The former dictator was wounded as he tried to flee the scene, with injuries to his head and legs. Video footage showed his bloodied body ...

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Ryan Crocker: Afghanistan’s Lawrence of Arabia

As the military drawdown begins in Afghanistan, the Americans are upping the diplomatic ante. They want a neat transition and a solid presence in Kabul after the exit. It was in this connection that Ryan C Crocker was sworn in as the new United States (US) top diplomat in Afghanistan on Monday July 25. Crocker’s earlier stint in Kabul involved reopening the US embassy in 2002, after the Taliban government was replaced by that of the Northern Alliance. In his new assignment Crocker may actually be talking to the Taliban. Crocker’s predecessor, Karl W Eikenberry, was a former general, whose ...

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Afghanistan without Petraeus: ‘Tough days ahead’

On July 18, General David H Petraeus handed over command of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) and US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) to his successor, Marine Corps General John Allen. Petraeus had been in charge of military operations in Afghanistan for a little over one year. According to The Christian Science Monitor the change of command has taken place at “a time of increasing instability” – not a good sign for the Americans who want to hand over the security of Afghanistan to the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP) over ...

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US withdrawal: Implosion, or peace for Afghanistan?

All military campaigns have lifecycles. Some are short while others drag on for years but the end is always inevitable. It is this inevitability that currently overshadows American military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The war in Afghanistan has been America’s longest war. It has been costly in terms of money and lives for all countries involved. George W Bush invaded Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 attacks; he also took the opportunity to take the war into Iraq, to pre-empt Sadam Hussain from using his alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction. After Bush’s two terms as the ‘war president,’ the ...

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I laugh, but so does the world

Imagine this scenario: Around a dozen bodies of children wrapped in sheets of blood cradled by helpless parents, and in some cases just lying in a pool of their parents’ blood. On Saturday, you didn’t have to imagine. US-led Nato forces killed 14 Afghan civilians including up to 12 children. President Hamid Karzai was quick in issuing a “last warning” to the US military telling it to avoid operations that kill civilians while commander of the Nato-led force Isaf in south-west Afghanistan apologised for the deaths and, this was it. I do not want to rant about the cruelty and the blatant ...

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NATO troops pullout: Is Afghanistan ready?

When I read that leaders from 48 nations (including 28 Nato members) endorsed the gradual pullout plan of Nato forces from Afghanistan in 2014 at the Lisbon summit, several concerns crept into my mind.  With this, the combat operations that started in 2001 will also be stopped, giving Afghan forces complete control for the security of the country. Has enough been done to reduce the Taliban to a negligible strength? Will the wound not start bleeding again after 2014? Will the withdrawal of troops not add to the instability in the region? The Telegraph reports that the Pentagon has admitted that ...

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20 reasons we asked Musharraf to go

We Pakistani’s at times are so eager to see the bright side of a coin we neglect to notice that the coin’s edges are black with grime. Similarly, Syed Abid Raza Abidi has written a post presenting 50 points for which Pakistan needs Mr Pervez Musharraf but he failed to glimpse the other side of the coin. I have 20 solid points which prove Pakistan doesn’t need Musharraf. He allowed Nato and American forces to launch attacks inside Pakistan. Can anyone on earth justify the killing of thousands of innocents? Terrorism increased during his presidency because of which all of us are still ...

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What we don’t know will hurt us

An overzealous media sniffing a tectonic shift in Islamabad, readied itself in obvious enthusiasm to cover the news of the expected ‘change’. Unsurprisingly, nothing happened. The troika resolved to protect the current dispensation…the self-proclaimed defenders of what they choose to call ‘democracy’, while the reality of Pakistan is closer to that of a kleptocracy. If we were in a democratic polity, decisions that alter the destiny of nations wouldn’t be made behind closed doors, through inoculators, with gentle nudging and helpful prodding of US and Saudi diplomats. We have a President who in dubious circumstances inherited the leadership of his slain wife’s ...

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