Omantribune
Oman Tribune
Omantribune
Omantribune Search News
Web Oman
    Google Search Button
      Tribune
- Oman
- Soccer World Cup
- Other Top Stories
- Middle East
- Business
- Sports
- India
- Pakistan
- Asia
- Europe
- Americas
- Columnists
- Editorial
- Oman Mirror
- Special Features
- Cinema
- PDF Pages
- Weather
- Travel
- Currency Rate
- Hospitals
- Pharmacies
- Services
- Flight Timings
- Museum Timings
Omantribune Home Omantribune About Us Omantribune Advertising Information Omantribune Archives Omantribune Subscribe-Form Omantribune Jobs Omantribune Contact Us
Monday, October 20, 2014  
Eyes on US

by Javed Hafiz
From Eisenhower to Reagan, all of them had a soft corner for Pakistan

US presidential elections are followed with keen interest in Pakistan. Logically  the Pakistanis should be as much interested in changes at the top in neighbouring India and China. India elected its new president recently but it did not evoke much interest in Pakistan. The reason perhaps was that the Indian  president is not as important as the prime minister as far as powers are concerned. The head of state’s office in India is largely ceremonial. Presidential elections in China are a quieter affair. The US president is both head of state and government.  The US is still the sole superpower and its president is perhaps the most powerful public office holder in the world. US presidential elections are held with lots of fanfare and result in a gross expenditure of around one billion dollars.

Traditionally, Pakistani governments have had better relationships with Republican presidents. Starting from Dwight D.Eisenhower to Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan, all of them had a soft corner for Pakistan. However, the foreign policy preferences of the two parties are not as markedly distinct today as they were in the cold war era. And interestingly Pakistanis are one of the few nations which favour Mit Romney over Obama. Pakistanis generally perceive Obama as insensitive to their feelings. US’ intrusive intelligence presence,  the Bin Laden episode , Salala assault and regular drone attacks on the tribal areas have all added up to this negative perception.

The military to military relationship has been the lynchpin of
Pak-US relations. This relationship reached its nadir during the Ayub Khan days and again in the 1980’s when Pakistan became a front ine state to oust the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The AF-Pak policy of US President Barack Obama had two prongs; the military surge in Afghanistan and more drone attacks on militants holed up in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Both have failed to control the insurgency. I think Obama’s Pakistan policy had some serious defects and one of those was his support for the civilian government at a wrong time and in a shoddy manner.

 The Zardari-led government has been weak and the Obama administration had realised it in the beginning. And yet it made several attempts to support the civilian government at the cost of the military establishment. Now civilian control over the military establishment is a laudable objective but then there is a correct time for everything. The roles have been reversed and the civilian set up is seen as too pliant to the United States. So Zardari’s control over the military is generally perceived as US control over the Pakistani armed forces. A corrupt government, which has little legitimacy, cannot control a set up that is still very efficient. One reason for the efficiency of Pakistani forces is strict adherence to rules and merit in recruitment, postings and promotions.

 I have always argued that Pakistani civilian set up would be able to control of its military once it starts producing leaders of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s calibre. The military is still a powerful institution in Pakistan and the Obama administration tried to ignore this ground reality. The military commands the respect of the people because of its sacrifices in the war on terror. It took the right stand during the negotiations on the Kerry Luger aid bill. For example, it said that the safety and security of nuclear weapons was the sole responsibility of the Pakistani authorities. Similarly it was for Pakistan to determine the nature and extent of US intelligence presence in Pakistan.

OMAN TRIBUNE

Other comment for Javed Hafiz

Pakistan’s pride

Three big gains

Theories galore

Highly inconsistent

Futile exercises

Fluid scenario

Terror has no limits

Sharif under pressure

Challenges for Sharif

Anti-terror weapon

Times of trouble

Diplomacy futile

Sparkling no more

Losing glamour

Wrong notions

Challenges ahead

The impulsive Khan

Tough equation

Media mess

Sanity returns

Whiff of fresh air

No dull moment

Fighting terror

Flavour of the season

Sunny days

Different strategy

Back to square one

Crucial talks

Jerky road ahead

Changing dynamics

Towards change

Uncertain scenario

In a terrible jam

Crucial visit

New possibilities

No ordinary judge

Crucial Sharif visit

Farewell to the army

A whack for the general

Imran acts tough

Challenging tasks

Deadly blow

New phase in ties

Pakistan’s obsession

Man of the past

Honeymoon over?

Senseless carnage

China surges ahead

Strategic dialogue

Hero or villain?

Worried Sharif

No place for Taliban

Unorthodox and naive

Democracy takes roots

Turning paranoid

Noose tightens

Crucial visit

Mending fences

Yet another storm

Numerous problems

Economic blues

The best bet

Dismal performance

Complex mind

Whiff of fresh air

Political maturity

The wild card

In a soup

Bizarre stuff

Radical plan

Not a saviour

The big poll battle

Strategic decisions

Conspiracy theories

Poll fever rises

Potent issue

The best bet

More bickering

Judicial whiplash

Roller-coaster ride

Promoting peace

New worries

Justice for all

Tough days

Total suspense

Reversible decline

Political games

Unsavoury trends

Learning process

Eyes on US

Clear message

Asian blessing

Fast comeback

Not at the top

Pakistan’s progress

Win for rule of law

Taliban peace signs?

Afghan refugees

The divorce option

Waziristan action

The real war

Happy Zardari

Right step

Strange signs

Exciting times

Futile exercise

Iceberg thaws

Modern pygmies

Change crucial

The last hope

At a crossroads

No ordinary person

Controversial trip

Boiling anger

Gains vanish

Complicated problem

More uncertainty

Himalayan folly

Significant visit

Murder and mayhem

Rudderless ship

Realistic goals

Ladies with a face

Out of the groove

The Baloch tangle

Different views

No more holy cows

Dream comes true

Media and the message

Under court’s orders

Civil-military flare-up

Aim to fight and talk

Anxious uncertainties

Wishful thinking

Blessing in disguise

In the line of fire

New storm

Fireworks ahead

Pakistani dilemma

The big bang

Music to the ears

Big breakthrough

On the streets again

Attack not an option

Allies at odds

Huge disappointment

Extremism still alive

Humbling experience

Politics of a diatribe

Perform and get paid

Method in madness

A terrible mess

Sky is the limit

Simmering cauldron

Sheer arrogance

Uncertainty ahead

Still strong

Whiff of fresh air

Karzai’s sweet words

Terror has no religion

Path to Afghan peace

Army in the dock

All’s fair in politics

World safer

Deaf, dumb, blind

Understanding reality

Challenges lie ahead

Confrontation ahead

Peace through sports

Honour vs national interest

A political gimmick

The gathering clouds

Poet of love and peace

Cabinet reshuffle

Balochistan blues

State of affairs in Pakistan

The Lahore episode

Pakistan-Iran relations

Biden’s visit to Pakistan

The economic scene

Troubled government

A landmark visit

Political roller-coaster

Afghan quagmire

The WikiLeaks and after

Politics of taxation

wake-up call to government

Civil-military relations

War on corruption

Strange bedfellows

Judges on the offensive

Nato’s crucial lifeline

Musharraf re-enters politics

On presidential immunity

On the boil again

Zardari’s two years in office

Afghan reality check

Fractured relief effort

Altaf Hussain’s statement

The deluge and after

Possible return of Musharraf

Zardari’s European excursion

Civil-military relations

War-centric bilateral ties

Ambivalent opposition

Mid-term elections?

The exit of McChrystal

ISI in spotlight

Need to tighten belt

Nuclear diplomacy

Clash of institutions

Endgame in Afghanistan

Next round of legal battles

Faisal Shahzad episode

Lahore, now and then

Clash of institutions

Of politics and morality

Iran-Pakistan oil pipeline

Constitutional purge

Judicial appointments

Strategic dialogue with US

Women’s forward march

Twin brothers

The prodigal son

A chastened United States

Pakistan’s bizarre drama

Afghanistan peace hurdles

State of economy

Vindication of policy

Neighbourhood taxes

Presidential speech

The decision and after

Two historic decisions

Three cheers for the two

Afghan exit strategy

The cat out of the bag

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal

Zardari’s future

Hillary Clinton in Pakistan

Zardari-Sharif meeting

South Waziristan offensive

Attack on the GHQ

Skeleton in the cupboard

Aid with strings

Afghan scenarios

New education policy

An appraisal of Zardari

Musharraf’s trial?

Minus one formula

Elections in Afghanistan

After Baitullah

A landmark judgment

Interesting times

Judicial activism

Never the twain shall meet?

The madrasa challenge

From Swat to Waziristan

Good friends

Taliban phenomenon

Administrative decline

Zardari’s US visit

Resilient Pakistan

Need for progress

Realities of economy

Leader with a vision

Af-Pak plan realistic

Iran-US relations

Third time lucky

Diplomacy to journalism

The numbers game

Turbulence ahead

Another deal in Swat

Difficult mission

Natural philanthropists

Balance of power

Drones vs hearts

For stability and peace

Rising pessimism

Alive and kicking

Restraint necessary

Cartographer’s fantasy

Discipline crucial

Foreign policy challenge

Pointless exercise

Love and hate

Enduring relations

Fragile situation

Terror strikes at will

Remembering my Ramadan days in Mideast

Better placed

Ideological rift

Mr Unreliable

Brief encounters

Deep trouble

Right time to invest

Cooperation necessary

Changed thinking

Troubled times

Laudable EU move

Uncertainty ahead

Major dilemma

Strong message

Complex issues

Future bright for trade

Pakistanis disappointed

Marshall Plan needed

Suspense in Pakistan

Archives
- Back to columns -
NEWS UPDATES
Oman
Exports in first half of 2014 stand at 10b rials
Aliya inaugurates ‘Art of C’ initiative
OETC powers IT drive with new partnerships
Mantheri meets Tanzania team
37 Italian firms flaunt products at expo
Diplomats hail PDO work
Italy seeks stronger trade ties: Amadei
Other Top Stories
Iran, world powers to resume talks soon
Houthis dismantle airport road camp
Fiercest fighting in days rocks Kobani
Modi’s party tightens grip on power with thumping wins
Liberian president seeks global help to tackle Ebola
India
Finance ministry yet to accept two reports on black money
Left casts doubts on Kerala’s superstition law
Kerala steps up Ebola screening at airports
Sinha to file perjury case against lawyer over coal scam probe
I won’t be cowed down, says Jaya
Lack of firing ranges prompts army to seek simulators
BJP knocks Congress out of bastions
People have voted for change, say Sonia, Rahul
Ganesh’s return to Kerala cabinet unlikely
BJP to push for fresh poll to end stalemate in Delhi
Pakistan
Bilawal vows to foil conspiracies hatched to derail democracy
PM’s bid to woo investors fails as Q1 FDI falls 26pc
Indian firing on border continues, civilian hurt
Anti-corruption slogans incorporated in KP textbooks
Iran summons Pak envoy over border terror attacks
‘Cavemen’ still exist in Rawalpindi
Middle East
US joins European nations in call for end to Libya violence
Oil price fall ‘to hit Iran budget, N-talks strategy
Iranian rights lawyer to protest against disqualification
Israel defence minister in bid to calm tensions on US trip
Jordan calls for end to Al Aqsa restrictions
‘Bad hijab’ led to acid attacks in Iran
Asia
20 injured in fresh clashes between HK cops, activists
US, China agree to work together to deepen trust ahead of summit
More trekkers rescued five days after Nepal blizzard
Malaysia’s new Sedition Act creates climate of fear, say critics
Taiwan test fires anti-ship missiles from submarine
Japan rice sector rotting as prices tumble
Business
MSM index snaps week-long slump, rebounds 1%
China growth may hit 5-year low
India to become $2t economy this year, cross $3t by 2019: IMF
Global consortium to dredge new Suez Canal
Al Maha Petroleum net profit rises
A-I looks to shift to outright purchase of 15 Dreamliners
Nokia looks to ramp up India operations
Meethaq to hold forum on Islamic finance
India to end spectrum auction by Feb. 28
US shale boom to stay
Oil’s ‘fuzzy’ price floor
Altima ’15 brings special offers
Europe
Vatican synod fails to agree on key issues
EU leaders to scale up Ebola response
Kiev reaches deal with Moscow on gas price but needs help to pay
Catalans march for early poll
Mystery over ‘sub hunt’ in Swedish waters deepens
Political uncertainty leaves UK investors jittery
Sports
Rossi triumphs as Marquez crashes out
Murray boosts London bid with triumph in Vienna
Maverick Messi sets another milestone
Monaco, St Etienne climb table in Ligue 1
Hafeez unconcerned about bowling action
T20 cricket good for the sport, says Mahmood
Hend seals emphatic career win in playoff
Serena slams Russian tennis boss’ jibe
Marjane eyes cup in Ghala Valley Golf
Rajan, Delboy star in King Travels’ big win over MCCC ‘B’
India defend Sultan of Johor Cup in style
Americas
Dallas lab worker tests negative for Ebola, others to be cleared
Gonzalo spares Bermuda from worst damage
Remains of missing US student found
Rousseff, Neves in neck-and-neck poll battle
Morales wins third term with 61pc votes
After cars, Detroit grabs attention with potato chip consumption

Sports


International

© 2013 Oman Tribune. All rights reserved. Best viewed in 800 X 600 resolution