Pakistani Newspapers Respond to US Threats, call for War Readiness

The USG Open Source Center translates or paraphrases Pakistani Urdu newspaper editorials responding to the US threats against Pakistan should it not curb the Haqqani Network (Pashtun Mujahidin based in North Waziristan). The US is convinced that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence is running the Haqqani Network to project Pakistani power into Afghanistan.

Some newspapers urge that the Pakistani government develop contingency plans for the defense of the country if the United States should attack it (as Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared to call for on Sunday) Other newspapers expressed confidence that the two countries would work out their disputes with wisdom .

Urdu Press Discusses Pakistan Strong Opposition To US Threats
The following is a roundup of excerpts from editorial and articles on the tension between Pakistan and the US over the latter’s insistence that former should take action against the Haqqani network or else it will do it at its own, and need for chalking out strategy to counter the US pressure, published in the 26 September 2011 editions of 7 Urdu dailies.
Pakistan — OSC Summary
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Document Type: OSC Summary…

Nawa-e-Waqt Editorial Terms US Pressure as Opportunity for Nation To Unite

Demanding formulation of a national policy to safeguard the integrity of the country, the editorial states: “It has now become necessary that the joint session of the parliament should be convened to formulate a national policy to defend and protect the integrity of the country. The country should leave the war of the US interests and the Armed Forces of Pakistan should be put on alert to defend the borders of the country on all fronts. That is why, Prime Minister Gilani has perhaps made telephone contacts with the political leaders and decided to convene an all parties conference soon. It is welcoming. Similarly, the decision to recall Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar from the US is also appreciable. At this stage, nothing can be dear to us than the security of the country. We thank the United Sates because its aggressive policies and designs against our integrity have provided an opportunity for us to unite as a nation and concentrate.”

(Description of source: Rawalpindi Nawa-e Waqt in Urdu — Privately owned, widely read, conservative Islamic daily, with circulation around 125,000. Harshly critical of the United States and India.)

Jang Editorial Emphasizes Need For Formulating Strategy to Deal With Possible US Action

Maintaining that Pakistan should formulate its strategy by keeping all eventualities in view, the editorial says: “The nation will stand with the rulers like a strong fortress provided that they show steadfastness, because the people of Pakistan are no more ready to accept any policy contrary to the national dignity. Similarly, it is the responsibility of our political parties to unite to back the national stance. There is likelihood in the prevailing situation lest the United States should take some dangerous action against us. We should chalk out our strategy by keeping all these possibilities in mind. It is hoped that the commanders’ conference would have taken stock of all these important aspects.”

(Description of source: Rawalpindi Jang in Urdu – “The War,” an influential, largest circulation newspaper in Pakistan, circulation of 300,000. One of the moderate Urdu newspapers, pro-free enterprise, politically neutral, supports improvement in Pakistan-India relations.)

Express Article by Zamrud Naqvi Highlights Army Chief’s Statement

Referring to the reaction expressed by Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani over the allegations leveled by Admiral Mike Mullen, the article states: “Kayani said that the US admiral knows well ‘which counties’ have links with the Haqqani network. It is unjust and unproductive to single out Pakistan for blame. The Army Chief said that Admiral Mullen fully knows that which countries are in contact with the Haqqani network. The allegations are troublesome because recent meeting held with Admiral Mullen in Spain was very constructive. However, we have deep concern about such statements. The Army Chief emphatically turned down the allegations of proxy war against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) saying that the blame game should come to an end now. Pakistan is not part of any proxy war.”

(Description of source: Islamabad Daily Express in Urdu — Daily owned by Century Publications of the Lakson Business Group. The second largest daily after the Jang newspaper with a circulation of over 120,000. Provides good coverage of national and international issues and follows moderate and neutral editorial policy.)

Jinnah Article by Khushnood Ali Khan Believes Pakistan Conveyed Strong Message To US

Discussing reports that Islamabad has told Washington to produce evidence of its involvement in Kabul attack or else stop the blame game, the article says: “The truth is that the Americans have been told that they should talk in an honorable way if they want to talk. No pressure will work now and we shall not hear calls to do more. It has also been told to the US and Afghanistan that if any attack is launched from Afghanistan, it will fully be retaliated. The Pakistani Army, air force, and the navy are on high alert. Pakistan has made it clear to the United States that it should produce evidence if it has any about attack on the US Embassy in Kabul otherwise it should stop the blame game and hostile statements.”

(Description of source: Islamabad Jinnah in Urdu — Daily owned by a prominent businessman who is mainly involved in real estate business and said to be close to military high-ups. Carries good investigative reports and conducts surveys on relevant issues. Editorials are harshly critical of US policies. Recently it has adopted sensationalist reporting and tends to splash corruption stories out of proportion. Editor Khushnood Ali Khan strongly criticizes Musharraf in his daily columns.)

Jinnah Editorial Calls for Chalking Out Policy to Counter US Plan

Commenting that the US blame game is part of its strategy for the period after its post withdrawal from Afghanistan, the editorial states: “The current US behavior and its planning ahead of its withdrawal from Afghanistan demands that Pakistan’s political and military leadership should join heads together and think, by keeping in view the broader national interests, independence, security, and sovereignty, as to what strategy we are required to adopt in this situation. Our trustworthy friendly countries like China and Iran have fully backed our stance and acknowledged our role in war on terror. We should be ready to counter the plan that the United States has made after its withdrawal from Afghanistan. We should also take stock of the situation and happenings with full seriousness and in light of ground realities and realize that we cannot counter some eventuality or extraordinary situation by blame game only. Our military leadership has taken right decision in view of the national interests.”

Mashriq Editorial Terms Unity Prerequisite for Success

Advising the rulers to focus on uniting and strengthening the nation to counter the external challenges, the editorial says: “Responsibilities should be assigned to intellectuals and honorable people to end ethnic and sectarian differences. The political leadership should leave the job of challenging the United States to the concerned people and focus on resolution of the people’s problems. We do not say that the government should accept the US as master and bow before it but we can make preparedness after overcoming the challenges faced on the internal front that may enable us to give befitting response to any hostile power of the world. A divided nation cannot achieve success.”

(Description of source: Peshawar Mashriq in Urdu – “The East,” a prominent daily newspaper published by Mashriq Group of Newspapers. Provides good coverage of events in Peshawar as well as tribal areas along the Afghan border. The Statesman in English is a sister publication from the same group.)

Ummat Article by Nadim Mehmood Discusses Meeting Between Pakistan Army Chief, Head of US Central Command

Referring to the complain by Pakistan Army Chief in his meeting with head of the US Central Command that the United States did not act upon the consensus reached at Spain meeting with Admiral Mullen, the article states: “According to the sources, at the meeting General Kayani referred to his recent talks with Admiral Mike Mullen in Spain and made it clear that it was agreed that the top military leadership of the two countries will refrain from issuing strict statements on the Pakistan-US strategic relations but the latter did not act on it. The sources say that Gen Mattis said on the occasion that the US administration is under great pressure from the Congress, Pentagon, and its people that strict steps should be taken in response to Pakistan government’s policy of not taking action against the Haqqani network. However, Gen Kayani did not give any signal to Gen Mattis about launching operation in North Waziristan but clearly stated that Pakistan will launch such action or take any step by keeping in view its own interests. He said that we shall also have to keep the sentiments of our people in view in this connection.”

(Description of source: Karachi Ummat in Urdu — Sensationalist, pro-Usama Bin Ladin Urdu daily. Harshly critical of the US, Israel, and India. Propagates Muslim unity to counter US/Western influence. Circulation 20,000. Editor-publisher Rafiq Afghan is an Afghan war veteran.)

Khabrain Editorial Suggests Resolving Issues Through Diplomacy

Maintaining that reason and diplomacy should go hand in hand to improve the situation, the editorial says: “It is expected that both the countries will give preference to wisdom and sagacity over aggression and resolve the issues through diplomacy, be these diplomatic means or military sources. However, we should brace for the worst while hoping for the best. The political and military leadership of Pakistan should mentally prepare itself for all the possibilities and apprise the nation of all facts. The courage and prudence should go hand in hand.”

(Description of source: Islamabad Khabrain in Urdu – “News,” a sensationalist daily, published by Liberty Papers Ltd., generally critical of the Pakistan People’s Party; known for its access to government and military sources of information. The same group owns The Post in English, Naya Akhbar in Urdu, and Channel 5 TV with a circulation of 30,000.)

Posted in Pakistan | 4 Responses | Print |

4 Responses

  1. So they are getting their military ready to defend their national interests. Are Pakastani national interests less important than American national interests? Can’t we do better than a world focused on national interests? Why are we so in love with nationalism?

    • Robert: Most folks just kind of assume that there’s a category labeled “national interest,” which by just mentioning it causes all the Serious People in the room to bobble their heads in unison. EVERYbody just sort of knows what the talking heads mean by “the national interest.” It’s like the word “enemy,” no antecedents or definitional flavoring are needed — it’s one of those “If you have to ask, you’re a traitor” kind of things.

      I would really like for some Truly Wise and Honest Person to define for the rest of us what the few policy peddlers think they mean by that buzznoise.

      What it looks like to me is that we are saddled by a bunch of drovers, wrapped in flags that conceal large bulges of stolen wealth and sneaky, sophisticated weapons hidden about their persons, sending us up the chutes onto the killing floors of one meaningless conflict after another. And as the honorable personage named Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler pointed out, and Joseph Heller so beautifully deflated, “War is nothing but a racket.” (Was it “Bill” who called Butler, a multiple Medal of Honor recipient who declined to lead a direct coup by the Kleptocracy, just a “disgruntled employee?” What a hero, whoever that was, is.) “They” are the only people who are “getting their military ready to defend their ‘national interests.'”

      The rest of us, because we are at root a bunch of tribal savages who can be led by our fears and our amygdalas and our adrenals and gonads and all the sum of our idiot, dreamy mythologies, happily march along behind, dumping a moiety of our wealth and all of our future into the capacious coffers of the class of predators and parasites that is eating the rest of us “soft targets,” eating our livers with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

      Why are we so freaking stupid? And again: Without reciting the simple idiot phrase, can anyone out there give a principled definition of of “our” or any other “nation’s” “National Interest?”

      The interest of a state, usually as defined by its government. Two broad usages may be identified.

      (1) Use by politicians in seeking support for a particular course of action, especially in foreign policy. Given the widespread attachment to the nation as a social and political organization, national interest is a powerful device for invoking support. The term is used by politicians to seek support for domestic policy objectives, but here it is less persuasive given the normal extent of differences on domestic policy and hence employed less. In foreign policy in contrast, the term invokes an image of the nation, or the nation-state, defending its interests within the anarchic international system where dangers abound and the interests of the nation are always at risk.
      (2) Use as a tool for analysing foreign policy, particularly by political realists, such as Hans Morgenthau. Here national interest is used as a sort of foreign policy version of the term ‘public interest’—indicating what is best for the nation in its relations with other states. This use of the term emphasizes not merely the threat to the nation from the international anarchy, but also the external constraints on the freedom of manoeuvre of the state from treaties, the interests and power of other states, and other factors beyond the control of the nation such as geographical location and dependence on foreign trade. This analytical usage of the term places much emphasis on the role of the state as the embodiment of the nation’s interest. The realists’ use of the term national interest in evaluating foreign policy has focused on national security as the core of national interest. ‘Interest of state’ and ‘national security interest’ are closely allied terms.

      The difficulty with the analytical usage of the term is the absence of any agreed methodology by which the best interests of the nation can be tested. Some writers have argued that the best interests are, nevertheless, objectively determined by the situation of the state within the international system and can be deduced from a study of history and the success/failure of policies. Other writers concede that national interest is subjectively interpreted by the government of the day. In this version, national interest is similar to the politician’s rhetorical usage of the term—the national interest is merely what the politician says the national interest is.

      link to

      NOW we’re getting somewhere, if there is an “anywhere,” on the circumference of a circle…

  2. Why does American foreign policy so often result in non-compliant nations fearing they will be attacked in one form or another by the US?

  3. The Pakistan military will do nothing except gripe when the US declares the Haqqani network a terrorist organization and starts bombing them, just as they do nothing to fight the Haqqani network.
    I doubt that they’ll admit that drones are taking off from the Shansi air base, and be willing to bet that they won’t close that base to the drones.

    But I thank Dr Cole for printing that Jinnah editorial with that hilarious line….” trustworthy friendly countries like China and Iran” backing Pakistan’s role in the war on terror. Iran’s backing is mighty funny…..and it’s rather obvious to the Chinese that Pakistan is allowing itself to be used to train insurgents who are increasingly challenging the Chinese regime.

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