Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pakistan, China "Experts": Husain Haqqani, Minxin Pei, Gordon Chang

The United States is home to many foreign affairs "experts" from various countries around the world.

These "experts" are employed by US Think Tanks and invited by the US media to appear on television shows and write Op Ed columns for newspapers whenever there is a significant event anywhere in the world.

The analyses and opinions offered by these experts depend on how the United States policymakers view the countries being discussed. If the US sees a nation favorably, the "expert" analyses and opinions are positive and sympathetic toward them. On the other hand, if the US views the nations in question negatively, then these "experts" show hostility toward them.

Discussions on India, a current favorite of the United States, often feature Fareed Zakaria who portrays India in a favorable light and its rival Pakistan as the villain in South Asia.  Media coverage of the Middle East features "experts" who are almost always always friendly toward Israel.

The recent announcement of major Chinese investment in Pakistan during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the South Asian country has received a lot of attention in the mainstream US media.

As expected, the "experts" invited by the US media to talk and write about the China-Pakistan Corridor are hostile to both China and Pakistan.

Pakistan's ex-Ambassador Husain Haqqani has been used as the "expert" to do the hatchet job on Pakistan by Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal. Here's an excerpt of it:

"...the promise of Chinese money will lead Pakistan’s leaders to think China will become their economic and military patron. Mr. Xi would do well not to let that happen, and instead to emphasize reform. He shouldn’t forget that money does not always buy Pakistan’s favor or encourage change in Pakistan’s policies. China may actually lose popularity in Pakistan once its companies arrive and demand primacy of economic considerations. Then China might find itself where Pakistan’s previous benefactor, the U.S., is today. After having provided $40 billion in aid to Pakistan since 1950, the U.S. is now viewed favorably by only 14% of Pakistanis."

There are several problems with Mr. Haqqani's analysis listed below:

1. Mr. Haqqani lacks the basic  understanding of the key difference between the US aid model and the Chinese assistance paradigm. The United States gave "aid" to the governments of countries in Asia and Africa much of which was siphoned off by corrupt officials.  China focuses on infrastructure investments and trade in the developing world.

2. It's Mr. Haqqani's failure to understand the Chinese model that is the basis of his flawed advice to China to repeat the failed policies of the United States in Pakistan. Or is it his wish to see China's investments fail in Pakistan?

3. As to the  complaint about lack of US "popularity" in Pakistan, Mr Haqqani as a diplomat should know that bilateral relations between two sovereign nations are based on mutual interests,  not love or affection.

4. On Mr. Haqqani's preaching Pakistanis to be grateful to America, I suggest that he asses his own lack of gratitude to Pakistan, the country that nurtured and educated him, and then bestowed on him the honor and prestige of representing it in highly coveted posting as Ambassador to Washington.

Haqqani is not alone in being wrong about China and Pakistan. Gordon Chang and Minxin Pei give him good company.

Here's an excerpt of a piece by "expert" Gordon Chang in The National Interest about China-Pakistan corridor:

"Beijing, despite everything, looks like it is absolutely determined to do whatever it takes to first build and then secure its corridor running through the heart of Pakistan. Its plan, however, is almost certainly misconceived, bound to cause more turmoil in already troubled areas."

Another "expert" Minxin Pei writes as follows in an Op Ed in Fortune magazine on China's Pakistan investment:

"Beijing ought to be spending its money at home to shore up its economy, instead of chasing elusive prestige abroad. Empires fall for many reasons. One of them is overreach: the lust for power often drives imperial rulers to extend their commitments beyond what their resources can support. The collapse of the Soviet Union is among the most recent illustrations of the perils of imperial overreach. During the Cold War, Moscow recklessly took on unaffordable security commitments around the world and engaged in an un-winnable arms race against a foe with a much larger economy."  

To put the above opinions of the two China "experts" in perspective, let me just say that they have both been consistently wrong about China. Gordon Chang wrote "The Coming Collapse of China" back in 2001.  Need I say more?

Minxin Pei, the other favorite China "expert" in the West, wrote a 2006 book "China's Trapped Transition" that gave a gloomy forecast for China's future.

In spite of being consistently wrong, these "experts" continue to enjoy their status as "experts". They peddle what their western  patrons want to hear. And they are "gainfully" employed as professors, authors, think tank analysts and media guests in America.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Secretary Gates Straight Talk on US-Pakistan Ties

India Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous? 

Challenging Gaul-Haqqani-Paul Narrative

How Strategic Are Pak-China Ties?

Pak-China Industrial Corridor

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

Profit Motives Drive Authors to Bash Pakistan


Syed A. said...

Their favorite poodle. Namak haraam, he cant stay loyal to his own motherland that gave this middle class road dweller everything a person of his class could dream of, and that is how he is paying back. Tomorrow he will sell himself off to a higher bidder for that is exactly how namak haraam like him act and behave.

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

Good thing is China and Pak have started their own think tanks to counter the US funded ones. One such is Research and Development International (RANDI) has already created waves on blogosphere....


TM said...

I don't know why our supreme court keep pending his Memo Scandel case, he should be punished even in his absence

Anonymous said...

Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, has strongly opposed the use of American military aid to fight extremists in Pakistan and said instead it will fuel conflict in South Asia.

The Obama administration announced this month to sell almost $1 billion worth of attack helicopters, missiles and other equipment to Pakistan.

Read: US, Pakistan must ‘divorce’ as allies: Husain Haqqani

Mr Haqqani said that: “Pakistan’s failure to tackle its jihadist challenge is not the result of a lack of arms but reflects an absence of will.

He said: “With nuclear weapons, Pakistan no longer has any reason to feel insecure about being overrun by a larger Indian conventional force.

For the US to continue supplying a Pakistani military that is much larger than the country can afford, will only invigorate Pakistani militancy and militarism at the expense of its 200 million people, one-third of whom continue to live at less than a dollar a day per household.”

Also read: Husain Haqqani resigns, ready to face inquiry

The former ambassador said that unless Pakistan changes its worldview, American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India and perceived domestic enemies instead of being deployed against jihadists.

“Competition with India remains the overriding consideration in Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policies. By aiding Pakistan over the years—some $40 billion since 1950, according to the Congressional Research Service—the US has fed Pakistan’s delusion of being India’s regional military equal.

Seeking security against a much larger neighbour is a rational objective but seeking parity with it on a constant basis is not.

Instead of selling more military equipment to Pakistan, Mr Haqqani said, US officials should convince Pakistan that its ambitions of rivaling India are akin to Belgium trying to rival France or Germany.

Riaz Haq said...

Wealthy nations should abandon "political strings" on aid to developing countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a conference Wednesday that aims to strengthen ties between Africa and Asia.

More than 30 heads of state are in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, for the five-day Asian-African Summit, which commemorates the 1955 conference that laid the foundations for the Cold War-era Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Conference goers hope to further expand economic cooperation between Africa and Asia. The two continents contain some of the world's largest emerging markets, or countries that are in the process of becoming more advanced.

Expanding influence

China is Africa's largest trading partner, importing tens of billions of dollars each year in natural resources and investing in crucial development across the continent, including massive infrastructure projects and debt relief programs.

But as it expands its influence in Africa, many in the West have accused China of ignoring human rights concerns - for instance, by offering "no strings attached" aid packages to countries with authoritarian governments.

Xi on Wednesday defended China's foreign aid policy, saying the world's richer countries have a responsibility to fulfill their commitments to developing nations without demanding political concessions.

Such cooperation "should be based on mutual respect and equality," said President Xi, who added that China "will continue to offer assistance to developing countries with no political strings attached."

"We need to follow a win-win approach in common development that is in line with our development strategies, so we can turn the forte of the two continents into economic strength, deepening regional and cross-regional cooperation, as well as encourage freedom of trade and investment," he said.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Xi also touted the benefits of the new Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, which many see as a competitor to the United States-backed World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Asian Development Bank.

"China will work with all parties in the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. Together we'll launch the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and making proper use on the Silk Road Fund. We will continue to support South-South Cooperation," he said.

Fifty-seven countries including U.S. allies such as Britain, Germany and France have joined the AIIB as founding members.

Others, including the U.S. and Japan, have stayed out, citing concerns over environmental and labor standards, as well as fears that China will use the lender to advance its own foreign policy interests. China hopes to get the bank up and running by the end of the year.

Wise Indian said...

His message is simple but uncomfortable - a lot of American help did not buy America lasting popularity with the Pakistani public. Why should Pakistan's love affair with China be any different ?

Riaz Haq said...

Wise Indian: " His message is simple but uncomfortable - a lot of American help did not buy America lasting popularity with the Pakistani public. Why should Pakistan's love affair with China be any different ?"

Husain Haqqani faults Pakistanis for their ingratitude to the US. My question is: Why is Haqqani is so ungrateful to Pakistan, a country that nurtured and educated him and gave him the honor and plum assignment of being Pakistan's ambassador to Washington?

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani asks in a recent Wall Street Journal Op Ed: "Why Are We Sending This Attack Helicopter to Pakistan?"

Who's "We" in this headline? Isn't Haqqani still a citizen of Pakistan? Or is it a Freudian slip?

Sam Kulkarni said...

Per Mr Riaz Pakistan and China have been long term friends due to their mutual animosity towards India.

In other words, an enemy of your enemy is your friend. Geopolitics as Mr Riaz would say. Then Pakistan may want to say hello to this older and newer foes. Countries that look at China as a bully among other issues.



The future will tell.

Riaz Haq said...

SK: "Per Mr Riaz Pakistan and China have been long term friends due to their mutual animosity towards India."

Your statement is not correct.

The big headline for the 21st century is the emergence of China to superpower status and the American attempts to check China's rise.

All other geopolitics is subservient to this larger trend.

China's big concern is the impact of US Navy and its Asian allies on shipping lanes to and from China to Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe.

China sees Pakistan's role in its this context as helping provide access to these major markets via the Pak-China corridor.

Read the following for more:

Jay said...

Serious question, with no vitriol or hatred intended (I have been curious about this for a while and hope more than one person responds):

How do successful Muslims and Pakistanis living in the west who dislike the west (and typically prefer China and Saudi Arabia and even Russia) think that way?

In the west I see tons of opportunity for immigrants, while in China, Saudi Arabia and Russia, they will never ever accept as many immigrants as citizens as they have accepted in the west.

In Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, they treat Subcontinentals, Filipinos, Ethiopians and so on like dirt, and lately, they have gone on a Pakistani execution rampage. Pakistani men are not even allowed to marry Saudis or become Saudi citizens for the most part.

In China (and Russia and Saudi Arabia), they would never accept as many immigrants as the west has accepted. Moreover, China treats Muslims in Xinjiang brutally and tells them what to wear and how to pray. Russia treats Muslims in Chechnya brutally.

In the west, Mulsim population keeps growing and they allow them to dress in Burkhas and build mosques.

All in all, it seems to me that a majority of Muslims and especially Pakistanis living in the west seem to be pro Saudi, pro China, pro Russia but secretly hate the countries that have given them their new better life with all the freedom that is missing in their own countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Jay: "How do successful Muslims and Pakistanis living in the west who dislike the west (and typically prefer China and Saudi Arabia and even Russia) think that way? "

Immigrants and foreign-born citizens of America, including Muslims, are every bit as American as those born here.

They know the difference between the US government run by politicians and the American people.

They know how special interests control the US Congress.

They know that many US govt policies at home and abroad have harmed America.

They know the Bush's war on terror and invasions of other countries have cost the country dearly in terms of the US lives, economy and poor perception of America abroad.

They know US domestic policies have hurt the people. Such policies have helped corporate interests at the expense people, and allowed groups like NRA to sell guns that kill over 30,000 Americans every year.

You should listen to and read the work of Americans like Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, Jon Stewart, Paul Krugman and Elizabeth Warren to learn what I am talking about.

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

During the last Cold War, India sided with USSR, Pak with West. But after the cold war was over, USSR broke up, USA won. But having won, USA ditched Pakiland for India.

Why wudnt it be repeated in Cold War-II. China wins, USA breaks up but then China dumps Pakiland for India?


Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

I have a piece of good news for you.

Pakistan ranks higher (81) than India (117) and China (84) on happiness index.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Pakistan ranks higher (81) than India (117) and China (84) on happiness index."

Prof Sahib usually does not take subjective ratings if it shows India as better than pak.

Riaz Haq said...

New Delhi, April 24: The Home Ministry's decision to place the Ford Foundation under watch reminds us of a very interesting account by Author Frances Stonor Saunders of how the CIA roped in NGOs as fronts and also participants in the spy game. The account is excellently narrated in the book, Who Paid the Piper? CIA and the Cultural Cold War. The Narendra Modi led NDA government is extremely serious about the issue of NGOs and their funding. The Intelligence Bureau in a very detailed dossier had listed out the names of several NGOs which were bringing in the funds to India only with the intention of spreading a false propaganda and in simple terms, "make India look bad."

Greenpeace was the first NGO to come under the hammer and the Ministry of Home Affairs had suspended its licence with an option to show cause how it was bringing in the funds and also why it had not filed its statement of accounts. Yesterday the Ford Foundation was placed under watch.

A US Congressional investigation that was conducted in the year 1976 revealed nearly 50% of the 700 grants in the field of international activities by the principal foundations were funded by the CIA. It was also observed that the CIA found the Ford Foundation to be one of the best funding cover. It was further discovered that the Ford Foundation link to the CIA was a deliberate one and the effort that was being made was to strengthen the US cultural scene while undermining left wing cultural and political influence. The Ford Foundation according to various investigations conducted was considered to be an extension of the government and it was only carrying out the international cultural propaganda. Another observation was that the Ford Foundation had contributed 7 million US dollars to a CIA organized Congress for Cultural Freedom in the year 1960. Frances Stonor Saunders writes that the CIA had roped in NGOs not only as fronts but as willing participants in the spy game. She writes that the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation were conscious instruments of covert US policy, with directors and officers who were closely connected to, or even members of American intelligence. At times, it seemed as if the Ford Foundation was simply an extension of government in the area of international cultural propaganda. The foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions in Europe, working closely with Marshall Plan and CIA officials on specific projects, Saunders also writes in her book.

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

Exclusive: A shadow foreign policy apparatus built by Ronald Reagan for the Cold War survives to this day as a slush fund that keeps American neocons well fed and still destabilizes target nations, now including Ukraine, creating a crisis that undercuts President Obama, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The National Endowment for Democracy, a central part of Ronald Reagan’s propaganda war against the Soviet Union three decades ago, has evolved into a $100 million U.S. government-financed slush fund that generally supports a neocon agenda often at cross-purposes with the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

NED is one reason why there is so much confusion about the administration’s policies toward attempted ousters of democratically elected leaders in Ukraine and Venezuela. Some of the non-government organizations (or NGOs) supporting these rebellions trace back to NED and its U.S. government money, even as Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials insist the U.S. is not behind these insurrections.


NED was founded in 1983 at the initiative of Cold War hardliners in the Reagan administration, including then-CIA Director William J. Casey. Essentially, NED took over what had been the domain of the CIA, i.e. funneling money to support foreign political movements that would take the U.S. side against the Soviet Union.

Though the Reagan administration’s defenders insist that this “democracy” project didn’t “report” to Casey, documents that have been declassified from the Reagan years show Casey as a principal instigator of this operation, which also sought to harness funding from right-wing billionaires and foundations to augment these activities.

In one note to then-White House counselor Edwin Meese, Casey endorsed plans “for the appointment of a small Working Group to refine the proposal and make recommendations to the President on the merit of creating an Institute, Council or National Endowment in support of free institutions throughout the world.”

Casey’s note, written on CIA stationery, added, “Obviously we here should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor do we wish to appear to be a sponsor or advocate. … We would be pleased to make suggestions on the composition of the Working Group and Commission.”

To organize this effort, Casey dispatched one of the CIA’s top propaganda specialists, Walter Raymond Jr., to the National Security Council. Putting Raymond at the NSC insulated the CIA from accusations that it institutionally was using the new structure to subvert foreign governments – while also helping fund American opinion leaders who would influence U.S. policy debates, a violation of the CIA’s charter. Instead, that responsibility was shifted to NED, which began doing precisely what Casey had envisioned.

Many of the documents on this “public diplomacy” operation, which also encompassed “psychological operations,” remain classified for national security reasons to this day, more than three decades later. But the scattered documents that have been released by archivists at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, reveal a whirlwind of activity, with Raymond in the middle of a global network.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who represents 150 victims of American drones and was twice denied entry to the U.S. to speak about them, told my Intercept colleague Ryan Devereaux how two of his child clients would likely react to Obama’s “apology” yesterday:

“Today, if Nabila or Zubair or many of the civilian victims, if they are watching on TV the president being so remorseful over the killing of a Westerner, what message is that taking?” The answer, he argued, is “that you do not matter, you are children of a lesser God, and I’m only going to mourn if a Westerner is killed.”

The British-Yemeni journalist Abubakr Al-Shamahi put it succinctly: “It makes me angry that non-Western civilian victims of drone strikes are not given the same recognition by the US administration.” The independent journalist Naheed Mustafa said she was “hugely irritated by the ‘drone strikes have killed good Westerners so now we know there are issues with drones’ stories.” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson this morning observed: “It is all too easy to ignore … the dubious morality of the whole enterprise — until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners. Only then does ‘collateral damage’ become big news and an occasion for public sorrow.”

This highlights the ugliest propaganda tactic on which the War on Terror centrally depends, one in which the U.S. media is fully complicit: American and Western victims of violence by Muslims are endlessly mourned, while Muslim victims of American and Western violence are completely disappeared.

When there is an attack by a Muslim on Westerners in Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Fort Hood or Boston, we are deluged with grief-inducing accounts of the victims. We learn their names and their extinguished life aspirations, see their pictures, hear from their grieving relatives, watch ceremonies honoring their lives and mourning their deaths, launch campaigns to memorialize them. Our side’s victims aren’t just humanized by our media, but are publicly grieved as martyrs.

I happened to be in Canada the week of the shooting at the Parliament in Ottawa, as well as a random attack on two Canadian soldiers days earlier in a parking lot in Southern Quebec, and there was non-stop media coverage of the victims, their families, their lives:

Riaz Haq said...

John G. Gill's review of books on Pakistan by TV Paul, Christine Fair and Aqil Shah:

As for the individual books, it would have been interesting to see
Fair and Paul examine how the Pakistan Army defines concepts such as
“friends” and “interests” in the international context. Fair approaches this
in her review of the army’s hagiographic treatment of China as compared
with the generally vitriolic rhetoric reserved for the United States, and
Paul touches on this issue when he depicts Pakistan as viewing the world
through a Hobbesian prism. But it would have been enlightening if they
had carried this line of thinking a few steps further. Shah, on the other
hand, may be too critical of the army in some of its recent interactions with
the civilian elements of the state. The former chief of staff of the Pakistan
army, General Ashfaq Kayani, for one, allegedly tried but failed to elicit
strategic guidance from the civilian leadership. Having cleared and held
zones of militancy such as Swat, the army may also legitimately complain
that civilian authorities are conspicuous by their absence when the time
comes for the military to withdraw. Furthermore, the army is the object of

urgent importunities by groups across the political spectrum whenever a
domestic crisis arises. For example, Shah might have explicitly addressed
the thorny issues associated with the army’s role—if any—when elected
officials undermine the political system through corruption, ineptitude, or
megalomaniac behavior. Breaking out of this destructive cycle requires civil
as well as military vision and steadfastness.
These lacunae and desiderata notwithstanding, all three works are
excellent additions to the growing scholarship on Pakistan and its army.
Policy-relevant and academically rigorous, thoughtful and readable, they
can be recommended highly for decision-makers, staffers, and analysts in
the policy, security, and intelligence communities. They will be especially
valuable for diplomats and military officers assigned to serve in Pakistan or
with Pakistani armed forces.

Riaz Haq said...

From Express Tribune:

Whatever Mr Haqqani’s critics say, he’s not trying for the Padma Bhushan. Turning chameleon again, the gentleman switched from Krishna Menon to John Bolton last April: “[…] American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India and perceived domestic enemies,” Mr Haqqani wrote for the WSJ, “instead of being deployed against jihadists.” The op-ed was titled, “Why Are We Sending This Attack Helicopter to Pakistan?”

To which Pakistan may have asked, who’s ‘we’? Of late, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US has become the US’s ambassador to Pakistan — if that ambassador were a nagging neocon with an axe to grind.

But to understand Brand HH and why he’s giving the republic a kicking, we need to go back. From day one, Mr Haqqani has been Team Charhta Suraj: a hired hand for the biggest boys on the playground. At KU, those were quite literally the Jamiat.

Outside campus “I also developed a personal bond with [General Zia],” wrote Mr Haqqani. “General Zia was staunchly pro-Western, but had an Islamic vision of sorts that could be captivating. He saw himself as God’s instrument in getting rid of the communists in Afghanistan, which (he correctly foresaw) would mark the disintegration of the Soviet Union.” This paper’s Aakar Patel even suspected HH ghostwrote Mr Sharif’s tribute to General Zia in Shaheed-ul-Islam. Having lent himself to both general and Jamiat, it only followed that Mr Haqqani would fall in love with Nawaz Sharif and the IJI.

But that’s when the mud starts piling up. As the late, great Cowasjee sahib put it, “During Nawaz-I and Benazir-II the most prominent weaver [of lies] and damage-doer was Husain Haqqani.”

As to why belief in democracy was contrary to mocking Asif Ali Zardari, the chairman didn’t say. Nor did his predecessor: Shaheed Mohtarma took Mr Haqqani back in, a liberal reborn.

Enter Squealer 4.0: like a football forward constantly trading up teams, Mr Haqqani hit the jackpot —Ambassadorship in 2008, courtesy President Zardari’s sense of humour. Embraced by America’s red-meat right, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg saluted the ambassador with a straight face: “A one-time Islamist turned pro-democracy Americaphile.”

Yet it was too good to last. Like a fortune teller, Cowasjee had diagnosed the delusion in ’99: “[Haqqani] considers himself capable, with the necessary help, of climbing up the greasy pole and leading the 140 millions to glory.”

After the Osama raid, the ambassador overshot; he may have thought the ‘necessary help’ would be American intervention, that it would fix the civ-mil imbalance (if with a new imbalance in favour of American civilians). Reads the memo to Mike Mullen, “Should you be willing to do so, Washington’s political/military backing would result in a revamp of the civilian government that … replaces … national security officials with trusted advisers … favourably viewed by Washington.”

His Excellency denies involvement.

Mr Haqqani now occupies that rarest of spaces in American public life: an exile with an agenda. Other worthies include Iraq’s Chalabi and Iran’s Pahlavi Junior — gents the Department of Defence blows hot and cold on, given the season.

But like all spin gurus, the man’s solutions aren’t solid: they range from the West putting Islamabad in its place, to Pakistan preferably castrating itself first. A recent book, Magnificent Delusions, is a study in our ingratitude (even the front cover is a Stars-and-Stripes bonfire).

The trouble is, Husain Haqqani isn’t representative of Pakistan; he’s not even representative of Husain Haqqani five years ago. Pakistan too has moved on: the war has been taken to the militants, at tremendous risk. Confidence is up and terror is low, but it’s a long road ahead. It’s time HH move on as well, if in the direction of the next rising sun (the Chinese Communist Party, perhaps?).

Riaz Haq said...

Mosque and military have shaped the idea of Pakistan: Husain Haqqani

New Delhi: Pakistan's former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said the country should not live by the slogan 'Pakistan in Danger' and it should focus on friendly relationship with India.
Haqqani's speech on Thursday was played as a recorded video message at the ongoing Penguin Spring Fever Literary festival as he could not make it to the event.

Clarifying his absence, Haqqani said that he could not avail the visa as he applied late and it takes very long for a Pakistani to get an Indian visa.
"In 1948, Bengali leader Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy said that Pakistan will not prosper if the leaders try to run it on the basis of fear, just as the country was formed on the creation of the fear that Islam is in danger," Haqqani, who has written the book 'Pakistan - Between Mosque and Military', said.
He also said that Pakistan has to overcome the baggage of partition, that is manifested in the forms of militancy and militarism .
"The debate on partition has been going on for long and it was debilitating for the country. It divided the country and led to the formation of Bangladesh. Pakistan can become plural and modern society if we shed the baggage of partition," said Haqqani.
The author also argued that Pakistan's militarism is a result of the difficult relationship between India and Pakistan.
"In my book, I have argued that how mosque and military have shaped the idea of Pakistan," he said.
Stressing on the need for friendly ties with India, he said that the country has to accept criticism in the right earnest.
"People of Pakistan need to understand that the criticism of the policy are not questioning the right of the people of Pakistan to live in peace. It is important to come to terms for Pakistan that progress is important and that modus operandi with India is important," he noted.

"The country is young, 100 million are below the age of 22 and are talented people whose potential is yet to unleash. It is up to the world to see Pakistan as that of poets, of artists, of small and battled liberals, of landed aristocracy or that of an establishment," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Much has already been said about former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani’s return to the public sphere after being accused of requesting an American intervention in Pakistani politics. The crux of Haqqani’s argument—to be developed in a forthcoming book on U.S.-Pakistan relations, Magnificent Delusions—is that the United States and Pakistan willfully mislead themselves about what their alliance means, leading to cycles of engagement and disenchantment. These cycles have had serious consequences, including feelings of distrust and betrayal, uncooperative behavior, and acts of violence. Haqqani called for a looser relationship—in his terms, a friendship, not a marriage—to break the cycle and enable the two states to cooperate more effectively in areas of common interest.

In some respects, this is not a revolutionary opinion. Pakistani distaste for America’s involvement is well-known, from the neatly-painted signs at Jamaat-e-Islami protests to the widespread nationalist grievance that followed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Polls suggest that about three quarters of Pakistanis see America as an enemy. American distaste for Pakistan is just as deep. For many Americans, for instance, the mention of Pakistan conjures of images of a flag-burning mob, while among the foreign policy elite it is not rare to hear that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a more serious danger to America than any that Iran might acquire. The cover of The Atlantic branded Islamabad “The Ally From Hell;” nobody in Haqqani’s audience at the Center for the National Interest last month moved when he asked for a show of hands from those who thought the U.S. should have told the ISI before going after bin Laden.

What is revolutionary is that the call for 'divorce' is now coming from a man who spent three and a half years trying to keep the marriage together, for in spite of all the criticism of Washington and Islamabad’s dysfunctional relationship, few are willing to live with the risks of separation. Many American security officials have grave concerns about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. A close relationship with Pakistan, they reason, allows the U.S. to press for stronger safeguards and, in the event of a radical coup or other crisis, gives Washington more ways to keep the bombs out of the most dangerous hands. The United States has reportedly provided guidance on securing nuclear facilities and creating stringent launch procedures, even though Pakistan has understandably kept Americans away from the physical facilities. American efforts to deepen this cooperation have been rebuffed, but officials have expressed satisfaction with the general safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and Islamabad is believed to keep its weapons systems partially disassembled, a lower state of readiness than America’s own. However, worries abound that in a nuclear crisis with India, Pakistan’s nuclear forces would disperse from their secured bases to ensure some would survive an Indian strike, and, according to some reports, Pakistan moves some warheads in unmarked vans even in peacetime. Enterprising extremists could seize some of these wandering weapons.

Haqqani argued that America’s worries about Pakistan’s bombs are not realistic and thus do not justify the alliance. After all, he noted, America did not provide assistance in securing the nuclear weapons of its rivals during the tensions of the Cold War, yet the weapons were not accidentally launched or seized by terrorists. Haqqani has a valid point. With or without American involvement, Pakistan’s government has a vital interest in the security of its nuclear weapons. Nuclear irresponsibility could have grave consequences for Pakistan’s international relations, and would increase the risk of accidental war. Pakistan’s leaders would be insane not to take steps to secure their bombs and clarify the chain of command.

Riaz Haq said...

Let’s have quick look of Mr Hussain Haqqani’s [Nowadays an American Scholar who lecture on Democracy] dirty and filthy past while he was part and parcel of Army-Jamat-e-Islami Axis which is riddled witch scandals and corruption. A detailed CV of Husaain Haqqani is at the end to corroborate the comment.

With brainwashing on the one hand and erosion of academic freedom on the other, the campuses (once temples of learning and enlightenment) have been turned into centres of rowdyism and repositories of deadly weapon. Students belonging to various schools of religious thought, regional and ethnic groups, particularly the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba (the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami) , have played havoc with educational institutions. Professors were another target of the victimization carried out in this period. Members of the IJT launched a concerted campaign against professors known for their liberal views. In Punjab University, particularly, many professors were forced to resign, others were sacked.

The situation was no different in the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, which had in the 70s attracted many brilliant Pakistanis who were teaching abroad. As the harassment became unbearable, most of these professors went back. To what extent fundamentalists blocked scientific knowledge can be assessed by one incident at the Karachi University, where a zoology lecturer was stopped from teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Similar incidents occurred frequently in the philosophy and the economics department. The situation has worsened wit the passage of time. During that period, a policy of appeasement towards the IJT made matter worse. Guns boomed at the Karachi University Campus for the first time in 1979 when, according to Imran Shirvanee, Raja Javed, a supporter of IJT, used a sten gun ‘to tackle the opposition.’ When the pen and free expression are throttled, the only means open to tackle opposition is a firearm. At that time, the IJT was the ruling party in Karachi University politics with Hussain Haqqani, Raja Javed was his close aide.

Haqqani is a man of many roles. The former Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent was the media advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif when Benazir Bhutto was at the centre {1988-1990}. He switched to serve caretaker Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi in 1990, and then switched back again to serve Sharif when he was elected Prime Minister. In 1992, he was sent to Sri Lanka as Pakistan’s High Commissioner. On the eve of Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal on 18 April 1993, he jumped the sinking ship and joined President Ghulam Ishaq Khan bandwagon. Immediately, he was rewarded by being made a special assistant to the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Balakh Sher Mazari with the rank of Minister of State. Asked by BBC if he now deserved a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for switching loyalties so often, his reply was classic: I was always with the President.’”

Mr Haqqani. Right from this student politics with the Jamaat’s student wing, the dreaded Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba, at Karachi University there is much that Mr Haqqani is answerable for. The violence at the university and the brutal suppression of free speech that the IJT imposed on the campus in those days was done with Mr Haqqani very much an active player. Many still say that he was the architect of the IJT’s policy of using brute force to suppress opposition opinion. We next saw him on PTV – which was a kind of a launching pad for him -during the 1985 partyless elections. It was an election which destroyed Pakistan’s politics in more ways than one and much that we see wrong with Pakistan’s politics today dates back to that election. It was because of the destructive potential of the election that every liberal and progressive party in the country boycotted those elections. Yet there was Mr Haqqani at his most articulate, lauding the farcical exercise as if it was the best thing that had happened to the country since its birth.

Riaz Haq said...

Husain Haqqani is a "scholar" whose research for his book "Magnificent Delusion" is based almost entirely on the work of press reporters like Time-Life's photographer Margaret Bourke-White and her fellow American journalists whom he quotes extensively to support his positions. Haqqani finds them more credible and insightful than Jinnah, Liaquat, Truman, Eisenhower, Dulles and other top leaders and policy-makers in Pakistan and United State.

Riaz Haq said...

Former envoy (Husain Haqqani) lobbying against #Pakistan in #Washington: Aziz

A former Pakistani ambassador in Washington has been lobbying against his own country and creating problems for the government in Islamabad, says foreign policy wizard. Though Sartaj Aziz didn’t name anyone, it was obvious that he was referring to Hussain Haqqani.

“He is trying to circumvent all our diplomatic efforts aimed at boosting bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States,” Aziz said. “The Foreign Office has serious reservations about his activities in the US.”

Indian PM’s visit to US: International lobby ‘active against Pakistan’

Aziz made the statement in the lower house of parliament after opposition MPs criticized the government over recent foreign policy fiascos. Aziz downplayed the opposition’s criticism, saying Pakistan had the lowest budget for the Foreign Office — Rs15 billion — while Turkey had a Rs82 billion budget and Iran Rs40 billion. “The Foreign Office budget has been increased by 14% over the last three years,” he said.

Foreign policy

According to Aziz, Pakistan was pursuing a ‘balanced policy’ based on non-interference and protection of national interests and nuclear assets and its sovereignty.

“Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s recent trip to Muslim countries should not be construed as a failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said. Pakistan enjoys historical relations with the Muslim world based on common religion, Aziz said. “Modi’s visit will not affect our ties.”

Aziz also said that Pakistan was ‘making successful efforts’ against India’s attempt to seek a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. About the new border management plan with Afghanistan, the de facto foreign minister said: “The war against terror cannot be won without effective border management.”

All is not bad

Aziz said criticism for criticism’s sake would not go down well as the CPEC, Central Asia-South Asia-1000 and besides Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline were the projects for regional connectivity. “Pakistan’s political role will enhance after becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.”

About Afghanistan, the foreign policy wizard said Pakistan was pursuing a ‘no-favourite policy’ and making efforts to restore peace in the war-ravaged country through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.

Meanwhile, NA approved 19 demands for grants of four ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Food Security and Water and Power. The opposition had moved over 700 cut motions but they were rejected in a voice vote.

Riaz Haq said...

As ambassador, Mr. Husain Haqqani behaved like "One Man Think Tank" who was "eager to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military".

American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be seen as meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs, said they hoped Ms. Rehman’s range of contacts within Pakistan’s military and its government and among rights groups could potentially make her a more effective interlocutor than her predecessor, who was very much seen as Mr. Zardari’s man, although he did argue the military’s case when needed.

The American officials were also pleased by Ms. Rehman’s speedy appointment, which assuaged fears of prolonged standoff between the military and civilian authorities over the ambassadorship, arguably Pakistan’s most important diplomatic posting. “The military doesn’t need more excuses to disregard the president and prime minister,” said one American official. “That they all found a way to agree quickly is a positive. They need an ambassador in Washington; we need them to have an ambassador in Washington.”

But experts in Pakistan and the United States cautioned that American officials should not view Ms. Rehman’s social liberalism, which is common among Pakistan’s elite, as a sign that she will fall in line with Washington’s views on what is best for Pakistan.

“Folks in Washington will expect her national security agenda to be as liberal as her domestic agenda,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia analyst at the Eurasia Group who previously served as the director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council.

“She’s coming here to represent the government, and that includes the military,” Ms. Chaudhary said.

Mr. Haqqani, in contrast, at times behaved as “a one-man think tank,” said one American official. The ambassador would often privately voice criticism of the military that he had publicly laid out before taking on his role, the official said.

Mr. Haqqani’s eagerness to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military and its longstanding ties to militant groups, had over the past year led to a diminishing of his influence in Washington, especially in the White House, said a pair of American officials. “There were questions about his influence at home and whether he could be trusted to accurately convey what his principals were thinking,” said one of the American officials.

Riaz Haq said...

How the #American #CIA Infiltrated the World's #Literature Using Famous Writers as Tools … via @VICE

"The CIA's influence in publishing was on the covert ops side, and it was done as propaganda. It was a control of how intellectuals thought about the US."

The new book, Finks, reveals how great writers such as Baldwin, Márquez, and Hemingway became soldiers in America's cultural Cold War.

When the CIA's connections to the Paris Review and two dozen other magazines were revealed in 1966, the backlash was swift but uneven. Some publications crumbled, taking their editors down with them, while other publishers and writers emerged relatively unscathed, chalking it up to youthful indiscretion or else defending the CIA as a "nonviolent and honorable" force for good. But in an illuminating new book Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers, writer Joel Whitney debunks the myth of a once-moral intelligence agency, revealing an extensive list of writers involved in transforming America's image in countries we destabilized with coups, assassinations, and other all-American interventions.

The CIA developed several guises to throw money at young, burgeoning writers, creating a cultural propaganda strategy with literary outposts around the world, from Lebanon to Uganda, India to Latin America. The same agency that occasionally undermined democracies for the sake of fighting Communism also launched the Congress for Cultural Freedoms (CCF). The CCF built editorial strategies for each of these literary outposts, allowing them to control the conversation in countries where readers might otherwise resist the American perspective. The Paris Review, whose co-founder Peter Matthiessen was a CIA agent, would sell its commissioned interviews to the magazine's counterparts in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere. Mundo Nuevo was created to offer a moderate-left perspective to earn trust among Latin American readers, effectively muting more radical perspectives during the Cuban Revolution. Sometimes the agency would provide editors with funding and content; other times it would work directly with writers to shape the discourse. Through these acts, the CCF weaponized the era's most progressive intellectuals as the American answer to the Soviet spin machine.

While the CIA's involvement in anti-Communist propaganda has been long known, the extent of its influence—particularly in the early careers of the left's most beloved writers—is shocking. Whitney, the co-founder and editor at large of the literary magazine Guernica, spent four years digging through archives, yielding an exhaustive list—James Baldwin, Gabriel García Márquez, Richard Wright, and Ernest Hemingway all served varying levels of utility to Uncle Sam. (Not that the CIA's interest were only in letters: Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko were also championed by arms of the agency.)

But don't let that ruin Love in the Time of Cholera. Whitney explains with methodical clarity how each writer became a tool for the CIA. This nuance not only salvages many of the classics from being junked as solely propaganda, but it serves as a cautionary tale for those trying to navigate today's "post-truth" media landscape. In an era where Facebook algorithms dictate the national discourse, even the most well-meaning journalist is prone to stories that distract on behalf of the US government.

"It was often a way to change the subject from the civil rights fight at home," Whitney said of the CIA's content strategy during the Cold War. We can easily draw parallels to today, where the nation's most dire issues are rarely our viral subjects. With Donald Trump's presidency just weeks away, Finks arrives at a crucial time, exposing the political machinery that can affect which stories are shared and which are silenced.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex #Pakistan Envoy Husain Haqqani: "I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of #CIA operatives" in #Pakistan

"Among the security establishment’s grievances against me was the charge that I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives who helped track down bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistan’s army — even though I had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how conservative Heritage Foundation, funded by Koch Brothers, supports Republican climate change denial agenda:

When Nick Loris started sketching out budget proposals for the Department of Energy in 2012, he didn't realize his theories would actually go into practice.

Now the 33-year-old Heritage Foundation policy analyst's work might be the key to the Trump administration's energy strategy.

"It's fun," said Loris, an energy and environmental policy fellow at the conservative Washington-based think tank. "We certainly are writing what we're doing for a purpose, and that's to, in terms of energy, create a more market-oriented energy economy that works more efficiently and protects taxpayer dollars and rewards innovation."

The Heritage Foundation is poised to have a major role in President Trump's federal budget, and its small-government focus means big cuts are in store across federal agencies (Energywire, March 7).

More than 30 Heritage staffers were part of the Trump transition team, and several now work at the White House, including Loris' boss at Heritage, Paul Winfree. Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the president of the Heritage Foundation, met with Trump at the White House this week.

Observers, analysts and career staffers at federal agencies are desperately trying to figure out where the Trump administration is setting its funding priorities. For climate researchers, clean energy startups and power plants whose work is funded by DOE, Loris' work on a conservative take on the agency could foretell their future.

Quotable and telegenic, Loris is a frequent sight in climate and energy discussions in Washington, D.C., bringing an articulate conservative voice to discussions on what the government should or should not do in the energy sector.

He completed his undergraduate degree in economics in 2006 at Albright College near his hometown of Quakertown, Pa. He then completed a master's degree in economics at George Mason University in 2008 and received a Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation fellowship, which then placed him at Heritage. He's now worked there for more than nine years.

Loris has been on shows like BBC's "Newsnight" to discuss the Paris climate change accord and on CNN's "Crossfire" to debate Bill Nye the Science Guy on climate change. He also had a cameo in Leonardo DiCaprio's climate change documentary.

On Capitol Hill, he's the Republicans' go-to guy on DOE's budget, having testified before Congress seven times. He will do so again before the end of the month at a hearing on wasteful DOE programs.

Riaz Haq said...

Can US President take Hudson Institute report on Pakistan seriously?

by Jamal Hussain

Dismissed for suspected anti-state activities, which he vehemently denies, accusing the Pakistan Army of orchestrating a plot to implicate him in a false case. HH settled in the USA and currently is the Director for South Asia and Central Asia at Hudson Institute. He has authored three books on Pakistan where his animosity towards the Pakistan Army is apparent.

He is known to carry a grudge against the Pakistan Army that a clear majority of Pakistanis consider the only state institution which secures the country from foreign domination. With such a credential of HH, should one expect objectivity if he heads a policy paper advising the US administration on how to deal with Pakistan?

Lisa Curtis, the co-author is a retired CIA employee who has also served as a diplomat in Pakistan and India. With her CIA background where the confrontation of the CIA with the Pakistani intelligence agency the ISI is an open secret, can one expect an impartial approach when dealing with Pakistan where the ISI is known to provide key inputs on the conduct of the nation’s foreign policy?

Among the signatories, Christine Fair, Polly Nayak and Aparna Pande ring alarm bells. Christine Fair, who once was considered the darling of the Pakistan Army, is now known for her anti-Pakistan sentiments. Her earlier work on drones and her pro-drone stance and viewpoints has been denounced as “surprisingly weak” by Brooking Institution and journalist Glenn Greenwald dismissed it as “rank propaganda.”

n 2011 and 2012 she received funding from the US embassy in Islamabad to conduct a survey on public opinion concerning militancy. Her journalistic sources have been questioned for their credibility and she has been accused of having a conflict of interest due to her past work with the US government think tanks, as well as the CIA.

In the Pakistani media, she has been accused of double standards, partisanship towards India and has been criticized for her contacts with dissident leaders from Baluchistan, a link which raises serious questions “if her interest in Pakistan is merely academic.”

Polly Nayak, a South Asian expert and currently an independent consultant retired from CIA in late 2002 as a senior executive. Her views on Pakistan, like those of Lisa Curtis, would not be free from the bias that colors CIA’s opinion about Pakistan and Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency the ISI, which is viewed as an ally only when its help is desperately sought— otherwise a nemesis.

Aparna Pande is a born Indian working for the Hudson Institute and her writings mirror the rabidly anti-Pakistan stance of the Indian government under Narendra Modi.


Avoid viewing and portraying Pakistan as an ally, is the first policy recommendation of the briefing paper. The USA has never considered Pakistan as a true ally and has used this term only when it suited them. It considers Pakistan as a rentier state and hires it for a price to pursue policies to promote their regional and global agenda.

Yes, Pakistan has often willingly accepted the US offer, at a considerable price to its security and well-being. Even though the military aid package of 1954 and the collaboration in the 1980s to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan was on a reciprocal basis where both sides viewed it as a win-win situation, the USA benefitted far more from them while Pakistan, in the long run, paid a very heavy price for the liaisons.

The Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement of 1954 turned Pakistan as the bulwark against any spread of communism that was primarily aimed at containment of the USSR. The defense pact ruled the USSR, the rival superpower, and a neighbor of Pakistan to an extent where they established a strategic partnership with India, the country’s principal security threat and enemy, which had unlawfully and illegally occupied two-thirds of Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of "Our Man", US diplomat Richard Holbrooke's biography by George Packer

Holbrooke returned from Islamabad and told Ambassador Haqqani about his talk with Kayani and Pasha. “Your army wants a balance of power with India,” Holbrooke said. “The civilians want more money for economic development. What if we offer both of them what they want?” “That’s a great formula,” Haqqani replied. “But what if the army doesn’t just want to be able to defend against India—because, is there a real threat? What if what they want is pride and prestige equal to that of India? Look at the record.” (Pakistan's Ambassador Husain) Haqqani—who was distrusted in both Washington and Islamabad—began a campaign to educate Holbrooke in Pakistani reality. The lessons began in the SRAP office during working hours but continued evenings and weekends at Georgetown restaurants and movie theaters and ice cream parlors, where Haqqani always paid.


(Pakistani Ambassador Husain) Haqqani told him (Richard Holbrooke) that the ISI didn’t want the United States to know Pakistan too well. Haqqani once heard Pasha say, “You civilians are wrong—there is no way Holbrooke has our interests at heart. He’s a Jew.” Haqqani explained to Holbrooke that the Pakistani military was deceiving itself as well as America—imagining an Indian menace in order to justify the outsized power and budget it had claimed ever since the founding of the state. Why would the generals cut a deal over the Taliban that would only deflate their significance by reducing tensions with India? Holbrooke’s effort to change Pakistan’s perception of its national interest was doomed, because the perception was based on delusions. As for Pakistan’s politicians, they would always promise things they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t have the popular standing at home. The public was divided on violent Islamists but nearly united in its strident anti-Americanism, which no amount of flood relief could change. But the promises kept coming along with the deceptions, because the generals and the politicians needed the Americans. It was like theater, Haqqani said. The whole region was a theater in which everyone understood their part, except the Americans.

Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.