“The US should stop Aid to Pakistan”: THE GOATMILK DEBATES

THE GOATMILK DEBATES” will be an ongoing series featuring two debaters tackling an interesting or controversial question in a unique, intellectually stimulating manner. 

Each debater makes their opening argument,  followed by an optional rebuttal.

The winner will be decided by the online audience and judged according to the strength of the respective arguments.

The motion: The US should stop Aid to Pakistan”

For the motion: Saqib Mausoof

Against the motion: Sabahat Ashraf

Saqib Mausoof For the Motion

US should stop military aid to Pakistan. It is seen as a tactical waste by the US lawmakers and blood money by the populist Pakistan media. Some of this aid also bolsters Pakistan’s covert nuclear armament program and extraneous benefits for the top military brass. Very little of this approximately $2.5 bn annual aid trickles down to the Pakistani people. Investing this money at home in the USA for public services and infrastructure upgrades is better use. Eventually, divesting from Pakistan Army will enable US law makers to see Pakistan without the perception of an “ally from hell” but as an independent nation that is not subservient to US interests only.

Since 1948, US have provided $55 bn in Aid to Pakistan and most of it has gone to the Pakistan military. This aid has created an oligarchy which is controlled by various Military foundations. It has further ruined democratic institutions like the judiciary and the parliament. Since early 1950’s, when the Dulles brothers, John as Secretary of State and Allen as head of CIA, snubbed Pakistan’s civilian leadership under then premiere Liaquat Ali Khan and gave Field Marshall Ayub Khan special treatment, Pakistan has served as a “Sipahi” state for American policy makers. The first rectifying treaty on this was the Baghdad pact or CENTO signed between Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, UK and US in 1955.

This relationship was fully intact in 1960 when Gary Powers flew out of Peshawar airbase his ill-fated U-2 spy plane which was subsequently shot down by a Russian SAM missile. It continued with Prime Minster Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto negotiating President Nixon’s secretive visit to China, and probably climaxed under Gen Zia’s “Jihad” which created the Mujahedeen’s as a religious force to fight off the Soviets occupation of Afghanistan. During that time, the heads of the Haqqani clan were called the “moral equivalent of America founding fathers” by President Ronald Reagan. A case can be made that successive American administrations have always supported and preferred a military ruler in Pakistan rather than a civilian leadership.

The first decade of the 21st century under the military leadership of Gen Pervaiz Musharraf had seen an increasing amount of US military aid to Pakistan. The offering of the aid carrot was accompanied by a big stick in a not so subtle threat by the US deputy secretary of State Richard Armitage, who told President Musharraf that Pakistan should be prepared to be bombed “back to the stone age” if they refuse to fight against Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The subsequent agreement between the two governments created a complex aid package that constituted of four buckets, Military assistance, Economic Assistance, USAID projects, and coalition support funds.

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Deradicalizer used in case of 5 Muslim men arrested in Pakistan

From Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, CNN
  • 5 missing U.S. Muslims arrested this week in Pakistan
  • Parents, Muslim group had a deradicalizer trying to find the youths
  • Parents hoped sons would quietly be picked up and brought home, deradicalizer says
  • Expert says there is no single path to radicalization among young men

(CNN) — They are a little like the deprogrammers who try to coax young — and not so young — impressionable people out of cults. But if anything, their work is more important. They are in the middle of a web that includes would-be terrorists, distraught families and anxious federal authorities.

Deradicalizers find themselves busier than ever, dealing with young Muslim men who live in America but want to wage jihad in Pakistan, Somalia or Afghanistan. Influenced by radicalized friends or preachers, sometimes by what they read, see and hear on the Internet, they become fixated by a sense of injustice toward Muslims around the world.

CNN has learned that one of the most experienced of these deradicalizers was intimately involved in efforts to find five young men who vanished from their homes in northern Virginia at the end of November. On Wednesday, Pakistani officials reported the arrest of the five in the town of Sargodha in Punjab.

The young men’s families went to the offices of Council on American Islamic Relations in Washington on the morning of December 1, shortly after discovering their sons were missing. They’d also discovered a disturbing video posted by one of them.

The council contacted a Muslim community organization involved in deradicalization efforts, the director of that organization said. Given the sensitivity of the case, the organization has asked not to be identified. The executive director of the council, Nihad Awad, confirmed the role of the organization to CNN.

The deradicalizer said he contacted the FBI and, together with the council, worked closely with U.S. authorities to locate the men. FBI agents interviewed family members of the missing men in northern Virginia and young Muslims living in the area, he said. The Muslim community in northern Virginia was very cooperative, he said, and “the FBI was careful not to strong-arm the community.”

A source briefed on the investigation said U.S. authorities pinpointed the location of the apartments where the men were staying in Pakistan two days before the arrests. U.S. authorities had been trying to gather intelligence on who the individuals were contacting so they could try to establish if they had linked with militant groups in Pakistan, and who might have helped them get to Pakistan.

For the families, the way the story unfolded was disappointing and upsetting, according to the deradicalizer. They were hoping their sons would quietly be picked up and discreetly brought back to the U.S. Their arrest has scotched any chance of that.

One Muslim community leader whose organization has been closely involved in deradicalization efforts is Mohammed Eliabary, who is based in Texas. He said there is no single path to radicalization among these young men. It is rarely a mosque or Islamic school, as such institutions have a lot to lose if found to be radicalizing their congregants, he said.

More often, Eliabary said, Web sites, chat-rooms and forums and other forms of social networking are involved. Rarely are “recruiters” involved, he said.

Eliabary told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the radicalization of American Muslim teenagers has become known as “jihadi cool,” a term coined by author Marc Sageman. “The path for a lot of these kids is essentially like at-risk gangbangers, who want to stand up for their community, to address grievances of the global Muslim community more effectively than they’ve seen the elder generation address them since 9/11.”

Eliabary said the great majority of these young men have little sense of what they are doing. They are “extremely shallow theologically and even ideologically.”

He studied a group of young Somali-Americans who disappeared last year. “Their parents were saying these kids don’t even know what Somalia was … they are fighting for a cause that they really don’t know anything about,” he said.

He said there is no single method of dealing with these young men.

He prefers the term “disengagement” because radicalization doesn’t necessarily lead to violence. It can be no more than holding political views beyond the mainstream.

It is difficult to challenge their world-view, Eliabary said. They see a war on Islam and there is plenty of political rhetoric to reinforce that view, he said. So he tries to change their priorities. If they have a wife or children, for example, they have a responsibility as Muslims to take care of them.

Eliabary said there are grounds for optimism, despite the apparent increase in the number of young American Muslims who have seen themselves as jihadists.

“The American Muslim community is by far and will continue to be the most integrated, affluent and higher-educated [of] the rest of the western Muslim communities,” he said, adding that it is not as though any more than a fringe will be attracted to violence in the name of their religion.

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Growing, Yes, but India Has Reasons to Worry

Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Military trucks in Arunachal Pradesh, where India has maintained a heavy military presence since its 1962 war with China.

November 28, 2009

PONDICHERRY, India — During President Obama’s recent visit to China, many in India speculated that an emerging “G2” would leave their nation out in the cold.

Obama’s China (credit) card casts shadow on PM’s US visit,” ran a headline on The Times of India’s Web site shortly before India’s prime minister left for America and his own meeting last week with Mr. Obama — highlighted by the president’s first state dinner.

The country’s prickly response points to the lingering distrust with which India, which often leaned toward Moscow during the cold war, still views the United States. It is a reminder, also, of the many sensitivities that drive Indian foreign policy — sensitivities that are not always recognized in America.

For all the talk of a new era of Indo-American collaboration, Americans tend to view India through the narrow prisms of two shared concerns — a battle against Islamic extremists, and the benefits of international trade. But India is a complicated country in a complex part of the world — buffeted by internal insurgencies, surrounded by hostile neighbors, marginalized until recently as underdeveloped.

In the last decade, four of India’s neighbors (Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka) have dealt with rebellions that, to varying degrees, have filtered into India. Since independence in 1947, India has been involved in armed conflicts in at least five nearby lands (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, the Maldives); it has also become a nuclear power. Continue reading

Pakistan Taliban taps Punjab heartland for recruits

Pakistanis are increasingly concerned over the deadly collaboration between Punjabi militants from Sargodha and the Taliban.

Lahore attackPolice officials lay flags on coffins of Pakistani officers killed in October in an attack believed to have been carried out by Punjabi militants. (Nicolas Asfouri / AFP/Getty Images / October 16, 2009)
Reporting from Sargodha, Pakistan – One by one, recruits from Pakistan’s Punjab heartland would make the seven-hour drive to Waziristan, where they would pull up to an office that made no secret of its mission.


The signboard above the office door read “Tehrik-e-Taliban.” In a largely ungoverned city like Miram Shah, there was no reason to hide its identity.

The trainees from Sargodha would arrive, grab some sleep at the Taliban office and afterward head into Waziristan’s rugged mountains for instruction in skills including karate and handling explosives and automatic rifles.

“Someone recruits them, then someone else takes them to Miram Shah, and then someone in Miram Shah greets them and takes them in,” said Sargodha Police Chief Usman Anwar, whose officers this summer arrested a cell of returning Punjabi militants before they could allegedly carry out a plan to blow up a cellphone tower in this city of 700,000. “It’s an assembly line, like Ford Motors has.” Continue reading

U.S. Asks More From Pakistan in Terror War

November 16, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on Pakistan to expand and reorient its fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, warning that failing to do so would undercut the new strategy and troop increase for Afghanistan that President Obama is preparing to approve, American officials say.

While Afghanistan has dominated the public discussion of Mr. Obama’s strategy, which officials say could be announced as early as this week, Pakistan is returning to center stage in administration planning. As the president traveled to Asia, his national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, was quietly sent to Islamabad, its capital.

His message, officials said, was that the new American strategy would work only if Pakistan broadened its fight beyond the militants attacking its cities and security forces and went after the groups that use havens in Pakistan for plotting and carrying out attacks against American troops in Afghanistan, as well as support networks for Al Qaeda.

General Jones praised the Pakistani operation in South Waziristan but urged Pakistani officials to combat extremists who fled to North Waziristan. Continue reading