Strategic depth — revisited

Published: October 19, 2011
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The writer served as director-general of the ISI from 1990-92
asad.durrani@tribune.com.pk

The writer served as director-general of the ISI from 1990-92 [email protected]

Old friend and once a comrade-in-arms, Ejaz Haider could obviously take it no more. Fed up with the unrelenting war on strategic depth, unleashed even before the one on terror, he told off the hecklers to go first understand what the concept was all about in his article “Pakistan needs strategic depth”, published on these pages on October 7. He need not have bothered, because it is not the notion that they are gunning for, but our Afghan policy.

Indeed, a great deal has been stated about its fallout: proliferation of drugs and weapons; more violence in the region; millions of refugees constantly on the move; three decades of war (still counting); and much else. So, in case one was wondering why an innocent sounding concept had to be given a bad name to kill a dog already under fire, there just might have been a reason: to ascribe motives that otherwise could not be.

That we wanted to occupy Afghanistan and make it our fifth province, for example! After what happened to some of the mightiest who tried, no one in his right mind and certainly not the collective decision-making apparatus gave it another thought. But then we must have at least wanted to install a ‘friendly government’ in Kabul (to secure this depth of course)! Yes; if only one knew how, and then keep all others who followed in line. After the Saur Revolution, the Soviets executed an installed president every three months in pursuit of that objective, till in frustration they moved in — and became history.

Frankly, it is futile to argue when the hammer has already fallen. Thereafter, any distortion of a concept or of history, as long as it adds to the gravity of the charge and severity of the punishment, is kosher. We are supposed to have fought ‘America’s proxy war’ in Afghanistan. That we took the plunge when the Yanks were still counting peanuts did not impress our nemesis; or for that matter the plea that, even if we did, we too might have had an interest in the Soviet withdrawal. And just in case any of us dared to suggest that some price had to be paid to achieve this sublime objective, the retort is ingenious: ‘but that was not a very smart idea; it destroyed the global balance of power and now the sole surviving superpower is running amok’.

Not to worry; the imbalance is being redressed, the US has already started suffering from Imperial Overstretch, and we are doing all that we can with help from the usual suspects. Our friends would still not relent: ‘revisit your Afghan policy’ is their constant refrain; without ever suggesting a coherent alternative. In the meantime, I have to pick up the thread from where Ejaz Haider had left.

Strategic depth, within and without, is of course the need of every country. ‘Friendly neighbourhood’, ‘near abroad’, and buffers are some of the more familiar variants — serving more or less the same purpose. And of course it is not merely a spatial concept (Israel has it in the US), it is also economic, political (alliance building), and is best provided by unity within. Now that Poland’s overtures towards Ukraine have been described by Stratfor as pursuit of strategic depth, maybe this doctrine can be placed in its right perspective.

If not, we might be tempted to use it for the ulterior motives we are being suspected of: nurturing the Haqqanis et al as our strategic assets against the archrival. The idea is attractive, but for a problem: the Afghans do not fight outside their country. We will therefore have to persuade India to give us a battle in Afghanistan. Next time the Indians come charging, we will simply get out of the way, and before one can say ‘too little depth’ they will be in Afghanistan. Well, isn’t that where all elephants go when their time comes?

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (49)

  • MullahBrigade
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:08PM

    Completely agreed Sir, finally there is someone who actually knows whats the need of hour and what is not. Well obviously liberals with amercian visas are not going to like this….

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  • Doctor
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:24PM

    Hilarious article. At the core of Pakistan’s problems are a weak civilian government and a military run amok. Until the guys at GHQ and ISI stop ruling over the rest of us thinking they are some great saviors of Pakistan we cannot be safe.

    The Afghans have a very low opinion of us because of our refusal to give up our “strategic assets” as they should. We can keep being the little boy spitting on people below the tree but as another author boldly proclaimed, the big boys will come up the tree at some point and beat us up.

    In fact, all the world needs to do to hurt Pakistan is to leave us alone. Leave us to our own devices. Let Pakistan be ruled even further by Qadris and hate. No trade, no economy, no future. Please wake up Pakistan.Recommend

  • John B
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:45PM

    Even when PAK is hanging on the noose, she still thinks about India.

    One day or the other Haqqani has to die of natural causes. Militia built around one man always withered away.

    Where does it leave PAK after Haqqani?

    PAK has to wait for a long time for the elephant(s) to move. And, Elephant has a long memory.

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  • Salahuddin
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:11AM

    War, strategic depth, foreign policy- too serious a business to leave it to Generals.

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  • Tauseef
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:12AM

    I don’t understand much of what gen Sb is trying to put forward – thanks to my poor understanding of English language and the inability to understand his style of writing. Strategic Depth or “No Strategic Depth” or “Whoever’s version of Strategic Depth”, the decision lies with civilian leadership. Period. Military can give its input, but policy decisions are to be taken by civilians in the Parliament not by paid government servants.

    I hope general Sb agrees.

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  • American Desi
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Another justification of imbecile ISI’s ‘strategic depth’ by someone who had been! You can only build strategic depth with friendly and constructive relationship with whoever who’s going to provide you that depth, not by force or by terrorizing the population. You can achieve strategic depth only if that country is your ally or if that country is very weak and is a pushover.
    Apart from that, pigeon holing opinions and statements like “the Afghans do not fight outside their country” etc., doesn’t bode well for strategic thinking and is exactly the problem of preset mindset of military establishment. Get out of your obsession with India and lose some swagger of thinking that Pakistan is a world power.

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  • Bigboy
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:13AM

    “Next time the Indians come charging, we will simply get out of the way, and before one can say ‘too little depth’ they will be in Afghanistan. Well, isn’t that where all elephants go when their time comes?”

    Nice little daydream. India has never come charging during the last 64 years and will not come charging in the next 64 years.

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  • Nadeem
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:44AM

    “Strategic depth, within and without, is of course the need of every country”.
    Actually, the founder said our need was “peace within and peace without”. Had you and your predecessors in uniform followed his dictum we would have had strategic depth 360 degrees around us. The need of this country today is rule of law (which unequivocally subordinates the army to civilian supremacy), harmony among the federating units, social welfare through education, healthcare and a job creating economy. All these needs have been put on hold while greedy, short-sighted generals pursue a mirage in Afghanistan. Today they may laugh all the way to the bank as US “military aid” pours in, but the great unwashed of 180 million are slowly catching up and beginning to understand how the army’s interest is diametrically opposed to Pakistan’s national interest.

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  • Roflcopter
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:57AM

    Great article but haters still gonna hate as evident from above comments.

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  • Ijaz Khan
    Oct 20, 2011 - 1:03AM

    you cannot joke away your history nor can you day dream future. Whatever happens to America will happen the question is what is happening to Pakistan?
    I had respected even if disagreed with Gen. Asad Durrani. This piece is showing his frustration at not being able to explain the self defeating policy which has been consistent throughout our history despite the change in uses of terms. The consistency does not reflect our national consensus, it reflects the failure of the people and their representatives to take control of policy making. that inability he partially correctly diagnosed on another occasion as ‘those who are supposed to lead and take decisions, do not do so, others will’

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  • faraz
    Oct 20, 2011 - 1:09AM

    @MullahBrigade

    Such confidence after 40,000 deaths at the hands of our strategic assets is just amazing. And who was the main benificary of Afghanistan’s dollar jihad?

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  • Farhad Yousafzai
    Oct 20, 2011 - 2:03AM

    General Sahib. You cant FOOL all of the people all of the times. Despite your attempt to present ‘old wine in new bottle’, the narrative that you are trying to push through is not acceptable to the sane world around us. Come on soldier, the world around you has changed. A lot of water has flown under the Attock Bridge since the good old days when the world used to look to Afghans through your prism or the Afghans ( some of them) too. The world and more importantly the Afghans today know exactly what we seek in Afghanistan and that will never happen. The Punjabi dominated intelligentsia despite their tall claims seem to have very little idea of the Afghan character, history and culture. You seek a pliant state in Afghanistan but unfortunately remaining pliant is an anathema to even the ordinary Afghan- what to talk of the State; that too to a people whom they have ruled for centuries. Recommend

  • ayesha
    Oct 20, 2011 - 3:40AM

    @Farhad Yousafzai:

    “General Sahib. You cant FOOL all of the people all of the times. Despite your attempt to present ‘old wine in new bottle’, the narrative that you are trying to push through is not acceptable to the sane world around us.”

    I think he knows that the world has changed. But there are enough people in Pakistan that buy his narrative. Until that is the case, army and its rpoxies will continue to extract its pound of flesh in terms of resources. The people with no access to schools, health and increasingly electricity are nto going to question why 50% of the country’s tax revenue should go towards security because they have been brainwashed about India being ready to attack them and army being the only thing that will protect them. Most of them do not know and do not believe that
    1) India has never sarted a conflict with Pakistan. All conflicts were started by Pakistan
    2) Pakistan has never won whether 1965, 1971 or Kargill. In fact 1971 and Kargill were disastrous.

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  • Max
    Oct 20, 2011 - 3:44AM

    I am afraid many of us start jumping up and down without trying to understand the concept, or the context in which it might have been used. Indian friends are most welcome to express their view but one has not to be hyper. Read it, try to understand, and if you do not agree with the author, you have the right to express your opinion but not to leave aside the professionalism. I see quite a number of doctors, MD’s and whatever they are jumping to the conclusion without carefully reviewing the essay.
    Yes! ISI and the military is sitting on a hot seat but that does not mean that my dog got sick because ISI is run by General Pasha or Pak army is lead by General Kayani. I also notice that the moment someone from the military (retired or serving) expresses their opinion all type of howling and crying starts taking place.
    I am not endorsing some of the misdeeds of the intelligence agencies but I also have no right to lose my patience and express my misguided anger using flamboyant words.

    If you have problem in hailing Pakistan’s viewpoint, just take a hike. Leave us and Pakstani newspapes alone, or do you want me tell you “GET LOST”

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  • Santosh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 3:51AM

    Pakistan is not intoxicated enough yet – so ferment that old koolaid of “strategic depth” some more. After you imbibe the koolaid, Pak’s big bums will certainly make it an Islamic superpower and rule Cental Asia.

    Yes, everyone wants a “friendly neighborhood” – but you have to start acting as a friend to others first. Pak supports the Haqqanis hoping to install a “friendly regime”, ignoring the punitive cost to Afghans – this is not friendly behavior. Paki generals think that because the Pak govt rushes over with chicken soup everytime they sneeze, the same will happen outside its borders.

    Justify this any way you want, but the world ain’t buying the ISI koolaid. Strategic depth is an excuse for Pak hegemony over Af. If Pak continues to pursue this strategy, the world will stay engaged with Pak, but the engagement will covertly seek to “contain Pak”. Of course, respecting Pak ghairat no one will say so.

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  • Analyst
    Oct 20, 2011 - 5:07AM

    strategic depth now, strategic depth tomorrow, strategic depth for ever.
    The nation should serve and protect its strategic assets.

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  • Feroz
    Oct 20, 2011 - 5:20AM

    Why bother if the Indian elephant wants to go to Afghanistan or for that matter Tajikistan. As long as India does not take Guns there no one should object. The real problem in Afghanistan is those players wanting to arbitrate there using guns and armed proxies. Those doing so are not the friends of Afghanistan and never will be.
    Strategic depth comes from internal cohesion and a belief in the people that my Government is working for my welfare, protecting me from lawlessness and giving me an opportunity to achieve my dreams. No external power or country can give any country strategic depth, strategic headaches of course yes.

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  • N
    Oct 20, 2011 - 6:44AM

    Is Poland using “strategic assets” to achieve strategic depth?
    Why did we develop nukes (and a mighty conventional military), if our goal was to let the Indian elephant run us over all the way to Afghanistan?
    Were these military capabilities built for use from Afghanistan on Indian elephants occupying Pakistan i.e.kill our own citizens while eliminating the Indians?!
    —–//////
    Afghanistan ka matlab kya?
    kabul hamara, hamara.
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  • sadhana
    Oct 20, 2011 - 6:50AM

    Imperial Overreach is exactly what Pakistan always attempts towards its east, its west and its north, and with Umrika’s money. Umrika’s money is running out so make other arrangements.

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  • Kanishka
    Oct 20, 2011 - 7:23AM

    Afghanistan is a curse on Indian Subcontinent since Mahabharata (Shakuni/Gandhari;mother of kauravas..was Kandhar prince/princes)….
    Afghanistan is dangerous a land for both India and Pakistan…
    Fortunately for India, we have Pakistani land as buffer in between…

    Manmohan is doing a big mistake by entering in Afghan.. Its a useless land full of vengeful, slefish and uncreative tribal people…When these people cant do any good for themselves , what good will they do for others?

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  • prashanth
    Oct 20, 2011 - 8:08AM

    This guy needs his head examined! Being a Pakistani how can he even think of sacrificing the population of whole of Punjab and K-P to advancing Indian army? How much will it disrupt normal life of those provinces?
    Which century is this guy from? Recommend

  • Usman
    Oct 20, 2011 - 8:18AM

    I completely agree with the General here, it makes complete sense to keep our interests in Afghanistan. To those who argue against it, look at how the Afghan militants are now mounting attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan, this is what happens when you lose strategic depth. But ofcourse, that’s not what Pakistanis with Western citizenships, the Americans or the Indians would want to admit.

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  • tauseef
    Oct 20, 2011 - 8:50AM

    And comments below also.
    @Roflcopter:

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  • Arifq
    Oct 20, 2011 - 9:17AM

    Some people refuse to accept they are wrong or change their waysRecommend

  • rehmat
    Oct 20, 2011 - 10:12AM

    @Kanishka:
    “Afghanistan is a curse on Indian Subcontinent since Mahabharata (Shakuni/Gandhari;mother of kauravas..was Kandhar prince/princes)…”

    Actually the Gandhara to which Gandhari (mother of Kauravas) belonged is the present day Swat in Pakistan. It has no relation to Kandhar in Afghanistan though it sounds similar.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Oct 20, 2011 - 11:17AM

    @Nadeem:Pearls of wisdom & Doctor sahib you as usual have the right medicine but patient thinks he is FIGHTING FIT.

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  • Santosh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 11:29AM

    @Usman:
    look at how the Afghan militants are now mounting attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan, this is what happens when you lose strategic depth.
    This is funny — so you & Durrani think that because Fazlullah and the TTP attacked Pak, Pak should have “strategic depth”, which is a euphemism for supporting Haqqani. Keep that up, and you’ll find Afghanistan is only just learning the strategic depth game just like Pak — imagine when the Afghans get as much practice at it as Pak has. It will wipe the smirk off Paki faces that Pak now has because it thinks it has the US over a barrel. Pak can either use this as a wakeup call and get fully committed to fighting the terrorists. Or you’ll find Pak more vulnerable to bleeding in FATA, KP & Balochistan than India in Kashmir. As usual, Pak thinks the adversary will behave as Pak predicts — but Act 2 of the Afghan saga is not going to turn out just like Act 1 — the actors are different, the time is different, the world is different and the stakes are different.

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  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 11:49AM

    Strategic depth is a great time-tested idea for Pakistan. If Poland can have strategic depth in Ukraine, then North Korea can have it in South Korea, Hong Kong can have it in China, Nepal can have it in India, Venezuela can have it in Colombia and of course, Pakistan can have its strategic depth in Afghanistan. A very well-argued and lucid article.

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  • amlendu
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:04PM

    Strategic depth or strategic death??????????

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:07PM

    Good article.

    I wonder, what are the indians doing here? Dont they have something better to do, like trying to install their Northern Alliance or the Baloch insurgents? Wait, thats not “strategic depth” is it? LOL> its funny to see indians lecturing us on policy, though what they are doing is exactly the same! :D

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  • Parvez
    Oct 20, 2011 - 2:23PM

    The Afghan situation is a regional mess and has become a dead-weight around the US’s neck. The smart ones are trying to extract themselves and push others into the vacuum. While some repeat their mistakes thinking the result will be different this time. Then there are individual players who are making a big buck out of this mess.
    Basic flaw in the argument is that India is not an elephant its a fox and you know how they think.

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 2:24PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:
    Better ask this question to the General? Everytime he has to mention Afganistan, he has to mention India. (Read the last provocative line in the article)So expect Indians to be here.Recommend

  • Engr.Mohsin Raza
    Oct 20, 2011 - 3:11PM

    So many comments from a poverty stricken country like India, only paid people would find internet to comment and then recommend their own comments (more than 50 times).

    For Real Pakistanis (not an Indian with Pakistani alias), we must keep in mind that the army and ISI personnels, being Pakistanis, have the right to express their opinion and we ought to respect them. As far as national policy making is concerned, nowhere in the world, policies are made solely by the parliamentarians alone. A successful policy is the one which is established after mutual consultation of both the army and the elected government. We need to formalize our policies in line with our interests and ISI, being more informed than the general public, has more right to express her opinion and it should be given due weightage before making any policy. On the other hand, the army needs to give space to the think tanks and foreign office to formalize and implement a foreign policy.

    It is more important for us to avoid clash of institutions. We should be one and stand by one another. Recommend

  • ukmuslim
    Oct 20, 2011 - 4:15PM

    @Max
    we didn’t know we require pakistani visa to visit this site. and what made you decide that i comment without thinking. afterall i am not pakistani.

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  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 4:17PM

    @Engr.Mohsin Raza:

    So many comments from a poverty stricken country like India,

    It’s a nice gesture from Raza ji to highlight the rising poverty figures in our country. India is looking forward to receiving some financial assistance from concerned Pakistanis.

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  • MD
    Oct 20, 2011 - 4:59PM

    @Engr.Mohsin Raza
    Your country’s economy is smaller than even the tiny Belgium, but, Pakistanis like you never stop bragging and dreaming about conquering the world! Before shedding tears for India’s poor, have you ever gave a thought for those millions of your own countrymen who are displaced by the devastating floods and forced live in the open without food and medicine? Perhaps not, because you are too busy finding “strategic depth” in Afghanistan and expressing your profound concern for India’s poor!

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  • Shehzad Shah
    Oct 20, 2011 - 5:51PM

    Mr.Durrani, there is a lot of daylight between what Pakistan’s establishment did during the Afghan War, and the opposite extreme of acquiescing in the Soviet occupation. I can speak for myself, & when I regret what our leadership did during that period, I do not mean that they should have supported the occupation. The Soviet occupation was illegal and unjust, even more so than the current American one. No, what I regret is that a flood of illegal arms & drugs was knowingly let loose over the country; the alternative was to keep a check on all the arms being supplied to the Mujaheddin through quotas & enforcing strict weapons control within Pakistan’s borders (and spare me the disingenuous tripe about how carrying weapons is a sacred pathan tradition; bachabaazi is another old one, so is that all-OK too?) I regret how our leaders favored the most extreme factions of the resistance, instead of maintaining impartiality & not earning the enmity of the unfavored Afghans. I condemn not that we accepted American largesse but that it was used almost exclusively for the military and personal enrichment, rather than on the development of our people. We also have the example of Iran, another neighbor of Afghanistan that supported the resistance, but kept a much tighter rein on the predictable blow-back. The greatest inanity was to subsequently send the favored fanatics into Kashmir as our proxy soldiers. The vipers nurtured have now turned their venom on their benefactor.

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 5:55PM

    @Engr.Mohsin Raza:
    Welcome to the world of Internet. No one is going to stop commenting just because he/she is poor. We may be poor, but Your mindset certainly shows the poverty in independent analysis. Else who would advocate the citizens to follow a Military doctrine blindly?

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  • Shams uz Zaman Khan
    Oct 20, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Brilliant! But most would not grasp this concept as some Farhad Yousafzai has displayed through his intellectual vomit. Indeed lot of water has flown through Attock bridge but now its time for the payback by those who betrayed Afghans and sold their own citizens for few thousand dollars. There are over 20 factions of Afghans and all view the situation through different prisms, so lets not allow people to fool us by saying that Afghans have united on one single narrative. The strategic depth was required by both Pakistan and Afghanistan for each other and that would continue in future as well. The present system of statehood is not more than 100 years old and may fade away few decades from now.

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  • observer
    Oct 20, 2011 - 9:10PM

    @Lt Gen Asad Durrani

    ‘Friendly neighbourhood’, ‘near abroad’, and buffers are some of the more familiar variants — serving more or less the same purpose. And of course it is not merely a spatial concept (Israel has it in the US), it is also economic, political (alliance building), and is best provided by unity within.

    A. ‘Friendly neighbourhood’, ‘near abroad’– Hosting OBL, Haqqani and Quetta Shura somehow promotes a ‘friendly neighborhood’? And LeJ,SSP, LeT et al contribute to the same? Are we sure
    the ‘near abroad’ i.e. Iran, China, Afghanistan, India and the Central Asian States agree? If not do we have any idea what is required?

    B. it is also economic, political (alliance building)– Can we have some information on the ‘economic and political alliances’ forged by Pakistan with the neighboring powers and allies such as Iran, Afghanistan, India, China, US etc. How does not granting MFN to India help? And is blocking unfettered access to land locked Afghanistan a sure shot way of promoting ‘political economic alliances’?

    C.is best provided by unity within.– Can we not secure ‘unity within’ better if we manage to assure Shias (including Hazras) and Ahmadis and all minorities of their safety in Pakistan. Is the free run of Terrorists and suicide bombers not a threat to unity within?

    Gen sahib can we have your thoughts on how the policies and actions of the past 30 years helps in securing what you have characterised as true strategic depth.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Oct 20, 2011 - 9:24PM

    @ Doctor
    What this has to do witha taseed or qadri dont use a russian rockets they gonna fall on u
    pakistan is neighbour and this will happend u cant sleep like owel and if there is some thing else in mind please tell us or one thing left become hungarian when russian came
    close your window and doors and considered you are safe..

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  • Mannan Gil
    Oct 20, 2011 - 10:15PM

    @observer:
    Don’t talk about Hazaras as if you are dying for Hazaras when your State sponsored Army liquidating Innocent Kashmir-is every day. Don’t we have a discovery of a Mass grave in there where your Army had been massacring them for decades ? What you are doing there is Genocide of Kashmir-is and you expect that Afghan Muslims be your friends? It’s the same argument that Israel Kill Palestinians and ask the Arabs to be it’s friends. It never works that way. You have great pain for Hazaras and killing Kashmir-is is so Kosher? CAN WE HAVE YOUR THOUGHT AS TO WHY THIS MUSLIM GENOCIDE IS BEING CONTINUED FOR THE LAST 30YEARS? . Afghans are no brothers of you and never can be . I hope you haven’t forgotten Mehmood GHAZNAVI yet. He was from GHAZNI. You can very well trace that place on the Map. I can help you if you fail to find it. Just ask me .
    @ayesha:
    Did India won in 1962 against China? And in that war India was The Aggressor. Go and deny it. That’s the best your Indian Gypsies who wonder here can do. But remember, there is no grandeur to fight with a nation of 8 times smaller and say WOW!I won !!!! It’s the Grandeur of that small nation who took you by the Jaws. That nation is brave, win or lose. However, When the size Matched, Bingo!!! World saw who got humiliated & defeated. My God, that was the first and the last Punch China delivered right under the chin. After that India never tried to stand up and try it again and never demanded the second round. That tells me you are only capable of fighting countries 8 to 10 times smaller of your own size. Why don’t try a second round with china where your beloved leader was flattened in 1962. You will get a real taste of a super Power status and it will also clear your mind that how big a power your beloved India is. Try it. LOLRecommend

  • R. Khan
    Oct 21, 2011 - 12:20PM

    Hell with Strategic Depth! Save Pakistan from disaster.

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  • masood
    Oct 21, 2011 - 4:48PM

    I read an article of GENERAL DURRANI……LET THE LION COME…….in past which he wrote about BJP and argued about its coming in to power so as to break the myth of its anti pakistan policy and hawkish verbosity.i saluted his farsightedness at that time and now i am convinced what the gentleman is saying is quite close to reality.Pakistan must watch its interests as any other country has right to guard its barriers.So why cry over it and more over not alone strategic depth but any buffer which helps pakistan to view its policy.Blame games are going to be there always and specially from indian counter parts but they need to understand that TIMES have changed everywhere and not only for pakistan and mark my words indian ambition to reach Afghanistan are as strong as of any other adventurer in the past,however the passage created by pakistan to lure it to this would be a master stroke and then real essence of DEPTH will be known to all and please for heaven sake do not pass comments without understanding any back ground of the article.Keep it up GENERAL

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  • You Said It
    Oct 21, 2011 - 6:59PM

    @Mannan Gil:
    Too long a comment – lost interest after 2-3 sentences…
    Pakistan must stop killing the Hazaras Then others wouldn’t have cause to comment. Let’s take care of our own house first.

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  • Numbersnumbers
    Oct 22, 2011 - 4:01AM

    Wow, “Strategc Depth”, I can the the Pakistani Armored Divisions now streaming into Afghanistan via the tight mountain roads/goat paths, while retaining their heavy weapons and keeping their logistical supply lines intact! NOT! Planning on retreating into Afghanistan to fight another day (Strategic Depth) must mean that the ARMY has hidden tens of thousands of tons of logistical supplies there, otherwise there would be no fuel for vehicles, no munitions for weapons systems, and no food/medicine/shelter for the troops! And don’t look to the Afghans for help, since they will quickley see which way the wind is blowingRecommend

  • Rana Athar Javed
    Oct 22, 2011 - 8:04PM

    “Strategic Depth” that was designed to achieve highest geo-political goals has undermined our national interests. Unfortunately, in the case of Pakistan, it has proven even harder to accept this reality. What Pakistan needs is a fresh start with not two prong OR three prong strategies, rather than an all inclusive approach to resolute both domestic and regional tensions. Addressing first our economic progress and a corruption free government will enhance the chances of success. Going in the direction of contesting realities of hostile and unfriendly nations in our neighbourhood must not be an immediate option. This proposal does not discount to compromise our defence capabilities. Pakistan should remain at its best both in conventional and asymmetrical warfare. And every efforts should be made to acquire state of the art weapon systems. The system of transportation, especially the Railway should also be of a particular attention, as we do not want to see our youth without any important mean to supply food and other necessities to entire country. Let Pakistan go in the mode of moderation and harmony in regional and international relations. The economic meltdown in the US and Europe should serve as a warning to everyone: That, developing neighbourly relationship on the basis of economic interests and creating interconnected interests between neighbouring countries will create buffer-zones that is a prerequisite for peace and stability.

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  • Oct 22, 2011 - 8:53PM

    Strategic death is acceptable in search of strategic depth.

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  • ali
    Nov 2, 2011 - 11:38PM

    @Doctor:
    lol. Pakistan Failed western wannabe elites are the reason for problem in pakistan, u keep bringing up Startegic Dept a policy Pakistan dropped in 1998.

    you want pakistan to asleep so indian can squeeze pakistan into accepted all Indian policies Recommend

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