Thursday, January 08, 2009

Scripting Asian Civil War?

Washington Post | Indian authorities and international experts have expressed the suspicion that the good intentions of Pakistan's civilian leaders are not necessarily shared by its military and intelligence establishments, which were forged in a decades-long rivalry with India and have sponsored armed Islamist groups in Indian Kashmir and in Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet conflict there.

But Qureshi and Pakistan's intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, said Wednesday that the country's security forces are subservient to civilian authority and committed to supporting democratic rule. "It is completely clear to the army chief and I that this government must succeed," Pasha said of Zardari's administration. "I report regularly to the president and take orders from him."

Pasha also ruled out the possibility of going to war with India, telling the online edition of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel that Pakistan is "distancing itself" from such conflict and that "we know full well that terror is our enemy, not India." He acknowledged, however, that although he had been willing to travel to India after the Mumbai attacks, some senior officials were "simply not ready" to make such a gesture to Pakistan's longtime adversary.