A willing Pakistan?

The welcome mat laid out for Prime Minister Jamali in the White House had little to do with America's love for Pak democracy and everything with the Bush administration's desperation.

No US president has time for first the president and then the prime minister of a begging-bowl country. So if President Bush met Gen Musharraf in New York and then took time out for Mr. Jamali in Washington, there had to be a purpose to it, especially in a land where free lunches are considered a bad investment.

The key to all this bonhomie lies - you've guessed it - in Iraq. The Iraq mess is not just another international disaster. It's getting to be another Vietnam, that too in a compressed timeframe. The almost daily toll of American lives and the billions of dollars (87 to be exact) the US Congress is being asked to cough up to sustain this holy mess now threatens Bush's re-election bid. If this mess continues in present form the next US president will not be George W. Bush.

This is the spectre haunting the Bush White House. And the only quick-fix answer to it lies in sending foreign troops to police Iraq. To ease the burden on American GIs who were eager for a quick triumph but who hadn't the faintest idea that the Iraqi sense of a ticker-tape welcome might take the shape of rocket-propelled grenades, the favorite weapon of the Iraqi resistance.

India is off the hook, there being no sign at the moment of Indian readiness to rush to America's rescue in Iraq, Secretary of State Powell admitting as much. Had it only been up to the Vajpayee/Advani government, things might have been different. But Indian public opinion is proving difficult. This leaves the other prime candidates, Turkey and, well, Pakistan.

The Turks are tough negotiators and will drive a hard bargain. Pakistan, however, is a soft target and the very soul of generosity. In fact, always has been, as far as the US is concerned, the soul of generosity: doing backbreaking and perilous duty for illegal immigrants' wages.

It's another matter the US has never appreciated this, has always turned its back on Pakistan when the dirty work was over. Which still hasn't stopped Pakistan from rushing to carry America's burden whenever higher duty has called. What price such selflessness?

Whenever American foreign policy needed Pakistan, it has been there. A member of anti-communist alliances in the 1950s, helping fly Henry Kissinger to China in 1971, helping the CIA defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and becoming a launching pad for America's war on Afghanistan in 2001.

Any wonder then if it is Pakistan, more than any other country in the world, the Bush White House is working on to get mercenary troops for Iraq? President Musharraf has been on board from the start. All he's asked for is a fig-leaf which the US is now going about procuring in the shape of a new UN resolution. What remains is to soften Pakistan public opinion and to drum up visible political support for a dubious proposition. Hence the welcome mat put out for Mr. Jamali.

Did Mr. Jamali bring up other subjects with Bush? Say, the growing arms imbalance with India, Kashmir, or the dim prospects of an India-Pakistan dialogue? The only issue on the Bush administration's radar screen at the moment is Iraq and Bush's re-election bid. Between now and December 2004 nothing in the world matters except these twin objectives: pacifying Iraq and making sure Bush stays in the White House for four more years.

How does Kashmir or any other arcane subject figure in this equation?

Who would have thought Pakistan would be a factor in a US presidential election? But the furies be praised, it's come to this, Musharraf and Jamali becoming bit players in Bush's re-election strategy. If they play ball, Bush's chances suddenly look brighter.

What's more, Musharraf and Jamali lead a country which, guided by a quaint sense of chivalry, has always prided itself on performing the most stupendous tasks on the cheap.

Here's the latest sample of this generosity. Pakistan's defense secretary, Lt Gen (rtd) Hamid Nawaz Khan, returns from an arms-buying trip to Washington and breathlessly declares a "breakthrough" in arms sales. What does it amount to? A squadron or so of F-16s from Belgium - to be paid for in cash on the table. And a few other items of weaponry to be bought out of the aid package the US has thought fit to reward Pakistan with for its services in Afghanistan and cooperation in the "war against terrorism".

According to Pakistan's English daily newspaper Dawn, Lt Gen Hamid Nawaz Khan, highlighting the achievements of his Washington trip said,  "The US officials had offered that if Pakistan sent troops to Iraq, then they would show 'great leniency' in the sale of equipment to it."

Furthermore: "In reply to a question what Islamabad had been given in return for extending cooperation to Washington, he said Pakistan had got security and elaborated 'the Indians would have done the same to Pakistan what Northern Alliance had done to the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan'."

In other words, we have it from the country's highest defense official that America's biggest gift to Pakistan was security and that but for the US, India would have destroyed Pakistan post-September 11.

Just to refresh minds about what we are getting from the US: a three billion dollar package spread over five years. Which is about 600 million dollars annually, half of this amount as economic assistance and the other half for military sales. That's about it. What's more, Congress has to approve this package every year. And if we send troops to Iraq, all we can count on is "great leniency" in the matter of arms sales. That's about it again. No special package as in Turkey's case. Chances are the American officials dealing with Pakistan will be the most dumbfounded at this cheap bargain.

Any fears that the troops themselves would be unwilling janisarries? Forget it. If the Pakistan military were to announce that only volunteers would be sent to Iraq, there'd be such a stampede the military wouldn't know how to handle it. Principles and honor are fine but extra dollars are tangible property.

Source: Dawn

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Older Comments:
My thinking would be that if Pakistan wanted to help (within Iraq) then America ought to be in the process of leaving Iraq - perhaps turning over security responsibilities to Iraq (and Iraq's choice of "advisors") on a province by province basis. My thinking would also be that America should not be acting as some sort of intermediary between Iraq and Pakistan.

I am also grateful to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for willing that America distribute American currency widely within Iraq. In my opinion, it shows resolve on the part of America's leaders. It is my understanding this is not something America did in Vietnam. Alhamdulillah!

Assalamu alaikum.

--Yahya Bergum

I did read your post and that is why I offered to send you flowers... i.e. on behalf of the other posters to recognize you as an Indian who has decided to do the right thing in not sending troops.

I do recognize India as doing a much better job then Pakistan in developing a Government for the people. But I also worry about people like you gaining influence in that democracy. I pray that India becomes an example of harmonious diversity.

Lastly, names don't mean much in such forums (this comment section is not a message board) but to satisfy your curiosity my handle is Sikandar. I am originally from Pakistan and now I am a citizen of USA and yes John Ashcroft serves me as a public servant.

Asalam o Alaykum,
To my view it's look like Pakistan becoming another Baghdad (at the time of Mughals). When the Mughals start conquering Muslims land, rather than be united they tried to safe themselves and threw their other Muslim fellows in their hand.....and what's happen, Baghdad the biggest allies of Mughals, who help them but didn't Muslims, became history. "street was full of blood" after they reach Baghdad.
Now look like same thing will happen to Pakistan if they (government) dont' think wisley. We are brother and sister to each other. we should help each other rather in hard time rather than be on the side of nonmuslims. ... They(Kafir) can't be our friend...it's in Quran & hadith and also we have seen it and read it....
May Allah give hidayah to everyone and may Allah safe us from the kafirs plans.
Hadith: "there will be too much fitna that for a Momin (not regular name muslim) holding with Islam will be like holding a cinder (piece of coal) on their palm."
Asalam u Alykum

To the fellow who wrote "To Romesh Chander".

As usual, the fellow did not read my post. The purpose of my post was to talk about the people who posted comments on the article (that they did not even mention the refusal of India to send troops to Iraq) as was evident in the very first paragraph of my post. May be people have forgotten how to read.

It is also rather surprising that he dared not even mention his name on his post (he lives in the USA and probably is too afraid of John Ashcroft).

Instead of living in your own world of ignorance and hate and if you were to read the article you will find that your exact point has been made in the 5th paragraph.... India is off the hook, there being no sign at the moment of Indian readiness to rush to America's rescue in Iraq, Secretary of State Powell admitting as much. Had it only been up to the Vajpayee/Advani government, things might have been different. But Indian public opinion is proving difficult... I will be more than happy to send you flowers as a representative of India for doing the right thing... but please open your mind and overcome your hate of Muslims and Islam.

It is rather surprising from the comments posted so far, that nobody mentioned India.

India has refused to send troops to Iraq even though both Vajpayee and Advani were for it. Why?
Because India is a democratic country and Indian public opinion (as well as press) is against it. And Vajpayee/Advani have to get re-elected; so they could not afford to ignore public opinion.
Musharaff does not need to get re-elected; he re-appoints himself; he does not have to face the wrath of public opinion. Moreover, throughout the history of Pakistan, its rulers have loved to be clients of US; Pakistan did not have independent foreign policy for its entire existence. India has independent foreign policy and have seen the wrath of US a few times, and accepted that as a price of independence (though Pakistan got the US wrath anyhow even though it acted as a client state).

Pakistan, have some backbone; and that is the gist of what the author of this article was saying.

I am so ashamed that my country (Pakistan) has joined with the US to fight against their own Muslim brothers and sisters in Iraq and not only that but they're on the side of the nonMuslims!
This is awful....I am positive that over 99% of the common people in Pakistan are opposed to this, I know it, I have talked with them only a few weeks back. :-( It makes me sad to think what Muslims are coming to.

Assalamu alaikum. I wonder if the Federal Bureau of Investigation should perhaps be investigating America's energy industry and related industries - for possible connections to Wahhabi fundamentalists (may peace be upon them). My thinking is that perhaps, as a result of such connections, America's leaders are taking important advice from foreigners (may peace be upon them) concerning religious matters which might be expected to effect the outcome in Iraq.

May God guide and defend the United States of America. May it be God's will that the United States be God's obedient servant. May the United States seek refuge in that which is good from that which is evil. May God will that the United States is rightly tolerant and rightly intolerant. May the United States be always grateful to God alone. May all glory be seen as belonging to God alone. May the results of my labors be directly awarded to those who please God. Ameen.

A'udhoo billahi min-ash-Shaytaan-ar-rajeem (I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan). Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah). Allahu abkar (God is great)! Salam (Peace).

--Yahya Bergum

Although I agree with the basic premise in Mr. Amir's article, I donot agree with his senseless criticism without looking at other alternatives. Mr. Amir, a failed Pakistani politician, is famous for probably being the most negative journalist in Pakistan. In the last 5 or 6 years, I have yet to read an article written by him that makes any sense. For Gods sake please learn to write proper english.

Musharraf has always said that he will not send troops to Iraq unless authorized by the UN. Being an intelligent person, he knows that the chances of that happening are pretty slim right now. If the UN does authorize troops for Iraq, I am sure Musharraf will have another good excuse for not sending troops.

As for getting concessions from the US, Musharraf is trying his best to get trade deals with the US. The US never has and never will truly support the Pakistan Army. But Musharrf is intelligent enough to have begun an agressive program for domestic weapons development.

So Mr. Amir, if you have some free time, please try to come up with some solutions to a problem for once in your life. Put yourselves in Musharraf's place, and tell us what you would have done if you were the President of Pakistan.

Musharaf can compromise to anything to save his power. We all observed this in his national and international acts. He compromised with NAB sentenced Faisal Salah Hayat, with current Governor Sindh who was declared at large in murder charges. He is no better than BB or NS or other power hunger politicians.

Mr Musharraf should know that we, the Pakistanis are against sending the troops. 99% of Pakistanis are against it. Its only the corrupt rulers who want US pleased more than GOD want to send troops.

To do or not to do. Did Gen Musharraf have a choice. If he would not have hepled USA in Afghanistan he would have led us to stoneage the same way as Taliban led Afghans against USA to be thrown in the stoneage. So we all have to think about the might is right attitude of the US.

I had a little trouble with the following quote (scatching my head)....I managed to translate it though...

"The US officials had offered that if Pakistan sent troops to Iraq, then they would show 'great leniency' in the sale of equipment to it."

"I am SATAN, I'll give you what you've always wanted, all you have to do is obey me and sell me your soul."

Real Eyes Realize Real Lies

We all know the best rice in the world comes from India and Pakistan, it's called Basmati Rice, and we can tell just by the quality of the grain and it's aroma...

So I was thinking that, since we hear about transplanting seeds of democracy, I remember that some years back a US company tried to grow some Basmati Rice in Texas, and this isn't a joke....guess what they called it, TEXMATI RICE....lol.....unfortunately I think it sucked b/c the soil in Texas just wasn't as rich as in Pakistan and India. Obviously Texas failed America before by not making good texmati. So what makes u think they're gonna transplant seeds of democracy in Iraq and that it won't fail like Texmati did?? I mean c'mon, you have to remember, not all democracy's are the same in the world, so I guess not all seeds of democracy are the same in the world..maybe a seed of American democracy will be incompatible with Iraqi soil, anyone ever think of that?!!! ..I mean Israel professes that it is a "democracy," yet millions of Palestinians in that area aren't allowed to vote...oh yea and there's been a continous occupatoin and confiscation of the land of those people for some 50+ years...there's also another "democracy" called India, where an extremist hindu terrorist group runs the country (BJP)...and I definitely don't need to talk about the American version of democracy, i'm pretty sure most of us know what goes on in America's democracy (biggest Drug Lord of the World (CIA), Oil cronies who will do anything to get it, Nights of the Templars, Jeffery Daumer, Timothy McVeigh, and many other psycho cult guys from Texas...

Imagine if the American version of democracy is in Iraq, and to let it spread in the middle east?
Astagfurallah, Astagfurallah, Astagfurallah.

Don't buy into democracy...Musharraf is PLAYIN BALL!

In the words of another psychotic American leader with a rifle raised above his head, former NRA leader, Charlton Heston:


Pakistan was the fort of Islam before 9/11 now it is the fort of America. America always cheats us and I'm sure she will again.

This article is good in that it shows the desperation of the Musharraf regime in Pakistan. Not only has he "sold out" his people for mere pennies but now his armed forces just to be known as the "lap dog" of Bush. Pakistan currently faces a severe threat from India and unless Musharraf directly and unflinchingly asks the US to quickly correct that arms imbalance, he would have sold his soul and gotten nothing in return.

What choices do pakistan have. she did not learn her lessons during 1980. Politicians need discipline, Army has to go back to barricks.

Musharaf + hand shake w/ Rumsfeld in 2003 + 7 years = Saddam Hussein

The US got itself into this huge, unruly mess even with other countries admonishing it and the UN repeatedly trying to prolong the diversion for the slightest bit of time. Americans, as usual, blindly supported the dense Bush administration without blinking an eye--for the most part. Many could not see through the veil of deception that the media and government so skillfully constructed, since ethnocentrism apparently conquers all, even practical judgement. So now the entire world is scoffing and shouting "WE TOLD YOU SO" in the Americans' faces and the US has the audacity to prompt support from those that never wanted any of this to begin with?

The US started this without thinking and shut out the international voices of reason. Whether it pleads the support of its number one ally, Israel, or not, it should finish this illegal occupation (aka Vietnam Part II) without causing other countries further harm by constant bribing and eventual lurement into a web of mistrust.

Mr. President, our options seem increasingly limited. Surely everything that is needed for Iraq is already present - in Iraq - such as armor, air support and (Iraqi) personnel. Might this not suggest various constitutional ways for avoiding "domestic entanglements" - if you follow my meaning?

Peace and blessings (with warm regards).

--Yahya Bergum

Musharraf has openly said, he will only send troops to Iraq, if the Iraqi people want them there...and he said if the Iraqi Council wants the troops, he will not send them...if the United States wants the troops, he will not send them...only if the Iraqi people want them...not even if the United Nations wants them....he is a reasonable man. His recent speech before an audience of Muslim Americans from all over the USA, in the USA, showed his committment to NOT send troops to Iraq unless the Iraqi people ask for their help. If you don't believe me just go and look for it, or ask for a copy of hte tape from the producers of PTV Prime...it was broadcasr live. Musharraf is not the perfect leader or politician ok so just relax, but he is certainly better than CIA henchmen like Benazir Bhutto, and Nawaz Sharif, or Zia Al-Haq...by far....he has reorganized the banks in Pakistan, he has construction plans to build more dams for water concentration and production of electricity. He's kicked and is kicking out all the corrupt politicians and legal authorities in the country. He's cleaning house ALRIGHT, and if people don't like it, well then they can live in their fantasy world and think everything will fix by itself, or that ALL Politicians are the same. That's just a cynical, hopeless view...so please, let's avoid talking the talk, and instead start to walk the walk...progress has to made somehow...or else give me a realistic, probable alternative..enuff said.

Well this piece basically sums it up. Musharaf will do it, and pakistani's will not revolt that is for sure. ( check the history ) we love America, in order to get near it we are ready to sell our soul, reson why pakistan was made and much more. we want to stand on the alter with the american presidents and such....

The only way to get out of such inferior complex we need to really BELIEVE in Allah and start practincing our deen, and hopefully Allah will remove the fear of the enemy from our hearts.


Completely true. Pakistan has always been ready to help the US whenever it has requested assistance of any sort. Pakistan needs to grow a backbone. Obviously the monetary award (3 billion) is not all that great and we are offered no other "gifts" or rewards for helping to fix the US's disastrous mistakes internationally. Musharraf and Jamali seem to be at the US's feet, simply because of the power and prestige that comes with being associated with the only superpower of the world. Pakistan is not a country that can afford to help another, one that is very well off I might add, in such a generous manner with no apparent gain while its own people are living in dirt. The US obviously comes to Pakistan with friendly talks for its own benefit, otherwise the US is generally leaving the India-Pakistan and Kashmir conflicts to resolve themselves, even after requests of assistance. In fact, the US, Israel and India have come together only for the sake of keeping neighboring Muslim countries under control. The US can not be trusted with its fickle friendly talk and Pakistan has no reason to help unless the US increases aid or offers some sort of advantageous situation for Pakistani conflicts.

This, my brothers in Islam is really the state of affairs and the resulting conditions of our Ummah. All the petro-Dollars of Arabia and the gulf, some 2 trillion dollars of the Middle East in the US treasuries and countries like i.e. Pakistan, Egypt begging for Dollars from the US. We know all these facts, what is the solution? Apparently there is no coherent strategy from any circle of Muslims anywhere that is working to unite us Muslims - and there are many levels of this unity, i.e. economic, cultural, security etc. The old guard of what we call Muslim 'leaders' is not genuine, simply entrenched. The only savior for us is to get back to our Deen of Islam and practice it as it will guide us to dignity, strength and respect. History has proven this for us Muslims and has been promised us this from our creator. All of the ill effects of not holding on to Islam would wither away. The energy for this struggle has to come from within us, the burn to be better Muslims. The list of tasks is many in this modern ways. Few examples that I personally follow are listed below:
1) Stopped watching commercial TV (has been 14 years and I don't think I am missing too much) as it is a good medium, but is put to bad us by commercial TV companies. 2) Do not go to any concerts (mostly un-Islamic) or ball games as they are heavily priced. Use this money to support your local Masjid.
3) Taking advantage of education to free us, sponsoring a child to an education and this all starts with your own immediate family. The price of education is high, but what price ignorance.
4) Try to befriend Muslims from other cultures than your own.
5) Attend your local Masjid functions and volunteer your time. Always perform your Salat even on travel.

The fruits of our Imam will be evident as our youth will eventually not put up with bad leaders and improve their lives. Allah will not abandon us if we do not abandon our Deen - This has been promised us.

The high and mighty Americans should DEMAND troops and aid from the Israeli's. And why not ? America fought this war for Israel. America has given them hundreds of billions of dollars for decades. Israel knows how to run an illegal and inhuman occupation so their esperience should prove invaluable. Maybe the IDF thugs prefer unarmed Palestinian woman and children rather then Iraqis....
Then again, why does Uncle Sam need help in the first place ? Its not as if they listened to the rest of the world. Apparently "liberation" is not going as planned.
Musharraf will a have revolt on his hands if he commits troops to this evil occupation.