Myth of South Waziristan Broken: Gen. Kayani


ISLAMABAD: Sitting under a portrait of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, with a huge blazing red calligraphy on his left and an impressive piece of framed Chinese embroidery on his right, recalling the deaths at the Parade Lane of four young sons of his officers who were Hufaz-e-Quran, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani emerged as the first Army chief to resort to speak to the Americans and their Western allies in words and images that they cannot fail to understand.

One of the last few senior generals to have undertaken military training in the US until the Pressler Amendment was slapped on Pakistan, the US and its allies are now not only listening but also understanding as the COAS uses the symbols of American legendary golfer Tiger Woods on his power point display and comparing full bases at a baseball game to some of the war situations on the Pak-Afghan border.

In a meeting at the GHQ, with analysts and retired senior generals, some under whose command he had served, the COAS opened up his mind and heart to dwell on the dangers facing Pakistan militarily, and the region, and ways and means that the military leadership thinks are the solutions to ensure that at the end of the war, Pakistan does not find itself in the ‘wrong corner of the room’. The interaction continued for nearly three hours.

Speaking on and off therecord, the COAS shared with the participants the presentation that he had made at Nato headquarters in Brussels, where generals from 45 countries heard him, and which many Western military analysts told The News, was a “make and break” presentation, which got the Western military leadership not only ‘educated’, but confess amongst themselves “all” that they were doing “wrong” inside Afghanistan.

One of the direct results of this Brussels presentation, which even the Foreign Office agrees, resulted in the final push which made India coming reluctantly to the negotiating table. The COAS had convinced Nato and others why it was important for him to have his eastern border peaceful.

The proudest moment for any Pakistani was to hear and readily believe that the ‘myth’ of South Waziristan had been broken and the military operations before that in Swat and Malakand in the words of the Army chief, “We did it with no help from the United States. Daily I would receive calls if we needed any help and we replied we needed nothing”.

He was very clear about what was best for Pakistan in these days of turmoil. “Partnership (with the US) does not mean you desire and I start doing it,” said the COAS. He said with the US military aid still in the pipeline, “In many cases I have eaten into my reserves.” While acknowledging he said there has to be a balance for a military budget and one for development as well.

The fear was, said Kayani, even if his military had accepted 5%, it would have been blown up to 50%. The COAS earlier had met General Stanley A McChrystal, Commander International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan, at a time when everyone in the region was still waiting for the US to explain in detail the policies that will take them up to the time that they are ready to leave the region.

“I told McChrystal that the acid test of a policy is that options should increase,” he said, adding that he believed that the only way to measure success inside Afghanistan was to gauge the public support and not the number of people you kill.

“Today, this is McCrystal’s policy inside Afghanistan, where they talk of a political process and reconciliation. Finally, there is realisation today,” added the chief. Looking at the US Afghan strategy, Kayani says he has clearly told the US that raising an Afghan Army in the stipulated time is not possible, and weaning away of the Taliban will only happen if the US is seen willing inside Afghanistan.

“This has not happened and the perception has not been formed. Only when you win over 70%, you are really winning,” he added. He also does not shy away from telling his US visitors that the bulk of Nato supplies are still going through Pakistan and they will continue to do so, and threats of looking for alternative routes do not impress him.

South Waziristan “We had a history of mismanaged operations in South Waziristan and there was a myth that no-one has ever come here and controlled the area. If we had turned back, we would have destroyed the credibility of the military”.

The victory in South Waziristan, the chief said, was because of motivation of the troops, changed tactics of engaging the adversaries from the dangerous ridges of mountains instead of the customary land routes which also resulted in fewer casualties.

Swat operation The COAS said there was no example in history of what the Pakistan military accomplished in the Swat operation and which successfully changed the public opinion. It was the largest heliborne operation.

“So when we send foreign defence chiefs to Swat, we have a story to tell. When I accompanied Admiral Mike Mullen and showed him how we had done the operation, including showing him the gorges there, his response was, “I will send General McChrystal to see this”.

The last visitor was US National Security Advisor James Jones, who heard for himself from educated locals how unpopular the Americans were.

India-centric

Kayani says he did not mince his words when he told Nato that he was India-centric and there was logic behind this. There was no way he could relax on his eastern border to concentrate fully on the west.

“We have unresolved issues, a history of conflict and now the Cold Start doctrine. Help us resolve these issues. We want peaceful co-existence with India. India has the capability and intentions can change overnight,” Kayani had told his audience in Brussels.

Nato is also realising why it is important for Pakistan to help train the Afghan Army because Pakistan could strategically simply not tolerate an Afghan Army trained by the Indians and having an Indian mindset.

Pak-Nato ratio

It is not easy for any commander to count his dead when the killing fields are still alive. But Kayani told Nato how Pakistan in 2009, lost 2,273 soldiers with another 6,512 being wounded.

“Pakistan as one nation lost 2,273 soldiers while US/Nato in the same period lost 1,582. We have 10,000 troops on UN missions,” recalled the COAS. Pakistan has contributed 147,000 troops to its “silent surge” while 43 nations in Afghanistan have sent a mere 100,000.

Pakistan mans 82 posts at the Pak-Afghan border while the coalition and Afghan Army have only 112. “Pakistan’s operations have decreased cross border movements, there is control of areas, squeezing of spaces, and continuous flow of logistic flow,” pointed the COAS. For a man of “few words” when he was DG ISI, today Kayani is saying a lot more. All of which has to be heard loud and clear by the people of Pakistan.

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US behind attacks on Pakistani civilians: Ex-ISI chief


Former ISI chief Asad Durrani says private US contractors such as Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) and other intelligence agents may be behind the assassination of civilians across Pakistan.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV, Durrani said on Friday that the local militants led by Hakimullah Mehsud primarily target the government and military instillations.

Arguing against the local militants involvements in civilian assassinations, Durrani added that the militants consider Islamabad as a close ally of the US in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and that they have been launching retaliatory attacks against the government targets, particularly since the Pakistani army launched a major offensive against their stronghold in South Waziristan.

Durrani said that he doubted the notorious militants groups were behind a recent surge in attacks on civilian targets across the country.

The former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) claimed that certain theories were circulating among Pakistani intellectuals suggesting that the foreign agents or private US contractors could have been orchestrating assassinations on the civilian targets in the nuclear-armed country.

According to Durrani, these attacks were being carried out to encourage Islamabad to be more involved in war against the militants.

Pakistan has experienced a wave of violence over the past two years. Nearly 3,000 people have been killed in bomb attacks and other terrorist operations across the country.

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The US military is exhausted


Sarah Lazare

The call for over 30,000 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan is a travesty for the people of that country who have already suffered eight brutal years of occupation.

It is also a harsh blow to the US soldiers facing imminent deployment.

As Barack Obama, the US president, gears up for a further escalation that will bring the total number of troops in Afghanistan to over 100,000, he faces a military force that has been exhausted and overextended by fighting two wars.

Many from within the ranks are openly declaring that they have had enough, allying with anti-war veterans and activists in calling for an end to the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with some active duty soldiers publicly refusing to deploy.

This growing movement of military refusers is a voice of sanity in a country slipping deeper into unending war.

The architects of this war would be well-advised to listen to the concerns of the soldiers and veterans tasked with carrying out their war policies on the ground.

Many of those being deployed have already faced multiple deployments to combat zones: the 101st Airborne Division, which will be deployed to Afghanistan in early 2010, faces its fifth combat tour since 2002.

“They are just going to start moving the soldiers who already served in Iraq to Afghanistan, just like they shifted me from one war to the next,” said Eddie Falcon, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Soldiers are going to start coming back with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), missing limbs, problems with alcohol, and depression.”

Many of these troops are still suffering the mental and physical fallout from previous deployments.

Rates of PTSD and traumatic brain injury among troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have been disproportionately high, with a third of returning troops reporting mental problems and 18.5 per cent of all returning service members battling either PTSD or depression, according to a study by the Rand Corporation.

Marine suicides doubled between 2006 and 2007, and army suicides are at the highest rate since records were kept in 1980.

Resistance in the ranks

US army soldiers are refusing to serve at the highest rate since 1980, with an 80 per cent increase in desertions since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to the Associated Press.

These troops refuse deployment for a variety of reasons: some because they ethically oppose the wars, some because they have had a negative experience with the military, and some because they cannot psychologically survive another deployment, having fallen victim to what has been termed “Broken Joe” syndrome.

Over 150 GIs have publicly refused service and spoken out against the wars, all risking prison and some serving long sentences, and an estimated 250 US war resisters are currently taking refuge in Canada.

This resistance includes two Fort Hood, Texas, soldiers, Victor Agosto and Travis Bishop, who publicly resisted deployment to Afghanistan this year, facing prison sentences as a result, with Bishop still currently detained.

“There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan,” wrote Agosto, upon refusing his service last May. “The occupation is immoral and unjust.”

Within the US military, GI resisters and anti-war veterans have organised through broad networks of veteran and civilian alliances, as well as through IVAW, comprised of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

This organisation, which is over 1,700 strong, with members across the world, including active-duty members on military bases, is opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and openly supports GI resistance.

“Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on Obama to end the war in Afghanistan (and Iraq) by withdrawing troops immediately and unconditionally,” wrote Jose Vasquez, the executive director of IVAW, in a December 2 open letter.

“It’s not time for our brothers and sisters in arms to go to Afghanistan. It’s time for them to come home.”

No clear progress

GI coffee houses have sprung up at several military bases around the country. In the tradition of the GI coffee houses of the Vietnam war era, these cafes provide a space where active duty troops can speak freely and access resources about military refusal, PTSD, and veteran and GI movements against the war.

“Here at Fort Lewis, we’ve lost 20 soldiers from the most recent round of deployments,” said Seth Menzel, an Iraq combat veteran and founding organiser of Coffee Strong, a GI coffee house at the sprawling Washington army base.

“We’ve seen resistance to deployment, mainly based on the fact that soldiers have been deployed so many times they don’t have the patience to do it again.”

As the occupation of Afghanistan passes its eighth year, with no clear progress, goals that remain elusive, and a high civilian death count, this war is coming to resemble the Iraq war that has been roundly condemned by world and US public opinion.

The never-ending nature of this conflict belies the real project of establishing US dominance in the Middle East and control of the region’s resources, at the expense of the Afghan civilians and US soldiers being placed in harm’s way.

The voices of refusal coming from within the US military send a powerful message that soldiers will not be fodder for an unjust and unnecessary war. By withdrawing their labour from a war that depends on their consent, these soldiers have the power to help bring this war to an end, as did their predecessors in the GI resistance movement against the Vietnam war.

And the longer the war in Afghanistan drags on – the more lives that are lost and destroyed – the more resistance we will see coming from within the ranks.

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Obama’s AF-PAK Policy


PRESIDENT Obama recently delivered the most important speech regarding war against terror and also announced that 30,000 additional American troops will be deployed in Afghanistan. The war is not going to be fought on the battlefields of Herat, Farah, Kunduz or Mizar-e-Sharif. The war would be fought in the areas near to the borders of Pakistan including Helmand, Kandahar, Khost and Paktia.

First and foremost objective of Obama’s speech was to prepare his troops for the final but aggressive attack on the Taliban and al-Qaeda till July 2011, the cut-off date to insert the troops in Afghanistan.

That is why the deadline is July 2011, to create a complete withdrawal of American troops until the 2012 American presidential polls. Obama’s speech also revealed to the international community that this could be done if and only if they get full support from Pakistan’s army. Obama promised “a partnership with Pakistan that is built on mutual interest, mutual respect and mutual trust.” He also highlighted the fact that the United States is the largest supplier for those internally displaced persons in SWAT and South Waziristan. Obama’s administration wants to affect the 2012 election in favor of democrats and this could be done only if they get rid of Afghan war that has so far turned out to be ineffective.

The deployment of extra troops will take at least six months which means it will be completed by the June of 2010. Obama thinks that, in Afghanistan, the US military can create an environment which favors to their desired objectives. American administration believes that, after a fast deployment of the US troops, the military offensive can reverse the Taliban’s energy, secure the urban centers and deny the Taliban ability to overthrow the government. It seems that Obama believes that in Afghanistan the use of force is a tool to bring about the desired change, the change of the US liking. Obama seems forgetting that had force being the critical factor the former USSR would have been a living reality in Afghanistan. If Obama is sending more troops there may be more problems and it can create instability in both Pakistan and Afghanistan and there may be more chances of the US staying in Afghanistan than the possibility of exit.
Obama administration has also tried to apply Iraq formula in Afghanistan as they tried to change current regime by force like what we have witnessed in current Afghan presidential polls, there were serious allegations on Karzai’s government regarding massive rigging but the point is that Afghanistan is not like Iraq so they have to apply that formula which has its roots in Afghanistan.

The Afghan territory is very difficult especially for the invaders because it is full off rocky-terrain. The tribal society which is inherently aggressive towards the invaders and they never accept any outsider intervention in past as well so will they be able to accept the extra 30,000 troops or not? And this is very serious question and the answer is that they will definitely create big challenges for US and NATO troops as more US and NATO troops in Afghanistan means more conflicts and tensions then peace. Further the porous Afghan border that links with Pakistani territory especially NWFP, FATA and Balochistan can create insurgency in these areas and that can create more panic and unrest in Pakistan that can lead towards further destabilization of Pakistan.

However, Obama is expecting civilian Afghans become anti Taliban from the Afghan society which is traditionally tribal in nature and has still struck with their primitive trends and culture of their society and it is very difficult to change the Afghan tribal culture in just fewer months. That is the error in the Obama’s policy.

US infect is partially applying the major trend of Iraq formula in Afghanistan. Like in Iraq, they also want to create effective Afghan army and police that could protect the present or any future government but the situation in Afghanistan is far much worse as compared to Iraq. It needs time to implement on this policy and Obama administration already gives the dead line of pulling out US troops from Afghanistan from the summer of 2011 to the beginning of 2012. Obama administration not recalled the consequences of withdrawal of USSR from Afghanistan in 1989 that resulted of civil war eruption in Afghanistan and pro-communist regime was over thrown by Taliban. Now looking deep into the current circumstances it has been said in load tone that history will repeat itself yet another time.

Obama speech which clearly shows of taking out the troops from Afghanistan but they also want a weighty type of operation should also be occurred against Taliban. In a way, Obama linked the Taliban with Afghanistan and al-Qaeda with Pakistan. In that circumstance, it seems that al-Qaeda is present in Pakistan, to chase al-Qaeda in Pakistan is an uphill task and the fight against al-Qaeda in Pakistan will continue for years to come. Practically, the war on terror has been shifted from Afghanistan to Pakistan and the war is being virtually fought inside Pakistan. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, there are just post-war effects existing in the shape of insurgency. That is why Americans are laying stress that in Pakistan there is more need of counter-terrorism operations and in Afghanistan there is more need of counter-insurgency operations. The main problem is that US want to handle the situation on her own way but several factors can also play a vital role and it will create more instability in Pakistan as compare to Afghanistan. The present scenario in Pakistan is highlighted by deadly suicide attacks in major urban areas and on Pakistan’s security personnel. This is also linked with the US policy directly or indirectly. The Pakistan army holding the war against terrorist in South Waziristan and if US inserts more troops in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border it will create more difficulty for Pakistan’s army to handle the situation and counter the terrorism. Obama in his speech said that after 18 months they will pull out their troops from Afghanistan and they are now about to create the situation that can does not help them to control Afghanistan nor it can help Pakistan to eradicate the terrorist’s hideouts in FATA. To create peace and stability in Afghanistan needs much more than a short time extensive military presence. It needs to give more importance to Pakistan in Afghanistan as compared to other regional powers. But if Obama’s administration keeps on cursing Pakistan of the US failures in Afghanistan then the situation can’t become soothe as US may face difficulty not only in nurturing the long-lasting relationship with the Pakistan but also in fighting the war enthusiastically.

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Obama must address Pakistan’s concerns: Top experts


WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (APP): President Barack Obama must complement his Afghan security strategy with political plan and address Pakistan’s concerns, particularly vis-a-vis India, both in the immediate and the post-US troop pullout perspectives, top experts said discussing imperatives of an effective way forward.Sharing their evaluation of the new U.S. plan with the Council on Foreign Relations, analysts also cautioned against any unilateral moves that may spell further difficulties for Islamabad as it grapples with consequences of the eight-year old Afghan war.

Under the revamped strategy Obama unveiled early this month, Afghanistan will see a surge of 30,000 American and 7000 NATO troops in the coming months to contain Taliban insurgency and al-Qaeda threat. The summer of 2011 has been set as the milestone when the international forces will start handing over control to Afghan forces and begin the process of withdrawal.

Maleeha Lodhi, current scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center and former ambassador to the United States, observed that reliance on military means in Obama’s plan is accompanied by near silence on a political strategy.

“This assumes that a military solution can be successfully applied to Afghanistan, without addressing the political causes of the growing insurgency, especially Pashtun alienation.

“Military escalation in Afghanistan and the expansion of aerial strikes in Pakistan is dangerous for Pakistan, which is already confronted with mounting security challenges, a consequence, not a cause, of the insurgency in Afghanistan,” Dr Lodhi said.

She was referring to a wave of retaliatory bombings Pakistan is facing in the wake of its two major anti-militant operations in tribal areas this year. Obama has offered Pakistan economic and strategic partnership but wants Islamabad to spread anti-militant campaign to North Waziristan tribal area along the Afghan border.

In her remarks, Lodhi also feared a spillover effect of the Afghan escalation on Pakistan as militants and refugees could escape into Pakistan from across the porous border.

For their part, senior Obama Administration have visited Pakistan in recent weeks and pledged coordination in operations along the Afghan border to stem the possibility of Taliban and al-Qaeda flow into Pakistani tribal areas.

But so far, little has been pledged publicly about addressing Pakistan’s security concerns with regard to Indian role on the Afghan soil, particulalry in the post-U.S. Afghanistan. Pakistan says India

stokes violence in its southwestern Balochistan province from across the Afghan border. Experts also point to Pakistani fears that New Delhi seeks to encircle Pakistan by advancing its agenda from the Afghan soil.

“President Obama has described the partnership with Pakistan as being “inextricably linked” to success in Afghanistan. Unless this critical partner’s doubts and concerns about the new plan are allayed and Washington is prepared to modify its strategy accordingly, the relationship will only run into more problems,” Dr Lodhi cautioned.

Ahmed Rashid, a noted author and journalist stressed that “the United States needs to articulate a political strategy that draws India and Pakistan in with its plans and, despite Indian objections, puts pressure on New Delhi to be more accommodating toward Pakistan.”

At the same time, the United States should bolster support for the elected government in Pakistan, he added.

Hasan Askari Rizvi, a leading political analyst, remarked that “Pakistan’s concern pertains to the situation the day after the United States quits Afghanistan, perhaps the region.”

“If Afghanistan’s internal situation remains perturbed, should Pakistan seek friends from among the competing players in and around Afghanistan?” he questioned.

Islamabad, he said, will also be monitoring closely the U.S. efforts for building up governance capacity of the Kabul government and the enhancement of professional capacity of the Afghanistan National Army and the police. This also calls for overcoming sharp ethnic imbalance in the Afghan army, especially in the higher echelons, he noted.

Shuja Nawaz, Director South Asian at Washington’s Atlantic Council, opined that Pakistan could play a key role in helping fracture the Afghan Taliban alliance by persuading the Haqqani group to join the government in Kabul or send surrogates instead. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has already been reported willing to strike a deal with Karzai. That would isolate Mullah Omar and make it harder for him to go it alone against the allies, Nawaz argued.

“Today, the allies need to build the willing support of Pakistan and other regional players to help Afghanistan stand on its own feet. If they do not complete the job they began in Afghanistan, the world will be left less safe than it was when they went into the region in 2001.

“Hasan Abbas, scholar and fellow at Asia Society, also noted concerns arising out of a plan sans political strategy.

Pakistan, he said, was expecting a deal that includes guarantees that India’s security-related role in Afghanistan will be reduced.

“Unless there is some behind-the- scene understanding on this count, Pakistan may not be able to live up to Obama’s expectations. Ideally, India and Pakistan should join hands to stabilize Afghanistan, but someone needs to facilitate that kind of an arrangement. Obama has the stature, potential, and vision to play that role.”

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US faces harsh reality with Islamabad


Anne Gearan

Analysis: Hard reality as U.S. pushes Pakistan. Washington’s diplomatic dance with Islamabad has limits in terror fight.

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan will not go as far as Washington wants, and there’s nothing the U.S. can do about it: That’s the sobering reality as the U.S. tries to persuade a hesitant Pakistan to finish off the fight against terrorists.

Expand the current assault against the Taliban? Pakistan has made clear that will happen only on its own terms. U.S. officials acknowledge that so far they haven’t won the argument that militants who target America are enemies of Pakistan, too.

The U.S. has offered Pakistan $7.5 billion in military aid and broader cooperation with the armed forces. The assistance is intended to help Pakistan speed up its fight not only against internal militants, but also against al-Qaida and Taliban leaders hiding near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistanis are deeply suspicious of America’s power and motives, making it difficult for their leaders to accede to Washington’s pressure in public, lest they look like U.S. puppets.

U.S. officials say that while Pakistani officials cooperate more in private, there are definite limits. The U.S. wanted Pakistan to move forces deeper into the tribal belt before winter. It didn’t happen, and might not at all.

A senior U.S. diplomat hinted at a separate agreement that would allow the U.S. itself to take on some of the hidden war against Pakistan’s militants.

Threat to U.S. forces:

Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive talks with Pakistan, the diplomat said last week that more U.S. action is expected against the Haqqani network, led by longtime resistance fighter and former U.S. ally Jalaluddin Haqqani. His network, based in the Waziristan tribal area in northwest Pakistan, reportedly has strong ties with al-Qaida and targets U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan from across the border.

The diplomat said the stepped-up U.S. action would come with Pakistani support, but would not elaborate on the potential cooperation.

Pakistani officials claim they have targeted the Haqqani leadership, albeit unsuccessfully, and will go after the network when the time is right. Some U.S. officials believe that, others don’t.

Military officials say the Haqqani problem illustrates how the United States sometimes needs Pakistan more than the other way around.

The U.S. military now counts the Haqqani network as the single gravest threat to U.S. forces fighting over the border in Afghanistan, and badly wants Pakistan to push the militants from their border refuges. But the Pakistani answer seems to be that unless and until the Haqqanis threaten Pakistan, they won’t be a priority.

Time, patience:

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the latest U.S. official to make the case in a visit to Pakistan’s capital last week.

More than most U.S. officials, Mullen has cordial, long-standing relationships with Pakistan’s generals, the strongest power base inside the country. Despite those ties, Mullen’s quiet effort met with a polite noncommittal from his hosts.

Mullen advises patience and humility in dealing with Pakistan, a view not shared by some leading Republicans in Congress. Mullen said Pakistan doesn’t get enough credit for the push since spring against militants in the Swat valley and South Waziristan.

“Too many people eagerly and easily criticize Pakistan for what they have not done,” Mullen said Sunday, days after Pakistan’s military leaders took Mullen on a tour of a reclaimed Swat.

“When I go to Swat, and look at what they did there on the military I think it’s pretty extraordinary.”

Most of the groups aligned against the U.S. are in North Waziristan, a tribal area not pressed hard by Pakistan’s army. The only firepower directed at militants there comes from American missile-loaded drones.

Mullen told students at Pakistan’s National Defense University that the U.S. is concerned about what it sees as a growing coordination among terrorist networks in and around Pakistan.

“I do not, certainly, claim that they are great friends, but they are collaborating in ways that quite frankly, scare me quite a bit,” Mullen said last week.

He did not come out and say Pakistan needs to expand the fight against militants. But his point was clear.

Sensitive ground:

In an exchange of letters over recent weeks, Obama asked for more cooperation and Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, pledged some additional help, U.S. officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private correspondence.

Zardari, reflecting the views of Pakistan’s powerful military, said his government will move against militants that attack U.S. forces when it is able to do so, the officials said.

That leaves ample room for Pakistan’s civilian leaders to pursue their own agenda — and on their own schedule.

Without additional pressure from inside Pakistan, the only other option is for the U.S. to finish the fight against terrorists on its own. But Pakistan doesn’t allow outright U.S. military action on its soil.

Mullen seemed to recognize that when he told the military students that he knows the U.S. is perceived as acting in its own interests almost at any cost, so it can hardly ask others not to put their own needs first.

“Sometimes that gets lost on us,” he said.

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US fighter jets intrude into Pak airspace


US fighter jets were on Saturday seen flying over Mohmand tribal region bordering Afghanistan for almost two hours, local residents and officials said, reported Indian news agency PTI.
The jets, which were flying at low altitude, intruded almost 50 kilometers into the Pakistani airspace. They were seen flying over Soran Darra, Ghanam Shah, Shaikh Baba, Matai and Khazeena Chinari, which are located west of Ghalanai, the main town of Mohmand Agency.
Officials of the local political administration also confirmed the intrusion by the US jets. Local residents said the US aircraft flew across the Afghan border at around 8:00 am and remained in the Pakistani airspace for almost two hours.
This development has sprung a wave of panic among the local population, who are already terrorized by the continued US drone attacks as such attacks are claiming lives of innocent people.
The tribesmen protested against the intrusion by the US fighters, saying international norms do not allow aircraft of a foreign country to fly over an independent nation without its permission.
Tribal elders asked the government to take up the matter with the UN and vowed to defend Pakistan against ‘any foreign aggression’.