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Updated: October 19, 2011 23:35 IST

Pakistan is not like Iraq or Afghanistan, Kayani tells Washington

Anita Joshua
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Pakistan's Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani
File Photo: AP
Pakistan's Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Tuesday asserted the country's nuclear weapon capability, saying the United States would think “10 times'' before launching a unilateral attack on Pakistan.

Gen. Kayani was reported by the local media as presenting such an assessment on the stand-off with the U.S. during a closed door briefing for members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.

And, Director General of Military Operations Ashfaq Nadeem underscored the threat perception from India given New Delhi's “cold start” doctrine as seven out of nine Indian commands and three strike corps were along India's western border.

He pointed out that 81 per cent of the forward and main operating bases of India were positioned against Pakistan.

“We cannot base our strategies on any good intentions, no matter how noble they may be, as intentions can change overnight. Our strategy has to be based on India's capability,'' he said.

The reported remarks of the senior-most Army officials indicate that Pakistan's Afghanistan policy remains directly linked to its threat perception from India.

Afghanistan interests

Denying that Pakistan was seeking strategic depth in Afghanistan, the COAS conceded Islamabad's long-term interests there. “For short-term gains, we cannot lose sight of our long-term interests. We cannot leave both our eastern and western borders insecure.''

About strategic depth in Afghanistan, Gen. Kayani said history was replete with instances of failed efforts to do so.

“No magic wand”

“When the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union failed, how can it be expected of Pakistan? We do not have a magic wand to succeed in doing what others have failed,'' he said.

Asked if the U.S. would attack Pakistan, Gen. Kayani said Pakistan was a nuclear power and must not be compared with any other country, including Iraq and Afghanistan. And, instead of pressuring Pakistan, the U.S. should focus on stabilising Afghanistan as the problem was within.

Haqqani network

Stating that the U.S. was mounting pressure on Pakistan to launch operations in North Waziristan – considered a haven of the Haqqani network that is held responsible for many of the attacks on the U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan – the COAS was quoted by members as saying: “If anyone convinces me that everything will be sorted out if we act in North Waziristan, I will take immediate action.''

Reiterating Islamabad-Rawalpindi's long held contention on the American `do more' refrain – particularly, vis-à-vis the Haqqani network – he said: “We have made it clear to the U.S. that we will decide the timing of any such action according to our situation and capabilities.''

Terror links

As for links with terrorist groups, he noted that intelligence agencies world over maintained such contacts.

“That is where we get our information, the intelligence, from. The important thing is how we use the information gathered from these elements. You can do it positively and negatively,'' he said.

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It is rather astonishing that a nation that was till recently depending on America for its survival is challenging their benefactor. Even Aesop had not thought of this relationship in his famous collection of fables that teach morals.

from:  M.R.Sampath
Posted on: Nov 7, 2011 at 12:07 IST

Pakistan and the people there need peace and prosperity. General Kayani sounds arrogant and pretends to show his might, using words exactly ly General yahyah Khan and Ayub Khan. The threat is not for US but for India - better watchout, he might start a game in Poonch or Kargil, but ultimately, to take over the power in a coup like some of his predecessors. A general does not spill beans easily. He should know that by now, USA and many other powers know exactly where all there Nuclear weapons are stored and the keys to switch them off. CIA and other spy agencies have been there for many years. They know how to handle. General should make sure that his land does not get further split like Bangla Desh did after Gen Mirza and Ayub Khan.

from:  Bala
Posted on: Oct 22, 2011 at 06:15 IST

Pakistan as a country has been at the cross-roads for very long time.180 million people without purpose and direction is a dangerous scenario.Policy makers need to think clearly how to work with Pakistan.We need a peaceful Pakistan in our neighbourhood and we should not provoke or harass a community like this.People of Pakistan have to be calmed down and make them understand the reality about their future in a peaceful way.Sabre rattling by USA and others need to avoided.Diplomacy needs to be given a chance.Please do not engage with Pakistan on dealing with issues for today and tomorrow but have a vision for next 5 years and 10 years.This will auger well for Pakistan and the world community. People need to understand that Pakistan's Military and Polity are confused and have no clear direction to go forward.India's MEA has taken a mature attitude, I saw the statement from Mr.Krishna, I applaud him for the statesmanship.I hope the rest of the world community shall take a lead and follow up

from:  Prem
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 11:59 IST

General Kayani must be talking so with tongue in cheek for domestic consumption after getting clearance from Uncle Sam. His rhetoric would be a very comic scene were it not for the tragic plight. Pakistan exists today because the west and China want it to exist to irritate India. USA and China either alone or together can any day wipe out Pakistan from the face of the earth. It can be done so without firing a single bullet but by putting no alms into the begging bowl from Pakistan. Sure Pakistan is no Iraq or Iran, for neither Iraq nor Iran carried a begging bowl.After defeating Pakistan in Eastern Pakistan, Indira Gandhi would have driven out Pakistan from Kashmir had it not been for bullying from Kissinger and Nixon. I am sure Kayani like his predecessors Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan, Musharraff etc. would have reserved his place to settle in England with the money he has looted to be funneled into the economy of England for the benefit and the delight of the western nation of England.

from:  T.S.Krishnaswamy
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 at 04:03 IST

My dear neighbours :) can you show maturity in your thinking-writing, few wrote using their brains, but rest of all were opening their HEARTS. We pakistanis are also thinking like you like that nothing is wrong at our end, all the problem exists in india. Let's find PEACE!

from:  Gul Khan
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 23:14 IST

This is exactly what Gaddafi said.....Libya is not like Iraq or the end all murderous regimes are the same and they go the same way!!

from:  Rafiki
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 22:35 IST

The people of Pakistan need to throw away mad-caps like Kayani. They should read about the vision of Nepal's PM and the life in Bangladesh in the last 40 years. The geographic, social and economic realities dictate that Pakistan must re-orient itself. It has to think of peace, cooperation, human development and earth's sustainability. Hope, good sense finally prevails over the vain ego of nuclear arsenal and other self- destructive practices that Kayani and his kind have patronized. Else, Pak citizens shall continue o be the real losers.

from:  Anil K. Lyall
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 20:45 IST

What ever he said, i think is right because it is true that Iraq and Afghanistan, both are yet not a nuclear power countries that is why the USA destroyed both the countries economically as well as physically. They destroyed every thing and are still destroying them.pakistan is nuclear power general reminded them before any act against pakistan,and what is wrong with it.

from:  Ffasial Peerzada
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 20:45 IST

Poor Pakisthan,
You have been made into a beggar country by Military all along. You have accepted Terrorists as your brothern and accepted military as the guardians of Nuclear weapons, something even the 100% totalitarian countries like N.Korea and China do not allow. Latest is go agressive against US and go into the arms of China. Today's China is not the same as what you knew when you made friends with her decades ago. They are very mature now. They may help you, but only to the extent that they are not affected even an iota. Tell Kayani to just "Shut Up" . You have no choice.

from:  S. Venkatesh
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 18:01 IST

Pakistan is holding a gun to its head and saying: " I will kill myself and blow you all
up! Think 10 times" America is another short-sighted nation which feels the
elephant in a dark room and declares it is a tree trunk. They are both made for each

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 17:54 IST

India has a problem next door, USA has a problem miles away. India will get the
tremors of any escalation between Pakistan and other country or within Pakistan
via its various militant outfits. I only wish Pakistan to not get any more worse.

from:  Pavan Peechara
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 17:20 IST

Pakistan should be declared a state sponsor of terror and dealt with accordingly.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 16:24 IST

Instead of all these challenges, if Pakistan concentrates more on it's people rather than it's might, the country could have progressed a lot. In order to shift the attention from the real problems the successive governments in Pakistan engineered hatred against India.The people of that country had been fooled successfully till date.Pity isn't it ?

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 14:15 IST

War is not a solution. Think before doing this kind of foolish activities. Almost America learned from Afganistan & Iraq wars. What happened still there is problem daily attacks, innocent people gave their lives daily basis. If anyone country announce war the Country President or Prime minister only responsible to go fight with face to face like old wars (Alexander, Ashoka) like that. But now a days the responsible persons (politicians) they only give speech after they going to safe place and lot of protection team around. Innocent ordinary peoples doesn't want WAR!. We are modern peoples so we solve the all problems to speach with the others. Who give permission to President or Prime minister, think only the ordinary innocent peoples give power. When you got power then you destroy same humans but other country. This is not solution.

from:  Sadiq
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 14:09 IST

No one is stopping Pakistan to do its duty. It is like a younger brother holding a knife & telling all the older brothers, to make him happy otherwise, he will get hurt. It is the Pakistan elite & ruling class, who should be thinking seriously beyond the glass of religion. They must start accepting India as a friendly power rather hostile. They must accept Kashmir a part of India. That will solve the entire problem. Unnecesary provocation of Kashmir issue based religion, stokes the fire of 1947. When will Pakistan learn to be itself ? It can do marvels with its resources, if it comes out of the hatred mode. Let the people of Pakistan get educated like any other society in the world. An educated society understands the value of peace, it leads to no-worry. But an educated community is a threat for the Pakistan ruling elite. Hence, the problem of poverty in pakistan will stay and the terrorism cannot be gone. All Paksitan need is a light of knowledge, an acceptence of co-existence.

from:  Kasthuri Rangan
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 13:02 IST

It is utter foolishness for Pakistan to challenge America as if America is not a nuclear arms country. If both used nuclear arms on each other the result is mass destruction. Pakistan knows it as well as America. It is just a bluff game. Further America has the advantage of advanced technology. America might preempt the effort of Pakistan. Or by the time Pakistan succeeds in using one nuclear arm America might drop 3 or 4. The result would be calamitous even for neighbouring countries. One must be an idiotic fool to think of using nuclear arms. I don' think Pakistan is going to be one.

from:  Narasimha Rao Jakkamsetty
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 12:04 IST

This is known as boldness of a Militaryperson. Now Washington will rush to Pakistan and negotiate with them. US always thinks that they can control any country in the world. US always meddle in the internal affairs of other countries asnd create hatred among their nationals. After all US always wants the natural resources of the other country and sell their weapons. We should congratulate the General of Pakistan for his boldness.

from:  C S Ganesan
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 11:56 IST

That is the biggest joke of all times. US picked up Osama right under the bose of the Pak Military. Drone attacks are regular and the terrorists in Pakistan are killed. The strategic objective of US ia to remove the terrorist safe havens in Pakistan. Without a declaration of war, US is achieving its objective. Mr. Kayani is an honorable man and does not want to provoke a war with US. He can wait till hell freezes over!

from:  Ceoren
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 10:07 IST

Can the author kindly clarify what Afghanistan has to do with Pakistan's defence strategy of alleged threat from Indian's capability ? This should be the only country in the world, which despite having Nuclear Weapons, more than 6,00,000 troops still talks about invading ,controlling,influencing another country in the name of protecting its interests. Looks like the folks in Pakistan have no confidence in their own defence services.

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 08:41 IST

This country survives on blackmailing others, Kayani is a terrorist dressed in olive grab. This country has lost all international slef respect but still practices barbarian principles. I hope their people will start a Arab spring and liberate their country from this terror army.

from:  Suresh Kumar
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 06:36 IST

Gen.Kayani's arrogant remarks that Pakistan's , now infamous ISI, has been in league with terrorists and by implication could have planned terror strikes in India and Afghanistan , must sound as a wake-up call for the Americans. They must realise that they are dealing with a country and probably the only one in the world, who use terrorists as 'assets' and as India has been rightly crying long, as strategic instruments of State policy. It is anybody's guess where this will lead Pakistan and its people to , but for its immediate neighbours like India and Afghanistan , it does not augur well for its immediate and long term stability.
The US and its allies must immediately come together and declare Pakistan 'a Terrorist state' and impose severe economic embargo ,as a fitting reply to all this talk of empty bravado by the General and his Political masters. Just have a few hundred nuclear weapons , if Kayani thinks that he can threaten the world, he and his ilk are idiots.

from:  K.S.Ranganathan
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 06:11 IST

Pakistan has always rattled the sabre when the prime need has been to foster peace with its neighbours. For Pakistan to warn the United States about "thinking ten times" before mounting military action against them, it is a hollow threat: possession of a nuclear arsenal by a nation like Pakistan is a thorn in the side of all nations, not because of Gen. Kayani's ability to launch a nuclear attack, but because of the great risk of these weapons falling in to the hands of rogue groups operating freely within that country, all too often with the connivance of the Military's Intelligence wing, ISI. It is well understood internationally that Pakistan today is the greatest threat to world peace, bar none. Threatening the United States would be laughable, if it did not come from an inherently unstable country like Pakistan. Granted that much of what Gen. Kayani says is for domestic consumption, and just enough to keep India on the look out for misplaced bravado on the part of Pakistan.

from:  Abhi Buch
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 04:48 IST

The best response to Gen. Kayani's comments is for India to leave the US and Pakistan to sort out their differences. India has to show some understanding for the fact that despite years of meddling in the affairs of their neighbours, Pakistan is making a serious attempt to restore civilian rule. The signing of the Trade agreement with India shows that Pakistan sees the benefit to the region with economic prosperity. Kayani is a Military man and has to say things to keep his troops quiet and his Civilian audience believe that the all-powerful Army is a real force. I hope that India continues in its efforts to improve relations with Pakistan and does not get distracted by such rhetoric!

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 03:07 IST

The US is slowly learning the bitter lessons that India learned a long time ago in living alongside a dangerous and fundamentalist Pakistan. The Pakistani's for their part have learned nothing, and seem to believe that the same tricks used to cow and blackmail a pacifist India, will also work when it comes to dealing with the US. The Pakistani generals will soon learn that a nation that defeated militarism in Germany and Japan, will think nothing of militarily crushing a devious "ally" who willfully acts to kill American lives. The clock is ticking, and one can only hope that somebody in Pakistan is listening!

from:  CS Venkat
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 03:05 IST

Pakistan military may not be that way, But is Pakistani-militia that way?? Bye, Arab Drone.

from:  Ms. Queilla Maullick
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 01:55 IST

It is the United States that really made Pakistan this strong that they can challenge America. Billions of dollars in the name of fighting terrorism and giving special treatment at the neighboring India's expense finally gave the result. Unfortunately not positive at all. Instead of giving Pakistan undeue importance, had the US acted firmly, Pakistan would have stood behind and billions of dollars could have been used for other purposes rather than getting them into the hands of few politicians and the army. Now, we will see how this so called "Ally" does next.

from:  V. Menon
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 01:47 IST

I think we should give Pakistan a chance...People of Pakistan along with its economy and infrastructure has suffered since soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1988. After all progress and stability of Pakistan is the stability of the region. We cannot afford any adventure against nuclear armed Pakistan for that sake and should NOW ACCEPT THIS FACT and move on!

from:  Ram Chandra
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011 at 00:47 IST
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On Saturday a 7.9 magnitude strong earthquake struck Nepal which devastated important historic places. India and some neighbouring countries were also affected. Relief materials from India and other countries were sent to Nepal.


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