On the brink

On the brink

Five days after the deadly Nato attack on a check-post in Mohmand, Pakistan has changed its stance on relations with the United States. With the Nato supplies already blocked and Shamsi air base shut down, Pakistan has also decided to boycott the Bonn conference on Afghanistan.

The government and its Defence Committee of the Cabinet responded swiftly to the attack, easing down the pressure from various corners (political and otherwise) to show its disapproval.

Events in the next few days will reflect whether these bans, closures and boycotts will remain in place for the long term.

With a growing rhetoric from the public and political parties to cut all ties with the United States and its allied forces, should the government take such drastic steps?

Given the significance of border security along the Pak-Afghan border and the impending American withdrawal from Afghanistan, how should the government frame a long-term policy with the United States?

By boycotting the Bonn conference, could Pakistan possibly alienate itself from key decisions regarding Afghanistan and its future?


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60 Responses to “On the brink”

  1. Iftekhar Hassan says:

    How sad and how pathetic we (some or so many Pakistani & other Muslims are). We sit in the comfort of our homes and offices, computer monitor in front of our face and we somehow find everything against the west and America, even if it is not. I sometime question such level of hypocritical thinking and I wish why NATO planes does not target these, humanities lowest form of denomination instead of killing 24 totally innocent Pakistani soldiers in Momand.

    Not once I ever hear or see mass uprising and or condemnation, processions and hot slogan on the street against scourge of communal violence between Shia and Sunnis. The brothers, the Ummah seems united to slaughter each other in the name of protecting Islam.

  2. A.R.Shams says:

    Pakistan may please not be taken so cheap as that NATO and US most possibly consider it because its soldiers are brave having bright history of our ancestors. Evey Pakistani believes in sovereignty and integrity of his/her beloved homeland.

    Pakistan’s beloved nation is proud of its beloved land.

  3. Muhammad Umar Tariq says:

    The Sooner Pakistan severes ties with the U.S the better…

  4. Fahad Rehman says:

    This time Pakistan should remain stand and firm on the demands of their military leadership that an official apology, investigation and reprisal and punishment for all those that were involved in the attack, be made.

    Otherwise, there is no way ahead on joining BONN conference and resuming of supplies and permission over aerial space.

    Long term objectives and policy should be to term considering other options like working for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, better political and economic ties with India and other regional powers like China and Russia.

    Perhaps, joining SCO to further the interest of Eastern nations and an disbanding from the platform of the West slowly and gradually would be a feasible option.

    Working towards the achievement of safe and prosperous “New Silk Route” which is the next big and imperious thing of the future having profound value for all the countries i.e; Iran, India, Turkmenistan, China, Russia and Pakistan. Access to Central Asian Gas and oil resources is the the part of next “great game” of the region.

    So, it is time that Pakistan start moving away from the U.S and thoughts of gaining access to European markets, as there are far more valuable economic and political options present at home and around us.

    Pacific Era is about to began! A new world order is emerging again with totally new outlook of the world.

  5. allen says:

    Did hitherto anyone knew of Shamshi Air Base being used by Americans? And further as to weather the army and politicians gave permission to fly drones? What was being told so far was other way round! What is going on?

  6. Faisal says:

    We should show the exit door to CIA from the country in addition to what we’ve already done. We should make sure they are not allowed to poke their noses in our business and we should let Afghanistan take their own decisions as long as it remains occupied by the zionists. Once they leave, we should extend a helping hand to the oppressed people and bring a govt that works for the people.

  7. shan says:

    The Shahadat of Pakistani soldiers by those allegedly being the forbearers of peace and democracy is abhorrent. It only highlights the double standards in foreign policy which has become recognizable when dealing with Islamic states.

    Pakistan is right to boycott the Bonn conference. I believe the lead for peace and stability needs to be taken by local regional powers with a real stake for peace in the region rather than remote powers with questionable motives in the region.

    I believe that this is again a golden opportunity to look east not west to states likes china, turkey & malaysia to strengthen both economic and military ties, hence reducing dependance on aid from the west.

    The emergence of new powers with a strong islamic sense of democracy in the middle east needs to be harnessed to allow both greater economic as well as unification of the Islamic countries.

  8. A.R.Shams says:

    Pakistan should have discontinued its co-operation with US since when US began its unfriendly activities within the territory of Pakistan throwing drones here and there killing innocent people of the lovely land. Further, US killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistan’s soil without taking consent of Pakistan . That was really a big blunder and foul as well as international crime committed by US deliberately.

    Therefore, Pakistan seems to have boycotted Bonn conference rightly.

  9. Bani says:

    It’s high time Pak Gov gets some control over its Army & ISI, else its trustworthiness can’t improve.

  10. Aijaz Ali khowaja says:

    In my opinion Pakistan should continue to block NATO supplies and evacuate Shamsi airbase but at the other hand Pak should attend the Bonn conference to use this highest forum for their advocacy to put their strong case in-front of Intl Community through Intl media. We have very limited options and by attending the Bonn conference we will convey the message to all that despite US and NATO aggression we are not rigid nation because at the end of the day we have again come to talks so lets use the Bonn forum as the opportunity to initiate the negotiations with US in presence of Intl community. A

  11. dignity says:

    wait for few months then it will be another “incident” in the eyes of our great government.We want change , we want Imran Khan. You can refer to wiki leaks where it clearly says Imran khan is the only true leader of Pakistan.

    • Iftekhar Hassan says:

      Am I suppose to believe anything Wiki Leaks says? What about the judgement of the majority? In democracy it is people’s choice. No disrespect toward Imran Khan as a leader but your reference to anything outside of Pakistan tells me, we need to believe and trust whatever the western institution says is correct? That is not a prudent ways to select a leader.

      Leaders are recognize by the people, hence by the people !

      • Observer I says:

        He was giving a third party independent objective reference. Unless you people understand what is being planned for Pakistan by regional and western powers, you would will not be able to counter it.

        Imran Khan understands and can counter these international forces. He is the only Pakistani politician who not only ‘talks the talk’ but ‘walks the walk’. He is the only one who brought his foreign earned earnings into Pakistan, all others have taken them out – this is the ultimate ‘Gold Test’ which no one else has qualified.

        Imran Khan may just be able to guide Pakistan out of this mess…all else is vanity!

  12. Nauman says:

    USA, NATO and all European countries are not sincere with Pakistan. They always say Pakistan do more, Pakistan should not care of them so for and should say and use clear words for the safety of pakistan and its people. Masha Allah is a nuclear country and Allah is with us. NATO, USA do not realize their mistakes, they always put pressure on pakistan.
    Pakistan should stop all air bases where america is at the movement.
    well done by the decision of pakistan to vacate shamsi air cut nato supply line. we should be strong.

  13. ali khan says:

    its a war crime and should be treated like one, this pressure of closure should be used as a ploy to compel US to have a open trial of those who are responsible,

  14. ghosia says:

    Pakistan should attend the Bonn conference.they should demand to give explanation of their sin. it is a good step to stop supplies them and it should be continuous for permanent.

  15. Shabbir Kazmi says:

    Let one point be clear it was not a mistake. Now the question is what was the motive? The reply is simple to put pressure on Pakistan, malign its civil and military regime, which was already under pressure after Osama’s killing with in Pakistan. The growing fear is the US wants to weaken and ultimately fragment it.

  16. srk says:

    There is no two ways about it. Either Pak is with US or not with them. As simple as you cant have the cake and eat it two.

    1) Cut off NATO supplies permanently
    2) Eject all CIA based operatives and US military trainers from Pakistan
    3) Deny use of airspace to all US aircraft flying over Balochistan
    4) Deny permission to dock at Karachi Port for NATO ships
    5) Terminate any and all kinds of military cooperation w.r.t the WOT

  17. Observer I says:

    NATO attack is not the issue. Pakistan’s vision for the region is. It is absolutely essential to attend the Bonn Conference, present Pakistan’s stand and stress its dominant stance.

    It should be attended with confidence, professional expertise and reference. Pak representatives must be knowledgeable, carry themselves with dignity and self respect – no shopping please, you are under constant camera surveillance. If spoken English, diction, or accent is a problem than an appropriate translater be used. NO compromise on content or stand…no inferiority complex please. You are representing Pakistan!

    Please note: NATO strike was successful because the Pakistan Army believes that the ‘opposition’ plays by some honor code, or respect for International Law. Perhaps the ISI thinks that the US is a friend and allie. This is a fallacy. They need to study US regional objectives in the Pakistan context and avoid judgment based on lack of knowledge of history, conflict resolution, stratagems of war and strategic considerations, and tactical preparedness. Game theory is a starting point.

    Had the out-post been equipped with inexpensive shoulder fired ground to air missiles, the end result would have been far more compelling…Had the senior officer in command of the the post contacted the PAF headquarters rather than “beg and plead” the commander of the opposing force, the results would have been significantly more satisfying and confidence building. He may indeed even have lived the honor.

    The criticism for this goes to the tactical planners not so much the field officers, and non for the ‘jawans’. Pakistan forces, except against India, thinks in two dimensions. Technologically advanced armies who are impotent on the ground due to lack of courage and fitness depend on satellite communications and overwhelming retaliation from the air – in future drones will now be based in India and Afghanistan – more exposed to the PAF radar!

  18. Mohdudul Huq says:

    There should be honest communication between Pakistan, NATO and USA. Last 10 years Pakistan has sacrificed a lot in terms man power and resources to support US as a long term ally since 1948. In this respect both parties should cool it down for the betterment for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan for global security.

    • khan says:

      And every one lives happily ever after nice ending to a fairy tale but not in the real world mate open your eyes Pakistan is under attack.

  19. Ali khan says:

    As a member of the armed forces I would like to ask a few questions?

    when the DGMO was informed that our soldiers where under attack shouldn’t he have sent some form of reinforcements? Was it that hard to know that for 2 hours our brave soldiers were fighting to the death against a threat that they could not possibly have stood up to? Would it have take the pakistan air more than 15 mins to scramble support for our brothers in arms. Has the PAF not learnt any lessons from the OBL raid? Will I tomorrow get the support of my commanders when I am in such a position of will I be left on my own to defend this great nation to my death. And lastly will my death have any impact on anyone, will someone have my back to insure that I am avenged.

    I am a Pakistani proud and patriotic. I do not think the response to my brethren being killed is proportional. I propose the following, all NATO and afghan troops involved be handed over and tried for murder. And I leave u with one question had this event taken place against NATO troops would they have demanded anything less?

    • Salman says:

      I totally agree with each and every word said by this gentleman!!!

      • Mohammed AQayum says:

        Since the theory of Primitive attack has been approved by countries who have the might to do it. The total philosophy of respecting the independence of weaker state has become

        In addition with the hierarchy of the corrupt officials, responsible to take appropriate decision to maintain the dignity of our country is highly untrust worthy.
        No matter how good analysis is made or clear directive is available, can any one trust these officials will be able to demonstrate the morality required to perform the duty?
        If look into our history particularly the last two decades, have we been able to take any decision at our national front that raises the moral strength of nation to even feel that we are an independent country?

  20. Qazi says:

    Let the elected people run the country and made all decisions. They may not be angels but they are far better than who’ve ruled Pakistan for more than 30 years and infact they are still the directors behind stage.

    • Observer I says:

      Your elected people are US stooges…it is unfortunate that you have not been able to figure that out, yet.

  21. Zahir Khan says:

    We need to be practical. While it is disheartening that we lost our beloved soldiers, we need to think long term. We need Afghanistan as a neighbor free of Taliban. NATO has plans to withdraw by 2014; we should let them continue their task.

    We should also not forget the billions of dollars that we get in aid from US which is vital to our economy. We should treat the incident as collateral damage.

  22. Mubeenhavaldar says:

    This a perfect opportunity to cut off all ties with U.S. and initiate good relationship with other countries who can invest in your country to create job

  23. manulegend says:

    Look at the way we jump at the opportunity to break off relations with America, for 24 lives. But we still harbor militants and pretty dangerous people in our borders, and let them take out processions when people like them are killing in thousands.

    Soon these thousands go to hundreds of thousands and we will still be quiet. But the second a foreigner kills a Pakistani we jump at their throats.

    Discrimination and hypocrisy. Acts like this wash out the ghairat than letting a drone kill militants which has atleast 80% accuracy sans the collateral damage.

    We should be doing the clean up ourselves. And we yell at someone who almost feeds us daily and tries to clean up.


    • allen says:

      I think you are right on money; the honest and perfect/realistic analysis of prevailing situation, devoid of any hypocracy. But where are the takers?

  24. Ravi Inder Singh says:

    Behind this all, is anyone in Pakistan reflecting on the many things which have and continue to go wrong there?
    Unfettered army rule, fundamentalism, corruption, illiteracy, feudalism, among other ills, have all contributed to create the mess which is Pakistan today.
    But for army rule, we in India also suffer from the same ills which afflict Pakistan, but there is a sense of optimism and hope of a better future. People, not our feckless leaders are in control. This seems to be missing in Pakistan.
    Indias present set of leaders are already on their way out, Pakistan needs to do the same. Elect Imran Khan

  25. Faisal Yaqoob says:

    Its not that difficult!

    All it needs a will

    America and Nato are not as strong as our Politicians potrate on the talk shows. They are struggling with credit crunch in their countries. None of them want or can afford an expensive war in the country where there is no oil or financial incentive for them.

    So the simple thing “get out of their war”!!!

    We have nothing to do with afgahnistan, sealed off the borders with them. No transit route for afghanies or Nato. We should be concentrating on our internal security.

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