Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nawaz Shareef is now on a fast track collision course with the army

Nawaz Shareef is now on a fast track collision course with the army. There is absolutely no two ways about it. Even US intelligence feels that Nawaz is crossing the red line. The issues of Musharraf, anti-terrorism laws and operation aganst TTP are the sore disputes which have already strained the relations between the political government and the army. There is a reason why WP thinks there is going to be a coup in Pakistan this year! 

All axis of the deployed 5thGW are now aflame. From TTP to BLA to Karachi’s urban war to Indian threat to involvement of US State department in Baluchistan to information warfare to India’s strategic alliances with regional powers to collapse of economy – Nawaz Shareef government is not just clueless, it is actually fighting its own army. It cannot get any worse than that. 

We are seriously concerned. Khair inshAllah !

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may strain his relations with the new army chief if he continues to expand his policy-making powers, warns a US intelligence report.
The report, presented before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday, notes that Mr Sharif is seeking to “acquire a more central policy-making role” for civilians in areas that the Army has traditionally dominated.
“His push for an increased role in foreign policy and national security will probably test his relationship with the new Chief of Army Staff, particularly if the Army believes that the civilian government’s position impinges on Army interests” the report warns.
But it also notes that the prime minister has publically stated that the Army and the civilian government are “on the same page.”
The annual report is an assessment of the threats the United States may have to deal with in 2014 and is compiled jointly by all US intelligence agencies.
Pakistan figures prominently in a chapter on South Asia, which predicts that Prime Minister Sharif’s primary focus in 2014 will be on improving the economy, including the energy sector, and countering security threats.
The report says that Mr Sharif probably won the May 2013 election primarily because the previous government failed to improve either the economy or the generation of electricity.
It also notes that in September 2013, Islamabad secured an IMF program and met the conditions for fiscal and energy reforms under its three-year, $6.7 billion Extended Fund Facility. This paved the way for a second disbursement of $550 million in December.
But the report warns that “continued use of scarce foreign exchange reserves by the State Bank of Pakistan, to prop up the Pakistani rupee might make future disbursements difficult.”
The US intelligence community informs the Senate that Pakistan wants good relations with the United States “but cooperation with Washington will continue to be vulnerable to strains, particularly due to Pakistani sensitivities toward perceived violations of sovereignty.”
It notes that Prime Minister Sharif entered office seeking to establish good relations with the United States, especially in areas that support his primary domestic focus of improving the economy.
Mr Sharif and his advisers were pleased with his late October 2013 visit to Washington. Pakistan was eager to restart a “strategic dialogue’ and its offices and press have touted results of the initial meetings of several of the five workings that comprise the dialogue.
The report notes that Mr Sharif also seeks rapprochement with New Delhi in part in anticipation of increased trade, which would be beneficial to Pakistan’s economic growth. Mr Sharif will probably move cautiously to improve relations, however, and India also will probably not take any bold steps, particularly not before the Indian elections in Spring 2014.
The two other South Asian nations that drew the attention of the US intelligence community are Afghanistan and India.


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