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Good Cop, Bad Cop and Pakistan

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    Good Cop, Bad Cop and Pakistan

    interesting article on stratfor. so it seems best option for pak to capture al-quaida for US.
    Good Cop, Bad Cop and Pakistan
    2120 GMT, 011231


    With tensions between India and Pakistan rising, Washington is playing good cop to New Delhi's bad cop in order to pressure Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf will cooperate in the near term by cracking down on anti-Indian militants in his country. Although this may help avert a war between the two sides, it will not advance the U.S. goals of finding al Qaeda elements in Pakistan.


    Pakistan now finds itself sandwiched between India and the United States. India has massed large numbers of forces along its border with Pakistan. On a superficial level, the mobilization was triggered by the recent attack on India's Parliament by alleged Pakistani-backed suicide teams. But in a broader sense, it was triggered by India's sense that there is a historical window of opportunity to resolve not only the Kashmir issue but the Pakistan problem as well.

    With India playing the bad cop with Pakistan, the United States has maneuvered itself into the role of good cop. Acting as a friend of Islamabad, Washington has been pressuring President Pervez Musharraf to shut down anti-Indian extremists operating in the country. The United States has positioned itself as the honest broker working hard to prevent war between the Asian rivals.

    Like India, however, the United States is playing a deeper game. There is an excellent chance that Osama bin Laden and his command cell have taken refuge in Pakistan under the protection of one of several entities. Even if he and al Qaeda commanders remain in Afghanistan, it is almost certain Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, either knows where they are or has the means of finding out.

    The ISI was the architect of the Taliban movement, and it has ties to everyone in the region who might be inclined favorably toward al Qaeda. It is highly probable that the ISI, working all of its sources assiduously, could locate bin Laden.

    The American good cop is using the Indian bad cop to frighten Musharraf in the hope that he will pressure the ISI to help find al Qaeda and anti-Indian elements. But it is not clear, perhaps even to Musharraf himself, how much leverage he has with the ISI, particularly with the mid-level managers and operatives whose cooperation is critical. Musharraf knows that if he miscalculates and pushes too hard, the ISI and other Islamic groups could snap back at him, possibly toppling him from office and replacing him with a true hard-liner.

    The United States is also aware of this danger. It does not want Musharraf to fall because what comes after him will be worse. Therefore, Washington is trying to walk the tightrope with Musharraf, applying sufficient pressure without forcing him into a place from which he cannot return.

    For now, Musharraf is first trying to see how far he can go to at least satisfy India without infuriating his Pakistani supporters. He therefore recently ordered the arrest of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, leader of the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which New Delhi has implicated in the Parliament attack. Pakistan has now detained the leaders of the two Kashmiri militant groups -- including Jaish-e-Mohammad -- blamed for the attack.

    No one knows what, if anything, these arrests will mean. Certainly, it does not guarantee the permanent destruction of either of these groups. Moreover, the willingness to arrest anti-India leaders is not the same as providing complete cooperation with the United States in arresting al Qaeda members.

    Musharraf's action is ultimately of only marginal interest to hard-line Islamists. First, being under arrest is not a permanent condition. Second, those groups are not going to be operational for a while anyway, as they are likely regrouping after the attack on Parliament. Finally, arresting their leaders allows Musharraf to work toward defusing the near-war situation along the frontier without capitulating on the more fundamental issue of collaboration with the United States against Taliban and al Qaeda elements.

    In a sense, Musharraf's move against the anti-Indian groups is slick. With the United States demanding the arrest of the perpetrators of the attack, Musharraf has given the United States what it asked for. The United States is now stuck, as good cops frequently are, between a rock and hard place.

    First, Washington does not want a war on the subcontinent. On the other hand, it finds the Indian threat quite useful. Washington wants Pakistan to feel vulnerable to India because that will make it more forthcoming toward the United States. The Bush administration wants the crisis to end, but only after it has gotten what it wants from Musharraf -- cooperation from the ISI on locating al Qaeda.

    Second, by cracking down on the anti-Indian groups, Musharraf can honestly say he has done everything possible to accommodate India. He can also say he has fully cooperated with the United States. And at least publicly, he will be right, for the United States has done everything possible to keep the real dispute between Washington and Islamabad as quiet as possible.

    The United States is obsessed with maintaining the coalition against al Qaeda. Pakistan was at the start portrayed as being a key, active participant in that coalition. The truth, of course, was that Pakistan was much less active than Washington would have liked.

    What was key about Pakistan was that it provided a coalition member that had acceptable Islamic credentials, something priceless to the United States. The problem for the United States is that destroying al Qaeda is the end and the coalition is simply a means. Means and ends are now being confused and need to be clarified.

    The Indians would love an excuse to settle scores with Pakistan. The United States does not want a war, but it does want India to play the bad cop to the U.S. good cop. This way the ISI, out of fear of India, will be pressured to cooperate in finding al Qaeda members in Pakistan.

    Musharraf is searching for the least he can do to satisfy the United States. The United States is trying to keep its deep split with Islamabad under wraps for the sake of the coalition and to hold its place as a friend.

    Each day that Musharraf manages to placate India without giving the United States what it wants, the likelihood that there will be no war, that Musharraf will survive and that Washington will not break al Qaeda increases. Therefore, as the cover policy of averting war is achieved, the deeper need of forcing the ISI to cooperate on al Qaeda will reassert itself, and the good cop might well turn into a bad cop.

    And I never thought I'd live to see the day when ZZ posts an article which praises Mushy so unabashedly. All Glory to Allah.


      Originally posted by MJ:
      And I never thought I'd live to see the day when ZZ posts an article which praises Mushy so unabashedly. All Glory to Allah.
      u see, given that article which clearly critizes pak is deleted in not time, i chose this one.

      in any case, read it again. all glory to allah, u will need some help from allah soon as well.

      [This message has been edited by ZZ (edited January 03, 2002).]


        Both America's and India's concerns are with regard to self-interest. With pakistan being in such a strategic position, there is no reason why all countries cannot benefit from mutual co-operation.

        With Musharraf's help provided to the US, which has been deeply appreciated, there is also the opportunity for India to join in the war on terrorism by cracking down on militant hindu organisations which threaten harmony in the region.

        The Kashmir flashpoint is once again in the world view, and there is an opportunity for this to be settled peacefully, provided the hardline Hindutva nationalist government of India can show the same secular statesmanship as has been displayed by Pakistan.


          Here's a different slant on how things stand vis-a-vis Pakistan, India and the world community. With Pakistan's well-considered responses in these days of crisis, it will become more and more difficult for any hawkish actions from Dehli:


          Much to the chagrin of New Delhi, the strategic ties between United States and Pakistan have not only been revived but Pakistan has also regained its privileged status of a frontline state. New Delhi had neither expected this to happen nor it thought that its sustained efforts to pin the label of a terrorist state on Pakistan would go down the drain so quickly. Contrary to Indian wishes, General Musharraf's government has not only escaped any retribution for its past close links with the defunct Taliban regime in Afghanistan but is being handsomely rewarded for its central role in the global fight against terrorism. All American curbs against Pakistan have been lifted and Pakistan has regained its lost position of respect and dignity among the comity of nations.

          The army-led regime of General Musharraf is no longer an international pariah but is being increasingly perceived to be a force for regional stability and peace in South Asia. Pakistan's remarkable diplomatic resurgence since September 11, especially the stunning change in its international image from a "failing" state to a stable and pivotal entity, has exposed the limits of Indian diplomacy to influence international events to its own advantage. At a deeper level it also underscores the persistence or zero-sum mindset in New Delhi in which any gain by Pakistan is perceived to be a loss for India. Both India and Pakistan need to overcome these adversarial perceptions. Unless that happens the prospects for peace between them would remain bleak.


            Originally posted by Mr Xtreme:
            With Musharraf's help provided to the US, which has been deeply appreciated, there is also the opportunity for India to join in the war on terrorism by cracking down on militant hindu organisations which threaten harmony in the region.

            yeah.. ..these hindu organizations are carrying out suicide attacks every day.

            in any case, the article basically says that way out is to hand over the al qaida leadership to US, which US believes that ISI or some members of ISI know everything about..


              I know what that article is saying, but then that would be assuming that Al Qaeda people are in Pakistan, of which there is no proof.

              Pakistan has always handed over anybody US has requested in the past, i.e., Ramzi Yousuf, so it seems unlikely that Musharraf, a secularist would fail to do the same with Al Qaeda.