How Pakistan Beguiles the Americans: A Guide for Foreign Officials

June 24, 2015

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Over the years, I’ve had the occasion to meet various officials from the Indian Embassy in Washington. They have all at one point or another asked the same questions: “How do the Pakistanis keep beguiling you Americans? How does this rogue state continue to receive billions of dollars of aid and military assistance while supporting terrorism and being an irresponsible nuclear weapons state?” The short answer is that the Pakistanis can extract such resources from the Americans precisely because it is a nuclear-armed menace perpetrating terrorism through its varied proxies. But Pakistan also operates through “soft power” to cultivate American sympathies through “hospitality,” well-spoken lies, and military tourism. Notwithstanding these myriad charms, Pakistan can do so only because the various Americans on the Pakistan portfolio, especially at the operational level (in the field and even at the desks back home), are too often well-intended ingénues, serving their country under difficult circumstances, but nonetheless unfamiliar with the region and America’s vexing relations with Pakistan.

This is a “how to guide” that should enable India’s own Ministry of External Affairs to join the game heretofore mastered by Pakistan.

The Liability of Newbieness

Pakistanis would not get away with much of their rent-seeking shenanigans if their American counterparts knew more about Pakistan generally and the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in particular. Perhaps, the root problem is structural: the U.S. Department of State lacks a South Asia cadre. And since there is no language community within the U.S. Department of State — as there is with Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic — growing such a cadre is extremely difficult. (In contrast, the U.S. Army has a South Asia Foreign Area Officer (FAO) program that produces a small cadre of extremely knowledgeable people who must study a South Asian language. Unfortunately, a South Asia FAO is not promoted beyond the rank of colonel.)

Without such a corps of dedicated South Asia experts, Pakistan’s silver-tongued hustlers at the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), the Ministry of Information, and the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) find it easy to shape beliefs among U.S. diplomats about the Land of the Pure. Moreover, since Pakistan is a hazard post, personnel deploy without their families for one-year tours. Persons serving in hazard posts receive additional pay and there is a perception (with some resentment) that promotion within the Foreign Service requires a tour in “AIP,” or Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan. Although these tours can be renewed, many diplomats choose one and one. This is best captured in one foreign service officer’s blog: “Although I’m still over a month away from arriving in Pakistan, the time has come for bidding the follow-on post.”

In addition to the incentive issues and the lack of a South Asia community within the diplomatic corps, the security conditions in Pakistan make it difficult for FSOs to learn as much about Pakistan as they could or should during their time in country. Regional security officers at the posts, depending on their disposition, are often extremely risk averse and may not approve non-essential travel around the country. At one point, U.S. diplomatic personnel were not even allowed to visit popular local establishments (e.g. restaurants) in Islamabad. This is a significant constraint on personnel who wish to meet with Pakistani interlocutors openly. It should be noted that security is a serious issue: foreign service officers have been killed in the line of duty.

Alexander Evans, in his study for the Asia Society Policy Institute, interviewed various U.S. State Department personnel. One of his interlocutors identified another crucial impediment to developing and retaining a core of South Asia expertise:

The main problem was that senior positions — from DCM [Deputy Chief of Mission] to section chiefs — were often given to officers with very little experience in the area. Under such circumstances, it is very difficult to build a sturdy cadre of experts in South Asia — even if it is one of several specialties that an officer might have. Our officers are no fools; they see who is assigned to Delhi and Islamabad as Deputy Chief of Mission or political counselor or as chief of the economic section. They notice that, too often, the assignment is given to someone with European or East Asian or Middle East experience.

Although Evans speaks to South Asia generally, it has been my observation that the Pakistan post suffers more than its Indian counterpart. With the re-alignment of U.S.-Indian relations beginning in 2000, India has become a very desirable and competitive post in contrast to Pakistan. It is also a post where FSOs typically spend more than one year.

There is another incentive problem with the U.S. mission in Pakistan: There are many personnel in the mission whose performance is judged by how well they build the relationship or how much assistance they can execute, irrespective of whether this assistance or their relationship-building efforts produce positive, negative or no results for the United States. This makes it much harder for personnel in country to step back and assess whether or not the United States is being gamed by Pakistan.

What are the consequences of this endless parade of persons without specialized knowledge of Pakistan churning through the U.S. mission in Pakistan and the relevant desks back home? They are numerous and they range from advocating assiduously for Pakistan (often referred to “clientitis”), to underwhelming reportage, to a shallow understanding of the country that in turn feeds into a shambolic process through which policy towards Pakistan churns. Such novitiates are easily manipulated by Pakistani officials who — unlike their American counterparts — know their briefs.

A favored Pakistani lamentation is that the Americans have used and misused Pakistan when required and then tossed it away like a used tissue when the need passes. The American neophyte, touched by the feigned sincerity of these entreaties and the world-renowned hospitality of their official interlocutors, inevitably concede and vow that, this time, it will be different. This time, the money will continue to flow. So far, it has.

Selling Pakistan’s Version of History

The United States and Pakistan have been partners of convenience but the relationship has not always been at the behest of the Americans; rather Pakistan has been extremely solicitous, in an effort to monetize its various sources of relevance. In this way, Pakistan has always been anxious to render itself a rentier state.

In fact, the first “alliance” that began in 1954 — with the signing of the Mutual Defense Agreement and the inclusion of Pakistan in the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) — was the culmination of years of Pakistani pleading to be included in America’s security system. The United States, which deferred to the United Kingdom on South Asia, was uninterested until the Korean War, at which point the Americans decided to become more aggressive. The Americans were very clear that the various pacts that Pakistan insisted upon joining (CENTO and SEATO) were not meant to be used against India, but rather as a deterrent to an attack from a communist aggressor. When Pakistan started its war with India in 1965, the United States sanctioned both countries. Pakistan, which had become more dependent upon U.S. weapons systems, was hurt more. Pakistani officials carped that the United States did not help a treaty partner. The claim was outrageous because the treaties did not apply to Pakistan, the aggressor, who started a war with India, a non-communist state.

Pakistan similarly cried foul in 1971. After years of exploiting the ethnic Bengalis in what was then East Pakistan, the Bengalis began rising up against the state. At first, they wanted federalism. However, after vicious Pakistani repression, they demanded independence. As Pakistani brutality deepened, India began training rebels known as Mukti Bahini. India also provided artillery and other significant military support. The 1971 war technically began when Pakistan’s air force attacked Indian forward airbases and radar installations on Dec. 3, 1971. The war was short and swift and ended on Dec. 16 with Pakistan’s surrender and the birth of an independent Bangladesh from what was previously East Pakistan.

Again, the Pakistanis grumbled that the United States did not support its treaty ally. This complaint was misplaced for two reasons. First, Pakistan was still under sanctions from the 1965 war. Second, as Gary Bass has brilliantly detailed, the United States actually did provide Pakistan with military support in complete violation of U.S. law. President Richard Nixon and his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, believed that it was necessary to help the military general-cum-president, Yahya Khan, because Khan was facilitating the famed opening to China. As Bass details, Khan was not the only option for this opening. However, Nixon and Kissinger had personal feelings for him and deep contempt for India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

While Pakistanis decry America’s “failure” to come to its aid when the United States had no obligation to do so, Pakistan courted communist China during the same period that it insisted upon being included in pacts that were explicitly designed to counter communism. Moreover, despite its treaty obligations to the United States through SEATO, Pakistan did not participate in the Korean or Vietnam Wars and demurred from citing China as the aggressors.

Pakistanis also point to the notorious F-16 fiasco. Pakistanis opine that they paid for but did not receive several F-16s due to the imposition of sanctions under the Pressler Amendment in 1990. Not only did the United States refuse to release the aircraft, it also refused to reimburse Pakistan the amount remitted to the manufacturer, and the United States even had the temerity to charge Pakistan the storage fees that accrued while the aircraft sat in a desert hangar.

As with all Pakistani narratives of U.S. perfidy, this one too is a kichiri of outright fictions, half-truths and a few masalas. First, the United States sanctioned Pakistan for nuclear proliferation in April 1979, which made it illegal for the United States to provide security assistance to Pakistan. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Washington chose to subordinate its nonproliferation policies to other regional interests. According to Steve Coll, National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told President Jimmy Carter that Washington needs to secure Pakistan’s support to oust the Soviets and that this will “require … more guarantees to [Pakistan], more arms aid, and, alas, a decision that our security policy cannot be dictated by our nonproliferation policy.” Despite full knowledge of Pakistan’s advancing nuclear program, Congress added Section 620E to the FAA, which endowed the U.S. president with the authority to waive sanctions for six years, allowing the United States to fund and equip Pakistan for the anti-Soviet jihad. Congress next appropriated annual funds for a six-year program of economic and military aid that totaled $3.2 billion. Despite continued warnings from the United States about its nuclear program, Pakistan continued developing a weapons capability. Pakistan’s military dictator, Zia ul Haq, asserted that it was Pakistan’s right to do so.

Pakistanis routinely distort the intention of the Pressler Amendment as being designed to punish Pakistan. The 1985 Pressler Amendment permitted American assistance to Pakistan, conditional on an annual presidential assessment and certification that Pakistan did not have nuclear weapons. Prior to its passage, security assistance was possible only with a waiver of the 1979 sanctions. Thus, in effect, Pressler allowed the United States to continue providing assistance to Pakistan even though other parts of the U.S. government increasingly believed that Pakistan either had a nuclear weapon or was close to developing one. Most importantly, the amendment was passed with the active involvement of Pakistan’s foreign office, which was keen to resolve the emergent strategic impasse over competing U.S. nonproliferation and regional objectives on one hand and Pakistan’s resolute intentions to acquire nuclear weapons on the other.

In 1990, when the United States withdrew from the region after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, President George H.W. Bush declined to certify that Pakistan did not have a bomb and the sanctions, which had been waived since 1982, came into force. This was not a bolt out of the blue, as the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Robert Oakley, repeatedly warned Pakistani leadership of the inevitable consequences of proliferation. Pakistan’s leadership made a calculated gamble. And they lost.

Most problematic is the simple fact that the entire issue had long ago been resolved under President Bill Clinton. However, Pakistan’s narrative on the F-16 drama ultimately prevailed as President George Bush announced that he would at least make good and provide Pakistan with F-16s. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the decision in 2005, arguing that she was “struck by the conclusions of the Sept. 11 commission: ‘Basically invest in the relationship with Pakistan, because if you don’t, you’re going to create the same situation we created in the ’90s,’ when Pakistan forged close ties with the Taliban in Afghanistan.’” Needless to say, this logic is flawed. Pakistan has forged ties with Islamist militants in Afghanistan before, during and after the 1990s.

Yet another rent-seeking narrative propounded by Pakistan is that the United States sucked a naïve Pakistan into its jihad in the 1980s. And, when its interests were satisfied with the Soviet Union’s exeunt, the United States left Pakistan to contend with the morass that had become Afghanistan on its own and awash with small arms, narcotics and other criminal enterprises. As usual, this is not the entire story and this account ranks very low on the veracity scale. As Husain Haqqani, among others, has shown, Pakistan began its jihad policy between 1973 and 1974, after Mohammad Daoud Khan ousted the popular King Zahir Shah.   At that time, Pakistan’s civilian autocrat, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, established the ISI Afghanistan Cell to instrument Islamists who were fleeing Afghanistan following Mohammad Daoud Khan’s crackdown on Islamists who resisted his pro-Soviet reforms. By the time the Soviets crossed the Amu Darya on Christmas Day 1979, the main so-called mujahideen parties had already been formed. Pakistan did this all on its own dime because manipulating events in Afghanistan has been an enduring Pakistani strategic objective since 1947.

Logically, the United States could not have intended to “suck” Pakistan into an American-led jihad, as Pakistanis claim, because Washington had sanctioned Pakistan in April of 1979. Had the United States intended to coerce Pakistan to do America’s bidding in Afghanistan, why would it make working with Pakistan illegal even as events began to churn in Afghanistan? As is well known, the United States was not terribly interested in the events in Afghanistan until the summer of 1979. After all, Afghanistan’s neighbor, Iran, was mired in an Islamist revolution that began in early 1978. However, once President Ronald Reagan came into the White House, he worked to secure the waivers needed to begin working with Pakistan. It was not until 1982 that security assistance began flowing to Pakistan. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia matched the U.S. contribution. It should also be noted that it was Zia ul Haq who insisted upon fighting the Russians in Afghanistan in the lexicon of jihad, not that of the United States. Unfortunately, the Reagan administration enthusiastically embraced the concept with future deleterious consequences for the region.

While it is true that the American withdrawal left Pakistan to clean up the mess, this outcome was not entirely undesired by Pakistan. Pakistan continued manipulating the conflict in Afghanistan and supporting its preferred combatants in hopes of managing its interests there as it had been doing for decades. In fact, the United States more or less “outsourced” its Afghanistan policy to Pakistan, which is exactly what the United States is doing at present. Nothing could please Pakistan more.

The lesson is that with a bit of dedication to perfecting an ossified fiction to a conveyor belt of woefully inexperienced Americans, any number of things can be accomplished.

And that Hospitality

No doubt the secret to Pakistani success in taking the Americans for endless rides around the roundabout is that their American passengers cannot recognize the ever-replaying scenery. However, such ruses would not likely succeed for as long as it has if it were not for Pakistan’s legendary hospitality. Here is where India’s own Ministry of External Affairs can learn some lessons.

First, to hell with protocol. Whereas Indian protocol requires American officials to meet only their counterparts in India, Pakistanis open the doors. Even a junior analyst at a think tank (like me when I was at the RAND Corporation) can meet virtually anyone. (President Musharraf even autographed a portrait of my beloved, now deceased, canine associate Ms. Oppenheimer.) U.S. Congressional delegates are particularly delighted when they get to meet the army chief. They may have to suffer a meeting with the irrelevant prime minister, of course. But they all swoon at the army chief, who inevitably is seen as a straight shooter with whom the United States can do business. Pakistanis focus less upon what you are and more upon who you influence or may be able to influence in the future. Pakistanis invest in people as if they are assets in a portfolio of human capital.

In contrast to Indian officials who are often stiff, hectoring, disinterested, and seemingly mired in ennui, the (much higher ranked) Pakistani official is engaging, jocular, (seemingly) forthcoming, self-effacing, humorous and, always, charming. Whereas Indian ministry officials will serve you tea in a chipped mug embossed with a faded graphic of the ministry’s logo, Pakistani hosts will serve their hosts coffee or tea in a mug … and they will even gift you with that mug. The Pakistanis have studied what Americans like and how best to cater to these preferences. Right down to the mug. This gives rise to the chattering among diplomats, journalists, scholars and think tank analysts who visit both countries and aver enthusiastically that “The Pakistanis may lie like rugs and kill our troops while robbing us blind, but they sure are friendly!”

Second, India should consider embracing “war tourism.” The Pakistanis cultivate American sympathies for the difficulties they face in their neighborhood by taking scholars, think tank analysts, state department officials, congressional delegations, journalists and anyone else they want to groom on tours of its warzones and conflict fronts. During my decades visiting the country, I was regaled with a trip to the border with Afghanistan and an amazing excursion through the Khyber Pass. Our entourage was equipped with an enormous security detail, with loads of Toyota Hiluxes zooming about, festooned with armed young men, and sirens blaring. The Frontier Scouts delighted us with their dances and we ate piles of kebobs in their mess hall. We also received mugs with the Frontier Scout logo. We were given a scenic overview at a forward operating base where our Pakistani military briefer explained the dangers of this frontier. I had similar tours in North and South Waziristan and Swat. Who doesn’t feel important under such circumstances?

In previous years, they arranged for me to visit “Azad Kashmir.” Foreigners require a permit and thus free travel is not legal. Once I reached Muzaffarabad, my Pakistani official guests placed me in a chair in a dingy shack while numerous women lined up in front of me. I was told that they had been raped by Indian forces and the women, per force, began narrating their rehearsed tales of assault. I put a stop to this immediately and protested that this was hideous. My hosts moved onto the next destination. Despite Pakistan’s efforts to shape my views against Indian behavior in Kashmir and despite their assertions that there were no militants here, I saw loads of signs posted by militant groups. (This is one advantage of reading Urdu.)

India should consider taking a page out this highly successful Pakistani play book. When congressional delegates and the like file through India, why not take them to Kashmir and show them maps of Pakistani terror camps? Why not take them to Aksai Chin or Arunachal Pradesh and show them the problems India encounters with China? How about the problematic areas of the North East and the long, open borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar? Maybe demonstrate how Pakistani militants have long used the border with Nepal as a route of infiltration? India will have one enormous advantage over Pakistan’s industry of war tourism: India’s complaints are based on truth. That counts for something. It should also be noted that when foreigners arrive in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, they must register and they are often viewed with suspicion. This is unfortunate because India has much to show. Since my first visit to the valley in 1991, much of the area has resumed normal life. In some ways, Kashmir is a slow churning success. This does not mean that all is well. But it does mean that the situation is manageable.

Third, the brass and khaki counts. A lot. Americans love engaging military officials. The more pins and brass the better. Nothing flatters an American visiting Pakistan more than a visit to General Headquarters, the Peshawar or Quetta Corps Headquarters, the Strategic Plans Directorate, ISI headquarters, the majestic headquarters of the Frontier Scouts in Peshawar’s famed Bala Hisar fort, and the like. If one gets to meet the army chief or the ISI chief, a trip is made. She or he will have dinner party fodder for years. Americans find the feigned candor of Pakistani military personnel to be very refreshing, especially in contrast to Pakistani civilians who are viewed with disdain by Americans, and in contrast to Indian officials who seem pained to meet foreign visitors. Americans sympathize with the “threats” that the Pakistani military convincingly demonstrates it faces and they are persuaded by the seemingly genuine efforts that Pakistan’s men in green are making to stem the terrorist menaces threatening Pakistan. Too few Americans seem to know that Pakistan cultivates more terrorists than it kills. But why let facts get it the way of war tourism?

In contrast, it requires any number of approvals from India’s Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defense to meet anyone in uniform. (This is not impossible. It is just difficult.) Persons in uniform who meet with foreigners without approval are subject to the wrath of the bureaucracy. Americans view this with suspicion and frustration. After all, if India really were under such threats from Pakistan and China, why are Indians not doing what Pakistanis do? India should consider providing more access to the military along the lines of “war tourism” noted above. Why not arrange for the 15th Corps commander in Kashmir to brief American visitors? That corps has witnessed much Pakistani perfidy. Similarly, access to the police and paramilitary outfits in Kashmir and other areas under threat would benefit India tremendously. After all, seeing is believing.

Why Should Pakistan have all of the Fun?

It is relatively easy to beguile the Americans, as Pakistan’s track record amply shows. Despite supporting any number of terrorist and insurgent groups, despite continued funding of the Afghan Taliban who have killed thousands of our troops and civilians as well as tens of thousands of our allies, and despite developing tactical nuclear weapons, the United States has given Pakistan over $30 billion since 9/11 and access to weapons systems best suited to fight India, a democratic partner, rather than the insurgents and terrorists Pakistan claims to be fighting.

As a U.S. citizen who believes that my country’s interests are best served by a better and more robust relationship with India, I make the humble request that India’s leadership learns from the best and adopts a more flexible way in dealing with the Americans. In the end, both India and the United States will benefit.


C. Christine Fair is an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a visiting scholar at the Gateway House in Mumbai, India. She is the author of Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War and co-editor of Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges. The views here are her own and do not represent that of Georgetown or the Gateway House. The reader is advised that the author embraces sarcasm robustly.

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67 thoughts on “How Pakistan Beguiles the Americans: A Guide for Foreign Officials

  1. This is a brilliant read, and no one brings out the manifold pathologies of the Pakistani deep state like C.Christine Fair.

    However, as an Indian, I read this with deepening dismay — we might never be able to compete with Pakistan in courting the US, as it would just shred our national sovereignty to shreds.

    The only way for India to legitimately affect American Policy is through economic growth. Including American civil society ie academics, businessmen and professionals as participants in our economic story would give us more effective allies in countering Pakistani narratives.

    1. What sovereignty are you talking about? The Chinese have already butchered and humiliated you people; torn down your flag and pulverized yours posts at Ladakh. All india can do is lie to the Americans about being responsible while you support terrorist factions in Afghanistan who wage terrorism against Pakistan. Even your Ajit Duval (or whatever his God damn name is) admitted this.

      1. By sovereignty, I mean not allowing a foreign power to fly drones from our own air bases and bomb our own citizens.

        Or doing opaque deals with other foreign powers leasing out one’s own territory and military with no accountability to the general public.

        I think India should avoid this — it is a quagmire that will unravel our society and destroy our hard-won democratic institutions.

        Fundamentally Indian strategy should be to ignore Pakistan by building deep moats and high-walls (physically and metaphorically), engage SAARC countries (minus Pakistan) and focus on creating a more just and prosperous society that is integrated with the world economy.

        1. Right, you mean try to be “big brother” (bully) against Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka (all countries you share borders with, and all countries that have issues with india as a neighbour).

          You talk about sovereignty. Kashmir doesnt go under your axis of influence. Kashmiris wave Pakistani flags and are our people. We will liberate them.

          1. You falsely assume we bully them, I don’t blame you, your military needs to generate false ideas to feed on your money.

            Nepal and India don’t have border because we don’t bother people moving in and out, neither does Burma and India, Nor do we have marked borders with Bhutan.

            there’s something with you guys, you want to be seen, like a kid with ADHD.

            Kashmir was always a part of India, Balochistan was never a part of Pak, free them first.

            If you want Kashmir free your part of Kashmir first, send the Punjabis home to punjab.

            There will always be some sickos to whom religion is everything, they wave ISIS flag as well PAk flag,

      2. Pakistanis should be the last ones to talk about sovereignty.
        Osama lived in your country comfortably without anybody knowing.Saudi Arabians can hunt without a permit , talibans mullah omar and coterie of barbarians are fed , housed and trained in the abject begging bowl dominated by hyper corrupt Punjabis called Pakistan

    2. The author has very successfully towed the Indian line. No wonder the language used depicts an Asian narration rather than American. We in Pakistan understand as to who pulls the strings. The article very vehemently maligns Pakistan for getting US assistance, not withstanding the loss incurred to Pakistan after indulging in the War on terror. The estimated losses of Pakistan are more than USD 110 billion. I don’t understand why India has so much venom against us. We are the biggest victim of terror that emanates from neighboring Afghanistan duly financed by the array of half a dozen Indian consulates inside Afghanistan.

      1. “I don’t understand why India has so much venom against us”

        You have been disturbing peace in India for 67 years, how dumb are you to not see it?

        Ask your neighbors, you will find someone who has lost a son in kashmir fighting jihad. you are blind with religion, so much so you don’t care for the future of your own kids, just you religion!

        If you ever succeed to keep religion out of your heads and politics you will survive.


        If India has ever spewed venom against you, it’s only recently and it is defensive.

  2. C.Christine Fair understands Pindi better than probably Islamabad does… hope those at the helm in Washington & Delhi take cue… India has been bleeding ever since Pakistan unleashed pan-Islamism inspired anti India KashmirJihad that at advent in 1989-90 saw genocide of aboriginal Kashmiri Hindus. Pak is sinking & humanity will not be safer if Nuclear Pak falls to medieval Jihadists…..

    1. “Pak is sinking & humanity will not be safer if Nuclear Pak falls to medieval Jihadists”

      Lalit…that same mentality is what driving the Americans (and perhaps some Indian officials) to tolerate and even fund the military regimes in Pak. Let’s think about what the other options are here? Do you really think that Pakis will let a cash cow (their nuke) fall into anyone’s hands? One simple thing to understand here is this: Pak generals will never let this happen. It’s the same motivation behind preventing permanent peace with India: it’s too profitable to keep up the appearance of conflict and chaos.

  3. Christine: you are 10 years late but thanks for the analogy, only read up to second page and realized how out dated this information is but good to know who’s payroll you are on. Since you have written a long research essay fit for a college research class, I am kinda shocked to see how incompetence of U.S. foreign policy in Pakistan is the fault of Pakistanis.

    Have you consider giving private tutoring lessons to CIA and U.S. Foreign office? LOL

  4. Hi Christine,

    Nice article, but the concern is that the US is backing Pakistan as a long term hedge against India, Iran & Russia. These policy decisions would be made at a deeper level than the State Department.

    In that case, US policy is unlikely to be reversed through gimmicks like putting on a show for visiting US diplomats and scholars.

    1. Maybe the Americans can help india to build toilets and proper sanitation facilities for the 650 million out of 1 billion indians who are dirt poor and live in abject conditions

      1. Sure… Your misplaced and laughable condescension notwithstanding, India will continue to build more toilets, lift increasing numbers of its poor out of poverty, increase its literacy rates and grow economically. US will perhaps help India in some of these initiatives, but they will go on regardless.
        Meanwhile, the US, China and Saudi Arabia will continue to pump arms, ammunition and violent ideologies into Pakistan so that Sunnis and Shias can keep killing each other and both of them can together slaughter ever-increasing numbers of the poor Ahmediyas and terrorism and violence levels will continue to escalate and take Pakistan on a downward spiral…

  5. Your article has made multiple mistakes. You say few F-16’s. A simple search said it was an order for 60 and 28 had been paid for. Do you think that’s few? It is often said dont believe what the american say especially wrt foreign policy due to the amount of BS. You are right there Christine!!!

    Above all I get the feeling that you are a woman scorned. What have the Pakistani’s done to you. After all you did spend couple of decades there?

    1. You obviously don’t follow Mrs. Fair’s work closely. She has spent extensive time as an analyst and actually has been lied to her face by these same charming generals. The generals or ISI agents don’t usually know that she reads/speaks urdu and have tried to fabricate lies right in front of her. Go and check out some of her lectures on You Tube. She came to her conclusions via these unique concepts unknown to Paks:
      – fact checking
      – historical analysis
      – journalistic curiosity
      – interviews
      – common sense

      1. Of course you hindustanis would massage her feet and become her fanboys as she speaks to your old tune. By the way at the end of the day she’s just an assistant professsor; one who was unceremoniously removed from the RAND Thinktank and who has zero effect on US foreign policy. In fact many military officers at the Pentagon are fed up of her chest-thumping and crass style.

        1. I don’t understand what you’re so upset about. One of the key points of Ms. Fair’s write-up is that you Pakistanis have unmatched and world-class skills in kissing posteriors – well, the American ones at least. And to rub it in, she says the Indians suck at it.. So, there you go.. I just made your day!
          There is something after all on this planet, apart from terrorism of course, at which the Pakistanis are the best in the world!!

  6. Wow, this generated a lot of comments in only a short time. How many are paid trolls of the ISI?

    The image for this article, I think, should probably be the memetic one of fictional character Phillip J. Fry holding out a wad of dollar bills and exclaiming “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

    1. You give the ISI a lot of credit!!! I guess anyone not peddling india’s confused, fumbling narrative is suddenly an ISI agent! Sounds like indian logic to me.

      1. Since when did Christine Fair become an Indian? I guess anyone not buying Pakistan’s truckloads of lies about its role in international terrorism, is an Indian… Sounds like Lahoree logic (renowned to be the complete antithesis of Aristotelian logic) to me….

    2. @owen h

      Not as many as the paid Indian trolls, the loudest of whom has to be Christine Fair.

      How Gerogetown continues to employ someone like Fair (who publicly hurls abuse in Urdu and Punjabi like go F your sister/mother as part of her ‘analysis’) to teach anything on foreign policy or international affairs is beyond me.

      To answer Christine Fair’s question about the poor quality of South Asia experts in the foreign corps, the rot apparently begins with professors like her at US educational institutions.

      1. Yeah, right! What the hell does Georgetown Univ know about hiring experts on international relations? It’s only one of the best uiversities in the world on the subject. How does it matter that Ms. Fair learnt Urdu so well, that she manages to get under your skin even while communicating in your own language(Urdu)? Forget her knowledge, her academic credentials and her experience – Georgetown should fire her simply because she abuses Pakistanis in Urdu.
        Such a horrible choice for a professor..
        They should take a take a leaf out of your book and hire Zaid Hamid instead. Oh wait, he has been arrested and jailed by Saudi Arabia – supposedly your biggest benefactor!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!

  7. Excellent article Mrs. Fair. I like the guide you provide in understanding Pakistani duplicity but I wholly disagree with the suggestion that Indians should stoop to similar levels to highlight/market truth. One simple reason: dignity. We Indians pride ourselves in that regard. Besides, if we had to surrender our protocols for convincing Americans of simple truths, then it would mean compromising our collective sovereignty and allow meddling of a third country in affairs that are strictly internal and bilateral. Wouldn’t this mounting evidence of terror behoove Americans to hire and promote people such as yourself who have an expert grasp of the regional politics and conflicts? It actually baffles us greatly that Americans can be so vain and easily fooled in financing a regime against their own economic and security interests. But narratives and attitudes are changing. This war-mongering, hate-driven, begging-bowl policy of successive Pakistani general has brought them nothing but misery over the years. I would say India’s policy has bore much sweeter fruit and brought lot more benefits as an economic partner and a burgeoning military partnership in years to come. Keep up the good fight. I keenly await your next essay and lecture.

      1. There’s an even older saying. That which does not kill you can only make you stronger. If you hang out with indian for too long, you’ll be killed (or on the verge of it) because indians dont wear deodorant or shower everyday and are very unhygienic people.

        1. Well let’s just say that Indians are just fighting the heat from nature when sweating. Unlike Pakis, they don’t have to be worried about constant fires, explosions and power cuts.

          But getting back to the point of argument: anything to add regarding actual analysis by Ms. Fair? She also has to deal with her brother being in constant danger on the frontline in Af-Pak region who probably gives her on-the-ground situation and details as well. So what are your relevant counter points based on the arguments in her article?

    1. Ms Fair actually hung out with Pakistanis for too long and has now come to understand them well. She has a good knowledge of Punjabi, Urdu and can read and write the latter.
      So, she has clearly seen through the elaborate deception that Pakistani establishment indulges in to please their benefactors, in this case the Americans (I am sure they do the same to the Chinese though my guess is Chinese are far too smart to fall into this trap).
      There is a reason she is very pissed with the Army. If you have been listening to her talks, she used to teach at LUMS and was closely associated with Army. As she started writing stuff that was critical of the Army, latter restricted her movements, her access to people and ended up threatening her (she says in one talk that she was threatened with mass rape!). She is not allowed to enter Pakistan today.
      Ms Fair is objective and talks with data, facts. What remains to be seen is if the US administration continues to turn a blind eye to these facts or smell the coffee and do something about this.
      As she herself has said, USA should stop all money flow into Pakistan and let that nation swim or sink. That may also be a good thing in the long run for Pakistan.

      1. Thank God we kicked this hyper-ventilating woman out of Pakistan. As for the rape thing – i bet it’s just a concocted lie she made up. Besides, in the South Asian sub-continent it seems to be india where women get mass-raped, tortured, dis-figured, and thrown off moving vehicles. She would probably be raped the second she stepped foot in india. Didnt a 70 year old nun just recently get raped there?

      2. The ability to hurl abuse in Urdu and Punjabi at Pakistan and Pakistanis, as Fair often does on Twitter and the various blogs she hyperventilates on, is not equivalent to ‘understanding a country’. Most college students learn expletives in multiple foreign languages their freshman year, when exposed to students from other nations.

        What Fair has made patently clear with her use of expletives and regurgitated rants is that she simply cannot be taken seriously as an objective or rational commentator on Pakistan.

        Treating Fair’s analysis on Pakistan as rational or objective is the equivalent of treating Ahmedenijad as a rational and objective commentator on Israel.

        1. BY the same logic, the ability to post a comment on a blog is not equivalent to judging a person’s intellectual abilities or knowledge…
          Leaving aside your obvious discomfiture at Fair’s ability to rile you even in Urdu, are you in a position to offer an objective and scholarly critique of her analysis?
          Shahid Afridi for example, hurls more Urdu expletives in a single cricket series than Ms. Fair will in her entire lifetime… Does that mean he knows nothing about cricket?

          If there’s anything that’s irrational and subjective here, it is the Pakistani reaction to Ms. Fair’s write-up.

  8. awesome explanation Ms. Fair. But i have read in the past about your views which were outrightly anti_india and pro-pak:)
    why this sudden change?

  9. A good analysis by Christine Fair. Americans as the World knows are eternal children! British comedian Al Murray calls them “Simple Folk” and therefore the are easily conned. It is hard to be rude to your hosts who are plying you with good food and liquor and I am sure women and young boys as well. This sums up the US diplomatic corps. No less than the intelligent John Kerry be fooled by mere appearances of Pakistani posturing!

    Lesson for India: use diplomats who are intelligent, engaging and savvy. There is a lot of mediocre diplomats who are Jobworths in India. Engage US intelligently as it suits our national character.

    1. Something for your brain to chew upon…
      The Americans are “eternal children”, gullible, naive, easily duped and easily seduced. Is it then a mere accident of history that they are and haven been for the past few decades the most powerful nation on the planet?

  10. May the Americans should be told that these guys haven’t one a single war, all of which they started. They haven’t even been able to defeat their own people, be it East Pakistan, Balochistan or Taliban. There is a lot Zarb n Buzz going on, that is just that, a lot of Buzz.

    1. East Pakistan was lost b/c Bengalis revolted and b/c of india’s support for terrorists; not b/c of india’s military “might” (which we can keep in check). Balochistan? Still a province of PAkistan and always will be. 1965 was a stalemate though we did destroy much of india’s air force. 1999 was a guerilla war, not conventional. We captured Point5353 overlooking Sri Nagar-Leh Highway which to this day indians were unable to re-capture. You should update your knowledge before talking.

      1. Aaaaaaand Osama Bin Laden was not hunted down and killed in Abbotabad, Pakistan. Rather it was a clone of OBL created at a secret ISI-run hospital, whom the SEALs killed there… Right??!!!

  11. The US and Pakistani establishments are BOTH on the same page and completely in cahoots with each other by tactfully manipulating the ground situation per their own mutually agreeable agendas.

    All this moralistic public consumption talk of the American “they kill our soldiers with our tax payers” and the Pakistani “they betrayed us and never backed us when we needed them most” are all artificial crises self-made by both sides.

    Pakistani military and US military and intelligence agencies peddle this b.s. of “mistrust and hostility” when they are in tandem with each other with slight tweaks here and there for their own specific ideas.

    Madam, itna apne State Department, Intelligence Community aur DoD walon ko maasum na samjhein. kuch casualties se US strategic interests kabhi nahin kharab huay. tabhi tou ab India ko saath liya ja raha hai. Pakistan has been and always will be a useful idiot. If US can use China to counter Cold War era USSR, and now using India to do same with Beijing, Pakistan is US perfect ploy to ensure India does not follow China’s route in say 15-20 years time.

    Sab ke sab saaley chor aur makaar hain. Thank you and keep writing. At least you are writing from your heart. But please remember the rest too. Thank you

    1. Also, if I may add, India’s bureaucratic “coldness” towards outsiders and foreigners will likely remain with full steadfastness and stubbornness too in the near future.

      India’s civil-military bureaucracy is notoriously slow-moving and no matter what you do, it rarely (if ever) changes. Good luck telling the Babus what to do :)

      Why else do you think the US-India nuclear deal has been so painfully slow in actual implementation on the ground in India?

    2. “Pakistan is US perfect ploy to ensure India does not follow China’s route in say 15-20 years time.”

      India is a democracy and open society, it can’t afford to go to China routes even after advanced stage of development… Your comment clearly demonstrate the Pakistani tactics to remain relevent by exploiting US fears.

      1. @Bharat, you are underestimating US grand strategy for every region of the world: maintaining a balance of power in which no one entity dominates that can pressure or threaten US interests. So far India under Modi has been very keen to use the attention to gain ascendency and try to balance China (after all India regards China as a strategic threat rather than Pakistan nowadays).

        But as history shows, eventually one side falters and if for instance China declines and India gains the upper hand, the latter always viewed itself as a major power and demands to be treated as one. India’s non-aligned bureaucratic mindset is too well dug-in to be replaced by BJP’s overeagerness. It will outlast Modi sarkar easily and when that happens back to keeping it cold with the rest of the world and demanding respect. Not a bad thing but certainly shows India is carefully biding its time to gain maximum from all sides without over-committing to anything.

        THAT is where Pakistan comes in, given our knack of being eager beavers as a revisionist entity in South Asia and pressing India in whatever way our establishment can. Like I said, Pakistan is a useful idiot for USA to keep for a rainy day for whatever rhyme or reason. US and Pak are well in this together since Day One. Dont let the moralistic arguments by many well-intentioned but seedhay saadhay scholars come in the way. Pakistan will always be a useful ploy to keep safe for US interests if India goes it alone in say 15-20 years time. Guaranteed.

        1. @M Ali Khan : Dear, Either you don’t understand economics or naive in democratic Politics. India could afford to remain cold to US earlier, coz it had a socialistic economy with less connections with global economy of which US is major partner. Today, Indian economy is merged with that of global and merging more and more with each passing day. Now, there is cost involved with every decision even for indian buerocrats (who are very smart and know it very well). And in a democratic set-up, cost comes in political form also. Any downfall in economic parameters will have its political cost for the government in power. It is not with China. Their government doesn’t need to pay political cost for economic downfall. Same is applicable to Pakistan Army (real government of Pakistan). They doesn’t need to care for political loss, while deciding anything. Here, comes the glue between US and India, both democratic open societies. Each know very well the political & economic vulnerabilities of each other and feel rather comfortable in each other’s company. Today, one hostile travel advisary to US citizen by US govt is enough to control India. Similarly, US has its own vulnerabilities vs.e.vs India. Chinese leadership or Pakistani Army doesn’t need to care for this. They can afford prolonged hostility with USA any time as happened during prolonged route blockage for US army in Afganistan by Pakistan Army or killing of thousands of US soldiers by Pak Army stooges in Afganistan. This can’t be done by India or USA for each other. Similarly, China is promoting its own currency at the cost of dollar, coz they don’t need to care about its political cost. But, India can’t think of it even after 50 years later, coz its is too tied with dollar and can’t afford political cost involved due to its democratic setup. All these realistic things make India comfortable with USA. Second most important thing, nobody wants China decline, who is the significant major player of world economy. Whole world will go to deep depression if China also went down. India is being supported for adding value to World economy, not at the expense of China but as addition to China. Chinese understand it very well and even they want India to grow. About 15 years back, India would be cheered if Chinese economy goes down, but, today, we recieve chinese tourists, products and provide services to them. If Chinese will go down, it will be equally worrisome for us. And, regarding balancing act, it is bound to happen, it is law of nature. China will eventually have to adjust itself, to make place for India for its own survival. Once upon a time, US adjusted itself to make place for China and now it is chinese turn. Now, tell me where is the relevence of Pakistan in all this? India is not going to attack USA ever, China can (both directly and indirectly through its stooge North Korea). Pakistan has already attacked USA through its stooges (9/11) causing extraordinary damages and may attack again anytime. So, tell me a single realistic reason for India to harm US interests even 50 years down the line.

          1. @Bharat, many of your points on economic changes in India are correct and how Indian economy is more in tune with the rest of the world as its a secular open democracy. The way I see it, Indian democracy is a bit “too open” given how the Centre vs State govt issues go in which Prime Minister exercises limited authority in modifying state behaviour. Even if all major states are BJP led, each state has its own particular interests in mind and the complexities that come with strongly arrest the actual reach of the central govt. the economic boom has fueled a need for major reform across India but that doesnt mean it wont take a good 2-3 decades to follow suit given how much strong lobbying groups and entities will continue to influence Indian policy making and politics.

            Sure I am not an expert on Indian domestic affairs by any stretch of the imagination, but whatever scant knowledge I may have suggests India’s reformation will be painfully slow given the sheer numbers of everything there. Why else do you think the US-India nuclear deal remains slow in actual implementation? THAT is where I sincerely doubt that whatever Dr Fair here has suggested will see the light of day. Modi sarkar can only do so much given how strong the domestic constraints and compulsions are.

            Pakistan’s usefulness to China is undoubted. Which probably explains why Beijing wants to make CPEC a reality – if it can become one is another debate. Same way Iran has been useful for US interests in this day and age despite the revolution amid all that public bravado of Marg Bar Amreeka nonsense.

            Oh and before I forget, another US ally had a strong role in 9/11 and it still acts as an interlocuter with terrorist groups of all sizes worldwide: Saudi Arabia. Itna Pakistan bhi capable nahin :)

        2. One more point, I missed in my previous post
          “Pakistan is a useful idiot for USA to keep for a rainy day for whatever rhyme or reason”:
          If Pakistan can be useful idiot for USA, it may be useful idiot for anyone, who is willing to pay some extra, like it is doing with China nowadays.

          1. One more point from me @Bharat, India’s economy may be less socialistic today but that doesnt mean its socialistic tendencies within a wide number of groups and entities across India has gone down. Socialism isnt dead in India and while it many not return to power soon, it can still arrest rapid capitalism too.

            then again I am no socialist surkha either.

  12. I am not entirely sure I agree with everything that the article says but it is true that the Pakistanis are much better at communicating the seriousness of their national security concerns than people in India are.

    Perhaps this has something to do with the existential nature of the threats that Pakistan faces. India does not feel as threatened by Pakistan or China and so it can afford to be more laid back.

    I don’t feel American officials are beguiled by their Pakistani counterparts. The Pakistanis are simply more courteous and hospitable than the Indians. The Pakistanis go to great lengths to make their American visitors feel welcome as honored guests.

    Indians by contrast don’t make their American guests feel special and so lose out on some opportunities to communicate.

    As the Pakistanis appear more kind and approachable than their Indian counterparts, the Americans are able to make a better connection to their needs. This ability of the Pakistanis to put all the messed up stuff going on in Pakistan behind them and come across as someone deeply caring and gentle is something to marvel. Again by contrast, Indians wear their suffering on their sleeves.

    I don’t know if India or Pakistan will change their ways, but the American response to Pakistan is understandable. When you are attempting to communicate with a stranger – it is human nature to prefer to communicate with someone who is warm and inviting than someone who is cold and distant.

    Regarding “War Tourism” – quite frankly I am repelled by the idea. This kind of thing has a tendency to turn in to a wag-the-dog affair. That being said, when you stand in a pool of someone else’s blood and stare blankly into the faces of kids whose lives have been blown apart by bombs and artillery shells – perhaps the conflict doesn’t seem as distant. Who knows this may even be a good idea.

  13. 1. That Pakistan, a country with a 6% tertiary education statistic is persistently and consistently able to con the United States with 44%, as Professor Fair’s piece would lead one to believe, either speaks to the innate capabilities of uneducated Pakistanis, or for the eternal dumbness of the educated Americans, or, perhaps, that scholarship on South Asia is not easily achieved in parts of American academia. I would humbly opt for the last possibility.

    2. A number of nationalities make up Indians and Pakistanis. It is not without reason that English is a national language in India, and Bollywood considered the most important binding force. There are commonalities as well as differences.

    3. Where to begin? Well, a picture is supposed to be more revealing than a thousand words. And here is one (, a full year after independence, a picture that I hang in the passage of my house and one that is displayed with pride in the National Gallery of the British Empire, and who do you think looks in charge in this photgraph? And here is another one (, of Indonesia on the eve of its independence, and who do you think looks in charge here; this picture also hangs in the passage of my house, but it is not displayed (understandably) in the National Gallery of the Dutch Empire.

    4. Then there are historians and scholars, and Professor Fair is no doubt an illustrious addition to that community. But let me nonetheless suggest a couple of others who have also made scholarship their vocation. Here we have Professor Christophe Jaffrelot grappling with Pakistan (, and here we read Professor Perry Anderson summing up India’s post 1947 history (

    (Professor Anderson published chapters from this book in the London Review of Books, and these may also be accessed via the periodical’s website: Gandhi Centre Stage, Why Partition?, and After Nehru; respectively:

    5. Professor Fair’s piece could qualify as a “diatribe”, but far it be from me to accuse a scholar of that. And that said, I must confess that I quite enjoyed her piece, was entertained as well as amused. But Professor Fair, in fairness, most of all in fairness to your discipline and to yourself qua scholar, you may, in my humble opinion, need to be fairer yet, and that means, and with due respect, a lot more hard work and a lot less of impressionistic retelling of ones likes and dislikes.

    (Disclosure: this comment is from the enfant terrible of Professor Fair’s piece, a Pakistani, one who counts both some Indians as well as some American amongst good friends.)

  14. Another sensationalistic rant by the ASSISTANT Professor, whose only grudge with Pakistan is that these same Generals and Military officers of Pakistan (professionals) whom she kept trying to milk for information stopped pencilling in time for her because of her outrageous methods of interacting with peopple. Just because she knows some foul language words in Urdu and Punjabi she thinks she is some kind of expert on Pakistan. It just so happens that she’s had serious relationship problems with a man who is Pakistani and therefore anything related to Pakistan will set her off to tick. This is a conditioned response. When she’s feeling angry at Pakistan and hopeless about her country’s foreign policy, she pencils another emotional piece about Pakistan and its Armed Forces (the most celebrated institution in the country). Of course she’ll also be all high praise for the indians today. Just yesterday though under a different ‘cycle’ – she admitted in one of her articles that the indians are pumping lots of money into terrorist activity against Pakistan, especially via Balochistan Province which has a low-level insurgency. Pakistan’s actions against india are based on actionable intelligence. india is a much larger country but not one that can bully or intimidate Pakistan.

    Ms. Fair – the people of Pakistan stand behind the Armed Forces. What we have accomplished just in Zarb e Azb operation alone – you couldnt dream of accomplishing in Afghanistan where now/today you are forced to hold quiet back-channel talks with the Afghan taleban as well as the Haqqani tribe members (Haqqani is not a “network”). As for Kashmir – Kashmiris wave the Pakistani flag and have ardently been opposed to ever falling under the indian umbrella. That will continue, and Pakistan will always through all channels support our Kashmiri brethren. At least when we support Kashmiris, they dont attack our embassies or later become ISIS. More than what can be said about the people the Americans are supporting in Libya, Syria and elsewhere!

    1. You mean “Operation Zarb-e-Dollars”

      Pak Army is the main power centre in Pakistan and it has done EVERYTHING in its power to remain such. It makes and breaks politicians and political parties, massively rigs elections, and also ensures it maintains a strong leash on intelligence agencies at home and abroad.

      And all of this has been WILLINGLY and EAGERLY bankrolled with US support under both Democrats and Republics. Prof Fair is wrong with the US and Pakistan for the wrong reasons here – she should be instead angry at all of this charade of “perfidy” (as she once wrote of Pak-US relations) is actually a BOGUS SHAM from the word go!

      Always has been, always will be. Pakistan is a useful idiot for US geopolitical interests in the region. This “ohmergawd they took our tax dollars!!!” narrative is a sham that ignores how much in total cahoots the Pak-US establishments are.

      THAT is the real conspiracy my friend. baaki aap khud samajhdar hein ;)

        1. 1948 – army lies about starting war and fails to get control of Kashmir
          1965 – army lies about starting war and fails to get control of Kashmir
          1971 – army lies about starting war, fails to get control of Kashmir and loses East Pak.
          1999 – army lies about starting war and fails to get control of Kashmir
          Current – army lies about Zarb e Azb operation, selectively kills civilians & weak militants, large swaths of NWFP & Balochistan become no go areas, fails to control of terrorists AND chaos increases on all domestic fronts as well as provinces

          In the meantime, country goes to hell in a hand basket. Yes, keep up the solidarity.

  15. This article is ‘fair and balance’ and represents an accurate picture of both, PakMil officers and US general officers.
    What is needed is transparency, and that’s what Prof. Fair, in may opinion, is conveying in her article.

  16. Ms. Fair’s unfair analysis on Pakistan, in fact one should call it propaganda against Pakistan is repeated smartly in this paper, of course with a different title. The entire article is mere repetition of her previous articles. This paper also suggests that she is being paid very well by her Indian bosses to tarnish image of Pakistan. After distrust of many years Pakistan and US are again moving towards building a stronger relationship which is irritating India. Both Pakistan and US have realized that their cooperation is key to peace and stability in Afghanistan and entire region. India is losing grounds in Afghanistan and now its RAW supported terrorists are at run, which has perturbed India badly. Ms. Fair has badly lost her credibility due to biased analysis on Pakistan.

  17. Good that ms. christine knows urdu. i also believe that USA is going to be there in afghanistan for a very very long time, and thbus US govt. will keep on pouring billions into pakistan which they eventually will use to pop up nukes like sausages, today pakistan has the largest growing nuke arsenal world over.

    I am glad indian govt. officials are not very hospitable to double standard american govt. officials who i believe were in first place tempted to exterminate india in support of heinous crimes commited by pakistan in 1971(reads blood telegram), india being a nation who never invaded or waged war on other nation in history of 2000 years.(however i will have to admit that- there was no need of ‘forward policy’ & we did a mistake in understanding chinese,but , chinese were also equally responsible for 1962 war which ultimately brought chinese even more closer to pakistan.

    i also believe that Indians must not be hospitable to american govt. officials w.r.t. ‘war tourism’ viz. kashmir tour , simply because it will a serious non-conformity with ‘Shimla Agreement.

    i want USA and India to come close in terms of cultural exchange,trade,co-operation in industries,education,etc & mutually help make this world a better place. Indian government lacks serious political will to make things right w.r.t. pakistan,when india bought iran oil , manmohansingh says – india is poor we need cheap iran oil , lol , losers speak like that , PM singh should have thought about average indian citizen’s morale, my self confidence was shattered by hearing such statements by our PM – I believe indians are free & follow a non-aligned movement,it seems like singh saab was ordered by US govt. & mr. singh was defending, all he needed to do was – make it very clear to US govt. that – india is not U.K.

  18. And as far as indian policy with pakistan goes – i believe india did the right thing by rejecting secretary level talks,pakistanis & world must understand & experience that – no matter how & what nawaz shareef cries in UNGA about kashmir , India believes UN 47 resolution is obsolete & that India will make sure that Shimla agreement which supercedes UN 47 — is strictly adhered to , & if need be – india is willing to exercise its rights per treaty or in other words – block / stop talks with pakistan if pakistan violates ‘shimla treaty’, And i pity those indians, pakistanis & ther nationality citizens when they say india is stopping referendum in kashmir as its generally interpreted as, however same UN reso. these illiterates have never realy read – para 11 speaks clearly – pak. army to withdraw all its forces from POK immediately & indian army is allowed to send & keep minimum required force in POK untill referendum is conducted, but fact of the matter is – its no more relevant as both countries signed ‘shimla treaty’ in ’72 rendering UN reso. 47 out dated.

  19. I have followed Christine Fair for years. From an Indian point of view, she was pro-Pakistani. While the 2008 Mumbai attacks were in progress, she wrote that the attackers were most likely disgruntled Indian Muslims, blaming the Indian Govt. But she changed, much to the chagrin of Pakistanis. Because Ms. Fair is interested in US interests, not India’s or Pakistan’s, as this article shows. She gives recommendations to India’s MEA only because she feels it will serve US interests better.

    That said, I am not sure I agree with her recommendations. With the US, Pakistan has traditionally acted like a prostitute, figuratively putting on lip gloss and seducing Americans. India providing hospitality like Pakistan will not produce the same American behavior. Americans see Pakistan as an underdog and India as a dominant power. But what Indians must curb is the desire to enforce protocol over getting results. It is in the BJP’s blood to do be practical over protocol, but the babus have 60 years of Congress influence. It is up to the Dept of State to send seasoned people to South Asia, not teenagers who will fall for lip gloss. Unfortunately, the Dept of State is still full of cold warriors.

    1. That hospitality thing is quite simply a load of rubbish that Fair has flung in our faces to see how many people will buy it.. It would be laughable, not to mention utterly ridiculous to believe that foreign policy decisions are influenced by the quality of chai-samosas offered to visiting officials.

      Yes, warmth and hospitality are important, but to say that they are crucial factors influencing international geo-poltics would be taking things too far..
      Afterall, despite all the warmth and hospitality extended to him by the current NDA government, didn’t Obama lecture us on freedom of religion, on his last day here? All the pappi-jhappi in Delhi notwithstanding, if he hadn’t done that, it would have severely upset his Bible-thumping constituents back home… Hopefully, it serves us as a rude reminder that foreign policy is almost entirely driven by the hard, unfeeling calculations of realpolitik.

  20. What is underlying message, advice, emulate Pakistan to entice America. God forbid. It is about flooding the Silicon Valley and other valleys with our superior talent, Increasing the GDP. Lucrative market will attract and command respect of Americans and others. Other than securing our borders and be on guard Pakistan should no relevance to us.

  21. And people are failing to see the big picture in Ms. Fair’s journey from being pro-Pak to neutral commentator. This is exactly why India doesn’t stoop to the level of Pakis prostitution. You can only go so far recycling and manufacturing lies. India has been consistent since 1990s in their position that Pakis are institutionally sponsoring terrorism. At the same time, it continued to pursue it’s policy of national interest. Look at the trajectory of the two countries? There was actually a point in the 1980s when Pak per-capita average was better than India’s and their defense spending was actually about same. Now look at the current situation. Pak has pursued it’s dumb zero-sum policy to stubbornly prove that it is equal to India. I am sure there are quite a few Paki apologists left in US govt as old habits die hard. I guess India could do better to train it’s diplomats to become more effective in their messaging but I would like to assert again that in a democracy where govts set the agenda, such slow and sustained progress is expected. I would like to repeat: India will not cheapen itself by behaving like Pakis diplomats as this would compromise it’s sovereign position of keeping 3rd parties out of it’s subcontinent. Let Pakis act like cheap dime-store hookers. They don’t understand the concept of self-respect