Index Research will focus on a country or an issue which is of particular interest to me. Articles have appeared on and others.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Index Research on Pakistan, October 2008

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

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1. Preface
2. Timeline: War Zones in Pakistan
3. US Drones in Pakistan
4. Refugees in Pakistan
5. Articles on War in Pakistan
6. Financial Difficulties in Pakistan
7. Nuclear Pakistan
8. Oil and Gas in Pakistan
9. Human Rights in Pakistan
10. Obama and McCain on Pakistan
11. References

[Most recent update 12.05.09, before "references".

Index on War in Pakistan, May 2009


1. Preface

Bush’s Third War started, illegally, “with a first ever ground attack” on the night of 3 September ,killing 15 men women and children. Further activity in early September can be read here.

Bush’s Bailout Bonanza was on 1 October 2008, catastrophically affecting the global market.

In mid - October, in medias res of a global financial meltdown, one US drone killed one alleged “militant”in Pakistan. Corpwatch reported that this drone system is “the most expensive Army weapons program ever.” What, then, is the cost ratio of one drone (out of 4 in each system) to one life? Approximately $4.5m if all four are used. And HOW MUCH is given in ‘compensation’ to the family of a civilian victim? Pittance.



2. Timeline: War Zones in Pakistan

“Do not strike the chord of sorrow tonight!
Days burning with pain turn to ashes.
Who knows what happens tomorrow?”

Faiz Ahmed Faiz ,translated by Azfar Hussain

N. Waziristan

Pakistan officials: 6 killed in US missile strike

01.10.08. Munir Ahmad, AP. The attack was the first since President .. Zardari warned that its territory cannot "be violated by our friends."

US drone suspected of deadly attack on Pakistan border with Afghanistan
01.10.08. Randeep Ramesh, Guardian.


Pakistani Tribesmen Kill 13 Taliban Militants
01.10.08. nasdaq / ICH. Pakistani tribesmen supporting a government assault on Islamist militants near the troubled Afghan frontier have killed 13 Taliban insurgents, officials said Wednesday.

Pakistan Troops Kill 25 Taliban In Border Area Clashes
02.10.08. nasdaq. Gunbattles erupted overnight and continued until late Thursday after militants attacked security checkposts in four villages in the restive region, a security official told AFP.


21 people killed in missile attack in Pak
04.10.08. NDTV. Official sources were quoted by Dawn News channel as saying that a house in a village in Mohmandkhel area, located 15 km from North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah, was targeted in the attack [by a suspected US drone].

Pakistanis bury 'US strike' dead
04.10.08. BBC. Pakistani villagers have collected the corpses and body parts of at least 20 people killed by a reported US strike. The US has yet to confirm it carried out the attack

Taliban said to be furious over US missile strike
05.10.08. wired.


Pakistan Army: Two militant commanders killed in Swat district
05.10.08. monsters and critics. Amir Zeb and another rebel leader identified by the single name of Ayub were gunned down during a search operation in the Sambat area of Swat's Matta sub-district, said military spokesman Major Murad Khan.

Swat diary: Living on a frontline
08.10.08. BBC. Munir (not his real name), an administrator in the Swat region of Pakistan, describes the challenges of daily life in his valley as the Taleban and the army vie for influence. This week, as schools are burned down in nearby villages, the area has to cope with lengthy power cuts.

near Peshawar

Pakistani politician's family home escapes rockets
06.10.08. AP.


Six militants in ‘militia uniforms’ killed
06.10.08. Anwarullah Khan, Dawn / ICH. In a statement issued in Peshawar, FC authorities said that the militants “wearing militia uniforms” [whose? See 07.10.08, MSNBC. ] had occupied a house. Sources said that troops had established several checkpoints and cleared one and a half kilometre stretch between Rashakai and Lowi Sam of mines and other types of explosives. Militants’ positions in other areas were also attacked.

(See Refugees, Bajaur)

N. Waziristan

Tribesmen fire rockets at drones in Miranshah
08.10.08. daily times/pk. According to locals, the tribesmen fired without success on the drones when they attempted to fly at low altitude in various areas of the agency. The tribesmen in the Mir Ali sub-division of North Waziristan Agency had also fired rockets at two drones that had crossed into Pakistan on October 5. The two drones entered Pakistani airspace from Afghanistan, locals said.


Pakistan troops kill 20 militants in tribal area: official
08.10.08. AFP. "Twelve local and eight foreign militants including their important commanders were killed in the successful airstrike," a security official told AFP.

23 militants killed in Bajaur fighting
09.10.08. Mushtaq Yusufzai, thenews/anti-war.

North West Frontier Province (NWFP)

Five militants killed in Pakistan
08.10.08. hindustanitimes. The APP quoted security officials as saying that the security forces targeted militants with artillery and pounded their suspected hideouts in Tor Chapar, Akhurwal and Peerwal Khel areas in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

North Waziristan

Latest US Drone Strike in North Waziristan Kills At Least Nine
09.10.08. anti-war. A missile strike by a US drone hit a house in Ghundai, a village 20 km east of Miramshah in Pakistan’s North Waziristan province today, killing at least nine people. It is the second US air strike in the province in less than a week, as a strike on Friday evening killed at least 21 people. / Today’s strike targeted the home of Maulvi Sahar Gul, who is said to be affiliated with the tribal fighters which signed a peace treaty with Pakistan in February. Five of those killed were reported to be civilians, with another four “suspected foreign militants.”

Four foreigners among nine killed in US drone attack
10.10.08. Five among nine people killed in the attack were family members of Maulvi Sahar Gul, including three children and two women, and four guests staying at the hujra.

Pakistan condemns US strikes in border regions
10.10.08. AP

US spy planes violate Pakistan’s airspace
09.10.08. dailytimes/pk. [locals] said two drones flew over the Sheikh Baba, Soraan Darra, Mamadgut, Chamar Kund, Aleengaar, Khazina, Sagi, Duazai and Qandaro areas of the agency in the morning.

Swat Valley

21 millitants killed in Swat
10.10.08. the It was the first time that the security forces targeted the suspected hideout of Fazlullah, who has been in full command of the militants for the last one year despite a full-scale military operation.


Lashkar torches Taliban hideouts in Bajaur
10.10.08. dailytimes / pk.

N. Waziristan

U.S. missile hits Pakistani house
11.10.08. Unnamed Pakistani security sources say [the unmanned aircrat (drone)] hit a house in the village of Tappi, North Waziristan, and that the dead include a number of Arabs. There was no immediate U.S. confirmation of the attack.


Drone attack kills four
11.10.08. Dawn. [Local people] said that two missiles hit a house owned by a tribesman named Rahmat Jahan in an abandoned Afghan refugee camp near the town.

UPDATE 2-Five killed in U.S. missile attack in Pakistan
12.10.08. Haji Mujtaba, in. Reuters. It was the second such attack in North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border this week. "The missiles were fired with a gap of a minute," a Reuters witness said from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan. "They caused huge blasts. I saw flames rising towards the sky after the explosions."

Pakistan: All US missile strike victims were tribesmen
12.10.08. The News Int., Pakistan/uruknet.
The three people killed in the missile attack by the US drones on a house in Machas Colony area here Saturday night were all local tribesmen. Tribal sources said the dead included Rustam, Munawar and Sakhi, all residents of the area. Five men including Shaider Khan, Faizullah, Muqaddas, Zabiullah and Gul Qadam were injured in the missile strike on a 'hujra’ at Machas Colony, which used to serve as a camp for Afghan refugees in the past. Eyewitnesses told The News that four pilot-less Predators were flying in the airspace of Miramshah at the time of the attack. The tribesmen also opened fire on the drones with heavy arms. One guided missile landed in a desert causing no loss.../ There have been 11 missile attacks by the CIA-operated Predator planes in North Waziristan and South Waziristan since mid-August and the number of people killed in these strikes is now more than 100. Most of those killed in these attacks were civilians, including women and children.

Khadizai, Orakzai Agency

Pakistan tribes raze Taliban houses after bombing
11.10.08. reuters. Angry Pakistani tribesmen traded fire with Taliban militants and demolished their houses in a northwestern tribal region after a car suicide attack killed at least 40 people, residents and officials said on Saturday. Television channels put the death toll at as high as 70.
Death toll rises to 82;
death toll at 110 (12.10.08)


Three militants, soldier killed in Swat clash
12.10.08. Dawn / ICH. Three militants and a soldier were killed while four security personnel were injured on Saturday in an encounter at Barri, in the troubled Swat district.


Pakistan kills 40 Taliban militants
13.10.08. AFP. More than 24 extremists with links to Al-Qaeda were killed on Sunday near the Afghan border in the Bajaur tribal region, where Pakistani security forces launched a major offensive against Islamic militants in August.

Swat Valley

Clashes in Pakistani tribal regions kill 51 as fighting along Afghan border spreads
13.10.08. Zarar Khan, AP - star tribune / ICH. The army media center in the restive Swat valley said security forces traded fire with insurgents the whole day in the area. The clashes killed 25 militants and two members of the security forces.

Kurram Agency

Kurram Agency Shias, Sunnis agree on temporary truce
14.10.08. / anti-war.

Mohmand agency

American man arrested in Pakistani border region
13.10.08. wired AP / anti-war.


Pakistan arrests 22 Afghan nationals for illegal entry
14.10.08. xinhuanet.


Pakistan forces kill 60 militants in troubled northwest
14.10.08. Press Trust of India. At least eight militants were killed in shelling in the militant stronghold of Charmang in Bajaur Agency while 34 rebels were killed in clashes with security forces at Rashakai and Charmang this morning, officials told state-run APP news agency.

Swat Valley

Pakistan forces kill 60 militants in troubled northwest
14.10.08. Press Trust of India. In the Swat valley, 18 militants were killed in a skirmish with troops in the Khawazakhela area,

40 militants killed in latest security forces offensive
14.10.08. pak tribune / ICH. The security forces have claimed to have killed at least 40 militants during the latest series of clashes in Bajaur and Swat area. Two soldiers have also been killed during the violence in the Bajaur region and the Swat valley.

Eight militants killed in Pakistan's restive Swat valley
15.10.08. south asian news.


14 Taliban killed in Bajaur clashes
15.10.08. the / anti-war.

Pakistan military kill 16 militants in tribal area: officials
15.10.08. AFP

22 killed in Bajaur amid reports of major offensive
16.10.08. the news.

S. Waziristan

Suspected US strike inside Pakistan kills four: officials
16.10.04. AFP. A suspected US spy drone fired two missiles on Thursday into a Pakistani tribal area that is a known Al-Qaeda and Taliban hub, killing at least four people, security officials said. / The strike destroyed a house in South Waziristan, which borders on Afghanistan and is a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud. / There was no immediate confirmation of the strike from the Pakistani military or from the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.


Suspected US Missile Strikes Pakistan's South Waziristan
16.10.08. VOA. Locals in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal agency say a suspected U.S. drone aircraft has fired a missile into a local home. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad that intelligence officials say four people were killed in the latest apparent attack against Taliban militants.

Suspected American drone aircraft have launched about 12 missile strikes against targets in North and South Waziristan in the past two months.

U.S. Missile Strike Kills Militant in Pakistan
16.10.08. newsroomamerica. A suspected U.S. missile strike killed a man believed to be a foreign militant in Pakistan's South Waziristan region.

'US drone' in Pakistan house strike
16.10.08. channel4 news. Villager Javed Massod said he saw a number of unmanned planes in the sky before a missile struck the house in Kini Guram village in South Wazirstan.

Mingora, Swat

Pakistan: Girls' school 'blown up in northwest'
17.10.08. adnkronos. Suspected militants on Friday blew up a girls middle school in Mingora, in the volatile Swat valley in North West Frontier Province, Pakistan's Geo News reported. / The bombing follows a rocket and suicide attack on Thursday against a police station in Mingora that killed at least four Pakistani security officials and wounded twenty-six.


Kidnapped Chinese engineer recovered by security forces in NW Pakistan
17.10.08. xinhuanet.

Pakistani army 'kills 60 Taleban'
18.10.08. BBC. The operation in the Swat Valley occurred late on Friday shortly after troops found a Chinese engineer alive who had been kidnapped by the Taleban.

N. Waziristan

Suspected US spy killed by Pak militants
18.10.08. asian age. The body of Wali Badshah, 35, was found on the roadside near Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan. Khan, was shot in the head and his hands were also chopped off. Pro-Taliban have killed several tribesmen, accusing them of spying for Unites States.


Pak forces kill 12 militants in troubled Bajaur region
18.10.08. Ptinews. At least 12 militants were killed and 14 injured when Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships targeted militant bases in several parts of restive Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan today.


Pakistan bombs pro-Taliban fighters
19.10.08. aljazeera. Pakistani has bombed a pro-Taliban group's hideout in northwestern Swat valley, killing a commander and at least 30 fighters and destroying an ammunition dump.

30 Confirmed, Over 100 Feared Dead in Swat Valley Air Strikes
19.10.08. anti-war.


Pakistani Opposition Figure: 1,500 Civilians Killed in Bajaur Operation
19.10.08. anti-war. Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid, a high ranking official in the Jamaat-e Islami (JI) party from Bajaur Agency, claimed today that 1,500 civilians have been killed since Pakistan’s military offensive in Bajaur began in August. He also condemned the operation for displacing hundreds of thousands of Bajauris, and accused the government of killing people in the tribal areas to ‘appease the United States.’

Air strikes kill six militants in Bajaur
20.10.08. The news/pk. /anti-war. Military authorities, who are engaged in fighting with the well-armed militants for the past two months in the Bajaur region, said two jet fighters and six gunship helicopters pounded militants’ positions in Zorbandar near Loisam and Mamond Tehsil throughout the day. In Zorbandar area, the sources said, six militants were killed when the planes heavily targeted their hideouts.


Swat attack kills 22 non combatant
20.10.08. cayman mama. Mingora: Pakistani security forces claimed to have killed 25 militant is fresh attacks in Matta area of Swat yesterday morning. 22 civilian were also killed in the attack. The journalists present in the area said that, “The bombing was so severe that it forced local people to start running for shelter, but curfew and closure of Venai bridge by security forces multiplied their agony.” The security official claimed that militants suffered heavy casualties.

100 feared dead in Swat aerial blitz
20.10.08. the news/ICH. MINGORA: Some 100 people, including militants, were feared dead and scores of others injured when jet fighters targeted Barthana village in the militant-infested Matta Tehsil of Swat Valley on Sunday. / Confirmed reports, however, said at least 30 people, including 25 militants, were killed and scores of others injured in the air strike on Sunday morning in Barthana area. Dozens of houses were flattened by the bombardment and efforts were on to retrieve the dead and injured from the rubble by the local people.


Pakistani Forces Kill 12 Militants in Border Region, AFP Says
20.10.08. Robin Stringer, Bloomberg / ICH. The strikes today involved air power and artillery bombardments across Bajaur, where Pakistani forces have targeted militants since August, AFP said.


Three soldiers among 19 killed in north-west Pakistan violence
21.10.08. earth times. A roadside bomb targeted a security convoy in Kabal area of troubled valley of Swat in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), leaving at least three law enforcers dead and numerous injured, a local official said.


At least 12 dead in battle in northwest Pakistan
21.10.08. Zarar Khan, AP. Taliban militants bombed a convoy of Pakistani troops and opened fire on the survivors in a battle that killed five security officers and seven attackers, officials said Wednesday. Tuesday's attack occurred in the Swat valley.

N. Waziristan

US Drone Attack Kills Four in North Waziristan Village
22.10.08. anti-war. A missile attack by what is assumed to be a US drone has targeted a village near Miramshah in North Waziristan. The village is the same one targeted last month in a strike which killed at least 23. It is the site of a religious school founded by Julaluddin Haqqani. A witness in Miramshah says “a large number of militants are rushing towards the area in vehicles.”

US Drone Attack Kills 10 in North Waziristan Village
22.10.08. anti-war. A missile attack by what is assumed to be a US drone has targeted a village near Miramshah in North Waziristan. The village is the same one targeted last month in a strike which killed at least 23. It is the site of a religious school founded by Julaluddin Haqqani.

Suspected U.S. missile kills 7 in Pakistan
23.10.08. AP. / IHT. Residents said three missiles were fired by pilotless drones and one hit the madrasa while the other two hit a house 500 metres away.

Senate condemns drone raid
24.10.08. Raja Asghar, dawn. The government and major opposition parties in the Senate on Friday denounced Thursday’s deadly drone raid into the North Waziristan tribal area by US-led forces in Afghanistan, renewing charges of their disregard of Pakistan’s sovereignty, but withheld passing a proposed resolution that called for intercepting such flights.


Military kills 35 insurgents in Bajaur
24.10.08. the news / anti-war.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Pakistan, Oct. 24
24.10.08. alternet. Pakistani forces using artillery and aircraft have killed at least 18 militants over the past 24 hours in attacks on hideouts in the Bajaur region on the Afghan border, paramilitary officials said. / The army says more than 1,000 militants have been killed in an offensive in Bajaur since August but there is no independent verification of that casualty estimate.

Pakistani troops capture stronghold
25.10.08. ukpress. The military said its forces captured Loi Sam in the Bajur tribal region on Friday after a long and bloody struggle. The town sits on a vital intersection of roads leading to the border as well as to three neighbouring Pakistan regions.


Eight Jirga members gunned down in Orakzai
24.10.08. the news / anti-war. Unknown armed men on Thursday shot dead eight Ferozkhel tribal elders, who were returning from a peace Jirga near Babarke village of Utmankhel, Orakzai Agency.


Suspected militants kidnap 9 policemen in Pakistan
25.10.08. kuna / ICH. The kidnapping took place Saturday afternoon in a small village about 15 kilometers from Dera Ismail Khan district of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), police sources told KUNA."The market is showing some signs that there are value buyers out there."

S. Waziristan

Suspected US strike kills 10 in Pakistan: officials
26.10.08. AFP. The air strike on Sunday in the restive South Waziristan tribal zone bordering Afghanistan was the latest in a string of attacks on Pakistani soil that have raised tensions between Islamabad and Washington. It targeted a compound near the town of Ladha, one of the main sectors held by Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who has been accused of masterminding the assassination of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto in December.

Pakistan PM Slams US After Latest Drone Strike Kills 20
26.10.08. anti-war. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani publicly condemned the “intolerable” series of unilateral US drone strikes launched in North and South Waziristan in the past two months at a press conference today. He said the strikes were an attack on Pakistan’s national sovereignty and were weakening the nation’s anti-terror efforts. He added that he had raised the issue at the latest Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and they supported the Pakistani position. / The most recent strike came earlier today, when a US drone attacked a village in South Waziristan Agency, killing at least 20 people. The strike reportedly hit two houses in an area of South Waziristan known to be a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. See also here (27.10.08. the news)

Pakistan Have No objection Over Drone Attacks: United States
27.10.08. a Pakistan news. The Pakistan authorities have no objection over the US drone attacks as the ministers of the government and other leaders have only opposed the US ground attacks in public, US officials said.

United States Takes to Air to Hit Militants Inside Pakistan
26.10.08. M. Mazzetti, Eric Schmitt, NY Times. The White House has backed away from using American commandos for further ground raids into Pakistan after furious complaints from its government, relying instead on an intensifying campaign of airstrikes by the Central Intelligence Agency against militants in the Pakistani mountains. / According to American and Pakistani officials, attacks by remotely piloted Predator aircraft have increased sharply in frequency and scope in the past three months. / Through Sunday, there were at least 18 Predator strikes since the beginning of August, some deep inside Pakistan’s tribal areas, compared with 5 strikes during the first seven months of 2008.

Loisam, Bajaur

Pakistan takes town as 'corner turned' in jihadi struggle
27.10.08. Australian news. Senior army officers described the retaking of Loisam as a turning point in the crucial battle for Bajaur, close to the border with Afghanistan, which has frequently been mentioned as the most likely operational base for Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Suicide Attacks

Pakistan suicide bombers shifting to political leaders
08.10.08. IRNA, global security. The number of suicide attacks and casualties in Pakistan has steadily risen over the past several months.


Bomb Blast in Pakistan Kills 4 Near Home of Politician
02.10.08. VOA News.

Bhakkar, Punjab

20 Killed, Over 50 Injured in Punjab Suicide Blast
06.10.08. anti-war.


Police centre attacked in Islamabad
09.10.08. aljazeera.

Suicide bombing of Pakistan police wounds 8
09.10.08. Salman Masood, IHT. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and it was unclear if the bomber had died in the explosion.


Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 30 in Pakistan's Northwest
10.10.08. Ayaz Gul, VOA. Pakistani officials say that a meeting of several hundred pro-government tribesmen was in progress in the Orakzai region when the suicide bomber struck. More than 100 people are reported injured, and doctors fear the death toll could go up because some of the victims are in critical condition.

Mingora, Swat

Suicide attack kills 2 at Pakistani police station
16.10.08. Zarah Khan, AP. Two officers were killed and more than 30 other people injured, some of them seriously, Tariq said. The police station was badly damaged, he said. / Another police official, Mohammed Ayaz, put the death toll at four.

Minorga, Swat

Suicide bomber explodes in police compound
17.10.08. big news network.

Kohat Tunnel

Pakistan and Taliban battle for key tunnel
19.10.08. Times Online / anti-war. (Used for transport to Afghanistan.)

Mohmand Agency

10 troops killed in Mohmand suicide attack
27.10.08. the news. The attack took place in the tribal area bordering Bajaur region. MAP.

3. U.S. Drones in Pakistan

“Remote-controlled toys (boats, planes) have been in use for years. The drones are more sophisticated and lethal versions. People who allow children to have guns as soon as they reach legal age -- sometimes earlier -- would think nothing about letting them play with remote-controlled toys capable of inflicting injury and death.” Musafir.

Killers are distanced from their victims when dropping bombs; the alienation is complete with the victims of drones. For "adults" and the military, search google here for videos of drone war games.

The Fas Intelligence Resource Program, created by John Pike
and maintained by Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News gives full details, sources and references concerning the Unmanned Aerieal Vehicles (UAV) systems.

"At the end of March 2005, Raytheon received a $26 million firm-fixed-price modification under previously awarded Basic Ordering Agreement (N00164-00-G-0007) to upgrade the MQ-1 Predator’s sensors and targeting capabilities. Work was expected to be finished by June 2007." The article does not say how many UAVs were involved.

The evolution of UAV avionics
(09.05. J.R. Wilson)

New Horizons for Combat UAVs
12.03. Adam Hebert, [in 2003} Air Force planners say the Hellfire-equipped Predator UAV is only the beginning. .. According to its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Roadmap, DOD projects it will invest $10 billion over the current decade for UAVs, compared to about $3 billion it spent during the 1990s. … The unit cost for an MQ-1 Predator A air vehicle is roughly $4.5 million. When the Air Force starts building newer systems, such as the larger MQ-9 Predator B, with more expensive sensors, said Hornburg, “You’ll find the price of the sensors exceed the price of the airplane.” He added, “They’re not going to be expendable.” The more advanced UCAVs will see similar cost increases as new command, control, and weapons requirements drive up unit costs.

09.08. factsheets. The MQ-1 Predator is a system, not just an aircraft. A fully operational system consists of four aircraft (with sensors), a ground control station, a Predator Primary Satellite Link, or PPSL, along with operations and maintenance crews for deployed 24-hour operations. The basic crew for the Predator is one pilot and two sensor operators. They fly the aircraft from inside the ground control station via a line-of-sight data link or a satellite data link for beyond line-of-sight flight. The aircraft is equipped with a color nose camera (generally used by the pilot for flight control), a day variable-aperture TV camera, a variable-aperture infrared camera (for low light/night), and other sensors as the mission requires. The cameras produce full-motion video. … / The Predator aircraft can be disassembled and loaded into a "coffin." This 1997 document lists Unit Cost: $30.5 million (fiscal 1997 dollars) (includes 4 aircraft, ground control stations, and Predator Primary Satellite Link) gives $30.5m for the cost for a package including four aircraft (UAVs)

Further interesting details

Ian Pritchard of the U.K. Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) writes: “New UAVs under development will be much more expensive as they are built as combat vehicles (UCAVs) and are likely to include stealth capability, fly higher, have longer endurance, carry more weapons etc. There are absolutely loads of UAV programmes being undertaken across the world at the moment." Ian says the factsheet (above) reconciles with other reports of individual Predators costing around $4.5m.

US: The Army's $200 Billion Makeover
Alec Klein, Washington Post / corpwatch. In the Army's vision, the war of the future is increasingly combat by mouse clicks. It's as networked as the Internet, as mobile as a cellphone, as intuitive as a video game. The Army has a name for this vision: Future Combat Systems, or FCS. . The project involves creating a family of 14 weapons, drones, robots, sensors and hybrid-electric combat vehicles connected by a wireless network. It has turned into the most ambitious modernization of the Army since World War II and the most expensive Army weapons program ever , military officials say.

Flying Air Force Drones: Pilots No Longer Required
18.09.08. Mark Thompson, time / legitgov.

Drone maker can't keep pace with war needs, report says
23.09.08. usatoday.

More Killer Drone Bangs For The Buck
09.10.08. David Hambling, blog.wired. Remote-controller Predator and Reaper drones armed with Hellfire missiles have proved extremely effective in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. But if the Hellfire missile has a problem, it's the cost: about $100,000 every time you pull the trigger*

New 'Flying Dinosaur' Drone to Look Like Pterodactyl
09.10.08. fox news.


AN ARSENAL OF UAVs (13.10.08. CBS).

New Killer Drones Could be Piloted by Teenagers
10.10.08. Noah Shachtman, blog.wired. The Army and Marine Corps use Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to spy on suspected militants. Not only are they smaller, cheaper, lighter, and lower-flying than the Air Force's array of missile-laden Predator and Reaper drones. But Shadows are considered a "tactical assets," meant to watch over relatively small patches of ground, for relatively small units. Predators, on the other hand, are "theater" or "operational-level" assets -- controlled by generals, and sent all over. / As a result, ground forces often use the most junior of noncommissioned officers to fly their Shadows -- teenagers who've sometimes never even been in combat.

US drone strikes destabilising Pakistan: FO
11.10.08. daily times/pk.

Ramping Up The Unmanned Air Force
12.10.08. Glenn Pew, avweb. the military plans to grow its fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles from about 100 to about 370, and its roster of non-flying pilots from about 450 to 1,100, by 2011.

What have missile bombings achieved?
21.10.08. Air Marshal (Retd) Ayaz Ahmed Khan, frontier post. Drones firing Hellfire missiles have wiped out dozens of villages, scores of terrorist hideouts in Pakistan's tribal areas, since October 2005, with zero success in ending terrorists attacks, especially suicide bombings. / … So far Predator and Rapaer missile bombings have killed hundreds of people in FATA, but terrorist bombings are continuing unabated in Afghanistan and Pakistan. No strategic results are likely to be achieved, by Hellfire missile bombings from un-manned guided planes. US experts claim that un-manned drones will change the nature of anti-terrorist war by their surprise and shock effect. / … The drones are likely to be used in greater numbers by the USAF. They will cause casualties, but without strategic results i.e. surrender. Such attacks will increase revenge suicide bombings into Pakistan. Hellfire missile attacks will aggravate the situation, and will not solve the terrorist problem. US leaders and generals must do some hard thinking, and should desist from slaughters, which will solve nothing.


A motor cycle rider is blasted to shreds by a US drone (21.10.redress)

Film The Eagle Eye (Mentioned in above story)

US Air Force creates new pilot programs for drones
21.10.08. L. Baldor, AP. Scrambling to meet commanders' insatiable demands for unmanned aircraft, the U.S. Air Force is testing a new training program that would churn out up to 1,100 desperately needed pilots to fly the drones over Iraq and Afghanistan [and Pakistan?]. Currently there are 30. / .. The urgent push for more drone pilots has been spurred by blunt demands from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Israel's Drones in Palestine

Rosh Pina airport shut for drone trials
16.10.08. Haaretz.

Israel moves UAV tests from Golan
17.10.08. JTA. Elbit, the Israeli defense company, agreed to move its unmanned aerial vehicles trials from their usual testing area in the Golan following British objections that the Golan is occupied territory, Ha'aretz reported.

4. Refugees from Pakistan

Pakistan Aims to Expel Afghan Refugees as Bajaur Offensive Continues
05.10.08. anti-war. The Pakistani government has announced a “crackdown” on the 30,000 plus Afghan refugees it estimates are living in the troubled Bajaur Agency. Pakistan gave the refugees a three day deadline to return to Afghanistan which expired this weekend. The director general of Kunar’s Refugee Department is quoted as saying “seven to eight” families had returned by the deadline, but they expected some more might come later.

Afghans refugees flee Pakistan war zone
07.10.08. AP. Pakistan has told 50,000 Afghans to leave the Bajur tribal region, accusing them of links to militants that used the remote and impoverished area as a base for attacks on both sides of the frontier.

Pakistan's fight against terror affects lives
07.10.08. ndtv.

UN: Nearly 190,000 have fled fighting in Pakistan
13.10.08. IHT.

Pakistani Offensive Creates Refugee Crisis
20.10.08. Saeed Shah, Globe and Mail / Truthout. A flood of internal refugees fleeing from fighting in Pakistan's tribal area now look as if they'll spend the biting winter in tents, in squalid conditions, and may be marooned for years. / Around 190,000 people have streamed into the North-West Frontier Province from the neighbouring tribal territory of Bajaur, where, at the start of August, the Pakistani military launched perhaps its most serious offensive against Taliban extremists since Sept. 11, 2001.

Pakistani refugees complain of army and Taliban
23.10.08. AP / sfgate/anti-war. The Taliban beheaded their relatives and terrorized their villages. Now army airstrikes are killing the innocent, say refugees who fled fighting set off by a Pakistani military offensive against the Islamic extremists.

Another Wall?

Islamabadis angered over ‘great wall’ development
11.10.08. Imran Naeem Ahmad, daily times/pk. Plans of the {which? } authorities to secure the Red Zone by building a wall all around just may not be the right solution to a danger that will continue to lurk anyway. The decision prompted by the September 20 terror strike on the Marriott Hotel, means that billions of rupees from government coffers are to be spent on erecting this ‘great wall’.

5. Articles on the War in Pakistan

September 2008

Tariq Ali on “The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power”
16.09.08. democracy now interview. “For the last year, there’s been a big debate within the US administration on whether to strike across the border or not. Many people, not part of the administration, but certainly part of the defense and political establishment, have behind-the-scenes been trying to put pressure on them, saying, “Don’t do it.” And the reason they’ve been saying that is because if this becomes a pattern and US tries to have hit-and-run—I mean, hit missions across the Pakistan border, it actually is going to help those people who they claim they are trying to fight.” …

Violations of Sovereignty: U.S. Raids on Pakistan
27.09.08. Brian Cloughley, Smirking Chimp. [Bush] has no respect for the sovereignty or territorial integrity of any country when criminal violation suits his purpose. The illegal cowboy foray into Pakistan was not denied by Washington; it was merely ignored with that degree of would-be-majestic superiority that is the hallmark of colossal colonial arrogance. Associated Press reported that "a spokesman for the US-led coalition in Afghanistan said it had "no information to give" about the alleged operation, while a spokesman for NATO troops denied any involvement. The US embassy in Islamabad declined to comment." No surprises there. / t doesn't seem to matter to Americans that the blitz conducted by their troops resulted in the deaths of six women and two children, citizens of Pakistan. There has been no indication of regret or sympathy ; not a shred of remorse for killing children. For how long can the non-American world tolerate this sort of barbaric malevolence? In America it doesn't matter, because 'Support Our Troops!' is the American mantra, especially in election year, and if a US citizen doesn't wave the flag and say that American troops are wonderful, even when killing kids in Pakistan, then they are regarded as unpatriotic, which is a dreadful crime.

Dueling partners: Pakistan and America
30.09.08. Tariq Ali, altmuslim newsmakers/ ICH. A country once callously shrugged off simply as India's "lesser" neighbor, now commands global attention and scrutiny as the next, crucial battleground

October 2008

Spanish report links Pakistan to Taliban
01.10.08. Wash. Times / ICH. A report marked confidential and bearing the official seal of Spain's Defense Ministry charges that Pakistan's spy service was helping arm Taliban insurgents in 2005 for assassination plots against the Afghan government.

US losing war in Afghanistan, Pak tribal region: former army chief
01.10.08. mathaba. Former Pakistani Army chief General `Retd` Mirza Aslam Beg on Tuesday said that US has almost lost its war in Afghanistan and Pakistani tribal region and soon will leave with empty hands.

U.S. raids hurt terrorism fight-Pakistan minister
01.10.08. wired. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said recent attacks by U.S. forces on Taliban and Al Qaeda insurgents in tribal areas on the Pakistan side of its border with Afghanistan may set back the government's efforts to fight terrorism there.

Prime Minister terms US attacks inside Pakistan terrorism
01.10.08. Pakistan link. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has termed the US attacks inside Pakistan's territory as terrorism. Speaking to media persons at Prime Minister House here on Wednesday

Terrorist attacks in Pakistan stir anger at U.S.
01.10.08. CS Monitor. Nineteen percent of Pakistanis have 'positive' views toward Al Qaeda, according to a BBC poll released Sunday.

Key players differ on containment strategy
02.10.08. CS Monitor. The divergent approaches of the U.S., Pakistan, and Afghanistan highlight the complexity of developing a unified front on terrorism.

"The Age of the Warrior"
02.10.08. Robert Fisk, Democracy Now. As the US-led wars in the Middle East shows no sign of abating we turn now to a man who has chronicled eleven major wars in this part of the world. Fisk on the U.S. Elections, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine

America's War, Not Ours
02.10.08. Ahmed Quraishi, the news / ICH. For the growing chorus in the liberal sections of the Pakistani media that wants to 'own' this war, we must understand this: the occupation of Afghanistan and the elimination of Afghan resistance groups is not Pakistan's war. Our war is limited to the insurgencies raging from Gwadar to the Chinese border with partial malicious support from the Afghan soil.

Next U.S. leader must revamp Pakistan policy: study
02.10.08. AFP. Pakistan Policy Working Group, a bipartisan group of a about a dozen experts on U.S.-Pakistan relations, said the nuclear-armed Muslim country of 160 million people could pose the "single greatest challenge" for the next U.S. president. / "Washington needs to rethink its entire approach to Pakistan," said the report. "We must be much smarter about how we work with Pakistan, with whom we work, and what sort of assistance we provide," it added.

Pakistan Troops To Get Help From US Military
03.10.08. ABC. After a long delay, a small group of American military trainers and advisors will arrive shortly in Pakistan to help with the training of the paramilitary Frontier Corps that patrol the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan that American military commanders have called a "safe haven" for the Taliban and al Qaeda.

US says not contemplating a nuclear deal with Pakistan
03.10.08. economic times.India. The US has said it was not contemplating any deal with Pakistan similar to the Indo-US nuclear agreement, insisting that New Delhi's
case was "unique" because of its past record on non-proliferation.

Pakistanis long have been leery of US presence
04.10.08. wired. The poll by the Gallup organization, taken in June, found that almost half of Pakistanis, or 45 percent, thought the U.S. military presence across the border in Afghanistan posed a threat to Pakistan.

Pakistan made a ‘scapegoat’ in war on terror: Qureshi

Pakistanis wary of US presence: poll
04.10.08. Dawn. Pakistanis were leery of their government’s anti-terror cooperation with the United States even before President George W. Bush authorised US military action inside Pakistan without their government’s approval, according to a [Gallup] poll on Friday.

US proposes joint patrols of Pak-Afghan border
05.10.08. economic times.India. At a recent video news conference at the Pentagon, Gen David McKiernan, top NATO commander in Afghanistan, told journalists in Washington that a joint patrol could end cross-border raids and deny the Taliban militants their safe havens inside Pakistan, Dawn news reported.

Pakistan's fresh resolve in latest battle against Taliban
06.10.08. CS Monitor. … But with militants there [nwestern tribal area] carrying out increasingly brazen attacks in Pakistan's cities, and stirring trouble in Afghanistan – prompting the United States to pressure Pakistan to act – Pakistan appears to be taking its home-grown terrorist threat more seriously.

India factors in Afghanistan crisis
06.10.08. Gregory r. Copley, The New Nation. The U.S. conduct of the war in Afghanistan has created an enormous potential for instability in Pakistan, which Washington has claimed is a major 'non-NATO ally' on which it depends. / U.S. and Western media reporting currently portrays the problems facing ISAF as coming into Afghanistan from Pakistan, but the reality is the reverse of this: stirring the problem in Afghanistan causes problems to flow into Pakistan. … / India's involvement follows an historical geopolitical pattern, but much of it is institutionalized as 'payback' for Pakistani Government support for the Muslim separatist movement in Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir over the past decades. At the same time, close U.S.-Indian intelligence ties at a formal level and within the Afghan battle space mean that India is feeding a range of 'tailored intelligence' into the U.S. system which shapes U.S. political and intelligence perceptions of the situation, encouraging the belief that 'Pakistan is the problem' in resolving the counter-Taftban conflict in Afghanistan. / There is no doubt that it is comforting for many U.S analysts and journalists to have a scapegoat for the frustrations of the conflict, and it certainly avoids any self-examination by U.S. policymakers, or any considered view of recent and longer-term history.

Pakistan Says No Deal Made With U.S. on Air Strikes
06.10.08. AFP. Pakistan denied Monday that it had struck a deal allowing US missile strikes against militants on its soil, after a report quoted the country's president as saying there was an "understanding".

Hot pursuit or breach of territorial integrity in Pakistan
06.10.08. Amjad Malik, Pak Tribune. Pakistan is, yet again, paying the price for flirting with the United States, who itself has not learned anything from the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Now Pakistan finds itself between a rock and hard place, and is viewed by many as giving too much to the Americans, who in turn, want nothing but more and more from Pakistan, hence, the unilateral incursions into Pakistan`s sovereignty.

Our Secret War In Pakistan?: Don't Ask
07.10.08. Richard Engel, MSNBC / Ich. Don't ask about the troops on bases here in Afghanistan who don't wear uniforms, have long beards (so they can better blend in during covert operations), tattoos and don't mingle with regular soldiers.

Pakistani Defense Secretary Says Pulling Out of US Alliance Not Possible
07.10.08. anti-war. Secretary Rasool did assure that his government had made it “crystal clear” to the US that border violations won’t be tolerated. But prefacing this with a public acknowledgment that his government doesn’t believe it can even consider bucking the American policy on the terror war without facing economic ruin it is unclear how much weight this warning will have.

Pakistan 'Greatest Single Challenge' to Next President
07.10.08. J. Lobe, anti-war. [what about Palestine?] "The Pakistan military should understand that its failure to embrace this fundamental shift in outlook will significantly reduce U.S. military assistance," according to the report by the "Pakistan Policy Working Group" of the government-supported U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) that was released with little fanfare here late last week.

British Pakistanis concerned over NATO strikes
10.10.08. dailyttimes/pk. UK MP writes to NATO secretary general asking him to avoid incursions * Jaap de Hoop defends NATO’s role

Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali’s book awaits clearance
10.10.08. the news./pk.

Tariq Ali writes of “expediting clearance” of his new book here.

A fatal flaw in Afghan peace process
08.10.08. M K Bhadrakumar, asia times. / .. Washington is also unsure to what degree Islamabad can be trusted with the central role in any such sensitive mission to finesse or harness the Taliban. All said, while President Asif Ali Zardari is a predictable figure who can be trusted to dance to just about any American tune, far too many imponderables remain in the post-Pervez Musharraf power structure in Islamabad for the US to be confident that it holds all the controlling strings.

Pakistan's spy chief briefs lawmakers on terrorism
08.10.08. Munir Ahmad, AP. The government called the special session of parliament as it sought political unity to stabilize this key U.S. ally in the war on terror. Officials said the briefing was an effort to include opposition parties in the policy discussion.

`Biggest Threat' to U.S. in Afghanistan Is Aided by Pakistanis
08.10.08. James Ruppert, Bloomberg / ICH. When Jalaluddin Haqqani fought Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the U.S. showered him with praise, guns and money. The congressman celebrated in ``Charlie Wilson's War,'' the movie and book about that conflict, called him ``goodness personified.'' Now the U.S. is trying to kill Haqqani.

Terrorism in Pak is threat to US: Rice
11.10.08. times of India. "Pakistan has a very serious terrorism problem, very serious. And it's not just a problem from our point of view that what happens across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, or the presence of al-Qaida there that could be a threat to US interests," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Lord Ahmed meets US Diplomats in a delegation at House of Lords to convey community feelings on a new US policy
11.10.08. Amjad Malik, etribes. Lord Ahmed briefed them the fall outs of such policy and emphasised on the need of a genuine South African style reconciliation with all the stake holders in Pakistan. He reiterated what he said at House of Lords on 6 Oct that ‘what is needed is a genuine truth and reconciliation commission-a genuine centre for peace and dialogue where the Bugtis, the Mengals, the Murrees, The Maulanas and the Khans can sit and where every citizen of Pakistan can feel respected and equal citizen of Pakistan’.

Series Overview: The Embattled Frontier
13.10.08. Doug Roberts, npr. The 1,600-mile-long frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan has always been a wild and often violent region — and never more so than today. There is warfare on both sides of the border now. 5 part series by various authors.

Pak warns US against border violations
13.10.08. / ICH. Pakistan's president warns the US on strikes against Pakistan [again!], saying the violation of the country's border would not be tolerated.

Talibanization Or Balkanization? What Awaits Pakistan First?
14.10.08. Safdar Jafri, countercurrents. The fact that in the next few years the map of West Asia is quite likely to change and that Pakistan will be at the forefront in this upcoming change makes the entire game of politics very interesting for the analysts. There will be growing chaos, bloodshed, breakaway regions, militancy and above all, most certainly greater US presence in the region in the days to come

NIE Paints “Very Bleak” Pakistan Picture
14.10.08. anti-war. As Pakistan observes “Defence Day,” the United States is putting the finishing touches on a National Intelligence Estimate on Pakistan. And while much as the NIE on Afghanistan the document is expected to remain classified, those privy to the contents of the document say it paints a “very bleak” picture. Another summarized the conclusions as “no money, no energy, no government.”

Pakistan's risky militia strategy
15.10.08. Haroon Rashid, BBC / ICH. After years of failure, the people in charge of running the "war on terror" in Pakistan's tribal areas are using militias as a new card. / But there remains a strong possibility that this strategy could make a difficult situation even worse.

Pakistani Taliban Offers to Lay Down Arms for Peace
15.10.08. anti-war. Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Maulvi Omar has offered negotiations with the Pakistani government “without any conditions.” The Pakistani government has previously offered such negotiations, but demanded that the TTP first lay down their arms and agree to expel all foreigners from the tribal areas.

Petraeus Mounts Strategy Review
16.10.08. Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post / anti-war. Gen. David H. Petraeus has launched a major reassessment of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the surrounding region, while warning that the lack of development and the spiraling violence in Afghanistan will probably make it "the longest campaign of the long war." / The 100-day assessment will result in a new campaign plan for the Middle East and Central Asia, a region in which Petraeus will oversee the operations of more than 200,000 American troops as the new head of U.S. Central Command, beginning Oct. 31. / The review will formally begin next month, but experts and military officials involved said Petraeus is already focused on at least two major themes: government-led reconciliation of Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the leveraging of diplomatic and economic initiatives with nearby countries that are influential in the war.

Pakistan, Afghan, US top commanders meet
16.10.08. the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, his Afghan counterpart General Bismullah Khan and the commander of Afghanistan’s Nato force, General David McKiernan, attended the talks.

Violence wounds Pakistani trust in U.S.
16.10.08. Jason Motlagh and Ayesha Akram, Washington Times / anti-war. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 64 percent of Pakistanis say the United States is the greatest threat facing the nation.

Pakistan: Meeting With the Uzbin Taliban
16.10.08. Sara Daniel, Le Nouvel Observateur / Truthout. "Our special envoy Sara Daniel met up with the Taliban leaders responsible for the ambush two months ago in which the French soldiers fell not in Kunar's rough mountains, but in their comfortable residences in a great Pakistani city. Their remarks show that the 'students of religion' have entered the era of global communication and their freedom of movement confirms the spread of their belligerent Islam all the way into the heart of the Pakistani administration."

Pakistani politicians divided over action on terror
17.10.08. Saeed Shah, Guardian. A deep rift over anti-terror policy has opened up within Pakistan's political class, as extremist violence and an economic crisis push the country to the verge of collapse. A special session of parliament called by the government to forge a political consensus on the "war on terror" has backfired spectacularly as parties, including some in the ruling coalition, denounced the alliance with Washington and Nato rather than backing the army to take on the Pakistani Taliban.

America's National Strategy of Global Intervention
18.10.08. William Pfaff, ICH. … The new statement lacks the Bush administration’s unilateralism and triumphalism (as if there were anything left to be triumphal about), but it foresees a “Long War” of “promoting freedom, justice and human dignity by working to end tyranny, promote effective democracies and extend prosperity; and confronting the challenges of our time by leading a growing community of democracies.” / .. The noteworthy thing about this National Defense Strategy statement is that it says nothing directly about American national defense. It is a strategy for intervening in other countries, and preventing others from blocking or resisting American interventions.

U.S. official holds talks in crisis-hit Pakistan
18.10.08. Reuters. Boucher [Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs] met Rehman Malik, the head of the Interior Ministry, and was expected to hold talks with leaders of the seven-month-old civilian government, including President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, officials said.

Pakistan unhinged
19.10.08. Thomas M. Sanderson, Washington Times. … What I learned in Peshawar, and from the attack on the Marriott Hotel, gave me a first-person view of the fighting and double-dealing that will perpetuate this cycle of violence. .. / cautious sources relayed inside stories - undoubtedly mixed with rumor and conspiracy theories - of the innumerable missteps, betrayals and subterfuge marking the conflict along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and the effort to settle it./ .. The reality of an $11 billion pipeline of American aid since Sept. 11, 2001, means these operations will continue without significant resistance. Pakistan, though, is genuinely asserting itself in the face of an uncomfortably close U.S.-India relationship. This is exacerbated by Afghan President Hamid Karzai's hearty engagement of New Delhi. But as a donor-dependent country, which spends at least 40 percent of its budget on the military, Pakistan remains highly reliant on American assistance./ .. Working at cross-purposes to the United States, Saudi Arabian charities lend a hand too by funding private schools (madrassas), many of which turn out young men eager to fight U.S. and other Western forces. / With 40 percent of U.S. and NATO supplies for Afghanistan transiting Pakistan's precarious tribal areas, it is no wonder that American leaders handle Islamabad with care. Pakistan, meanwhile, receives $1 million per day in road tolls. Neither side would like to see these strategic lines of communication severed. /… chess game with China; .. India … narcotics .. arms trafficking … keeping Afghanistan pliable … Good & informative article.

From Great Game to Grand Bargain: Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan
20.10.08. Barnett R. Rubin, Ahmed Rashid, Foreign Affairs/e-ariana. [excellent – *read entire article]

Talks only way to root out terrorism, Nawaz tells Boucher
21.10.08. the / ICH. Former prime minister and PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that use of force was not the solution to root out the menace of terrorism, adding, the US should respect Pakistan's territorial sanctity.

The US vs. Pakistan: With Friends Like These
22.10.08. Simon Robinson, Time. For one 34-year-old Pakistani soldier, it is a simple matter of respect. The soldier, a Major in the Frontier Corps in the mountainous badlands along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, says recent U.S. military incursions into Pakistan not only breach an agreement between the two countries, but call into question the very spirit of the alliance President Bush says is the most important in the war on terror. "As a Pakistani, nobody likes someone to enter their home. It raises doubts about American credibility and the sincerity of their alliance with Pakistan," says the Major …

Pakistan Will Give Arms to Tribal Militias
23.10.08. Karen DeYoung, Washington Post. Pakistan plans to arm tens of thousands of anti-Taliban tribal fighters in its western border region in hopes -- shared by the U.S. military -- that the nascent militias can replicate the tribal "Awakening" movement that proved decisive in the battle against al-Qaeda in Iraq. / The militias, called lashkars, will receive Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifles and other small arms, a purchase arranged during a visit to Beijing this month by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistani officials said.

“Sweeping” Pakistan Resolution Either Repudiates or Reinforces Terror Policy
23.10.08. anti-war. Pakistan’s parliament has approved a 14-point resolution with seemingly sweeping ramifications for the nation’s counterterrorism policy. Among other things, it calls for Pakistan to make dialogue with militant groups “the highest priority as a principal instrument of conflict management and resolution.” It also calls for Pakistan to pursue “an independent foreign policy” and to eventually replace military forces in the tribal ares with civilian law enforcement. / But the resolution’s wording is vague enough that both sides are claiming victory in its passing.

US Training Program For Pakistani Forces Begins, But Distrust Remains
23.10.08. anti-war. After several delays and threatened cancellations, 25 US military personnel arrived in Pakistan some time last week to begin a controversial training program aimed at bolstering Pakistan’s Frontier Corps (FC). The program would not directly train the corps itself, but rather would train Pakistani army instructors who would then be responsible for training the FC members.

Pakistan rejects 'America's war' on extremists
24.10.08. Saeed Shah, Guardian. * Parliament vows to end military action on border; * Relations with US will be strained by new strategy. Serious doubts multiplied yesterday about Pakistan's commitment to America's military campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban after parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for dialogue with extremist groups and an end to military action. / The new strategy, backed by all parties, emerged after a fierce debate in parliament where most parliamentarians said that Pakistan was paying an unacceptable price for fighting "America's war". If implemented by the government, support for Pakistan from international allies would come under severe strain, adding further instability to a country facing a spiral of violence and economic collapse.

Pak lawmakers condemn US missile strikes in tribal region
24.10.08. times of India. Coming out in strong voice against increasing number of missile strikes by US drones in its restive tribal region bordering
Afghanistan, Pakistani lawmakers on Friday said such attacks were "unacceptable".

A Declaration to the US?

The Pakistani Government might ask for a similar statement from “friends of Iraq from France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the United States of America, Egypt, Sweden and Iraq, organized in the International Anti-Occupation Network (IAON) and gathered in Le Feyt, France.”

See & Endorse Le Feyt Declaration - Peace in Iraq is an option

"The US occupation of Iraq is illegal and cannot be made legal. All that has derived from the occupation is illegal and illegitimate and cannot gain legitimacy." read more.

6. Financial Difficulties in Pakistan

Financial History

US renting Pak army for $100 million a month
14.07.07. timesofindia / legitgov.

US Senate approves Pakistan aid worth $785m
20.12.07. Pakistan link / legitgov. (legit gov. notes that 3 days after this Medicaid Funding for Schools Cut)

U.S. Officials See Waste in Billions Sent to Pakistan
24.12.07. Rohde, Carlotta Gall, Eric Schmitt, David Sanger, NY Times / legitgov.

Present Finances


"Direct Overt U.S. Aid, Export Assistance and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2009"
updated 16.10.08. (pdf)


Pakistan facing bankruptcy
06.10.08. telegraph.
Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves are so low that the country can only afford one month of imports and faces possible bankruptcy.

Pakistan to Send Delegation to U.S. as It Seeks $10 Billion
07.10.08. Khaleeq Ahmed and Naween A. Mangi, Bloomberg. Pakistan's credit rating was cut two levels yesterday by Standard & Poor's, which cited doubts about its ability to meet about $3 billion in debt-servicing costs. The nation's foreign- exchange reserves have dropped 67 percent in the past year and the rupee has slumped 27 percent in 2008.

'Play or no pay' warning for Pakistan
09.10.08. Jim Lobe, Asia Times / ICH. Calling Pakistan the "greatest single challenge" to the next United States administration, a bipartisan group of South Asia experts recommends cutting aid to the Pakistani army unless it commits itself to the counter-insurgency struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Pakistan seeks $10bn from expats to avoid bankruptcy
13.10.08. Telegraph. Pakistan has turned towards its expatriate community for help in a desperate bid to stave off bankruptcy as negotiations in Washington over an emergency aid package continue.

World Bank could provide Pakistan up to $1.4 bln
13.10.08. in.reuters. The funding would fall under a three-year country assistance strategy (CAS) that is due to run until the end of June 2009. .. / According to the state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan, the World Bank has pledged to provide $1.4 billion support for Pakistan, which includes $600 million for investment portfolio and $800 million for budget support. [what would be the future debt payment obligations? ]

Severe economic crisis threatens Pakistan's stability
13.10.08. Saeed Shah, McClatchy/anti-war. A worsening economic crisis in Pakistan is pushing millions more people into poverty, and experts fear that it could help Islamic extremists recruit new converts. The crisis began early this year, as democracy was restored after more than eight years of military rule. Now Pakistan's hard currency reserves have shrunk to $3.5 billion, and without an international rescue package, America's key ally in the fight against al Qaida is likely to default on foreign debt repayments in the next two months, economic experts said.

US plan to help Pakistan fight insurgents
17.10.08. Gordon Lubold, CSM/anti-war. The Pentagon wants to send more F-16 fighters. Critics say the jets could threaten India.

Pakistan's Zardari wants trade for restive regions
17.10.08. wired / anti-war. Islamabad wants to talk to the next U.S. administration about boosting investment in border regions hit by Islamist militant violence, Chinese state media quoted Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as saying.

Pakistan does some US dirty work
18.10.08. Syed Saleem Shahzad, asia times / ICH. the US has given it a contract to build 1,000 Humvees for use by troops in Afghanistan against the Taliban-led insurgency. / Pakistan's Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) has been given the order for an undisclosed sum for the Humvees

Economists want cut in defence budget
20.10.08. The news. The panel of economists, which worked under the chairmanship of Dr Hafiz A Pasha for the last one month, is likely to present its detailed findings to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani probably on Oct 25 or 27, 2008, depending on the date given by the Prime Minister’s secretariat.


Pakistan May Seek IMF Aid to Boost Investor Confidence, FT Says
18.10.08. Bloomberg

Pakistan May Need $10 Billion Over 2 Years, IMF Says (Update1)
20.10.08. Matthew Brown, Bloomberg.

Pakistan considers $15bn support package
20.10.08. FT / ICH. A little over half the total would come in the form of an IMF loan. The balance would be provided by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and bilateral donors, potentially including Saudi Arabia. Pakistan is also seeking funds from China.

Talks with IMF begin in Dubai today
21.10.08. the news. Pakistani economic and finance managers rushed to Dubai on Monday for urgent talks with the IMF as its officials refused to travel to Pakistan because of security concerns./The talks will be held amid growing expectations that Islamabad will seek bailout package from the IMF in the next 30 days, it was learnt.

IMF moves to bail out Pakistan
22.10.08. AFP. "A fund mission will begin discussions with the authorities in the next few days on a program aimed at strengthening economic stability and enhancing confidence in the financial system," [Dominique Strauss-Kahn] said.

Pakistan to ask for $4m cash aid from the IMF
22.10.08. business times online.

Pakistan Stares Into the Abyss
23.10.08. Andrew Buncombe, Anne Penketh and Omar Waraich, Independent / UK / Truthout. "Pakistan was locked in crisis last night, with the government pressed by Washington to deepen its conflict with Islamic militants in the lawless regions on the Afghan border, and obliged to call in the International Monetary Fund to stave off financial catastrophe.... A new US intelligence estimate meanwhile has warned that the renewed insurgency, coupled with energy shortages and political infighting, means that Pakistan, which is the only Muslim nation with nuclear weapons, is 'on the edge.'"

Worst to come for Pakistan despite IMF move
24.10.08. daily

IMF says Pakistan has not requested financing
25.10.08. in.reuters.


"No danger" of Pakistan defaulting-PM's adviser
18.10.08. wired / anti-war.

US diplomat warns no blank cheque for Pakistan
20.10.08. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher visited Pakistan as its leaders face a growing Islamic militant insurgency and major economic difficulties. / But Boucher warned that no hand-outs would be available from the "Friends of Pakistan" -- a group of nations, including China, the US, Britain and the UAE, which have pledged to help the country to stabilise.

Trade link bridges divided Kashmir
21.10.08. al jazeera. India and Pakistan have opened a historic trade link across divided Kashmir for the first time in six decades.

Hope gives way to despair in Pakistan
22.10.08. Tom Hussain, the As the country continues its descent into political turmoil and subsequent economic crisis, the typical working-class Pakistani is faced with a stark choice between ruthlessness and desperation.

Pakistan Facing Bankruptcy As World Financial Crisis Deepens
23.10.08. Vilani Peiris, countercurrents. Wracked by political instability and hard hit by the global economic crisis, Pakistan is teetering on the brink of default. The country’s foreign reserves have dwindled to around $4.5 billion, equivalent to about six weeks of imports, foreign investors have fled the country in droves and the rupee has fallen sharply. The international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, has downgraded Pakistan to a position superior only to the Seychelles, which has already defaulted

and China

Pakistan president heads to China to boost ties
13.10.08. in.reuters. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari begins his first visit to China on Tuesday to cement economic and commercial ties with Islamabad's long-time ally at a time when its relations with the United States are under stress.

Pakistan gets help from China for ailing economy
15.10.08. Gillian Wong, Washington Times / ICH. Zardari and Chinese President Hu Jintao attended a signing ceremony here for 11 agreements, including deals on economic and technical cooperation, minerals, environmental protection, satellite purchases, agricultural research, and electricity. / However, no specifics of the deals were released, and there was no mention of a civilian nuclear deal.

Full text of joint statement between China and Pakistan
17.10.08. Xinhuanet.

Maybe U.S. Needs Yard Sale
22.10.08. Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun / ICH. The world balance of power is already shifting. For example, Pakistan's new president, Asif Zardari, went cap in hand this week to China, seeking up to $6 billion US in emergency loans. Pakistan is on the verge of bankruptcy and may shortly default on its debt. / But Pakistan's patron, the United States, which has been renting that nation's politicians and army for $1.2 billion per annum to support the occupation of Afghanistan, can't spare any cash for Pakistan. So Pakistan is turning to China, which has $19 billion in foreign exchange reserves -- the world's largest. The U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan is likely to be adversely affected by Washington's new pauper status. / Pakistan's move into China's financial embrace is a harbinger of things to come. Unless the U.S. quickly repairs its economy, its world power could slip away as quickly as post-war Britain's, leaving China, Japan, Russia, the EU and India as the world's new super powers.

Tribal lashkars to be armed with Chinese weapons
24.10.08 Khalid Hasan, daily

7. Nuclear Pakistan

Pakistan takes a swipe at US-India nuclear deal
09.10.08. In a sharp though indirect reference to the newly concluded US-India nuclear co-operation agreement, Ambassador Zamir Akram told the UN General Assembly’s First Committee that “policies that create nuclear disparities in our region and reinforce the discriminatory approach towards Pakistan can only contribute to exacerbating strategic asymmetries that would destabilise the entire region and indeed the world.”

President briefed on nuclear, missile plans
10.10.08. dailytimes / pk. President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday visited the Joint Staff Headquarters and Strategic Plans Division (SPD) in Rawalpindi.The president was briefed on the various dimensions of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programme at the SPD Secretariat of the National Command Authority. An official statement said that Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Tariq Majid and senior SPD officers also attended the briefing.

India not against US-Pakistan N-deal: Pranab
11.10.08. times of India/anti-war. "We will like to encourage civil nuclear cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy," external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a press conference after signing the bilateral 123 agreement with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

How India’s New Nuke Deal Might Set Off an Arms Race
11.10.8. Newsweek.

Pakistan may ink civil nuclear accord with China
15.10.08. the / anti-war. Pakistan and China may enter a civil nuclear partnership and there is a strong indication that an agreement to this effect will be signed between the two countries during President Asif Ali Zardari’s first state visit to China starting from Tuesday.

China to help build 2 Pakistan nuclear plants
17.10.08. AP.

The Real Story Behind the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal
17.10.08. Subrata Ghoshroy, AlterNet. The recently passed nuclear pact was not just a late win for an unpopular president, it was a coup for lobbyists and defense contractors.

US takes up nuclear issue with Pak, China
21.10.08. times of India / ICH. The United States had made it clear that Pakistan cannot be given a nuclear deal similar to the one it has worked out with India.

China Pakistan Nuclear Deal
22.10.08. armscontrolewonk. China has agreed to supply Pakistan with two additional nuclear power plants, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said here Saturday after President Asif Zardari’s just-ended visit to Beijing.

Fallout of US-India Nuke Deal
24.10.08. Howard Lafranchi, CSM / Truthout. "China's agreement to help Pakistan build two nuclear power plants is prompting warnings that the new US-India civilian nuclear deal is already pushing other countries to pursue their own nuclear relationships."

8. Oil and Gas in Pakistan

Pakistan, Iran to speed up work on IPI project
24.09.08. int times. The two leaders stressed the importance of early completion of over 2,700-km-long IPI gas pipeline project that could meet the much needed energy needs for the large industrial sector in Pakistan.

AFGHANISTAN: Subsidised Fuel Trail Winds Back to Pakistan
30.09.08. IPS. In a teeming petrol market on the outskirts of Kabul, black market traders sell fuel to everyone from individual customers to large business groups. Although much of this petrol comes from Iran or the Central Asian countries, a good amount also hails from Pakistan, where government subsidies have made the fuel much cheaper than in Afghanistan. / The Afghan government and private businesses generally avoid buying petrol from Pakistan because of the spiraling insecurity on the routes into Afghanistan, but still much petrol manages to get in. How it does so and where it goes illustrates the complicated world of smugglers, border patrol agents and foreign militaries.

Rethinking U.S. opposition to Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline
03.10.08. blogs.reuters. “To encourage better ties and more robust economic linkages between India and Pakistan, the U.S. should eventually reconsider its opposition to the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project,” [the Council on Foreign Relations September ’08 Report] says. ”Assuming that the situation in Pakistan stabilises, and the U.S. determines that the IPI would not undermine international efforts to dissuade Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons programme, the pipeline could help to stabilise the region over the longer term by providing Pakistan and India with a mutual economic interest.” The Council of Foreign Relations provides a link to the Report here .

Polish engineer abducted by Taliban in Pakistan
03.10.08. monsters and critics. Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a Polish employee of an oil exploration firm and killed his driver and two guards in northern Pakistan on Sunday, police in Islamabad said. / . Peter Stanczak worked for Poland-based Geofizyka Krakow Limited, which is exploring natural resources reservoirs in the region..

Rethinking U.S. opposition to Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline
03.10.08. Myra MacDonald, Among the more daring recommendations in a new report by the Pakistan Policy Working Group, a bipartisan group of American experts on U.S.-Pakistan relations, is that the United States should eventually reconsider its opposition to a proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project. The suggestion, aimed at building peace between India and Pakistan, is well hedged...

Iran backs Pakistan pipeline deal sans India
11.10.08. Tehran times. Iran says it is willing to build a pipeline to export natural gas to Pakistan even if India delays joining the multibillion-dollar project opposed by the U.S.

9. Human Rights


I don't think "immunity" is mentioned in any Bible, Mr. Bush. The Iraqis have had problems with US immunity since Mr. Bremer signed his “Laws.” Will the question of US immunity soon arise in Pakistan? Read following:

U.S., Iraqi Officials Question Terms of Draft Security Deal
18.10.08. Mary Beth Sheridan and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post. At Issue: Legal Authority Over Troops. A provision in the draft would give the United States "primary" jurisdiction over military personnel and Defense Department employees who are on bases or engaged in authorized military operations. .. / An extension of the [illegl?] U.N. mandate, the most likely option if a final agreement is not reached, poses political and legal complications for both sides.

The US have remained free from prosecution over torture.

Kid Killers are Barbarians
22.10.08. B. Cloughley, Counterpunch. On 90 killed in Azizabad … / In a series of statements about the operation, the US military has said that extremists who entered the village after the bombardment encouraged villagers to change their story and inflate the number of dead.” … / If there had been no independent reporting of the atrocity it would, like so many others, have been forgotten about. … But Washington was forced to order an inquiry. Not that there is any intention to take disciplinary action against those responsible for any aspect of the horrible affair, even when it was eventually admitted there were “more than 30” civilians killed, because, with indifferent callousness, the spin-masters pronounced that the strike was against “a legitimate target.”

The pattern is clear : first lie your head off after a war crime has been committed; then try to play down the gravity of the slaughter and while you’re at it, vilify anyone courageous enough to have held an independent inquiry that discovered the truth. After it is obvious that a major atrocity did actually take place, all must wring hands and announce that an inquiry is to be held. (If anxious to appear serious it is better to state that it will be a “full” inquiry. But on no account must there be representation at the inquiry by officials, or, indeed, attendance by any citizens of the country in which the attack has taken.) Last, when irrefutable evidence has to be grudgingly admitted, say that there has been a mistake but that the people who identified the target, fired the missiles or lied in their teeth about the squalid affair are not going to receive even a wrist-slap in punishment. Then the whole affair will be forgotten except by the few hundred more Afghans, Iraqis or Pakistanis who have been persuaded that US “freedom” is meaningless and queue up to join the ranks of anti-western fanatics and suicide bombers.

U.S.Will Determine When Troops Have Immunity
23.10.08. Fox News/ICH. The most controversial article in the draft agreement is on troop immunity. While the U.S. gives up immunity for U.S. troops who are "off duty and off base" if they commit major or intentional crimes, the U.S. retains the authority to determine whether they were off duty.. See also here.

If you, or any other country, do not do as the US wishes, Bully Boy will threaten you economically


Abu Nidal, Notorious Palestinian Mercenary, 'Was A US Spy'
25.10.08. Robert Fisk, Independent / ICH. Iraqi secret police believed that the notorious Palestinian assassin Abu Nidal was working for the Americans as well as Egypt and Kuwait when they interrogated him in Baghdad only months before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

23.10.08. amjad malik, Pakistani newspaper. Iftikhar is translated as ‘honour ’ in the dictionary. This one word in Pakistan has gained significance from the name of deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammed Chowdhary who is still waiting for his restoration on 3rd November position. He was dismissed, and detained by General Musharraf as a result of an unlawful military action. / Chowdhary not only settled the score of history by challenging the myth that Pakistani judges are always ready to work hand in hand to support its generals , but also tried to nip the very evil in the bud, which is core of Pakistan’s constitutional haphazard history, the all time notorious ‘law of necessity.’


Was neuroscientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui raped and tortured at US Bagram prison?
21.09.08. Ernesto Cienfuegos, indybay. Last month the seriously injured, bleeding, frail, traumatized and confused Dr. Siddiqui re-appeared in a wheel chair in a New York federal court accused of terrorism and to face charges that she attempted to kill FBI and US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Children Of Arrested Pakistani-US Doctor Are Missing, Says Human Rights Group
23.09.08. mindinao examiner. The alleged US arrest in July of Pakistan-US national Dr Aafia Siddiqui has left a series of unanswered questions about her missing children. With Dr Siddiqui now in US custody it is suspected that two of her children are still being detained illegally, and reports suggest that one child may have died. U.S. and Pakistan authorities have denied knowledge of their whereabouts.

Victim of torture: U.S. says Pakistani suspect may be unfit for trial
23.09.08. Reuters / ICH. Fink asked that her client be placed in a hospital for medical and psychological care and be treated as someone who may have been the victim of torture.

Pakistani defendant must undergo NY psych tests
23.09.08. wired / anti-war.

Pakistani MPs call on U.S. to free al Qaeda suspect
08.10.08. Reuters. / anti-war. A five-member delegation of Pakistani parliamentarians met Siddiqui for three hours at a medical facility in a military prison compound at Fort Worth near Dallas, Texas. / "She seemed calm and composed, and her mind was active and alert," Mushahid Hussain Syed, head of the Pakistani delegation, told Reuters by telephone from Dallas. / He said Siddiqui told them she had no faith in the U.S. courts hearing her case.

Don’t Blame the Victim - Detailed analysis of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s case
23.10.08. Teeth Maestro,

See earlier stories on Siddiqui here.

Pakistani students face US visa woes
11.10.08. peninsulara Qatar.


The Prosecution for War Crimes of President Bush
13.10.08. Sherwood Ross Assoc. Press Release, Massachusetts law school Dean Lawrence Velvel will chair a Steering Committee to pursue the prosecution for war crimes of President Bush and culpable high-ranking aides after they leave office Jan. 20th.
Besides Velvel, members of the Steering Committee include:

Ben Davis, a law Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law, where he teaches Public International Law and International Business Transactions. He is the author of numerous articles on international and related domestic law.

Marjorie Cohn, a law Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif., and President of the National Lawyers Guild.

Chris Pyle, a Professor at Mount Holyoke College, where he teaches Constitutional law, Civil Liberties, Rights of Privacy, American Politics and American Political Thought, and is the author of many books and articles.

Elaine Scarry, the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University, and winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism.

Peter Weiss, vice president of the Center For Constitutional Rights, of New York City, which was recently involved with war crimes complaints filed in Germany and Japan against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others.

David Swanson, author, activist and founder of coalition, of Charlottesville, Va.

Kristina Borjesson, an award-winning print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years and editor of two recent books on the media.

Colleen Costello, Staff Attorney of Human Rights, USA, of Washington, D.C., and coordinator of its efforts involving torture by the American government.

Valeria Gheorghiu, attorney for Workers’ Rights Law Center.

Andy Worthington of Redress, a British historian and journalist and author of books dealing with human rights violations.

Initial actions considered by the Steering Committee, Velvel said, are as follows:

# Seeking prosecutions of high level officials, including George Bush, for the crimes they committed.

# Seeking disbarment of lawyers who were complicitous in facilitating torture.

# Seeking termination from faculty positions of high officials who were complicitous in torture.

# Issuing a recent statement saying any attempt by Bush to pardon himself and aides for war crimes prior to leaving office will result in efforts to obtain impeachment even after they leave office.

# Convening a major conference on the state secret and executive privilege doctrines, which have been pushed to record levels during the Bush administration.

# Designation of an Information Repository Coordinator to gather in one place all available information involving the Bush Administration’s war crimes.

# Possible impeachment of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee for co-authoring the infamous “torture memo.”

Further information and to arrange interviews with Dean Velvel, contact Sherwood Ross, Sherwood Ross Associates, Suite 403, 102 S.W. 6th Avenue, Miami, FL 33130; (305) 205-8281. E-mail

10. Obama and McCain on Pakistan

Debate quotes from McCain, Obama
08.10.08. AP. On foreign relations with Pakistan:

OBAMA: "Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, 'Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,' who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don't think is an example of speaking softly. This is the person who, after we had — we hadn't even finished Afghanistan, where he said, 'Next up, Baghdad.' So I agree that we have to speak responsibly and we have to act responsibly. And the reason Pakistan — the popular opinion of America had diminished in Pakistan was because we were supporting a dictator, (former President Pervez) Musharraf, had given him $10 billion over seven years, and he had suspended civil liberties. We were not promoting democracy. This is the kind of policies that ultimately end up undermining our ability to fight the war on terrorism, and it will change when I'm president."

McCain asked for time to respond.

McCAIN: "Not true. Not true. I have, obviously, supported those efforts that the United States had to go in militarily and I have opposed that I didn't think so. I understand what it's like to send young American's in harm's way. I say — I was joking with a veteran — I hate to even go into this. I was joking with an old veteran friend, who joked with me, about Iran. But the point is that I know how to handle these crises. And Sen. Obama, by saying that he would attack Pakistan, look at the context of his words. I'll get Osama bin Laden, my friends. I'll get him. I know how to get him."

another view

McCain v. Obama II: The Empire Strikes Back
08.10.08. David Swanson, After Downing Street / countercurrents. Is anybody else sick of these guys after only a debate and a half? Who can face four years?

Should we ignore the Pakistani border and go in as we went into Cambodia from Vietnam? Great question to Obama. He refuses to answer it, which tells you what his answer is. In fact, after babbling for a while he says Yes we should ignore the border and the law and go in if we're going after bin Laden. "We will kill bin Laden." So much for the rule of law.

McCain predictably and redundently refuses to answer the question by saying that you shouldn't announce your plans, which tells you what his answer is.

Didn't we already endure the foreign policy debate? Isn't this foreign policy?

Obama insists on repeating what he said: If Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down bin Laden and take him out, we will. And McCain sings about bombing Iran, etc., etc.

McCain insists on repeating himself on principle.

Only Pakistan to take action in case of knowledge of Osama's location within borders: Sherry
08.10.08. / ICH. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman Wednesday said that if Pakistan has any knowledge of Osama’s location within our borders, it goes without saying that, we will take action ourselves. “If our allies share intelligence with us over high-value targets we will pursue them on the ground. However, we will not allow anyone to challenge our sovereignty and no country should violate Pakistan’s territorial integrity,” the minister said talking to news channels on comments by US Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama over Osama Bin Laden.

Q+A-US presidential race seen through Pakistani lens
14.10.08. Zeeshan Haider, in.reuters.

“The other thing that we have to focus on, though, is al Qaeda. They are now operating in 60 countries. We can't simply be focused on Iraq. We have to go to the root cause, and that is in Afghanistan and Pakistan.“ Well, no. Move eyes away from AIPAC flag, Mr. Obama, to Israeli walls and “settlements” on Palestinian land?


Obama has taken on the Bush agenda=NO CHANGE for Pakistan. Drones are still popular; civilians are still being killed; Zardawi is still complaining about deaths from US bombs; refugees are exponentially increasing.

US Bombing a Sovereign Country: US Lawmaker
07.05.09. Anwar Iqbal & Ron Paul, DAWN, ICH. 'We are bombing a sovereign country. Where do we get the authority to do that? Did the Pakistani government give us written permission? Did the Congress give us written permission to expand the war and start bombing in Pakistan?' asked the US lawmaker. VIDEO: Ron Paul Questions Richard Holbrooke.

Swat residents flee as UN warns of humanitarian crisis
08..05.09. Guardian. UN officials repeated warnings that the flood of people was swelling into one of the world's largest humanitarian crises.

VIDEO: Pakistan Swat refugees seek help - 09 May 09

Thoughts On The War Between The USA And Pakistan
08.05.09. Winter Patriot, uruknet. Signs and omens, suddenly everywhere, tell us war between the USA and Pakistan is imminent... The signs are misleading. War between the US and Pakistan is not imminent. It's ongoing. So far the US has made more than 60 airstrikes against Pakistan using unmanned aircraft, and one commando raid using ground troops and attack helicopters. These attacks have killed more than 700 people, and even the most "optimistic" government reports count only 14 al Qaeda leaders among the dead...

U.S. drone kills 10 in Pakistan's tribal region (09.05.09. Xinhuanet)

At least 8 killed, 7 injured as US drone fired four missiles in South Waziristan (09.05.09. Nation)

VIDEO: Desperate Pakistanis flee violence in Swat - 10 May 09

Pakistan war fuels international tensions
11.05.09. WSWS. Comments by China’s ambassador in Islamabad last Thursday highlight the reckless character of the Obama administration’s escalating intervention in Pakistan.

CIA and ISI together created Taliban: Zardari
11.05.09. Times of India. "I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and CIA created them together," Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview.
See also : "I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them [the Taliban] together," Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview on Monday. … / Zardari's remarks come after the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in a congressional hearing explained how the militancy in Pakistan was linked to the US-backed proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "Let's remember here ... the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago ... and we did it because we were locked in a struggle with the Soviet Union," she said on April, 23.

Country should abandon war on terror: Imran Khan
11.05.09. The chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan has said that the country should dissociate itself from the so-called war against terrorism.

At least 8 killed in U.S. drone attack in Pakistan's tribal area (12.05.09. Xinhuanet)

Pakistan: 86 "militants" killed in Swat, Dir Lower
12.05.09. Pak Tribune. Security forces claimed to have killed 52 militants in restive Swat Valley during the last 24 hours, while 31 persons, including three civilians were killed in Lower Dir on Monday.

Pakistan army: 1.3 million fled fighting
12.05.09. USA Today. The offensive has also unleashed a tide of refugees, whose plight could sap public support for the kind of sustained action against an increasingly interlinked array of Islamist extremists that the cash-strapped country's Western backers want to see.

CBS Pro-Drone Propaganda (12.05.09. FAIR)

Leading think tank asks US to stop drone attacks
12.05.09. Pak Tribune. A comprehensive report on the current conflict and future of Pakistan, released here on Monday by a known independent think tank [Institute for Social Policy and Understanding], strongly recommends that the drone attacks in Pakistan should be replaced with a humanitarian aid package for the internally displaced people of the Fata and the Swat region.

NB: This is last entry; a fully researched entry on Obama's War in Pakistan will appear at the end of May 2009.

11. References

Index on Afghanistan and Pakistan - Murder & Security, Aug/Sept. ’08

The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power by Tariq Ali, Scribner 2008
Guardian review of this book here.

Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam, Vintage 2006.

Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid, Viking 2008. Read Pankaj Mishra ‘s superb essay, “In Search of Monsters to Destroy,” here


Sarah Meyer is an independent researcher living in the UK
In addition to those source material references already mentioned, I would like to thank Musafir and Ian Pritchard at Campaign against the Arms Trade (CAAT)

The url to Index Research on Pakistan, October 2008 is
Shorter url:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


TAGS: , Pakistan, Politics, Bush Bailout, Afghanistan, Drones, Nuclear, Obama and McCain, Nadeem Aslam, Tariq Ali, Siddiqui,

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