Author Topic: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan  (Read 676610 times)

ya

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Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan
« Reply #2000 on: February 11, 2023, 04:50:50 AM »
Pak foreign exchange reserves now 2.9 Billion $. Death spiral continues. IMF went back without giving a loan. They put conditions that Pak cannot meet, speculation is they want the assets of top military and civilian officials listed, want to know the terms of the Chinese CPEC agreement (dont want the money used to pay Chinese debt), cut down military spending. Unless new loans are provided, Pak will run out of foreign exchange within 3 months.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/crisis-hit-pakistans-macro-economic-indicators-2023-02-10/

I can now see Modi's policy towards Pak clearly. It is to economically collapse Pak from inside, no trade with them, put them on FATF, etc, such that people of POK are now agitating to join Indian Kashmir. On the other hand, India is spending tons of money in Indian Kashmir, on education, health, electricity etc, such that the contrast becomes obvious and all the TV channels discuss this night and day. At some point, when the pain gets too much to bear, perhaps 2025 the knight in shining armor will walk in. In the meantime, the military is being prepared, new weapons systems, missiles etc are being updated. A lot of expense on artillery guns is being put, India makes the heavy guns and shells.

ya

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Implications of Pakistan's internal collapse
« Reply #2001 on: February 11, 2023, 05:15:37 AM »
Another big concern with respect to Pak, is that as Pak collapses internally, the refugees cross the border towards India. Millions of brainwashed jihadis moving towards India is not something India could handle. No doubt the west will pass sanctimonius statements as to why India must accept them. A similar scenario in 1971 lead to the formation of Bangladesh.

Note the population density of Pak, its along the Indian borders.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2023, 02:59:33 PM by Crafty_Dog »

ya

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ya

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Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan
« Reply #2003 on: April 21, 2023, 06:45:25 PM »
So Pak blew up an Indian military truck, 5 burnt alive. They oppose the idea that India will hold a G20 meeting in Kashmir, to show the prevailing prosperity and peace in Kashmir. So India must decide, whether to respond before, or after the G20 meeting, but respond they will.




Crafty_Dog

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Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan
« Reply #2007 on: June 13, 2023, 02:16:09 PM »
Inaugural delivery. Pakistan’s government hailed the arrival of the first Russian crude oil shipment, which arrived at the port city of Karachi. In January, Islamabad said it plans to buy more than 35 percent of its total volume of oil imports from Russia. Moscow and Islamabad are cooperating against security threats, boosting bilateral trade and implementing agreements on oil sector cooperation, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

DougMacG

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US $$ in Afghanistan post departure
« Reply #2008 on: November 04, 2023, 04:04:58 PM »
While folks were worried about money going to ukraine, 11 billion just went to Afghanistan since the disastrous withdrawal. Maybe they needed money for spare parts for all the equipment and Arsenal we left behind.

https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2023-10-30qr.pdf
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 04:23:02 PM by Crafty_Dog »


Crafty_Dog

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GPF: China and India struggling in Afghanistan
« Reply #2010 on: December 11, 2023, 09:50:52 AM »
December 11, 2023
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China and India Struggling in Afghanistan
Both countries are trying to find a way to work with Taliban regime.
By: Kamran Bokhari

Over two years since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, China and India are both trying to forge working relationships with the regime. In September, China became the first country since the Taliban takeover to appoint an ambassador to Afghanistan. In October, the Afghan commerce minister was in the Chinese capital attending a forum on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Meanwhile, in late November, the Taliban took control of Afghan consulates in two major Indian cities, Mumbai and Hyderabad, and their deputy foreign minister announced that the Afghan embassy in New Delhi would soon reopen.

For Beijing, these efforts are driven by its need to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t undermine its Belt and Road Initiative plans and destabilize its Muslim-majority northwestern Xinjiang province, especially at a time when the world’s second-largest economy is facing serious problems. From New Delhi’s perspective, the Taliban regime is key to managing its historical rivalry with Pakistan and security risks in its western regions. But dealing with the Taliban will be particularly challenging for both governments as they compete for influence throughout southwest Asia.

Beijing and Regime Change in Kabul

When Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the BRI in 2013, the region was a very different place. The U.S. had completed the handover of security responsibility to the internationally backed Afghan government, which was still being supported by a significant U.S. military presence in the country. That same year, the Taliban opened their political office in Qatar as part of talks with Washington, whose aim was to reach a power-sharing agreement between the jihadist group and the government in Kabul. From the Chinese perspective, the Americans were making sure that the instability in Afghanistan was contained, enabling Beijing to push ahead with the BRI in Central and South Asia through its multibillion-dollar infrastructure project called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Afghanistan | A Key Country in the Region

(click to enlarge)

Put differently, China was able to push ahead with its BRI plans because the U.S. was underwriting security in South and Central Asia. The Chinese knew the U.S. was working toward disengaging from Afghanistan, but they didn’t anticipate the abrupt withdrawal in summer 2021 and subsequent collapse of the Afghan state. They also likely didn’t foresee that Russia’s war in Ukraine would weaken Moscow to the point that the Kremlin’s ability to maintain security in Central Asia would be seriously compromised, or that Beijing would find itself in dire financial circumstances and be forced to try to reach an understanding with Washington.

At the same time, the chronic political-economic instability in China’s ally Pakistan has metastasized to the point where Islamabad is in an unprecedented meltdown and deeply vulnerable to the insecurity radiating out of Afghanistan. The Chinese were relying on Pakistan – a longtime patron of the Afghan Taliban – to help them manage a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and thus secure their investments in South and Central Asia. With the Pakistanis struggling to maintain their own domestic security, China will itself have to take the lead with regard to regional security – something that the Chinese have never had to do. Engaging the Taliban diplomatically is part of this imperative, which will seriously limit the extent to which Beijing can commercially benefit from mineral-rich Afghanistan.

New Delhi’s Unstable Western Flank

Afghanistan has been a security threat to India since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. That same year, Indian-administered Kashmir experienced a major Muslim uprising, which Pakistan moved to exploit. Building on its experience of supporting Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Islamabad over the next decade deployed the same strategy in Indian Kashmir. The coming to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1996 provided Pakistan with more room for maneuver on its border with India, evident from the way in which Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control and occupied heights on the Indian side of the border, which led to the 1999 Kargil War.

Even after Pakistan withdrew its troops, leading to the end of the nearly three-month war, Islamabad continued to deploy Islamist proxies against New Delhi until well after the Sept. 11 attacks. By the late 2000s and under growing pressure from Washington to rein in the Taliban and anti-India Islamist militants, the Pakistanis began to lose control of their proxies. A fierce domestic Taliban insurgency between 2006 and 2016 had the Pakistanis pinned down, while the 2008 Mumbai attacks meant Islamabad could no longer back militants against India, at least not as it had in the past. Meanwhile, India had forged close relations with the Afghan government, which was dominated by anti-Taliban factions.

By 2021, when the U.S. completed its withdrawal and the Taliban returned to power, Pakistan was in the throes of its worst political-economic crisis, and the country’s relations with the Afghan Taliban had significantly soured. The Taliban’s return also undermined two decades of Indian efforts to establish a sphere of influence in Afghanistan as a means of countering Pakistan. Afghanistan and Pakistan together represent a large contiguous space of growing insecurity and instability on India’s western flank. However, the serious downturn in Pakistan-Taliban relations is also an opportunity that the Indians appear to be exploring.

Competition Over Southwest Asia

China and India are now both trying to find a way to work with the Taliban. Their immediate challenge is that the radical Islamist nature of the regime places severe limitations on how far they can go in developing a relationship. They both want to steer the emirate toward pragmatism, which cannot happen without some level of engagement. The dilemma is that the Taliban can go only so far in changing who they are without aggravating existing tensions between the politically expedient elements and the ideologues.

Nonetheless, China clearly has the upper hand in Afghanistan. Beijing has far more economic tools, as well as geographic proximity, it can use to shape the behavior of the Taliban regime. The Chinese objective is to emerge as the principal great power in the country at a time when the West will not engage with the regime. China’s strategic ambitions are also buoyed by the tremendous amount of influence it enjoys in Pakistan, which serves as a springboard from which the Chinese could operate in Afghanistan.

India, meanwhile, faces significant constraints. Despite offering substantial humanitarian and development assistance, New Delhi is not in a position to compete with Beijing’s plans to link Afghanistan to its BRI networks in Central Asia and Pakistan. Moreover, even a severely weakened Pakistan represents a geographic obstacle to India’s interests in establishing economic connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia. India could access Afghanistan indirectly through Iran, but the U.S.-led international sanctions on Tehran limit that option as well. Thus, China certainly has the advantage – though it, too, will face many challenges in trying to tame Afghanistan.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Pakistan's Growing Pandemonium
« Reply #2011 on: February 15, 2024, 05:32:25 AM »
February 15, 2024
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Pakistan’s Growing Civil-Military Pandemonium
The military’s power is weakening while democracy remains elusive.
By: Kamran Bokhari

They say there’s a first time for everything, and for Pakistan that was Feb. 8, when the military establishment failed to get what it wanted out of parliamentary elections. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party of former populist Prime Minister Imran Khan, won the most seats (93 of 266) despite the electioneering campaign against it, while the military-backed Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) won just 75. In third place came the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) with 54 seats. The PPP has said that though it will not join the Cabinet, it will support the PML-N government, and its co-chairperson, former President Asif Ali Zardari, is expected to return to the presidency.



(click to enlarge)

Yet none of this bodes well for the stability of Pakistan. The military’s power may be in decline, but civilian actors remain weak and deeply divided, and as such they are unlikely to steer the country out of its ongoing political and economic morass.

For 33 years of its 76-year history, Pakistan has been governed by four military regimes led by Field Marshal Ayub Khan (1958-69), Gen. Yahya Khan (1969-71), Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1977-88) and Gen. Pervez Musharraf (1999-2008). But even when the generals were not directly at the helm, they kept civilian governments in check, frequently through the manipulation of elections. In fact, free and fair elections have taken place just three times – in 1970, 2008 and 2013 – and even then only when the military believed the elections served their interests. Put simply, the military is Pakistan’s kingmaker.

In 1985, for example, political parties were barred from participating in elections. Three years later, Zia died mysteriously in a plane crash, after which the military assembled a coalition led by Nawaz Sharif, which had come in second place after the PPP led by the late Benazir Bhutto, who became prime minister. She was removed from office less than two years later, and with the help of the general staff, Sharif won the 1990 election. Not content with just being the military’s proxy, however, Sharif fell out with the generals, leading to his own ouster three years later when the PPP returned to power in yet another army-overseen election. The second PPP government was in office longer than the first but was eventually ousted in 1996, triggering the 1997 elections in which Sharif’s party clinched a two-thirds majority.

Sharif had tried to insulate himself with a constitutional amendment that stripped pro-military presidents of the power to dissolve governments. Amid escalating tensions, the military ousted him again in a 1999 coup. Led by Musharraf, the new regime introduced 30 constitutional amendments by decree, which restored presidential authority to dismiss governments. It then held the heavily engineered 2002 elections in which both major parties were sidelined, and a pro-military coalition composed of their defectors formed the government. By late 2007, facing popular agitation, Musharraf was forced to step down as army chief, and his successor, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, made a rare decision to allow free and fair elections in early 2008.

The PPP won the election and led a government that became the first in the country’s history to complete its full five-year term in office. During that time, it passed the landmark 18th amendment that helped “civilianize” the political system. The 2013 elections were also free and fair and led to the PML-N’s victory, marking the first-ever transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another. It seemed as though Pakistan was finally breaking with its past, but behind the scenes, the military was working on a new project to cultivate a third political force: Khan’s PTI party, which the top brass thought would be the ideal civilian partner.

The 2018 election was designed specifically to install Khan. With the military’s assistance, the PTI quadrupled its seats in parliament. For the first three years, the military and the civilian government worked as one. The problem was that the generals relied on Khan, a populist who led a social movement seeking revolutionary change, not a seasoned politician who could shepherd the government through its chronic economic problems. Khan focused more on eliminating his opponents than on delivering governance, and though the economy grew appreciably worse, the military continued to support him.

Things came to a head in 2021, when Khan tried to expand his influence inside the military itself by attempting to elevate generals who were more staunch supporters of the PTI leader than others among the top brass. That is when then-army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa pulled the plug on the Khan project and realigned the military with the PML-N and PPP. The assumption was that without the military’s support, Khan’s movement would lose steam. It didn’t, and the military leadership faced challenges on two fronts: support for the movement within the armed forces and within the wider public.

The top generals were able to insulate their institution from Khan’s ingress when his party targeted military facilities last May after Khan was arrested for the first time. However, with the economic situation worsening under the coalition government and the army trying to cut Khan’s movement down to size, his popular support continued to increase. Hence the army’s efforts to suppress the PTI through a host of pre-election moves, including accusing Khan of corruption, endangering national security and unlawful marriage.

Many of Khan’s former associates were forced to defect from the party. Others were arrested. The PTI was barred from contesting the election on its own platform, forcing its candidates to run as independents. The establishment had hoped that, as was the case in the past with other parties, it would be able to limit the PTI’s success at the ballot box. The thinking was that Khan’s party became a major force because of help from the army and the intelligence service and that, with the security establishment now arrayed against it, the PTI would at most come in second place. But the fact that its candidates running as independents won the most seats was a rude awakening for the establishment – which explains the delays in announcing the outcome.

The confusion and disorganization in which the results were announced have fueled widespread claims of vote-rigging. The outcome of last week’s polls indicates that despite their sophisticated electioneering tradecraft, the general staff failed to shape the 2024 elections, boosting the morale of the PTI, which can be expected to continue to challenge the establishment.

In a sense, this is a huge development in the weakening of the military’s hold over power. But the civilian space remains deeply polarized. Unable to compete with the youth-energized and tech-savvy PTI, the PML-N and PPP rely on the military to keep Khan’s party at bay. The PTI has greater ambitions and is trying to force the hand of the military to achieve its goal of running a single-party state. Democratic rule, then, will remain elusive even as the military’s ability to dominate the polity wanes. Meanwhile Pakistan – a nuclear power – could experience unprecedented levels of instability given its already dire economic and security conditions. This is bad news for Pakistan’s strategic environs, which are already deeply mired in insecurity.

ya

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Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan
« Reply #2012 on: March 03, 2024, 08:56:58 AM »
Shehbaz Sharif elected PM of Pak a second time (after the army exiled his bro Nawaz Sharif earlier), but it was better to bring him back than letting Imran Khan win. Another rigged election.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 08:59:07 AM by ya »