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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Ababeel Postscript - Nuclear Arms Madness!

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

Several weeks ago,  when we test fired Ababeel, I questioned the sanity of nuclear one upmanship by both Pakistan and India, whilst our teeming millions wallow in abject misery and terrible poverty.

I still maintain that position. But and it's a big mother of all buts, the responsibility for this madness lies clearly on Indian shoulders.

India started this nuclear arms race, refused a Strategic Restraint offer from Pakistan, and now has moved away from its No First Strike strategy, in all but name.

India conveniently uses this NFS mantra in international forums to try and keep Pakistan on the back foot which neither Pakistan or anybody in the world buys into. They obfuscate the matter by bringing in terrorism et al, while conveniently side stepping Kashmir, which for Pakistan, is the core issue bedevelling our relationship. One can, of course debate whether it is so, but we must not forget that both countries have tried moving ahead by ignoring the Big K…

Muddying the Waters - Hussain Haqqani in full form!

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

One has to give it to Hussain Haqqani.  How he masterfully mixes issues, articulates an argument and draws conclusions to favor his actions.

Dawn Newspaper, 25th March article, narrating Hussain Haqqani's latest claims

In his latest smoke and mirrors routine, he combines three things.

1. He was officially authorised to issue visas by the Government, in the manner he did.

2. Security officials in the Pakistan embassy were consulted prior to visas issuance.

3. People shouldn't ask him about these visas but question how Osama lived, undetected in Pakistan.

He's masterfully turned the debate from himself and the issuance of thousands of visas to US security folks, towards an issue which, of course has many unanswered questions.

The is the classic monkey muddying the waters, tactic.

His first two contentions.

Issuing visas with the approval of the civilian PPP government, but basically direct orders from Asif Zardari. PM Yousaf Raza Gilani was a mer…

March 2017 -Musings on current USA Pakistan relations

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

1. Donald Trump as I said in one of the earlier articles, is a deal maker. He will do what he thinks is in the best interests of America. He generally reads things in black and white binaries

2. Hence my reading of Trump's perspective about Pakistan is that in his assessment Pakistan's support, especially by our military, is far more valuable for US interests in Afghanistan than India. Therefore Pakistan is to be "supported" whatever form this support means, military aid, economic aid, close cooperation with the military and stop it from completely going into the "Chinese camp"

3.  Consequently we may find an easing up of a US hardline policies towards us. The public evidence of this "easing up" are the recent statements favorable to Pakistan by Gen. Mattis, the Secretary of Defence,  Gen. Nicholson, the US task force Commander in Afghanistan,  and perhaps the most telling, recently by Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander, Centr…

March 2017 -Current thoughts on Pak - Iran -India relations.

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

Despite Modi's win in UP, India's Achilles heel is still Kashmir.

Also they are very conscious of the emerging Russian, China, Pakistan regional Nexus.

Russia's distancing from them should be worrisome as would be Russia's close military association with Iran, the latter coming back into a closer relationship with Pakistan. President Rouhani's ECO visit would have worried them. It is clear that the Iranians want to forge a closer relationship with Pakistan. The Iranians are pragmatists and know that in the changed geo political environment their interests lie in better relations with Pakistan as compared to their ties with India when they were under US sanctions and out in the cold.

Pakistan, then gave them the cold shoulder because of US and Saudi influence and pressure. Desperate for hard cash they turned to India who happily helped them out by buying their oil and goods, ignored US sanctions and poured money into a desperate Iran.

But…