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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pakistan's War of Choice

Although Pakistan is stepping up its efforts, this article alludes to the main reason they refuse to commit fully.

Pakistan seems unwilling to move much more of its army away from the Indian border, meaning a further delay before operations commence in North Waziristan — home to the Haqqani network, a radical group headed by the Taliban commander Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which is believed to be behind some of the largest attacks in recent years.

I did not meet any Pakistanis who actually seemed to wish to see the Afghan Taliban back in power. But the country simply does not have the military capacity to make major moves against the Afghan fundamentalists. And, less understandably, Pakistanis tend to see Indian conspiracies behind what is happening in Afghanistan, and fear being trapped between their longtime nemesis on one side and an Indian puppet on the other.

At the headquarters of the Pakistani spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, I was told that India was suspected of providing explosives to Tehrik-i-Taliban extremists through Afghanistan. Many Pakistanis claim that the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai is essentially a reincarnation of the old Northern Alliance from the Afghan civil war — a union largely made up of ethnic Tajiks and Uzbeks and partly financed by India. (This despite the fact that Afghanistan’s ministers of defense and interior are Pashtun, as is President Karzai.)Pakistanis wonder why India is building so many consulates in Afghanistan, and even Indian-subsidized health clinics are considered suspicious.

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