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Deceitful Pakistan

Deceitful Pakistan

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: June 26, 2008

Islamabad is helping Taliban

New evidence has come to light on the terrorism front in Afghanistan. Deeply sensitive information has emerged that the Taliban insurgents are being aided by a section of Pakistani forces. Documents that are a part of the 'after-action' reports compiled by US officials following clashes on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border have revealed that there is a direct involvement of Pakistan's Frontier Corps troops in attacks on the Afghan Army and coalition forces. The issue of the Taliban's ability to cross and re-cross the Durand Line, Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, is becoming a contentious issue between the coalition forces and Islamabad. There has been a dramatic increase in cross-border incidents in the recent past. The documents are said to have details of incidents where the Frontier Corps appear to have been directly involved in firing on Afghan forces before a militant attack. The problem has worsened as Taliban renews its insurgency on the Afghan side of the border. What appears to be happening is that the extremists are being provided with safe havens to rest and recuperate before striking across the border again and again. This is a bit surprising. It is not entirely clear whether this is happening as a result of a deliberate policy on the part of Pakistan or is the handiwork of a section of the Pakistani establishment, notably the ISI. Some people in the North-West regions of Pakistan are known for their sympathies for the Taliban which is being provided with both shelter and assistance. At a time when Pakistan claims to be helping the US-led forces in Afghanistan, it appears to be aiding the enemy. As a result, the war against terror stands compromised.

What has added a twist to this tale of Pakistani duplicity and deceit is the publication of a report by American auditors that shows how the huge amounts of money being provided by Washington to Islamabad, ostensibly to help the Americans root out the evil called Taliban and Al Qaeda, has been virtually disappearing down a black hole. Cynics would suggest there's nothing startlingly new about this: Ever since the days of Gen Ayub Khan, the story has remained more or less the same. It is difficult to imagine that the American Administration is ignorant of Pakistan's abuse of its proximity to the US; it is amazing that even with such knowledge, the Americans have not bothered to bring the Pakistanis to heel. What has compounded the situation is the absence of any Government worth its name in Pakistan. That which exists is a notional Government whose writ does not run beyond Islamabad. In any event, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has not yet indicated that he is determined to carry the war against Islamist terrorism to its logical conclusion, largely because he is not his own man.


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