• Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pakistan PM warns U.S. sanctions would be counter-productive

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by TheOccupiedKashmir, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. TheOccupiedKashmir

    TheOccupiedKashmir SENIOR MEMBER

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    #WORLD NEWS
    SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 / 8:26 PM

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    FILE PHOTO: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi speaks during a meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

    Drazen Jorgic

    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said it would be counter-productive for the United States to sanction Pakistani officials or further cut military assistance, warning it would hurt both countries’ fight against militancy.

    U.S.-Pakistan relations have frayed since President Donald Trump last month set out a new Afghanistan policy and lashed out at nuclear-armed Pakistan as a fickle ally that gives safe haven to “agents of chaos” by harboring the Afghan Taliban and other militants.

    The United States has already begun conditioning future aid to Pakistan on progress Islamabad makes in tackling the Haqqani network militants who it alleges are Pakistan-based and have helped the Taliban carry out deadly attacks inside Afghanistan.

    Pakistan denies hosting militant sanctuaries, and Islamabad bristles at claims it has not done enough to tackle militancy, noting it has borne the brunt of violence in the so-called war on terror, suffering more than 60,000 casualties since 2001.

    Former petroleum minister Abbasi, 58, who was installed as prime minister last month after the Supreme Court ousted veteran premier Nawaz Sharif over undeclared income, told Reuters that any targeted sanctions by Washington against Pakistani military and intelligence officials would not help U.S. counter-terrorism efforts.

    “We are fighting the war against terror, anything that degrades our effort will only hurt the U.S. effort,” Abbasi said in an interview in Islamabad on Monday. “What does it achieve?”

    U.S. officials privately say the targeted sanctions would be aimed at Pakistani officials with ties to extremist groups and are part of an array of options being discussed to pressure Pakistan to change its behavior, including further aid cuts.

    ARMS DEALS WITH CHINA, RUSSIA?

    Washington’s civilian and military assistance to Pakistan was less than $1 billion in 2016, down from a recent peak of $3.5 billion in 2011, and Abbasi warned that Washington will not achieve its counter-terrorism aims by starving Pakistan of funds.

    “If the military aid cuts degrade our effort to fight war on terror, who does it help?” he said. “Whatever needs to be done here, it needs to be a cooperative effort.”

    Abbasi said one practical side-effect of military aid cuts and U.S. Congress blocking the sale of subsidized F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan will be to force Islamabad to buy weapons from China and Russia.

    “We’ve had to look at other options to maintain our national defensive forces,” he said.

    The Trump administration’s tougher stance is seen as pushing Islamabad closer to Beijing, which has pledged about $60 billion in roads, rail and power infrastructure in Pakistan as part of its ambitious Belt and Road initiative to build vast land and sea trade routes linking Asia with Europe and Africa.

    “We have a major economic relationship with (China), we have a major military relationship since the 1960s, so that’s definitely one of our options,” he said.

    Abbasi said it was “unfair” to blame Pakistan for all the troubles in Afghanistan, saying Washington should show more appreciation for Pakistan’s losses from militancy and its role in hosting 3.5 million Afghan refugees.

    He added that Afghan-based militants have also launched cross-border attacks on civilians and military in Pakistan, prompting Pakistan to begin investing “several billion dollars” to fence the disputed and porous 2,500 km (1,500 mile) border.

    “We intend to fence the whole border to control that situation,” Abbasi added.

    ECONOMIC HEADWINDS

    Abbasi, a skydiving enthusiast and co-founder of a budget airline, also faces growing headwinds on the economy ahead of a general election, likely in mid-2018.

    Growth in Pakistan’s $300 billion economy surged to 5.3 percent in 2016-17, its fastest pace in a decade, but the macro-economic outlook has deteriorated, stoking concerns Pakistan may need an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, as it did in 2013, to avert another balance of payments crisis.

    Foreign currency reserves have dwindled by almost a quarter to $14.7 billion since last October, while the 2016-17 current account deficit has more than doubled to $12.1 billion.

    Abbasi said Islamabad was looking at a raft of measures to alleviate current account pressures to avoid going back to the IMF, including reducing imports of luxury goods, boosting exports, and possibly devaluing its currency.

    Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is a staunch opponent of a weaker rupee - whose level against the dollar is effectively controlled by the central bank - but Abbasi said it had been discussed.

    “There are pros and cons to devaluation, but that could be a decision we take,” he said, adding that any devaluation would not be drastic, and “today, it’s not on the table yet.”

    Abbasi, who has hinted his former boss remains the power behind the throne by repeatedly calling him “the people’s prime minister”, said the three-time premier remains hugely popular despite his disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28.

    “Politics is not decided in courts,” said Abbasi, who was jailed along with Sharif after the 1999 military coup. “Politically, Nawaz Sharif is stronger today than he was on July 28.”

    Abbasi is also pushing ahead with a wide-ranging tax reform agenda before the elections - a tough task in a nation that has one of the world’s lowest tax-to-GDP ratios and where tax evasion is rampant and often culturally acceptable.

    The ruling PML-N party is looking for cross-party support for the reforms, but Abbasi said radical changes would require an integrated approach, including building confidence among tax payers, reducing income taxes and making it less attractive to invest in a real estate sector that attracts black money.

    “You not only need to have a stick, you need to have a carrot also,” he said.

    Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

    Pakistan PM warns U.S. sanctions would be counter-productive | reuters.com
     
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  2. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader SENIOR MEMBER

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    This Guy Seems Much More Active Than Nawaz, Which is a good Sign.
    Pakistan Does need a mouth piece for International Stage Rather Than Military official as it will show the Softer side of Pakistan , and that will Shut Mouths that Army is taking over bla bla .

    Pakistan do need a bit of tougher stand Because they have lost more than any other country.
    But Problem is Countries really know about these sacrifices of Pakistani Nation as Whole , The Only thing Media see is Regular BS Story from Afghan and Indian side.
     
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  3. Quibbler

    Quibbler FULL MEMBER

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    "said it would be counter-productive for the United States to sanction Pakistani officials or further cut military assistance"
    I thought Pakistan did not want aid, atleast thats what the comments of many posters reflect
     
  4. snow lake

    snow lake BANNED

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    Just reject the aid and charge for every bullet going through Pakistan. Assist the Taliban.....double death
     
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  5. Max

    Max SENIOR MEMBER

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    its not about cut, take it as measure of friendship, if aid is flowing it means relations are Okay. their few hundred millions aid wont change anything for Pakistan.

    how much aid they passed for Pakistan this year?
     
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  6. xlagger

    xlagger FULL MEMBER

    New Recruit

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    What does devalued rupee would mean ? will it drop against USD? what effects will it bring? in layman terms..
     
  7. Starlord

    Starlord SENIOR MEMBER

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    Time for sanctions are over , it won't be useful now ,its not 90's..
     
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  8. AZ1

    AZ1 FULL MEMBER

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    We survive after nuclear test with all sanctions through at us. We will INSHALLAH do better even US sanctions us.
     
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  9. Signalian

    Signalian SENIOR MEMBER

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    The way things are brewing up, F-16's spares,equipment, weapons supply line for PAF may get hampered in future and if that is so then there will be a big gap in PAF for a medium fighter and the burden will fall back on ageing Mirages and JF-17. This leaves PAF with:

    Ageing Aircraft: Mirage III/V
    Light MR Aircraft: JF-17
    Medium MR Aircraft: Sanction prone F-16
    Heavy Aircraft: None
    Stealth Aircraft: None

    Considering that PAF chooses light/medium fighter aircraft or single engined, the options with China remain J-10, which is comparable to F-16. Heavy aircrafts like Chinese Flanker family seems dubious for PAF. Acquisition of Stealth aircraft like J-31 doesnt seem to be in foreseeable future.

    The Russians have all the heavy or twin engined aircrafts. Mig-29/35 and SU30 are operated by IAF in large numbers. PAF not interested in Mig-31 or SU-24 though both are capable in their league when upgraded. SU-34 and SU-35 are excellent choices and expensive too. SU-25 offers good firepower, weapon load and armor for COIN ops but recently MFI-17 and K-8 have been upgraded to carry weapons too.

    Cant really say if Shahid Abbasi is looking at SU35 or J-10.
     
  10. Bilal Khan (Quwa)

    Bilal Khan (Quwa) FULL MEMBER

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    This is the PAF CAS' statement from April 2017:

    "While that happened, we kept looking at other options. I think we have some of the leading options both in China and Russia. We are also collaborating with Turkey for developing a next generation aircraft.

    "However, in future – in the next 10 years down the line – if we don’t induct fifth-generation aircraft, then the disparity will increase. Indians are working on a fifth-generation aircraft.

    Pakistan definitely has to induct new aircraft. We have both Chinese and Russian options."

    http://www.bolnarratives.com/two-fronts-one-mission/
    In 2016 Jane's revealed that the PAF was looking for 30-40 twin-engine fighters. Although Jane's couched its analysis on the PAF looking to strengthen its maritime air support, I think the requirement has more to do with @Oscar's earlier statements about needing deep strike aircraft to supplant the Mirage ROSE II/III. I don't believe the PAF is intending to fight that far in the seas. Rather, the JF-17s providing air cover in littoral waters should be sufficient for the joint PAF-PN anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) effort.

    Ultimately, it's obvious the PAF has been looking, and it's obvious that it has been urging the government to set aside money. The PAF knows there's a certain amount available, but that is only one side of the coin, the other is the supplier being willing to extend credit.

    It will be interesting to see PM Abbasi and FM Asif's actions moving forward, especially vis-a-viz the UK, which is looking to rejuvenate defence exports. They seem like they're wanting to do some serious work, so let's see.

    IMO from the PAF's PoV, the optimal solution would be 24~32 Eurofighter Typhoon T3, which can readily 'meld' with the 76 F-16s (e.g. Link-16) for joint operations. In this case the PAF can capitalize upon existing assets and build a consolidated offensive force.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  11. Starlord

    Starlord SENIOR MEMBER

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    Sir we have been listening this from a long time, PAF knows that they need a new Aircraft , they know the need is there, now the funds is no issue than what is stopping them ? this uncertainty raise the question that did Russian ever actually offer Su-35 to begin with ? i doubt Typhoon will land in Pakistan, Europeans are not very Generous when it comes to selling high-Tech Systems .

    with Sanctions in place, we are talking about our Strike roles fighter will struggle with flying hours , do we actually working on a plan to counter it ? i am not a very professional Business man but still a M.Phill student , how can our Air force with all that Tension hanging above our heads and twitching in the relations with uncle sam, they are so relaxed and still taking forever to made up their minds on ..

    20-30 Typhoon T3A will drain all the funds for 5th Generation fighter , which according the Interviews and hints will be designed in Pakistan .. and with a huge fund dedicated to T3, it might effect the block-3 proposed changes as well, we are still not come up with AESA for our block-3 that clock is still ticking ..

    Sir Mirages already passed their retirement date, how long PAF intend to fly those machines ? if I am not wrong within the frame of 2-3 years around 3-4 Mirages are crashed along with our highly skilled pilots .. from the out it seems that the big tummies in PAF is just looking for big kickbacks before they make a final decision on either they will head for Su35 or Typhoon T3's .
     
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  12. Bilal Khan (Quwa)

    Bilal Khan (Quwa) FULL MEMBER

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    In terms of cost, the Typhoon T3 has a high acquisition price, but a relatively manageable maintenance cost. Under the TyTAN program BAE has been working to bring the T3's operating costs to an area that's comparable with the F-16 Block-52+.

    A country will ultimately amortize the acquisition cost, but it will have to live with the operating costs for the life of the aircraft. This is where the Su-35 and Su-30SME may not be optimal options, especially when we accept that it's unlikely that either can meld as smoothly with the F-16 as would the T3 (which has Link-16).

    With two high-tech assets (e.g. F-16 and Su-30/35/J-10/MiG-35) you'd be operating them akin to the 1980s or 1990s, instead of a united network-enabled force. For the latter, you'd basically need more of those Eastern jets. It's doable (low acquisition price), but the long-term maintenance and operational costs will be higher (than T3).

    As to why they'd need a 4.5 gen fighter. Ultimately, we don't know when the 5th-gen fighter can feasibly come, and with the PAF basically saying that its 5th-gen fighter will be an original design (with a lot of development work done in Pakistan no less) should spell out that this is a long-term program, one in need of consistent development funding, but production (i.e. most expenses) coming much later. At that point, there'll be no JF-17 or 4.5 gen fighter, just the 5th-gen fighter.

    Possible imports (e.g. TFX, FC-31, etc) notwithstanding, the 5th-gen fighter is likely to be a post-JF-17 - i.e. 2035-2040+ - factor. There's clearly a need for a high-technology asset to lead the JF-17 Block-III, just as the Block-52+/MLU leads the JF-17 Block-I/II, for the next several decades.
     
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  13. TheOccupiedKashmir

    TheOccupiedKashmir SENIOR MEMBER

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    US has already imposed sanctions on some Pakistani companies in December (related to nuclear weapons program). Now, they are looking to sanction some military/intelligence individuals.

    There is talk of withdrawing the major non-NATO ally status. Few want Pakistan declared 'state sponsor of terror'.

    As more US sanctions are imposed, EU sanctions will naturally follow.

    If a Chinese / Russian platform is acquired, PAF can work with the OEM to enable Link 17. After 5-6 years, deliveries of 150 JF-17s including Block 3 would be complete. Block 3 will replace the F-16 as PAF's 'qualitative driver'.

    For PAF, a new western platform is not the solution. There was a time when sanctions forced PAF to smuggle F-16 spares.
     
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  14. CHACHA"G"

    CHACHA"G" FULL MEMBER

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    For Light MR Aircraft role JF-17 block-III will be great option all older block s(I-II) will also get Block-III upgrades , this bird is a blessing for Pakistan
    For Medium MR Aircraft role F-16s we have are getting old and they are Sanction prone , to me its cost even more if you have to keep 5 years of spear parts stock. Now there are more chances of IAF to have F-16 block 70. We need one new bird in this category and J-10 is the only option out there (Gripen is expensive). J-10P(Pakistani Version) can solve this problem , there induction will also allow PAF to retire All Mirages...
    Fifth Gen is completely different thing , If we are trying to have our own 5th Gen bird that will take good 15+ years and if PAF thinking of buying J-31 it also may take 5+ years.....
    For Heavy Typhoon is the best option (if available) because we already using many western systems on JF-17 and F-16. I don't think UK will fallow USA after birxit .
     
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  15. airmarshal

    airmarshal SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistan has made sacrifices but it does not translate those sacrifices into action.

    Which country has succeeded against terrorists like Pakistan? Yet Pakistan does not even mention it and makes a strong case based on its military successes.

    Fact that these fraud politicians - Sharif and Zardari, have an axe to grind against military. They dont highlight military successes because for them military is the 'other'. Both of them have been involved in maligning the military. Zardari in Memogate and Sharif in Dawn Leaks. Both have same modus operandi. If they make a case on military success against terrorists, Pakistan can gain credibility.

    But Pakistan remains muted and adopts apologetic foreign policy specially towards India and Afghanistan. Both these countries have been found to be promoting terror in Pakistan but the country does not even mutter a few words to make it a sound byte.

    In an extremely fast paced geopolitical environment, where situation is changing in weeks, Pakistan did not have foreign minister for 4 years. The Foreign ministry was reduced to petty squabbles. The 'experienced' PM was making embarrassing decisions himself like going to India PM inauguration against advice, proceeding to Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar against advice and embarrassing the nation by inviting Modi to grand daughter wedding. One striking picture of that event was Modi sitting with his ambassador with Foreign secretary and Sharif sitting with toadies.

    And then they say Army taking over the space they left void due to their incompetence and selfish motives.

    At that time, US was not dependent upon Pakistan. This time it is. If Pakistan plays smart, we can give US a very tough time in Afghanistan. US under Trump is extremely foolish. It has diminished its relations with Iran as well as Pakistan at the same time wanting to achieve military success only in Afghanistan. Iran and Pakistan share longest borders with Afghanistan and Afghanistan solution lies in political dialogue which US is not interested in. So the only intention is to create more destabilization in the region.
     
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