Patterico's Pontifications

11/3/2007

Pakistan’s Musharraf declares a State of Emergency

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 2:33 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Following last month’s reports that Pakistan will crack down on extremists in the tribal areas, President Pervez Musharraf today announced a state of emergency to combat threats from extremists and judicial intervention:

“Strongly defending imposition of Emergency, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Sunday midnight said the “difficult” decision was taken to save the country from threats from extremists and judicial intervention which led to “paralysis” in civil administration and law enforcing agencies.

In a midnight televised address to the nation within hours of declaring Emergency, he said the decision was taken as extremists activities were spreading fast and had even reached the heart of Pakistan. He said judicial intervention had led to a “paralysis” in civil administration as senior officials were going to the courts to face cases and law enforcing agencies were “demoralised” because of punishment meted out by courts as a result of which security forces were “afraid” of taking actions.

Musharraf said Pakistan was today at “dangerous cross-roads” and hence there was need to take “important and difficult” decisions.”

Musharraf blames extremists and the Pakistani judiciary. There are reports that the Pakistani Supreme Court justices have been arrested.

Defending his actions, Musharraf spoke of Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 imposition of martial law:

“Musharraf even compared his situation with that of former US President Abraham Lincoln and read out his quotation justifying imposition of martial law in 1864. “The justification was necessity,” he said.

Quoting Lincoln, he said life cannot be put to risk for a limb and sometimes a limb has to be amputated to save life.”

Musharraf and the Pakistani military have been under intense pressure since late October 2007 when the army began the most recent, and by all appearances the most serious, crackdown against extremists in the tribal areas:

“[R]eports of soldiers even refusing to obey orders have begun to emerge from Waziristan now, in what is being seen as a blow to the otherwise well-disciplined Pakistani Army.

While the tribal areas have always been restive, there has certainly been an upsurge in violence ever since Musharraf ordered troops to flush out extremists holed up inside Lal Masjid in Islamabad in July, which led to over 100 militants being killed in the week-long face-off.

With the US virtually ordering the Musharraf regime to effectively tackle the problem of Taliban militants crossing over from Afghanistan into the tribal areas to recoup and re-arm, the Pakistani Army is now promising an “all-out military effort” to sort out North and South Waziristan “once and for all”.

Pakistan, of course, has made such promises in the past too, in keeping with its “duplicitous” policy to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. But this time, big brother US is watching closely.”

By early November 2007, tensions resulted from the government’s adoption of more sweeping powers, including allowing civilians to be tried in military courts:

“The Pakistan government will soon issue an ordinance that will allow military courts to try civilians for offences like terrorism and give sweeping powers to security and intelligence agencies.

The ordinance, which will be issued to amend the Army Act, will allow military courts to take up cases involving persons like tribal militants, attorney general Malik Qayyum said. This will be the second attempt to bring civilians under the purview of the Army Act since 1977. The Lahore high court had earlier struck down such an amendment made in the Army Act by the government of late Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.”

India has put its western border on high alert following Musharraf’s emergency declaration:

“India’s western border was put on high alert as the Centre on Saturday directed security forces to step up vigil against efforts by jihadis to sneak into India to escape a likely crackdown by Pervez Musharraf’s troops. Confirming this, BSF director general A K Mitra told TOI that instructions have been sent to the troops deployed in J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat to be on high alert.

Security agencies feel that jihadi elements, now that they have fallen out of favour with their mentors in Pakistan army, may seek to avoid the approaching dragnet. But there is also an apprehension that the Musharraf regime may itself try to balance a crackdown on fundamentalists by increasing support to tanzims active against India.

“The response in west (Pakistan) may be different from what they plan in the east,” said a senior source. This essentially points to a fear of stepped up support for the groups that have been lying low or, worse, a signal to the sleeper cells in India, awaiting directions from across the border, to strike.

The assessment is that the Musharraf establishment may be constrained to protect its “pro-jihad” credentials if Pakistan army is joined by American forces in Afghanistan for a concerted attack on the increasingly emboldened jihadis in NWFP and Taliban-dominated Federally Administered Tribal Areas.”

Despite reports to the contrary, Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from Dubai, and she is reportedly sitting in an airplane at the Karachi airport, “… ‘waiting to see if she is going to be arrested or deported,’ Wajid Hasan said after speaking to the former Pakistani prime minister by telephone from London.”

These articles paint a bleak picture for democracy and civil liberties in Pakistan and this is not how I want a democracy to work. However, I am hopeful that the Pakistani, Indian, and US (in Afghanistan) military forces are taking strong action in the tribal areas. Militarily, it sounds like the tribal areas are encircled and the noose is tightening.

— DRJ

54 Responses to “Pakistan’s Musharraf declares a State of Emergency”

  1. Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

    This civilization thing is taking all the romance out of the world.

    nk (7aed24)

  2. “These articles paint a bleak picture for democracy and civil liberties in Pakistan and this is not how I want a democracy to work.”

    It’s not a democracy. Musharraf came to power in a coup. And as others have said, or support for him has been akin to our support for the Shah, who also came to power in a coup, backed by the United States.

    “this is not how I want a democracy to work.”
    I’m not sure you’re particularly interested in democracy working at all, in this country or others.

    blah (fb88b3)

  3. blah,

    Eat beans with soy sauce. It gives a taste akin to walnuts.

    nk (7aed24)

  4. Musharraf has bothered me for a long time. He smacks entirely too much of “…but he’s our son-of-a-bitch” realpolitik, something I thought we had decided was counterproductive in the long run.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  5. Good point and I agree in principle, but it’s a world full of men (and women) who aren’t all in our corner and Musharraf is the man in a part of the world we need. I don’t see an alternative for now except Benazir Bhutto, but her party doesn’t have the votes or the power at this point. Maybe in January (if Pakistan holds elections) it will be a different story.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  6. Furthermore, after Iraq, I thought the conventional wisdom is to once again follow realpolitik . It’s not my first choice but it seems the Bush I doctrine and personnel are back since the 2006 elections.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  7. “Musharraf is the man in a part of the world we need.”
    And his security service is full of Al Qaeda supporters.
    What brilliance. Support the dictator.

    “Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a “credible” way, the kingdom’s former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday.
    The comments by Prince Bandar bin Sultan are similar to the remarks this week by Saudi King Abdullah that suggested Britain could have prevented the July 2005 train bombings in London if it had heeded warnings from Riyadh.
    Speaking to the Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya on Thursday, Bandar — now Abdullah’s national security adviser — said Saudi intelligence was “actively following” most of the September 11, 2001, plotters “with precision.”

    That’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan, otherwise known as Bandar “Bush”.
    And please tell me what consulting Saudi authorities in a “credible” way means?
    With friends like Musharraf, Bandar and you, American democracy doesn’t need enemies

    blah (fb88b3)

  8. Blah,

    The only other solutions I see in this situation (other than the one we chose, to encourage Musharraf not to declare martial law) are:

    (1). The US could invade Pakistan and liberate it from Musharraf, but liberals didn’t like it when the US did that in Iraq so I can’t imagine you are for that now, or
    (2). The US could abandon Musharraf and let the Taliban and al Qaeda install a government that will give them a safe haven. I don’t see that as a viable option either.

    So what is your solution and, more important, why would you choose it?

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  9. You mean my solutions to the problems that your policies caused?
    You don’t want to hear them, any more than you want to hear that you’re responsible for them to begin with. Repression produces reaction and reaction can be more extreme than what begat it. But since you don’t pay attention to history all you see is the violent reaction. So you idiots have beeen screaming about Iran while Iran is not the problem, and I’m the one talking about Pakistan; again and again and again.
    You remember Charlie Wilson’s war? Or Dana Rohrabacher or the boys from Soldier of Fortune palling around and giving the big thumbs up to the future Taliban? Remember how Bin Laden got his start?
    I didn’t think so.
    And I don’t know the answer, except to say that bombing the one country in the area where the moderates would win any free election is a counterproductive, in fact stupid, in fact absolutely fucked up and utterly insane idea. And I’ve been saying that for as long as I’ve been yelling about Pakistan
    But that’s what you want to do. And here are the links again

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916777.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/25/AR2007102502216.html

    blah (fb88b3)

  10. Ah, what really bothers blah is that we thwarted his heroes in the Soviet Union from taking over Afghanistan and moving on.

    SDN (68abcc)

  11. You mean my solutions to the problems that your policies caused?
    You don’t want to hear them, any more than you want to hear that you’re responsible for them to begin with. Repression produces reaction and reaction can be more extreme than what begat it.

    Damn that Bush! He created Pakistan’s frontier provinces frozen in the 7th century in everything except their weaponry, and went back in his time-machine to appear to Mohammed as the Angel Gabriel giving him a Koran that Karl Rove had printed, and then came back again into recent time to establish madrassas in Pakistan.

    blah, sophomoric does not begin to describe you. Where’s Christoph when you need him?

    nk (7aed24)

  12. And I’ve been saying that for as long as I’ve been yelling about Pakistan

    Care to show some links to your comments where you’ve been yelling about Pakistan, buddy boy?

    You called me a passive fence-sitter. Now prove that YOU aren’t, and back up that statement.

    Do the research and find those comments, if they exist.

    Paul (66339f)

  13. Actually blah, the people that SOF was “palling” around with ended up in the Northern Alliance that we aided in defeating the Taliban. The Taliban actually arose long after the time you are refering to. But that’s of a kind of your ignorance of the history.

    DRJ – it is Barack Obama who has explicitly stated that he would invade Pakistan. The mind boggles at the incompetence the Democratic presidential candidates are displaying with respect to foreign policy.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  14. Actually, it’s unlikely that Musharraf falling from power would directly harm the US nor benefit Jihad. Musharraf’s tenure in power has been primarily demarcated by detente with India. Without him, it’s far more likely that the real problem would be rising tensions between Pakistan and India rather than Islamic fundamentalism taking hold in Pakistan.

    Musharraf’s great contribution to US interests has always been in preventing the first rather than the second. It’s the reason why many times in the last 6 years administration and state policies concerning Pakistan have made little sense when viewed only through the prism of Islamofacism concerns. Islamofascism is really only a force in the most northern and backward tribal areas of Pakistan where the people share more culture and history with Afghanistan tribes than the rest of the country.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  15. You mean my solutions to the problems that your policies caused?
    You don’t want to hear them, any more than you want to hear that you’re responsible for them to begin with.

    That’s a pretty pathetic dodge. I think what we’d like to hear is something more substantive than your holier-than-thou platitudes. Why don’t you answer the question, blah? And while you’re at it, please explain which American policies brought Musharraf to power.

    Pablo (99243e)

  16. Parts of the Army, and almost all of the Intelligence Service, are riddled with AQ/Taliban supporters (the Taliban was a creation of the Pak Intel Service). Forcing Musharraf out without a strong, pro-Western leader to replace him, would probably hand Pakistan (and its’ NUKES) over to the Jihadi’s. Then, we wouldn’t have to worry about Iran developing nukes, they would just borrow them from their friends in Islamabad.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  17. Blah/AF – Typical progressive BS. You hate the ideas or plans of others but offer none of your own. Nicely done.

    Chritoph is over at Captain Ed’s making more friends with his sparkling commenting personality.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  18. “Then, we wouldn’t have to worry about Iran developing nukes, they would just borrow them from their friends in Islamabad.”

    They oppose each other. They’re not friends. You don’t even know which side we’re supporting. But then again that makes sense since we switch sides every 2 months, In Iraq now we’re backing the Sunni, last year the Shia. That’s why the Iraqi’s are now convinced the destruction of Iraq was the plan from the beginning. Paranoia? What would you say in their situation?

    My proposals began with a history lesson, which you don’t want to hear. From there we to the notion of general rules: on paranoia being a bad defense against paranoia, and on the relation of gasoline to fire. Again, your daddy has insisted all along on hooking up his firehose to a tanker truck.

    blah (fb88b3)

  19. My proposals began with a history lesson, which you don’t want to hear.

    So, were you were lying about yelling about Pakistan, buddy boy?

    Paul (66339f)

  20. My proposals began with a history lesson, which you don’t want to hear.

    Or it means you don’t have any, since Pablo, among others, specifically asked you to provide for us.

    Are you going to provide what we ask? Or are you going to hide behind your “you don’t wan’t to hear it” shield?

    Put up or shut up, blah.

    Paul (66339f)

  21. My proposals began with a history lesson, which you don’t want to hear.

    “I have volumes of brilliant ideas, which, alas, I cannot share with you because I am convinced that you don’t want to hear them.”

    We don’t want to hear your knee jerk platitudes, blah, you must be absolutely certain of that, and yet you have no problem sharing those with us. Why not give us the good stuff?

    Pablo (99243e)

  22. Well, Pablo, I wonder how long we’ll have to wait.

    Paul (66339f)

  23. here’s something you should watch

    It’s nothing new.

    blah (fb88b3)

  24. Apparently, it’s going to be a while, Paul. I don’t think I’ve got that much time.

    Pablo (99243e)

  25. Listen you dumb fuck.
    Were you the one a few months ago who said it didn’t matter because I was only being contrary by worrying about pakistan more than Iran?
    Watch the fucking video and learn your fucking history lesson.

    blah (fb88b3)

  26. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand he’s outtahere!!

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  27. blah, sophomoric does not begin to describe you. Where’s Christoph when you need him?

    In time out… Where blah wishes to go, it would appear.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  28. Were you the one a few months ago who said it didn’t matter because I was only being contrary by worrying about pakistan more than Iran?

    Where’s your links, buddy boy? Put up or shut up.

    Watch the fucking video and learn your fucking history lesson.

    Yeah, like Talking Points Memo propaganda is the go-to organization of historical facts.

    And stop the cursing. You kiss your momma with that mouth?

    Paul (66339f)

  29. Where blah wishes to go, it would appear.

    Scott, has blah ever earned the “I was warned by Patterico” badge of honor?

    If he hasn’t, I’m very surprised.

    Paul (66339f)

  30. I was angry but now I’m just laughing.
    This is the peanut gallery at Patterico, what can I expect?
    I’m out.

    blah (fb88b3)

  31. I don’t think Patterico’s giving warnings anymore.

    I know it’s keeping me on a tight leash.

    Not that I mind that sorta thing..

    Sorry. Guess that was a bit of TMI there.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  32. Someone (it will be me this time) needs to remind blah that the weapons possessed by Pakistan are collectively known as “The Islamic Bomb”.

    The regime in Tehran is an “Islamic Republic”.

    The Pak ISI created the Taliban.

    The Taliban instituted in Afghanistan the same fundamentalist, Islamic regime that exists in Iran.

    If Musharraf falls, and is replaced by an Islamic Fundamentalist regime, they would have a natural ally in Tehran.
    Pakistan is predominately Shia, as is Iran, but that has not precluded their support for AQ, which is not just Sunni, but Wahhabbi.

    The struggle is not between scisms of Islam, it is between Islamic Militancy (Islamo-Fascism) and Western Civilization.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  33. I was angry but now I’m just laughing.
    This is the peanut gallery at Patterico, what can I expect?
    I’m out.

    Just had to get that last defiant jab in, huh?

    At least you picked an option of “put up or shut up.”

    Paul (66339f)

  34. Well, at least we’ve gotten one of blah’s proposals on the table. “Watch the fucking video, man!”

    And there was peace throughout the land, forevermore.

    Pablo (99243e)

  35. Just to make the point once again, the overriding concern with Pakistan is nationalism and their historical enmity towards India, not Islamo-fundamentalism. Pakistan’s been treated with kid gloves the last few years to prevent a resurgence of the first, not the second.

    One needs to be careful about accepting the usual MSM scare tactics as a blanket description of the nature of Pakistan as a whole. It’s been going on since the start of the GWOT and is in the nature of conventional acceptance as the way things are at this point and is very wrong. The lunatics congregate in the north where nationalism means little and tribal allegiences, notably Pashtun (or Pushtun) and the associated subtribes mean everything. They have no real military power outside their local areas.

    Pakistan has a technical and educated society in most of the country and especially in urban areas. They have their Madrasas, but they don’t constitute a threat by their very existence any more than they do in Iraq or Iran. Neither Pakistan nor Iraq buys into Madrasas as a force in the general scheme of things and Iran uses other methods for promoting radical Islam. None of these countries can be directly compared with Afghanistan where the Madrasas culture controlled secular society.

    The danger is not in Pakistan turning fundamentalist. There’s no more good reason to fear that than it would be for Egypt or Turkey. The danger of that is low. None of the 3 countries militarys would allow it. The destabilization of the sub-continent for nationalistic reasons is the concern if Pakistani politics get too murky and that the Pakistani military WOULD support. That’s what Musharraf has prevented for many years, and the military seethes about it. The Pakistani military’s games in the north are a sideshow directed at Musharraf for their own purposes, not religious ones. If the subcontinent destabilizes over nationalistic tensions, then Islamo-fundamentalism might fill any political vacuum in Pakistan comes up, but not before. The Pakistani army could and will crush Jihad in Pakistan if and when it’s no more use keeping Musharraf under siege.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  36. Just Passing Through is proof of the delusional nature of Liberals in foreign policy — they can’t conceive of a society different than upper class Americans and Europeans.

    Taliban/AQ are spread throughout Pakistan geographically and societally. They are waging direct war against Musharraf all over the nation, including suicide bombings and kidnappings/killings of Chinese nationals. This last is amazing since China provides the chief military support to Pakistan against India and shares a border with Pakistan.

    Waziristan is in open revolt against Islamabad, with more than 3,000 Pakistani soldiers killed already and around 1,000 taken hostage. Soldiers are often beheaded by the Taliban/AQ forces. The Red Mosque fiasco presenting an Islamist coup attempt against Musharraf was frightening.

    Evidence shows that Islamists-AQ-Taliban will choose Islamic militancy over nationalism, every time, even to the point of attacking their chief ally against India (China).

    The danger of the Taliban/AQ handing over nuclear weapons to Osama who is hugely popular in Pakistan as a deniable attack on the US is not addressed by ANY Liberal.

    Eventually we will have to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear weapons regardless of casualties or accept the loss of our cities. This is reality. Musharraf is on shaky ground at best and his control is slipping. Pakistan is in chaos with daily suicide bombings at the Military or other government forces. Musharraf’s own forces are shot-through with Islamists.

    Of course Liberals would argue that having American cities nuked would be “morally good for us” because being comprised of human beings, American society is not morally perfect or pure (unlike themselves goes the unstated argument).

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  37. “The danger of the Taliban/AQ handing over nuclear weapons to Osama who is hugely popular in Pakistan as a deniable attack on the US is not addressed by ANY Liberal.”

    Excuse me? Did you watch the vid? It’s been addressed by liberals for a long time. It’s Bush et al that ignores it. Talking big, in ignorance still means ignorance. This thread is becoming bizarre.
    And here’s your link Paul. But don’t expect me to go searching for more; ask pat to do that if you like. And the link in comment #1 should go to this post

    I reset my browser and AF no longerr appeared on it’s own in the address box. So I thought up a new one. They’re both blanks anyway and I’m no one special.

    blah (fb88b3)

  38. The religion of peace ahows what it can do CREATE CHAOS

    krazy kagu (444070)

  39. Hey Jim Rockford,

    Taliban/AQ are spread throughout Pakistan geographically and societally.

    Utter bulls**t. Claiming this says you know nothing about the place. It also says you think of Pakistan as a homogenous society like most European countries or the US, the very error you accuse me of. The rest of your post is bulls**t also. You haven’t a clue about the difference between the tribal areas and the rest of the country or the makeup of the country as a whole.

    What I posted is the bare truth and based on political and regional dynamics in the sub-continent that go back as far as the 50’s. They’ve been the basis of US foreign policy concerning Pakistan during that whole time span, and the interval since 9/11 is no different. Pressuring Pakistan concerning jihadists has the risk of upsetting that basic policy always in mind. It has nothing to do with a liberal or conservative position on the GWOT, but entirely unrelated realpolitik.

    So f**K off. I believe that any of the usual suspects that comment here could set you straight on whether I am a delusional liberal, but I’m no poorly informed and delusional kneejerk conservative jackass either.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  40. JPT, the contrast between blah’s and Rockford’s view of the issue is amusing – both get it completely wrong for opposite reasons having nothing to do with Pakistan but everything to do with a failure to comprehend the history of the Indian subcontinent.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  41. Evidence shows that Islamists-AQ-Taliban will choose Islamic militancy over nationalism, every time, even to the point of attacking their chief ally against India (China).

    And that has worked so well everywhere else they’ve tried it…

    Pablo (99243e)

  42. Yup.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  43. The yup was to SPQR.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  44. JPT and SPQR,

    What I find most interesting is how mild the Indian response has been. Anyone care to comment on that?

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  45. DRJ, currently Indian policy has shifted greatly from the past. Both Congress Party and for a few years, the Hindu nationalist party that immediately succeeded it had a pretty militant policy against Pakistan. But recently the Indian political class has seen large domestic economic advantages in their more recent pro-American shift. (This is one of the huge successes in diplomacy for the Bush administration that is ignored in favor of the myths about Bush )

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  46. SPQR,

    I realize India has shifted to a more pro-US stance in recent years, and I agree that’s a good thing. I even recall reading recent polls that suggest 80% of Indians have a positive view of the US, one of the highest pro-US ratings for any country.

    However, having so much turmoil in a neighboring country is a threat to any nation, let alone nations with the history that India and Pakistan have. Yet India’s response has been – I can’t think of any other way to say this – mild. Similarly, the US response has been mild. The US has no choice but to support Musharraf but, taken together, these facts surprise me.

    I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but it sounds like there is a concerted effort to bottleneck the tribal areas once and for all, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  47. DRJ,

    Guarded is probably a better term than mild. It isn’t just the US that believes that Musharraf is the best hope to keep the Pakistani military leashed. The Indians won’t make any overt movements anywhere near the Kashmir that would raise tensions and make Musharraf’s task any harder. It’s unlikely the next general in the top seat will be as moderate as Musharraf.

    On the other hand I doubt very much that the Indian forces in the valley aren’t at a higher alert.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  48. JPT,

    We know India is at high alert and I won’t quibble over mild vs guarded. But either political response is surprising given their history, don’t you think?

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  49. to continue:

    The US realized some years ago – about the time that the old USSR collapsed – that the best arbiter of peace on the subcontinent was India all along. It was this realization that turned India’s opinion of the US. The US won’t add to the tensions any more than India will.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  50. JPT,

    In other words, you see India as a maturing democracy ready to act as a peacekeeper in its region?

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  51. DRJ,

    I don’t know that it is a quibble, but pass on that. It’s a surprising response given the long view of history, but not the last 10 years or so. Musharraf represents India’s best hope for peace in the north until a civilian politician strong enough to keep the nationalist wings in the military leashed. They won’t do anything to turn any Pakistani nationalist feeling against Musharraf at this point nor will the US.

    Keep in mind that Pakistan has lost every military confrontation with India. That’s tough for any military organization to swallow and Pakistan has a large, well-trained one.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  52. India can’t really act as a peacekeeper in its own region for awhile yet, India instigated or exacerbated too many of the conflicts over the past decades. But they’ve adopted a far more reasonable approach in the past few years, unlike JPT I would not date that back as far as the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the period when the BNP was playing “more nationalist than thou” games for domestic advantage over Congress party was not a good time. That was when India returned to its nuclear weapon program and goaded Pakistan into its own nuclear tests. Kashmir being the focal point. We came very close to seeing a war that would have resulted in the deaths of millions if not tens of millions.

    India today does not want a new power vacuum in Pakistan that turns eastward in focus.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  53. In other words, you see India as a maturing democracy ready to act as a peacekeeper in its region?

    Nope. I see them as a pragmatic already matured parliamentary democracy whose interest in keeping the peace in their region is purely self-motivated.

    Careful not to conflate a parliamentary democracy like India’s or the UK with a democratic republic political system like the US. Both democracies, but vastly different internal dynamics. British politics especially gives rise to a lot of exasperation here. No better friend in the world to the US than Britain, but the kind of friend that drives you nuts sometimes. India is becoming that also.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)

  54. …unlike JPT I would not date that back as far as the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the period when the BNP was playing “more nationalist than thou” games for domestic advantage over Congress party was not a good time.

    Point taken.

    India today does not want a new power vacuum in Pakistan that turns eastward in focus.

    Or westward or northward. They want the detente in place to endure. Not the greatest situation, but preferable to the alternatives and one can always hope the horse will learn to sing.

    Just Passing Through (d7a06d)


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