Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Great Game in Afghanistan,Pak-US Rift

Islamabad and Kabul seem to be working together to counter what Pakistan has described as a new “Great Game” in Afghanistan. Political analysts describe it as U.S. intentions to establish permanent bases on Afghan soil to be used for launching attacks against Iran and other countries.
                Times of India says. Even as Fathollahi claimed that India and Iran had “close viewpoints” on Afghanistan, But Iran does not share India’s concern that the Pakistani army and ISI might foist themselves on Afghanistan once the international security forces leave the region by 2014. Unlike New Delhi, Tehran wants the forces to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible.However, the Iranian foreign minister said his government considered Pakistan an integral constituent of any regional strategy, including on Afghanistan, and has always believed in co-operating with Islamabad.”The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister also threw cold water on resurrecting the Northern Alliance or dividing Afghanistan–”Northern Alliance is not separated from other parts of Afghanistan”.
                There has been a lack of trust between Washington and Islamabad
mainly because of the way the US forced Pakistan to participate in the war, and twisted its arm to act against its own interests. The US took advantage of the chaos that reigned during the power transition from Musharraf to Zardari. Langley grew the CIA network and dramatically increased drone bombings, fully knowing that this would destabilize the situation in Pakistan.
                 Both sides are trying to secure their national interests while jockeying with the different players in the region. General Kayani got an extension on the promise that Islamabad would be able to secure a position on the negotiating table–a commitment given to him by none other than Mrs. Hillary Clinton. The US needs a fall-guy for its defeat in the Hindu Kush. The graveyard of empires has defined the limits of a Superpower. Washington knows it needs Pakistan, no matter how frustrating and irritating the relationship is.
                 Today the US is facing some of the pugnacious Pakistani resilience. Unlike Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya, the U.S. cannot even think about using blatant  force to pressure Pakistan, a fact of which the Pakistanis are well aware of.  All the US can do it send scores of mercenaries into Pakistan to try to intimidate it. However JSOC operations can go only so far–and the ISI is now wise to US tactics and is countering them in a potent manner. Islamabad has a knife on the  NATO jugular–it controls the main US supply line from Karachi to Kabul in Afghanistan.
                 
Sources in Pakistan confirm the that difference between the US and Pakistan can be encapsulated in the following few bullets:
  1. The Pakistanis want the CIA infrastructure dismantled in Pakistan and a halt to drone strikes.
  2. In a post-US Kabul, Islamabad wants a smaller Afghan National Army of about 100,000 instead of 400,000 that the US wants.
  3. The US wants a highly centralized Afghan government while Pakistan wants a lose confederation.
  4. Rawalpindi wants reconciliation with the “Good Taliban” while  the US wants to hammer the “Bad Taliban”.
  5. The situation is complicated by the differences between the hawkish General Petraeus‘ political ambitions and Admiral Mullen’s pragmatic approach of including the Pakistanis in the final Afghan settlement.
                   
According to press reports this disastrous “War on Terror” has cost Pakistan more then $ 75 billion and US has merely compensated less then $ 10 billion over the past decade. The Pakistanis want to halt the US supply lines–and really don’t care about US aid anymore.
It is apparent that the ephemeral strategic alliance made by President George W. Bush and Gen. Pervez Musharraf is as dead as a door nail. The Pakistani official quoted by Ms. Parlez is a poignant reminder of the reality of US-Pakistani relationship “The feeling of being allies was never there,” … “I’ve said to the Americans: ‘You are going to fail in Afghanistan and you are going to make us the fall guy.’ I still think this is going to happen.”


Source: pakistan patriot

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