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Pak-US relations and Afghan quagmire

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Vagaries of Consciousness

After a hiatus of several months the Americans are back taking a swipe at Pakistan in the aftermath of a tragic ‘insider’ attack on senior American and Afghan security officials in Kandahar. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was his usual self in sending a blunt message: “We expect Pakistan to curb terrorists fighting in Afghanistan and it will be held accountable if it fails to do so”.

He went on to say: “We don’t believe we can get to the place that everyone wants, right. Everyone wants reconciliation in Afghanistan, and to achieve that, you can’t have a safe harbour for Taliban, for Haqqani, and for others inside of Pakistan”. He also made it clear that “the Pakistani government knows that that’s our view and this administration has already made significant efforts to hold them accountable, and we hope that they’ll achieve the goal that we’ve set for them”. It was perhaps a reference to suspension of reimbursement of expenses Pakistan’s security forces provide in support of the US operations on the alleged ground of presence of Afghan militants in the country, which is vehemently denied by Islamabad.

The message, laced in a language suitable for a master-servant relation, was given in a news briefing in response to a question from an Afghan journalist. Earlier, soon after the Kandahar incident, the Afghan president, Mr Ashraf Ghani, had claimed that the planning for the attack was done in Pakistan. He did not disclose the basis of this assertion. Clearly, Secretary of State’s response could well be aimed at giving credence to Afghan government’s view. But it could also be a result of the sheer audacity and nerve-racking nature of the attack in Kandahar.

For the first time, the commander of the NATO forces, a US army general, was the target of the attack who narrowly survived unhurt. Three senior Afghan officials, including the police chief Abdul Raziq, who had earned considerable notoriety in stamping out Taliban from wherever he was posted, were not so lucky and two American........

© Pakistan Today