Friday, September 26, 2008

Five-minute ground battle? Blow Hot Blow Cold:



Other extracts from the same report:

ISPR: “Two helicopters from the Afghanistan side crossed into Saidgai, Ghulam Khan Sector, North Waziristan. When the helicopters passed over our border post and were well within Pakistan territory, our security forces fired anticipatory warning shots,” said a statement issued by the ISPR.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman: Pakistani troops had fired at US helicopters. “The flight path of the helicopters at no point took them over Pakistan,” he said. Mr Whitman said US and Nato military officials were speaking to their Pakistani counterparts to determine what had happened and to ensure there would be no recurrence. “This is an unfortunate incident. It just goes to demonstrate the importance of coordination along that border,” he said. “The Pakistanis have to provide us with a better understanding of why this took place.” Citing early reports, Mr Whitman said neither helicopter was hit by ground fire and did not return fire against Pakistani positions. Officials said the aircraft would likely have fired back had they been hit. “We avoided a serious incident,” Mr Whitman said, but added: “The incident is troubling, no doubt.”

Zardari: “You mean the flares,” said Mr Zardari when a reporter asked him to comment on the Pentagon’s claim. “Sometimes the border is so mixed that they don’t realise they have crossed the border,” said Mr Zardari, seated opposite Ms Rice at his hotel in New York.

Condoleeza Rice: “The border is very, very unclear, I know,” agreed Ms Rice. Ms Rice tried to defuse the tension, saying that the United States and Pakistan remained close allies in the war on terror.

A military official:... two American OH-58 reconnaissance helicopters, known as Kiowas, crossed into the border post, prompting the Pakistani side to fire warning shots.

Locals:... one of the helicopters was up to one and half kilometers inside Pakistani territory while the other hovered on the Afghan side.

ISAF:The International Security Assistance Force insisted however that the choppers had not entered Pakistani airspace. “Isaf helicopters received small-arms fire from a Pakistan military checkpoint along the border near Tanai district, in Khost province, while conducting routine operations in Afghanistan,” it said in a statement. “There are no reports of any damage to the helicopters or any casualties.” The statement added: “Isaf forces and the Pakistani military are working together to resolve the matter.”

Comment:
It appears a hot incident did take place. The Inter Services Public Relations of the Pakistan armed forces (ISPR), an unnamed military official, the Pentagon, as well as the ISAF in Afghanistan - all say it took place. Only Zardari and Rice suggest these were just flares to warn of a border crossing.

Blow hot Blow cold is right. It appears the Pakistan Army is delivering on its word to put a stop to cross-border flights by ISAF, Zardari and Rice notwithstanding.

Not a good signal for Zardari's Presidency at all.

8 comments:

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

Could this not be a drama? Pak Army publicly makes a show of opposing US Army (to impress Punjab and Sind, if not FATA) while secretly blasting FATA. Pak Army seems to be creating heavy casualties among militants in NWFP/FATA.

Regards

Zeemax said...

Majumdar,

No no majumdar, it's no drama. It's to get the 'Qabail' on Pakistan's side. Have you noticed tribal Lashkars in Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies being formed to resist some militants? It appears to have started right after Kiyani's categorical statement re protection of borders at all costs.

I'm all for 'Qabail'. Whatever they decide. They know who are the anti-State and who are not, and they will resist the former ones. Army is doing the right thing by making allies of them.

Of-course, the new 'Lashkars' are Taliban as well. They're just getting rid of the infiltrators from other camps - just my opinion.

But that again is all about 'distinctions', to which you earlier objected :)

Zeemax said...

It seems to me the political leadership of Pakistan wants to get rid of the badlands of FATA, but the Army does not.

Valuable and knowledgeable opinions of Pavocavalry and Ijaz_Gul are sought.

pavocavalry said...

to my mind a total hoax....just trying to restore the armys lost image....spinning ridiculuous things like 10,000 indian army in afghanistan,like all trouble due to indian consulates in afghanistan......i would say that if the tribals are killed like this one day they will surely ask for indian help EVEN IF THEY HATE THE INDIANS.....my father was in east pakistan in 1971 and states that the bengalis hated indians but were forced to accept indian help as a last resort....this fact is discussed in biographies of some bangladeshi officers also.....all said and done the pakistani army is a cheap dog catcher of americans ....so its difficult to buy this ABSOLUTE BULL SHIT THAT THEY ARE ENGAGING THE AMERICANS

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

Thanks. Btw I was coming to the Lashkars, how genuine and war worthy are the lashkar war machines. Will they stand a chance against the Talibs or will go the way of the Parchinar Shias. And cud they like the FC men play both sides.

And by the way I still object to the distinctions, these lashkars even if they succeed cud again fall prey to goondagardi or sectarianism.

Amin sahib,

EVEN IF THEY HATE THE INDIANS.....

Well, do remember that INC historically had lots of support in NWFP. And if I am not mistaken Afghans of Afghanistan proper have never been very hostile to Indians. Important thing for Indians is to stay away from WOT. Build bridges, dams but stay away from mischeif which affects A'stan directly.

Regards

pavocavalry said...

the congress government in frontier was a result of various complicated factors:--

1-The British electoral percentages which gave weightage to minorities.
2-The nationalistic appeal of Khudai Khidmatgars who were the main congress allies.
3-The Muslim Leagues docile policy with the Brits.
4-The Muslim Leagues alliance with non Pashtun Hindkos in the province

Having said that I have worked as sub contractor with KEC India and other Indian companies.

I have Indian friends like Anil Kumar Singh of KEC , now Angelique making Salma Dam,Arun Nayyar of Aditya etc.

Thats not the issue.

The scenario may be described as following :--

1-Pakistan int's meddling in Afghanistan and participation in its destruction with USA and UK and Saudi Intelligence from 1978 to 1992 and continual interference till 2001.

RESULT:-- A very strong anti Pakistan sentiment created in Afghan elite consisting of the army,intelligence,civil service ,intellectuals and urban areas.

2-Entry of USA and NATO in Afghanistan.

RESULT:--- A policy adopted to coerce Pakistan by forcing its armed forces to act against tribals/Islamists thus as a result creation of a situation which was taken advantage by other third parties to further heat up the Pakistani civil war.

3-Creation of a democratic government in Pakistan which came into power as a result of secret protocols with USA.

RESULT --- A serious internal policy divide created.

4-FINAL ULTIMATUM TO PAKISTAN:--

Threat of physical attack.

Encouraging secession in Pakistani provinces.

Dividing the Pashtuns and Punjabis.

5-SHOWDOWN:---

Surrender or compromise.Gradual reduction of Pakistani states potential,denuclearisation.

Transformation of Pakistan as a US satellite state with US Bases.

6-ANALYSIS:--

Course Alpha:-- Compromise.Pakistan stays intact but totally under US influence and at constant civil war like Algeria.

Course Bravo:-- Pakistan Army picks up the gauntlet.Decides to militarily resist the Americans.Offers bases to China and Russia.Totally stops Afghan Transit Trade while allowing Afghanistan to buy from the tribals alone who are given a preferential status.Defence Treaty with China.Close relations with Iran.

Course Alpha is more likely.Course Bravo requires resolution and strong leadership which is sadly lacking.

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