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US should align its Afghanistan policy with Pakistan

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Recently, a US State Department official said “we genuinely believe that a shift in Pakistan policy in aligning with our [US] strategy is very much in Pakistan’s own interests. A future course of our relationship…rest[s] in the hands of Pakistani leaders.” The man who said that was Henry Ensher, the acting deputy assistant secretary for Pakistan for the State Department.

What the State Department official basically said was this: we expect Pakistan to change its regional security policy with the one which helps the US in achieving its interests in the region. Rather than asking Pakistan to align its so-called old security policy with the US, wouldn’t it be a good idea that Washington replaces its old policy of putting blame on others to with a more regionally aligned policy?

The State Department’s official statement largely reflects the growing consensus in Washington that it’s Pakistan which has to introduce changes to its policy if the country is interested in partnering with the US. For months now, there has been a consistent effort on the part of the US to convince Pakistan of why it stands to gain by working with Washington’s security agenda in Afghanistan. In that consistent effort, we have seen the US rolling back its military as well as its economic assistance for Pakistan. There have been phases when the US has recognised Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and commitment toward Afghanistan peace. On other occasions,........

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