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Pakistan concerned about Indian machinations in Afghanistan


Pakistan concerned about Indian machinations in Afghanistan

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., is concerned about the growing Indian influence in Afghanistan, and says his country does not want to be caught in a “pincers movement” on the issue.

“We are concerned about the influence of India in Afghanistan because we have had conflict with India and we do not want to have a situation in which we are caught in a pincers movement,” he told the popular Charlie Rose Show of the PBS Thursday.

  • Under elected leaders, Pakistan is working with the US to build trust between our militaries and intelligence agencies.
  • Pakistan is crucial for helping Afghanistan attain stability.
  • Over the past nine years more Pakistani than NATO troops have lost their lives fighting the Taliban.
  • Two thousand Pakistani police have been killed
  • The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not even remotely reflect the current realities on the ground.
  • As we speak, the military of Pakistan is engaged in a bloody battle, taking enormous casualties

The much publicised leaking of several thousand classified documents rel-ating to the war in Afghanistan may have provided the war’s American critics an opportunity to press their objections. It does not, however, make the case against military and political cooperation between the governments of the United States and Pakistan, made necessary by the challenge of global terrorism.

Under elected leaders, Pakistan is working with the US to build trust between our militaries and intelligence agencies. In recent months, Pakistan has undertaken a massive military operation in the region bordering Afghanistan, denying space to Taliban extremists who had hoped to create a ministate with the backing of Al-Qaeda. Pakistan-Afghanistan relations have been enhanced to an unprecedented degree. And exchanges of intelligence between Pakistan and the US have foiled several terrorist plots around the globe.

The WikiLeaks controversy and the ensuing speculation about Pakistan’s role in the global effort against the terrorists should not disrupt the ongoing efforts of the US and Pakistan to contain and destroy the forces of extremism and fanaticism that threaten the entire world.

Pakistan is crucial for helping Afghanistan attain stability while pursuing the defeat of Al-Qaeda led terrorist ideologues. For that reason the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have denounced the leaking of unattributed and unprocessed information implicating Pakistan in supporting or tolerating the Taliban. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, a Democrat, warned Monday against judging Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war by “outdated reports,” adding that Pakistan had “significantly stepped up its fight against the Taliban.” Most Americans and many Pakistanis agree on the need for improvements in Pakistan’s efforts, but that is not the same as suspecting lack of cooperation.

The tragedy that has unfolded in South Asia is the product of a long series of policy miscalculations spanning fully 30 years. The US, in its zeal to defeat the Soviet Union – a noble goal indeed – selected Afghanistan as a venue. Pakistan became caught up in an ideological battle[…]. to fight the surrogate war against the Russians. […]

More Pakistanis have been killed by terrorism in the last two years than the number of civilians who died in New York’s Twin Towers. Over the past nine years more Pakistani than NATO troops have lost their lives fighting the Taliban. Two thousand Pakistani police have been killed; our mosques and hotels have been savagely attacked; scores of billion dollars of foreign investment were frozen; and tens of billions of dollars of funding for education and health have been diverted to the battlefield against the extremists.

[…] The democratically elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has followed a clearly laid out strategy of fighting and marginalising terrorists, even when that decision was less than popular with a public still cynical because of what it believed was the political manipulation of the past. The course laid out by Pakistan’s democratic leaders has been executed brilliantly by Pakistan’s military and intelligence services.

The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not even remotely reflect the current realities on the ground. For example, a retired Pakistani general is named as the master planner of the Afghan Taliban’s strategy. But this is a man who hasn’t held any position within Pakistani intelligence or the military for more than 20 years.

For its part, Pakistan’s current leadership will not be distracted by something like these leaks. We have paid an unprecedented price in blood and treasure over the last two years. We will not succumb to the terrorists.

As we speak, the military of Pakistan is engaged in a bloody battle, taking enormous casualties, in the mountains of South Waziristan to purge the tribal areas of terrorist sanctuaries. Our intelligence forces are gathering information across the country and targeting terrorist cells in North Waziristan to thwart their designs for destabilising our government and terrorising our people.

We fight alongside our friends from all over the world to protect freedom. The US could not have a more committed ally in this defining battle of the third millennium than the people, the government and the military of Pakistan. The writer is Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.
(Wall Street Journal)

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/28-Jul-2010/An-ally-of-necessity

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