Skip to comments.Don't mess with nuclear power Pakistan, army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani warns US
Posted on 10/20/2011 3:01:15 AM PDT by Cronos
Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has warned Washington to "think 10 times" before launching any unilateral offensive in the restive North Waziristan tribal region even as an angry and frustrated US is lining up its artillery on the Afghan border facing Pakistan.
The Obama administration is also initiating fresh diplomatic efforts to persuade Pakistan to reel back its "self-destructive" policy of seeking strategic depth through terrorism before more aggressive military action. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton is heading for Islamabad this weekend in a trip that is officially secret but is being discussed animatedly in diplomatic circles because it is said to represent last-ditch US efforts to address Pakistani concerns and change its mindset.
A growing number of US analysts, including Bruce Riedel who led a review of the Af-Pak policy for the Obama administration, are urging Washington to adopt a "hostile", if not punitive, stand against a recalcitrant ally if it does not reverse its sponsorship of terrorism.
But in a defiant riposte on Tuesday, Kayani told Pakistani lawmakers at a rare briefing that the country would go for a military action in North Waziristan-home to the Haqqani group that his army is said to sponsor-keeping in view the situation and capabilities, not under any pressure. "If somebody convinces me that military action in North Waziristan will resolve all the problems, I am ready to go for it tomorrow," he told members of the Parliament's standing committees on defence at the army's General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
Amid reports that the US was massing troops on the Af-Pak border across North Waziristan, Kayani insisted that the problem lay within Afghanistan and "we have made it clear that some principles governed relations between states and nobody would be allowed to cross the red line". A member of the senate who participated in the meeting said Kayani had been asked to comment on the possibility of a US strike inside Pakistan and how he would respond to any such action. "Gen Kayani did not say what would be Pakistan's response in such an eventuality, but reminded that Pakistan was a nuclear power and must not be compared with Iraq and Afghanistan," the legislator, requesting anonymity, said. "Kayani added that the Americans will have to think 10 times before going for this."
The relevance of Pakistan being a nuclear power was not immediately clear in this situation. The country risks being decimated if it as much as rolls out its nuclear weapons against US troops in Afghanistan. In the past, some Pakistani generals and analysts have suggested India would be its target if Pakistan is attacked from any quarters.
In Washington, there has been growing frustration that on the one hand Pakistan concedes it has no control over the situation in North Waziristan and on the other hand it refuses to act, and also prevents the US from taking action.
However, the Obama administration now appears to be turning on the heat militarily too even as Clinton arrives in Islamabad, most likely on the October 21, according to sources. Government officials based in the border area of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan said that US forces had established their military camp in a 10 km area and brought gunship helicopters, tanks and long-range artillery guns to the border area three days ago.
The abrupt deployment of the US forces near the border had raised tension in the tribal region. In the US, the American media has been boiling with reports of firing and attacks aimed at US troops in Afghanistan by Pakistan-based terrorists acting with support from the Pakistani military.
Hours before Kayani's statement, Afghan defence minister Abdul Rahim Wardak had said that the Afghan security forces and their Nato allies have launched operation "Knife Edge" along the Pak-Afghan border. Quoting anonymous Afghan official, AFP reported that the operation was against the Haqqani network. There has also been a spurt in drone strikes aimed at the Haqqani group.
Acknowledging that the US was pressing Pakistan for military offensive in North Waziristan, Kayani said that the ongoing build-up of Afghan and Nato troops along the Pak-Afghan border is a tactical move to intensify that pressure. But he doggedly insisted that Pakistan could not act against its own interests.
In Washington, many influential analysts are coming around to the view that Pakistan is a lost case as long as the army is in control of the country. "We must recognize that the two countries' strategic interests are in conflict, not harmony, and will remain that way as long as Pakistan's army controls Pakistan's strategic policies," Riedel said in a commentary this week.
"The generals who run Pakistan have not abandoned their obsession with challenging India. They tolerate terrorists at home, seek a Taliban victory in Afghanistan and are building the world's fastest-growing nuclear arsenal," he said.
Advocating a "policy of containment, which would mean a more hostile relationship," Riedel said it should be a "focused hostility, aimed not at hurting Pakistan's people but at holding its army and intelligence branches accountable." This should include putting any Pakistani intelligence official involved in terrorist activities under sanctions, wanted lists, and on occasion even "track him down."
Clinton is expected to read out the riot act along these lines if the visit comes through. There is still some doubt about it with Pakistan seeking written assurances about "rules of engagement" and other concessions before it considers a policy shift.
Hmmmm....if you thought Bush 43 calling Putin "Pooty Poot" was funny....wait until you hear what this general is called in certain circles.
Thanks Cronos, have a great day, all.
Maybe they want to go from a nation of about 190 million to about 15 or so in a few nanoseconds.
This can only drive the US and Russia closer. Secure supply lines for Afghanistan will only be through Russian territory if we go hostile toward Pakistan. Wonder what Russia is getting in return ? Or did we hit that reset button again.
Yeah. I make light of it, because these people are insane. If ever there was a country less suited to calling an ally, it would have to be Pakistan.
I would almost feel safer if it were North Korea with the large nuclear weapon stockpiles, rather than Pakistan.
Well, look who’s in the White House.
Once again we’re reminded how stupid G.W. Bush was for treating Pakistan as an ally and not a mortal enemy, after 9/11. We could have grabbed their nukes on 9/12 and the world would not have blinked an eye. No Muslim nation can be trusted with nuclear weapons.
Oh give me a break!
Once again, I am reminded how stupid that Obama has been with his rules of engagement in Afghanistan that have gotten more of our soldiers killed in two and a half years than the whole time that President Bush was in office!
This is not a good development...the last thing we need right now is a war with Pakistan that will involve the Paks aiming nuclear weapons at India!
It’s Obama and his band of leftist fools and traitors that cannot be trusted to do anything right! Everything the man has touched has turned to crap!
It's more a question of "Do we want war with Pakistan NOW, or war with Pakistan LATER when they've built MORE nukes?"
A conflict with Pakistan seems inevitable.
Well then....how bout we wait until we have a leader that we can trust to put our country and our military first in the White House before we go guns blazing on Pakistan.
Do you really think that now is the best time to rachet this up? We already got Bin Laden. ..we are broke..Obama and the democrats are decimating our military and Obama has screwed up everything internationally and domestically that he has touched. He never listens to our commanders and would run this war from the WH political offices. No way this is a good idea!
Who cares about Obama? He was just a glimmer in Bill Ayers' eye when 9/11 happened. Bush's entire worldview was distorted, and it hurt us. The trouble began when he took his shoes off in a filthy D.C. mosque a mere 4 days after the Towers fell to declare islam a 'religion of peace'. (imagine FDR doing the same in a Shinto temple after Pearl Harbor). And then he feted Musharraf as an ally, when his security service invented the Taliban and allowed Bin Laden safe haven in their own country. These were big time blunders. It is silly to be a Bush bot now. Give me a break.
“It is silly to be a Bush bot now.”
It’s pretty silly to be a ‘Blame Bush Bot’ now imho.
Just stating facts regarding a nuclear arsenal Pakistan should no longer even posess.
Pakistan got nukes on Clinton’s watch.
you are correct. 9/12 was a missed opportunities
Hit them now before they are stronger, pop Iran a third eye while we are at it..
PAK has nothing to fear since the ROE are posted everywhere. They can yell and scream all they want but we never do anything without being attacked first.
Will they be dumb enough to hit our military on the border? Are they sitting ducks?