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cbasu





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:59 pm    Post subject: Musharraf - To coddle or not to coddle? Reply with quote

In light of ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan and continuing NATO fatalities, many have started asking if the President of Pakistan, Pervaez Musharraf, may have outlived his usefulness.

The controversy heated up recently when Musharraf, on an extended state visit / book tour / vacation in the US and Canada, appeared to heap scorn on our reactions when Canadian soldiers are killed in action. The Liberals, along with the NDP, then proceeded to lambaste Prime Minister Harper who appeared to be coddling Musharraf when asked to respond to his put down. Particularly galling, it seemed to many observers, was the Prime Minister's apparent inability to stand-up for the sentiments and expressions of his fellow citizens.

The sentiment appears to have turned once again. Instead of kissing, many are now demanding that NATO leaders - which would presumably include PM Harper - start kicking Musharraf's ***. For example, today's (Oct 6/06) National Post frontpage story contains exhortations from NATO generals asking that more pressure be put on Musharraf to eliminate the Taleban sanctuaries, training camps, and madrassas in North Waziristan, Quetta, and Baluchistan provinces along the Western frontier with Afghanistan.

Will pressure on Musharraf work? It may not hurt, but the following questions would need to be asked and answered first.

    Musharraf depends on his military and intelligence services (ISI) to keep him in power. As a dictator who came to (and will likely be removed from) power in a coup, is it reasonable to ask him to order his military to (openly) fight the very people who form large segments of his army and police forces?

    Musharraf has already "negotiated" two peace deals with Taleban commanders in the south, which they have then promptly broken. What would prevent him from signing yet another ineffectual "peace" agreement and proclaiming victory?

    If the recent PBS Frontline documentary on the resurgence of the Taleban is any indication, the Pakistani army is no match for the (apparently) rejuvenated and re-armed (and refinanced thanks to financial aid from Saudi Arabia) Taleban forces now operating freely in the Western frontier provinces. Even if Musharraf were to accede to NATO's demands for tighter security, is his army physically capable of ever achieving it?

    And finally, if not Musharraf, who? NATO, and the US in particular, have a working relationship with this man. He leads a reasonably secular - albeit despotic - government in a habitually unstable corner of the world. Imagine a coup in Pakistan, with the radical military and ISI elements in charge. It will be Ahmadinejad II, which could bring India into the equation and effectively end NATO operations in Afghanistan. How will that scenario help achieve global security?

Coddle Musharraf? No.

But, push him too hard and the West might end up with an even bigger problem.
McGuire





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A better question to ask is to bomb or not to bomb. I'm so sick of this little twat, time to lay the smack down.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question of Pakistan is moot, in my opinion, if NATO is unwilling to commit the requisite troops to Afghanistan in the first place. It seems like what is happening now is finger pointing, when we should be trying to solve the problem. In my experience, the "circle of blame game" never helped in any situation.
McGuire





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True but Pakistan is at least as big a problem as the troop levels.
biggie





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite possibly the reason the troop levels have become a problem...
jnarvey





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In light of ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan and continuing NATO fatalities, many have started asking if the President of Pakistan, Pervaez Musharraf, may have outlived his usefulness.


The subject of this thread seems a little off. "Outlived his usefulness?" Musharraf wasn't installed by foreign forces - He took over his country with a military coup and only fell under the sway of Western regimes afterwards. If he has "outlived his usefulness", who is going to tell him his time is up?

Previous posters on this forum have already pointed to the real problem: a lack of NATO troops. Pakistan can't and won't control the Pashtun tribes in its border region. It's a lost cause. The only thing to be done is send enough troops and ammunition over to deter the Taliban from wanting to cross from their safe haven in the first place.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The region under Pashtun control always seems to be causing headaches for Musharraf's regime, and they don't really seem to identify themselves with the rest of Pakistan - I wonder if there might be a possibility to grant the region semi-autonomy?

This might allow them to be held responsible for their actions by NATO, rather than Musharraf....
cbasu





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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jnarvey: It is true that Musharraf came to power in a coup, but the US - through its multibillion dollar arms arrangements - holds considerable sway over the Pakistani military. Sufficient pressure could encourage his government to start clamping down on their wink-and-nudge policies with Taleban elements destabilising Afghanistan and the Lashkar-e-Taiba elements terrorising India (e.g. the recent Mumbai train explosions have apparently been traced directly to ISI operatives).

jnarvey/ff_canuck: More NATO troops is not the answer. The former Soviet Union had hundreds of thousands of troops all over Afghanistan, but still failed. Taleban and Al Qaeda fighters know the mountain ranges, the caves and the passes intimately, and are better able to launch hit and run operations that bled the Soviet Army, and are now doing the same to NATO. The key to security in Afghanistan is a clampdown on the training camps and madrassas in Pakistan (which the Musharraf government can do if they were encouraged to make that strategic choice), a policing of the border regions by NATO/Afghan forces, and policies aimed at co-opting the population in the south.

ff_canuck: The southwestern provinces of Pakistan are effectively autonomous. Creating a Pashtun homeland traversing Western Pakistan and Southern Afghanistan will not solve anything, because the radical elements from Saudi Arabia, Yemen &c will flock to that area and create another terrorist haven that can be used to destabilise Pakistan, India, the former Soviet-stans, and of course, launch attacks worldwide.
biggie





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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it's time for the west to start funding its own "Jihad" ;)

I've actually been curiously waiting to see if a western-based terrorist group bombing arab countries and troops(In Iran for example) will pop up..

I really haven't completely decided if I would want to support them, or condemn them. Part of me thinks we need to fight fire with fire..
The other part is horrified at that part ;)
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Musharraf - To coddle or not to coddle?

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