London: Behind the rhetoric of Pakistan`s
importance in the `war on terror`, there is `fury` in western
governments over the country`s duplicity on the issue, a
leading British expert on security in the region says.
Professor Shaun Gregory, director of the Pakistan
Security Research Unit at the University of Bradford, told PTI
today that each disclosure in the recent past that nailed
Pakistan`s duplicity made it difficult for other countries to
continue to support it.
He said: "Each disclosure - whether about A Q Khan,
the Afghan Taliban safe havens in Pakistan, the relationship
between the Pakistan Army/ISI and the Haqqanis and LeT, or
about the Osama bin Laden`s compound, makes it harder for
those who have political reasons to support Pakistan to
continue to do so".
Gregory, who is often consulted by parliamentary
committees and others, added: "There is fury in the Obama
administration, on Capitol Hill, and in many western
governments about Pakistan`s duplicity... I do not think that
the US has trusted the Pakistan Army/ISI for years, nor should
they do so. Others governments will inevitably draw the same
Noting that US-Pakistani relations were in a crisis
before bin Laden was killed, he said Pakistan had already
begun to make life more difficult for the US by steps such as
seeking the renegotiation of the 2001 access deal, closing the
Shamsi airbase, asking for many CIA/operatives to leave
Pakistan, `outing` the CIA Director in Pakistan, and putting
pressure on NATO supply lines through Pakistan.
"I suspect in the weeks ahead the Pakistan Army will
seek to offset US pressure and seek to rebuild its credibility
with the Pakistani people by making a series of tough
decisions against US interests; and seeking to construct a
narrative around OBL`s death which puts the Army/ISI in a
better light," Gregory said.
However, he added: "I do not see that the main
cleavages in Pakistan or the terrorist dynamics will be much
affected by the death, though a rise in terrorist acts against
US/foreign interests in Pakistan may be anticipated".
According to him, India will be tempted to conclude
that the US action in Abbottabad set a precedent, but believed
that violation of Pakistan sovereignty by India could spark a
Gregory said: "There will be a temptation for India to
draw this conclusion and powerful motives to do so when India
sees that Pakistan harbours terrorists/criminals but seems
unable or unwilling to move against them".
However, Pakistan appears to have had an outline
agreement with the US to allow insertion operations against
high-value al Qaeda targets, and there is at least some
support in Pakistan for the elimination of Osama bin Laden.
"In the case of an Indian incursion against, for
example, the LeT leadership this would not be the case, it is
doubtful India would have the detailed intelligence required
to underwrite success,and given the tensions and history
between India and Pakistan a violation of Pakistani
sovereignty in this manner could spark a war," Gregory said.
In a submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee`s
recent report on Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said despite
billions of dollars of military and civilian and `much
diplomatic attention`, the US, UK and NATO had been "unable to
pressure Pakistan into serious downward pressure on the Afghan
The reasons why western powers could not force
Pakistan to act in their interests is because of the
counter-leverage it held over them.
Gregory cited four reasons for this counter-leverage
that included the fact that up to 80 per cent of NATO`s main
logistics lines flow through Pakistan and they are dependent
on these routes, disruption or interdiction of which poses a
strategic threat to NATO objectives in Pakistan.
He noted the recent 10-day closure of Torkham and the
express linkage of that closure to the NATO cross-border
incursions into Pakistan illustrate the point.
Citing other reasons, he said "we rely on Pakistan for
base infrastructure and over-flights to prosecute the war in
Afghanistan besides relying for intelligence in Pakistan
particularly on al Qaeda.
"Without this our counter-terrorism efforts would be
seriously degraded," he said.
"Finally we rely on Pakistan`s Army and ISI to keep
Pakistan`s estimated 60-100 nuclear weapons out of terrorist
hands. This is arguably the ultimate threat the Pakistan
Army/ISI can make," he said.
Gregory told the committee that they were "too
dependent" on Pakistan in too many grave security areas to
seriously question the Army or the ISI.
"We know Pakistan are - from our point of view -
duplicitous with respect to the Afghan Taliban, but there is
little or nothing we can do about that and we should not
expect Pakistan to work against what it perceives to be its
own interests. Moreover Pakistan has coercive options which
are truly frightening," he said.
Former Chinese vice mayor gets death in graft case
Beijing: State media say a former vice
mayor of China`s wealthy resort city of Hangzhou has been
sentenced to death on corruption charges.
The Xinhua News Agency says 52-year-old Xu Maiyong was
convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power today in
one of the harshest sentences handed down to a high-level
Chinese official in years. No details of the charges have been
Sentences are often announced on the same day as
verdicts in China. All death sentences are automatically
appealed to China`s supreme court.
While graft is rife among Chinese officials and
corruption cases are common, few result in death sentences
unless linked to murder or other violent crimes. This sentence
appeared intended to signal the party`s resolve on combatting