OSC: Pakistani Editorials on Obama AfPak Policy

The USG Open Source Center rounds up Pakistani Urdu editorials concerning President Barack Obama’s new Afghanistan policy.

Pakistan: Urdu Press Roundup on Barack Obama’s New Afghan Policy
The following is a roundup of excerpts from editorials and articles on the new Afghan policy announced by US President Barack Obama revealing sending 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, US timeframe for withdrawal from that country, and the impact of the troops surge on Pakistan, published in the 4 December editions of seven Urdu dailies.

Pakistan — OSC Summary
Friday, December 4, 2009

. . . Express Article by Jamshed Baghban Advises US To Revise Policy Toward Pashtuns

Claiming that the United States has been targeting the Pashtuns because of which anti-US sentiments among them are on the rise, the article states: “Anti-US sentiments are one of the reasons behind the growing number of the Taliban. Under a similar situation, the United States should think about its policy toward Pashtuns because a Pathan can forget everything but not the idea of revenge.” . . .

Nawa-e Waqt Editorial Accuses Obama of Toeing Bush’s Line

Asserting that the new policy shows that President Obama has failed to change the policy involving use of force followed by his predecessor, the editorial says:”The Afghan policy announced by the Obama is the mixture of the policy ofthe former President George W. Bush. It was Bush’s doctrine to use more and more force to conquer Afghanistan.”

Nawa-e Waqt Article by former Lieutenant General Abdul Qayyum Claims Victory in Afghanistan Not Possible

Discussing the financial hardships the United States is facing and the new Afghan policy, the article says: “Readers! Despite this complex situation, the decision to send 30,000 more soldiers will increase the financial difficulties of the United States. At the same time, it is evident as broad daylight that even 100,000 US soldiers cannot conquer a country like Afghanistan.”

Nawa-e Waqt Article by Dr Hussein Ahmed Piracha Finds Nothing Extraordinary in New Afghan Policy

Expressing disappointment over the new policy, the article says: “President Obama has been taking pains for one year and deliberating on the Afghan policy while giving an impression to the world that he is taking stock of the situation anew in the light of the feelings of the Americans and ground realities. However,all this was nothing but ostentation.”

Azadi Editorial Urges US To Prove Claims About Pakistan

Referring tothe US insistence that it wants to uphold Pakistan’s integrity, the editorial says:”The United States is considering its strategy what will happen in thetimes ahead and which direction the wind blows after sending 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan. Similarly, it also claims that it wants Pakistan to be secured.If so, it will have to substantially increase financial assistance for Pakistan and take solid steps for improving people’s living standard in this region.”
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Islam Editorial Says Obama Fails To Fulfill Slogan of Change

Maintaining that there is no change in the new Afghan policy announced by the US President,the editorial says: “If the three-point strategy of President Obama isseen in the perspective of ground realities in Afghanistan, no similar thing is visible in it that can be termed a cause of big change in Afghanistan. At the same time, his strategy cannot be called in line with his slogan of change,which he had raised during his presidential election campaign.”

Islam Article by Prof Khubab Ahmed Khan Terms Troops Surge as Economic Burden

Discussing the economic aspect of sending more soldiers to the war-torn Afghanistan, the article says: “After the arrival of 30,000 more soldiers, the total number of US soldiers in Afghanistan will cross the 100,000 mark. Will the United States be able to bear the financial burden to be put on its economy because of the move?”

Islam Article by Syed Mahmud Suggests Exit Strategy

Proposing the deployment of troops from impartial countries to normalize situation in Afghanistan, the article says: “Early withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan has become unavoidable. Troops from Muslim countries that were not apart of the (Afghan) occupation should be deployed there until a sustainable representative government is established in Afghanistan.”

Islam Article by Nadim Tabani Criticizes Obama’s Approach Toward Pakistan

Taking note of the US reference to Pakistan in the new Afghan policy, the article says:”The United States has announced its new Afghan policy. Humiliated Obama lashed out at Pakistan to his heart’s content. At the same time, he announced that30,000 more soldiers would send to Afghanistan, making them a scapegoat.” J

Jinnah Editorial Says Troops Surge To Deteriorate Situation in Pakistan

Opining that thesurge in troops in Afghanistan will push militants into Pakistan, the editorial says: “Regardless of what deeds the 30,000 more US soldiers will perform in Afghanistan, the move will push the militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan and will further deteriorate the situation in Pakistan.”

Aaj Kal Editorial Highlights Importance of Withdrawal Date

Seeing messagefor the Afghan rulers in Obama’s announcement of timeframe for withdrawal oftroops from the war-ravaged country, the editorial says: “Some analysts believethat regardless of the reservations over the logic of the date of withdrawal asannounced by President Obama, the objective of the move is to draw people’s attentionin the Karzai regime to eliminate rampant corruption in their government and end drug trafficking, which is the source of funds for the Taliban.”

Ausaf Editorial Laments Nonconsultation With Pakistan

Emphasizing that consultations were not held with Pakistan before announcing the new Afghan policy, the editorial says: “We believe that the greatest weakness of the United States new Afghan policy is that it was prepared without consultations with Pakistan. Although it has been said that Pakistan was taken into confidence over thep olicy, the way adopted for it was improper.”

Ausaf Article by Sarfraz Syed Deplores Pakistan’s Stance

Highlighting the difference between the Pakistani and US approach toward withdrawal from Afghanistan, the article says: “See! The US President announces that the US troops will leave Afghanistan in the next one and a half year but the Pakistani foreign minister issues a statement that the stay of the US forces in Afghanistan for five years is imperative.”

Ausaf Article by Rafih Zakariya Questions US Objectives in Afghanistan

Maintainingthat the United States is not clear about its objectives in Afghanistan, the article says: “Although strong statements are being issued against Al-Qa’ida and the Taliban, the US President has not yet decided what objectives his country has in the region. No American, Afghan, or Pakistani knows whether the US objective in Afghanistan is reconstruction, crushing insurgency, or collection of secret information.”

Express Article by Fida Mohammad Adil Terms US Invasion Folly

Maintaining that the United States had committed folly by declaring that the Taliban wouldbe wiped out in days, the article says: “If someone thinks that the United States committed folly by announcing that more troops will be sent to Afghanistan,he is mistaken because the United States had committed a great folly when it considered Taliban weak and announced that the latter would be wiped out in afew weeks. Although the US announcement regarding withdrawal from Afghanistancertainly demands comments, the bigger question is: where will the United Statesgo after withdrawing from Afghanistan, i.e., ‘You should arrange an abode for yourself.’ If it has made its mind to quit Afghanistan, on what ground these 30,000 soldiers will pave for the honorable withdrawal?”

Express Editorial Advises US To Show Flexibility

Urging the United States to continue consultations with Pakistan regarding the implementation of the policy, the editorial says: “It is hoped that the US Administration will not show intransigence like the past in the enforcement of the policy and the process of consultation with Pakistan will continue because this will be a better strategy for it.”

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