Blind to Pak interests

The Nation | The US is clearly in no mood to accommodate Pakistan’s interests or sensitivities as it goes about its already-failed military-centric ‘war on terror’ in this region. Having failed to push the Pakistan Army into a premature and disastrous operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), it has now decided to increase the already intolerable drone attacks against Pakistani territory and people. According to the US media, apparently this is in direct response to the strong nationalist stance taken by the Pakistan Army in its meetings with US Defence Secretary Gates. So this means that instead of adopting a rational, cooperative and therefore more effective approach to combating militancy and terrorism, the US is now indulging in targeting the Pakistani state for standing its ground.

For anyone in this country who still feels US interests coincide with Pakistan’s security interests, this latest move on drone attacks should be the final eye opener. And one should not forget the insult hurled at the Pakistan military by Gates when he declared in the now-common US imperial approach that they were mulling over giving Pakistan some drones – the reference was clearly made to outmoded and pretty useless Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which will serve little purpose for Pakistan! But for some strange reason the Pakistani leadership, both civil and military, has adopted a strange silence instead of giving a befitting response at the declaratory level at least!

Nor is this all. Many non-Western European and US diplomats are already writing off the London Conference on Afghanistan as merely “an event staged to pursue the US agenda”. Part of that agenda poses a direct threat to Pakistan – that of enhancing the Indian military presence in Afghanistan. It is believed that the whole thing will be stage-managed so that the ISAF representatives also support this US-UK move. One major neighbouring player in the region already fears that instead of the real issues of corruption, development and maladministration in Afghanistan, the London Conference will focus on giving India a more overt and larger military role in that country.For Pakistan that is simply unacceptable.

Given the general sense of what will happen in London, it would serve Pakistan’s interests to simply boycott London and focus on the trilateral regional cooperation amongst the immediate neighbours of Afghanistan, expanding this to include all the neighbours.

Walking knowingly into a political trap would be inexcusable on the part of this already beleaguered government.

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