Pakistan – NATO Air Strike and U.S – Pak Standoff

November 30, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

The recent casualties involving 25 Pakistani soldiers from NATO air strike on Saturday, November 26, 2011 near Pakistan and Afghanistan border is deeply regrettable considering the loss of precious lives and,

Simultaneously the upside being, the tragic incident prompting U.S and NATO engagement assessment in northwestern region and Central Asia.

Pakistan designated as terrorism hub in the so-called war on terror justifying persistent U.S. drone attacks and ground activity through Central Intelligence forces –

Deployed as paramilitary escalated in the past two years has claimed many Pakistani civilian and armed forces lives on all sides with no conclusive strategy to end the military aggression and operation altogether.

U.S. led NATO stated agenda is – target militant groups in northwestern area, contain Haqqani and Al Qaeda network and terminate Taliban insurgency in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

However, the dismal results confirm the failure in the implementation of decade old warfare.

Alternatively defending the supposed war on terror a successful mission,

Alongside alleging the growing threat from various terror networks in Pakistan –

The proposition for taxpayer funded protracted military affair would be contradictory pre-empting,

The need to recognize the unwinnable paradoxical predicament favoring troops withdrawal and vacating all air bases from the sub-continent.

Similar action across the border in Afghanistan and Central Asia is primordial providing permanent relief to the population and facilitating dawn of peace in the embattled zone.

Pakistan defense committee decision calling for Shamsi air base shut down including other locations is justified and,

The people of Pakistan grievances against eternal turmoil deserve effective action.

The perpetual violence with no exit plan not only voids Pakistan’s sovereignty but also defines the illegal occupation fomenting anti-western sentiments across society.

The military aid to Pakistan could be diverted for economic assistance to rebuild the nation directly helping the people affected by war, internal conflict and natural catastrophe.

As for Pakistan’s terror haven status – the military top command urging foreign force withdrawal is legitimate.

Arguably, the burden remains with Pakistan military and intelligence to pursue sources within and periphery in disarmament by seizing weapons and explosives used in killing Pakistan’s innocent citizens and others outside the nation.

Further more, Pakistan intelligence agency ISI marred for links with terror groups could reverse role in apprehending elements hindering Pakistan’s peace and economic development.

The two important national security authorities – Pakistan military and intelligence bureau commitment to protect national interest prioritizing citizens’ safety from different factions inside the country would eliminate any foreign intervention requirement.

Both institutions confined to respective responsibilities i.e. monitor and manage dismantling of groups tied to terror plots against anyone would restore self-image and international confidence.

Besides overhauling the highest national defense and intelligence organization to remove detrimental allegiance to internal and external influence compromising statehood identity and integrity would revive the two institutions credibility as disciplined honorable establishment.

Pakistan’s status quo could be attributed to trust violation by those entrusted with safeguarding citizens’ welfare and national proprietary allowing prolonged foreign infiltration under the guise of fighting terror subjugating the nation to remotely controlled dominance.

Nonetheless, Pakistan’s current measures are indicative of awakening to reality.

It is prudent to address the increasing fatalities from robot wars experimenting newly developed technologies on the vulnerable population in utter disregard for life.

Pakistan stance to close supply routes in response to the unfortunate event is understandably emotion driven and could perhaps ease the tension on humanitarian grounds to enable the necessary flow of essential goods to troop stationed across the border.

Concurrently, U.S. and NATO reciprocation with complete withdrawal from Pakistan soil would spare Pakistan nationals enduring the spate of air and ground attacks due to U.S. and NATO assertive military policy and arms distribution in the territory.

The relation between U.S and Pakistan could improve with viable economic trade, educational programs, infrastructure investment, scientific research, cultural exchange and mutual respect in sharing relevant security information to save lives in the domestic and international domain.

Evidently war over these years has precipitated bilateral cooperation decline and,

The two nations could strive for peace and diplomacy that would guarantee resolutions to challenges in the present and future.

The stakes are much higher in rejecting peace and the existing stand off exacerbates the delicate balance maintained in resisting retraction from original position particularly for the U.S and NATO alliance.

Given the public reaction in Pakistan, U.S. default in vacating air base and continued military option would approve Pakistan’s sovereign right to defend citizens from proven assault with cross border access denial.

U.S. and NATO winding military activities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia is a litmus test for the world’s super power and modern democracy to deliver peace in the war torn nations ushering in the new era for regional progress and prosperity.

Pakistan and United States resuming peace talks is the preliminary step towards reconciliation and procrastination in this regard would impact human lives with irreversible outcome in the otherwise resolvable international dispute.

Pakistan electorate seeking liberation from violence and occupation could be expressed in unequivocal terms through Parliamentary legislation in unison exemplifying the strength of democracy against overseas power presence.

Communal harmony solidifying national unity is the key to success in achieving the common goal.

Hopefully political discourse premised on rational approach would promote peace over unsustainable conflict with emphasis on U.S. and NATO immediate departure from the region.

Best Wishes to Pakistan for everlasting peace and economic growth.

Good Luck! To Pakistan and United States for renewed peace and economic partnership.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant
















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