F-16s do nothing for Pakistan

Category: Asia, World Affairs Topics: Pakistan Views: 6610

One hand clapping 

For over 15 years now, every government in Islamabad has made the restoration of the supply of F-16s the centrepiece of its diplomatic and defense policies. Elected leaders and military dictators have made the pilgrimage to Washington to plead their case. 

Successive ambassadors have spent their entire tenures in the American capital in a futile quest for the Holy Grail. And now, after all these years, Musharraf is the one to have hit the jackpot. 

I suppose glasses of syrupy Rooh Afza must have been raised in toasts at GHQ and Air Force headquarters, and they must have danced a celebratory jig at the presidency. And once the two dozen F-16s of the initial consignment have arrived, I am sure Pakistani airspace will be more secure than ever before. 

The problem is that the threat Pakistan faces is not from the air, but from within. And F-16s, wonderful interceptors that they are, are useless against internal enemies. Consider the immediate neighbourhood: Afghanistan, despite its old reservations about the Durand Line and its claim on Pakistani territory, is too weak currently to pose a military threat. 

Iran needs all the friends it can get in its present stand-off with the United States. And India, whatever our military strategists and nationalist, right-wing think tanks might say, has regional and global ambitions which preclude any desire to seek a fight with Pakistan. 

Were I in a policy-making position in New Delhi, my worst nightmare would be an unstable Pakistan on the verge of fragmentation. A war with Pakistan, with its potential for going nuclear, is the worst case scenario for Indian defense planners. 

So what aerial threats are the F-16s going to guard Pakistan against? I am not suggesting that Pakistan armed forces should not modernize their equipment. We live in a dangerous part of the world where the security scenario does not take long to change. But the acquisition of the F-16s should not distract us from the fact that the real dangers that beset us are internal, whatever the source of their support and funding. 

Recently, a reader e-mailed me an odd investigative report compiled by an organization called News Central Asia, based in Turkmenistan. Its website is given as www.newscentralasia. com, but as I am writing this from a very small town in Morocco, I do not have access to the Internet, and cannot comment on its credibility. 

However, the four authors (including one Pakistani from Quetta) claim to have traveled 5,000 kilometers researching this report, and to have interviewed two ex-KGB officers in Moscow who were once tasked with fomenting trouble in Balochistan to punish Pakistan for its role in helping the Afghan resistance to the Soviet occupation. 

'Misha' and 'Sasha', the two KGB sources, claim to have created the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) on the back of the old Moscow-leaning Balochistan Students Organization (BSO). 

After the Soviet pull-out, the BLA became defunct for lack of funding, but was allegedly reactivated recently under a young man who studied electronic engineering in the Soviet Union where he was cultivated by the KGB. 

According to this report, the first training camp was established in Kohlu in January 2002 by two Americans and two Indians. The authors make it clear that they have been unable to establish any official support from New Delhi for this clandestine venture, but do claim at least Pentagon backing for the American presence. 

However, they do assert that the Indian consulates in Zahidan in Iran, and in Jalalabad and Kandahar in Afghanistan, have received a '700 per cent increase in their discretionary grant' last year. 

They also claim that disassembled arms like AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, mines, small anti-aircraft guns, ammunition and communication equipment are transferred from Kishangarh, an Indian village near the border with Pakistan where Balochistan and Sindh meet, to a transshipment point in Shahgarh, where these consignments are loaded on to camels, and then on to goods trucks where they are concealed by an upper layer of normal cargo. Apparently, they reach Kohlu in a few hours, as the distance is only about 180 kilometres. 

Money, too, is pouring in. Allegedly, BLA foot soldiers are paid $200 each per month, while section commanders get $300 and above. Special bonuses are paid for successful missions. According to the authors, young Balochs are now driving around in flashy four-wheel drive vehicles. 

Both 'Sasha' and 'Misha' assert that the difference in the two incarnations of the BLA is that this time, the sardars are in control when earlier, young, idealistic Balochs had been recruited. 

Among the subjects taught at the training camps are 'Greater Balochistan', 'Baloch rights', 'Punjabi tyranny', 'sabotage as a tool for political struggle' and, intriguingly, 'media-friendly methods of mass protest'. 

The report quotes the KGB officers as concluding that the entire conspiracy is aimed at splitting Balochistan away from Pakistan to create a corridor from Central Asia for oil and gas to be transported to America. 

A secondary aim is to deny this area to China which is now in global competition with America for energy sources. Beijing's activities in Gwadar and elsewhere in the province are not viewed with approval in Washington. 

Now I am not a great one for conspiracy theories, and I am not about to swallow this report in its entirety. I am just passing it on to substantiate my earlier suggestion that the immediate threats Pakistan faces cannot be met by F-16s, and that Pakistan needs to tackle the enemies within. And while Pakistan might discard this report, it cannot close it's eyes to the fact that arms and money are flowing into the troubled areas of Balochistan from somewhere.

Unfortunately, the alleged conspiracy in Balochistan is not the only threat that Pakistan is confronted with. The jihadi groups are armed and dangerous as they have proved time and again. An ethnic organization in Sindh retains its potent arsenal and its urban fighting force. As Wana has demonstrated, tribal chiefs have their own well-armed militias and their own agendas. 

And all of the above undertake criminal activities on a vast scale to arm themselves and to finance the lavish lifestyle of their leaders. Smuggling of every kind, car thefts, kidnappings, robbery and murder are all part of their repertoires. 

Alas, F-16s can do nothing to curb these elements. Nor can they alleviate the problems of poverty, disease and ignorance. So if you hear the sound of one hand-clapping, that will be me, un surprised by the imminent arrival of the new toys in Pakistan's armoury.

  Category: Asia, World Affairs
  Topics: Pakistan
Views: 6610

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Older Comments:
Some "modern" citizens of this world w/ so called knowledge of the modern world mentioned ON THIS SITE that Madrasa students are stupid and incapable of being good leaders and carrying out any functions requiring technical or so called "MODERN" knowledge... I think such comments are outrageous and stupid...

People who do not like Madrasas are really being brain-washed by American News Channels (i.e.-FOX NEWS and others). "Modern" people living outside the U.S have access these news channels via satellite TV etc..

I just started to attend Madrasa (I am the oldest student)...and students in Madrasa know more and act in a more civilized fashion than my technical and "modern" colleagues...

It is sad that many of these so called "modern" people sit on the 5th/10th floor of their apartments/buildings w/ their PCs (b/c they are financially rich; probably not in other ways) and engage in hatred of Madrasa...I think it is time they donate their PCs to the Madrasas that can't afford one...it will definitely be better use of their PCs...

Also, Guess who lives in Ghettos right next to these "Modern" people's high rises/tall modern buildings...it's the poor...Why ghettos exist? THe "Modern" people do not share their wealth...Why don't share? Don't know the Quran. Why don't know the Quran? They have Neven been to Madrasa!

That's why most of these "Modern" peoples' children learn how to play guitar/sing songs first thing in the morning instead of learning/reading the Quran...How do I Know that?

Guess why I am atteding Madrasa in my adulthood?
Been there, played guitar first thing in the morning instead of learning the Quran and learning to observe!!! Why observation is important? It is the "MOTHER" of all sciences...

In summary, Madrasa(the institue of observation) = solutions to all your problems (technical or non-technical; 10th floor or ghetto; modern or archaic)

It's time Muslims don't get brain-washed by American/Western Media....

But it's not just India and Pakistan H.A., take a look at the vast majority of Muslim countries, their governments are still controlled by U.S.A. and U.K....it's not just India and Pakistan.

And, like I said in my previous post #30887, it should be made clear the HUGE difference between the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan. Go to any place in Pakistan, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi Sindh Hyderabad, and you will see the people care more about Islam than this mock up of spreading America's version of democracy. That's what really annoys me, why does everyone have to follow America's version of democracy? Why not Malaysia's version, or India's version? India has the biggest democracy in the world, it produces more workers in the IT sector than the United States. It has probably the fastest growing IT Industry in the world. Or what about Canadian democracy? Why does it have to be America's style.

So anyways I still think that it's unfair to single out Pakistan as being a tool of the United States. I agree with Abdalian, Pakistan is the fortress of Islam. People who talk nonsense of Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, only do so because they read something in one book written by some guy who didn't like him. Jinnah was an outstanding individual, and if it was not for him, my family would have been slaughtered in India. Marrying a non-Muslim and having an illigitimate kid, that's all garbage, go find something better to do. He was a Muslim, and to curse and insult a Muslim after he has died is a great sin, so please refrain from it, whoever said such things about Jinnah.

Whether anyone likes it or not, Pakistan was Pre-destined to be, it was by Al-Qadar, the divine decree of destiny, and to deny it or say that it could have been changed because now it's a mistake, is like denying a fact of the past. So live with it "Irfan Husain."

I am writing again because my earlier opinion didn't go through.
I disagree with the article but I must say that I disagree more with the peoples views than to the article itself.
By alienating different communities from the confideration of pakistan will only serve the purpose of people like Mr. Dilawar khan who is every bit against the creation of pakistan on the basis of divisions in our society. One must not forget the fact that Pakistan was created by an Indian muslim Quaid e Azam and before the creation of Paksitan everybody was an Indian Muslim. The great Abdul Qadeer Khan also migrated from India. My question to Mr Bugti and Mr Mazari is that the migrants including myself gave up every thing for this islamic republic,our land and our livelihoods can you do this also?

what is frustrating in India is the number of that population who doesn't cess of rising. other than that, the Indian propaganda is the most simplistic one on Earth. this author is an example of it.

If I was a pakistany, I will make sure that my people understand well that India will never present a threat to pakistan but the number of Indians may: the rising number of the Indians is a dangerous bomb that no one know where it's gonna explose. it's more dangerous than nuclear weapons...
peace with India cause more troubles to India than to Pakistan. instead of concentrating on buying some junk weapons that may or may not work, it will be better to step with pakistan forward toward treating their citizens equally and give them the opportunity to be for their country and not against it. less problems in Pakistan is a big problem for India than buying F16's later using them against your own people. the security of Pakistan can be done by the Pakistanies together. the F16's can be build by the pakistanies together. just don't get hooker in listening to more than one billion opinions from India.

Neither India nor Pakistan become should become the puppet of the United States....b/c the United states is always after its own interests....as soon as either India or Pakistan stop helping the U.S.in anyways, they will become the axis of evil.

Sadly, that is the evil nature of the United States...Have you(Pakistan/India) learned your lesson from the British occupation of South Asia? The U.S. and U.K. can't be trusted, not buts or ifs...


Some Interesting Facts/Observations:

1)The author, Irfan Husain, Pakistan's President Pervaiz Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz - all went to the same school: St.Patrick's in Karachi.

2)The author alongwith the Pakistani President and Prime Minister are known to enjoy alcoholic beverages. So he is being cynical when he says: "Rooh Afza must have been raised in toasts at GHQ," when he knows and means it to be booze.

3)The author echoes the rumblings of "His Master's Voice" (HMV), that Musharraf's hand was being constricted and hampered by "Islam" in Pakistan. The finger has long been pointed at the hard-core Muslims of the NWFP and Baluchistan, both vital for successfully waging Bush's so-called war on terrorism at their borders.
HMV wants Islam out of Pakistan - and hence, Islamic people and views will have to go, warts and all.

I am so glad that finally the true feelings and sentiments of Pakistanis and others have been expressed about Irfan Hussein/Mazdak through Islamicity.com, because any letters critical of Irfan Hussein to the editors of this newspaper DAWN go completely ignored, as they support his Secularist agenda. Thank you Islamicicity.

To understand where the author of this article is coming from its interesting to note his back ground. Irfan Hussein, who writes for the Secularist Pakistani newspaper, DAWN, is an avowed Indian provocateur. Using sly and clever debate he has been trying for years through his articles to provoke hatred between various ethnic Muslim groups in Pakistan and convince Pakistanis that the creation of Pakistan was a mistake - echoing the sentiments of his compatriot Dilawar Khan. Given that an Indian Muslim has hijacked Pakistan's leadership, Irfan Hussein is no longer secretive in his support for Altaf Hussein, an avowed anti-Muslim, convicted rapist and murderer, who has the blood of many Muslims on his hands and now lives in hiding in London. These creatures are Muslim only in name, and their true intentions are none other than the destruction of not just Pakistan but Islam in the Indian sub-continent. To get a glimpse of their agenda, Irfan Hussein like many Hindu/Muslim Indians support Muslim women marrying Hindu men, drinking alcohol, eating pork products, attending Hindu and Christian religious festivals, in short anything and everything un-Islamic. One square look at the life-style of Indian Muslim families in India and overseas, will dispel any doubts. With the exception of the name, there is absolutely no difference between "progressive" Indian Muslim families and Hindus. Sadly many "Pakistani Secularist Muslims" follow the same ideology and with their money and affluence are trying to turn Pakistan into a pseudo-Islamic country, which would be just an extension of Hindu India.

The author, Irfan Hussein, an Indian "Muslim", also writes under the pseudonym, MAZDAK for the Pakistani paper, DAWN, which is nothing more than a propaganda medium for expatriate Indians living in Pakistan who are on a mission to 'Hinduize' Pakistan. Their ultimate goal is the destruction of Pakistan by fomenting ethnic hatred and civil strife. Irfan Hussein is on record as being vehemently anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan and his articles in the DAWN usually almost always contains inflammatory statements that ensure that the flames of hate between Pakistan's various sects remain well stoked and burning. Under the guise of a Muslim name, he often writes about how he is able to enjoy drinking in India and the good life India has to offer as compared to Pakistan. I think for all his criticism of Pakistan, it is amazing that Pakistanis allow him to vent his pro-Hindu passions in a government controlled paper. But then again, now at the helm of Pakistan's government, much to Irfan Hussein's delight, we have yet another Indian "Muslim" Musharraf, whose actions have sold out those true Muslim Pakistanis such as Abdul Qadeer Khan, and those brave Muslim Pakistani and Afghan fighters who took India to task in the Kargil affair. These acts of this spineless Indian tin-pot general, Musharraf, have branded the Muslims of Pakistan as a bunch of yellow livered, treacherous, US-foot licking, Indian-envious, Islam-hating, confused frustrated people. Take out these Indian agents from Pakistan, and the country will prosper.

I must say that I disagree with the most of the article. 1st the writer talks about Sindh the place where I was born, the nationalist never won a single election they hold less then 5% of the electorate. Speaking of the Balochistan/ Frontier they have a tribal system that is there for centuries , change is taking place but it will take more time since as I have said earlier this system has been in place for centuries even the British cannot pursue them when they have all the might. The Baluch have some genuine concerns but the goverment is finally listening to them and their leaders are in agreement with the govt. Now for Mr Dilawar khan who agreed with the article I must say to you sir that you should read more and be logical, speaking of Quaid e Azam and his family, he converted a parsi women to Islam by providing her with all the religious materials and later marrying her.His own daughter was raised by the grand parents after the death of his wife(when she was in her early twenties) and the grand parents refused to send his daughter to him on the basis that he is too much involved with the creation of a muslim state, this was the revenge for taking their daughter. You have to realize that every country has its own problems in India also there are numerous freedom movements(not just islamic). Everybody wants this Umma to be united but we have to be reliastic about it and this is certainly not conveyed by your article you have to have love for your muslim brothers where ever they live and whatever nationality they hold but your writing was based on quitely simply hate I wasnt able to get a single sympathetic line from your article .Your advice to the muslims of subcontinent to be a part of india is abosultely redicuolous every other day we are reading about muslim who are being tortured by hindu fundamentalist. The interior minister of india Lk Advani went to Spain for 6 months to see how they get rid of muslims. I think you should pray for your own safety.

Let's keep this article and comments in perspective:

1) Don't be fooled by this Muslim-sounding named author - Irfan Hussain.
The author of this article has Islamophobia. Most of his articles will reveal that.. He is a Christianist and writes for Dawn (Pakistan) from London. His types are never contend in any Muslim country, unless that Muslim country changes their ways to their ways!

2) The most dangerous Pakistanis are the one who feed info to outside "Agencies" - the likes of this author. Surely, Pakistan would be better off if his kind together with all the Mishas and Shasas and other enemies of Islam would move back to India or the old colonial master's den. These types of people are also known as "kala sahib" (black or brown gentlemen - those Indo-Pakistan subcontinent sycophants of the British/Western imperialism - whom the British Raj treated favorably because they adopted the "English Gentlemen" mannerism and ways or converted).

3) The author also fails to mention the most important part of the F-16 deal: Bush and Lockheed Martin wants the sale of F-16 to stay afloat and save over 5,000 jobs in Ft.Worth plant in Texas. As been said before by many a learned writers on this and other forums: the sooner Pakistani generals go back to constitutional fold the better it would be for them and for Pakistan. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the army-generals call the shots. And unfortunately, the instructions for these come from Uncle Sam. When Bush speaks, Pakistan's army general not only listens, but also in most cases, carries out the job dutifully.

4) As for some of the Indian Muslims - they unfortunately have to adopt the mannerism and Hinduvata ways: they want to be seen as more of a Hindustani than the Hindus themselves! Since many of them have been the usual suspects for anything that goes wrong in India.Since they are scapegoat and usually blamed as Pakistani-agents, hence, their venom against Pakistanis is obvious, but unjustifiable.

I disagree with the comment of Dilwar khan who expresed as Indian Muslim. Well, Pakistan was a need of time for Muslims in the Subcontinent when it was created. Pakistan was created by the Muslim of East Bengal. The Muslim League was founded in East Bengal by Bengali Muslims leaders. But East Pakistan had to divorce the West due to injustice, atrocities and corruption. Jinnah was selected as the leader as he had some qualities. He might have short commings as some may say. The but creation Pakistan was not wrong but the management wrong in deed. So long Muslims will not be serious to elect the honest people who understand Islam, fear God as well has modern knowledge we will have problem.

Wheather Pakistan Deserves F-16s or not Its for its Govt. to Determine. But Pakistanis Must see through the American Game and Reject the F-16s. SO should India too. The F-16s are been used as Lollypop to Both the sibbling India and Pakistan to keep one another quite on many Fronts. Americans are No ones friends. Let Pakistan be remember The war its fought with India and Amercians did not come to their rescue. These F-16s are too late now for anyuse to Pakistanin Airforce. They have already aquired Nuclear Arms. Instead of Buys these F16s Pakistan can invest this in its Educational and Health Programs. Americans are nothing But the same kind as the britishers who can for business and ruled the sub continent for more than 200 years. Lets not let it happen again. Instead of Buying these aircraft, Pakistan can accelarate the peace program with India and grow Economically. Don't let those americans take and money and Fund the Fight against Islam. F16s only help Bush further this Ambition against Islam. Oh Brothers of Islam don;t be happy for the F16s Cry that they are being used against you and fellow Muslims.

Pakistan is a fortress of Islam, let there be no doubt about it. There is only one way for Pakistan's economy to go and that is up, musharaf or no musharaf, thanks to a recent resurgence of investment from overseas Pakistanis in Pakistan. Indian muslims should try to follow Islam rather than their Hindu Masters.

I suggest that people be careful in not labelling the citizens of Pakistan as being the same thing as the various governments of Pakistan. Don't judge the people of Pakistan because of the Government. Do you judge all the Hindus of India as being like the Govt.? Should I then say that the people of Iraq are the same as Saddam, or that the people of Afghanistan are the same as the Taliban? Or are the citizens of Saudi Arabia the same as as it's Monarchy? NO.

I think it is completely unfair and a lie when someone tries to label Pakistan as being a failed state. That is such garbage - My step grandmother and all of her eight children were raped then burned alive in their village a few miles North of Delhi, and only my father and his mother's siblings, and my grandfather were lucky enough to leave before the Sikhs came and rampaged through their village, forcing them to migrate to Pakistan because of this bloody conflict. What kind of person has the nerve to say anything against all Muslims of Pakistan. Don't mix the faith of people with the politics of Government, and maybe you will make an objective point that people will respect and listen to. I love India and I love Pakistan, the Muslim population of India is greater than in Pakistan and my family like MILLIONS of others were forced out of India because of subjugation and oppression. I challenge any one of you filthy talkers against the people of Pakistan to judge all the Muslims in Pakistan as being corrupt, evil and un-Islamic. People who make such statements are arrogant, self-asborbed, hate-filled people who has nothing good to say. And likewise, anyone who says anything against Muslims of India as not following Islam are in the same position. Hate-filled, egotistical people who are jealous of other Muslims. I don't care if you're Muslim from anywhere in the South Asian Subcontinent, everyone is judged by their own actions, character, and words. Fi Aman Allah.

I am a Muslim from India and I have no hesitation in saying that creation of Pakistan has been a complete fraud perpetrated on the Muslims of the subcontinent. Muslims in a united India had a forceful weight and a much safer environment; what creation of Pakistan has accomplished is to divide them in three weak and divided entities.
The creation of Pakistan was supposed to usher in a golden era of Islamic resurgence; what it came to represent instead is moral decay, rampant corruption and feudal landlordism. Instead of ensuring safety for the Muslims the Muslims in two wings of Pakistan indulged in the kind of mutual slaughter that should put even the remotest claim to Islamic value to rest. The creation of Pakistan based on the realities on the ground seem to be the handiwork of the devil and not the fruit of any visionary.
The person behind this misadventure called "Pakistan" and touted as "Quaid-e-Azam" could not muster enough vision to keep his immediate family even nominally "Muslim". This great soldier of Islam had a non-Muslim wife and a non-Muslim "only" child.
It is high time for the Muslims of the subcontinent to launch a drive for their own survival and undo the fraud thrust on them by the impostor Quaid and call for the unification of all the Muslims of the subcontinet in one viable entity that is " India ".

I really appreciate the effort you have made to unveil the conspiracies against pakistan and it is a well known fact that Establishment and Government of Pakistan needs to re-shuffle its policy otherwise they will face the sever results which can be emerged as dismemberment of pakistan. Can you please email me back some more information or facts and figures about the condition of Pakistan and specially Balochistan and Sindh.

.. If you read this article objectively you will see that the Author keep on referring and I quote" I am not suggesting...." "I am not a consp ..." as if His opinions really mattered all is worth is two cents and I will give him his change back. He has no clue as to what the ground situation is like he quotes KGB agents ect ect.. I live in this part of the worlds and can tell you that nothing like this is going on here and He is just trying to imitate his MASTERS and spreading of lies. He sounds like a typically Indian Muslim who is influenced by his HINDU masters. If he was such a good MUSLIM he needs to do some grass-root effort and do his duty as a MUSLIM and convert all the Hindus in to good GOD loving Muslims. I have never read anything positive from a JELOUS INDIAN MUSLIM about Pakistan ever. I am starting to hate them for the love of their HINDU masters.

I think the greatest threat to Pakistan is not so much from Islamic militants or even the various provincial nationalist movements, but from the growing ranks of Secularist elites who are predominantly of Indian origin and gain their strength and support from not just the governments of India and Russia but interestingly, also from their political adversaries, the Americans and the English. Because the real issue here is whether the resulting Pakistan will be an American pliant state or a Russian one. Other than a few indignant villagers and their ilk, who remonstrate by burning a few cars and busses every now and then to satiate their religious passions, Islam is already forgotten in Pakistan and it is no longer an issue or a threat. Pakistani culture is now an amusing mlange of Hindu beliefs, Western ideals and cultural rituals. To call Pakistan an Islamic state is in fact no longer accurate.

I really can't see what difference a few F16s will make to Pakistans defence against a resurgent India. The US is just toying with it by throwing a few crumbs to its faithful dog, I'm afraid Pakistan is a failed state which is heading for bankruptcy once Musharraf is gone/done away with.

The Balochistan issue is quite interesting, I must say they seem to be getting weapons from somewhere, most likely suggled from across the Afgan border with US approval.

Richard Aboulafia (with the Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia, USA) reports, "Two countries that have F-16s have never fought a war." Admittedly, the point seems less debatable than "democracies do not make war against other democracies" - or who was it then who behaved in such a warlike during the American Civil War, wars waged by the United States against Great Britain, Israel's attack on the USS Liberty and so forth? Perhaps it was unfortunate that the F-16 was not yet available.