Trust was never there, say US, Pak officials

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by anoop_mig25, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Trust was never there, say US, Pak officials
    JANE PERLEZ New York Times Posted: Tue Apr 19 2011,Islamabad:
    The differences between the US and Pakistan that broke into the open last week over the scale of CIA operations here signalled a fundamental rift, plunging the relationship to its lowest point in memory.

    The rupture over Pakistan’s demands that the US end drone strikes — which the Obama administration rejected — and scale back their intelligence presence within Pakistan exposed the tentative nature of the alliance forged after the September 11, 2001, attacks. And it is increasingly apparent that the two countries have differing, even irreconcilable, aims in Afghanistan.

    With the Afghan endgame looming, suspicion is overwhelming faint cooperation between the US and Pakistan, as each side seeks to secure its interests and even cut out the other if need be, US and Pakistani officials say.

    No one in Pakistan or in Washington now speaks of returning to strategic alliance made by former president George W Bush and Gen Pervez Musharraf after the September 11 attacks.

    “There was never a level of trust,” said a former US military official. The American official did not want to be identified. Broadly, the US seeks a strong centralised Afghan government commanding a large Army that can control its territory. Almost all those ends are objectionable to Pakistan, which while it calls for a stable Afghanistan, prefers a more loosely governed neighbour where it can influence events, if need be, through Taliban proxies.

    The differences revolve around which Taliban factions should be included in any settlement; the role of India; and the size of the new Afghan Army, which the Americans want big.

    For months, Pakistan’s diplomats and military officials have complained that they were being kept in the dark by the Obama administration’s manoeuvring for a negotiated solution in Afghanistan. “There is no transparency; they are not telling us who they are talking to,” a Pakistani government official said.

    As their nervousness about US intentions have increased, the Pakistanis have sought to improve their leverage — threatening CIA operations in Pakistan, cracking down on Taliban leaders to coerce their cooperation, and trying to befriend President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

    The Pakistanis may well have scored an early gain with Karzai, reportedly persuading the Afghan president that a 400,000-strong Afghan Army favoured by the Americans was unsustainable and should only number 100,000, a Pakistani familiar with Pakistani General Afshaq Parvez Kayani’s thinking said. For their part, US officials say they are reluctant to include Pakistan in the early manoeuvrings on peace in Afghanistan because they are concerned that Pakistan will block concessions the US wants from the Taliban.

    “The feeling of being allies was never there,” a senior Pakistani military officer said. “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.”
     
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  3. ganesh177

    ganesh177 Regular Member

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