An article recently published in the New York Times has both infuriated and confused me. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/world/asia/22pstan.html?ref=todayspaper. This article deals with complaints made by Pakistani officials concerning our increased presence in Afghanistan. I admit that this entire situation has a personal side to it. One of my best friend’s sons, whom I babysat as an infant, is an officer in the USMC. He is presently deployed in Afghanistan and as a platoon leader; is in the middle of this “increased presence.” I have previously written articles voicing my objection to their president’s, Ali Zardari, method of requesting aid via the Washington Post. Presently, we have pledged $1.5 billion per year for the next 5 years to help stimulate Pakistan’s economy. Considering we have done such a superb job stimulating our own; forgive me if I find a considerable amount of irony in that gesture.
“Pakistani officials have told the Obama administration that the Marines fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan will force militants across the border into Pakistan…”
I have apparently been mistaken in my perception that this was a joint effort. I had assumed that the Taliban posed as great a threat to Pakistan as it does to the U.S. In fact; after my posting about Zardari on a different site; I received the following comment from a Pakistani national. (I wasn’t aware I had such a broad readership.)
this author from USA has critized upon the opinion written by our elected president of Pakistan in Washington post ; Remember ,Zardari has all the basic rights to write , speak or propagate for Pakistan and people of Pakistan has given him this right ; I am a common man in Pakistan ; i think if president Zardari is demanding more and more support from USA , then he is doing very well ; his Pakistani troops (both civilian and army are being killed by Taliban ; and if Zardari does not stop them , then Mr. author , your throat will also be cut by some Taliban leader one day ; face the facts and do not mix up the things ; When your own secretary of state Hilary Clinton admits and takes the responsibility of creation of alqaeda and Taliban then why you cry over Mr. Zardari if he writes the same truth in Washington post ; please do not bother regarding nuclear arsenals of Pakistan rather bother your own pentagon which was attacked by alqaead in 9/11 despite all security arrangements ; Zardari is not corrupt ; no court has been able to find proofs of his corruption ; correct your record accordingly '; Mr. Zardari is not only leading anti terrorism war for Pakistan’s survival rather yours survival as well;
OK Zameer; you got it. Though I find my friend’s accusations to be absurd; it displays why I am so confused over this sudden change in attitude regarding the pursuit of the Taliban. It’s important to note that Zardari was quoted as saying; “This is our war. It is our wives and children who are being killed.” Wrong again Zardari! Has he forgotten that 3,000 innocent Americans were killed by these people? He has consistently sought our help in fighting these insurgents and now they consider our more concerted effort to be a threat to their security.
“Pakistani officials still consider India their top priority and the Taliban militants a problem that can be negotiated. In the long term, the Taliban in Afghanistan may even remain potential allies for Pakistan…” WHAAAAT?
Yes, the Taliban has long been applauded for their willingness to negotiate. You need only ask the innocent civilians in Afghanistan to find out how willing the Taliban is to reach peaceful resolutions. My confusion is based on the sudden change of heart. It was less than 2 weeks ago that the Pakistani Army confronted the Taliban in the Swat Valley with considerable success.
“Last year, Washington presented evidence to Pakistani leaders that Mr. Haqqani, working with Inter-Services Intelligence, was responsible for the bombing last summer of the Indian Embassy in Kabul that killed 54 people.”
Ah hah-now I’m starting to get it! Haqquani is an Afghan Taliban leader who the U.S. contest is operating under Pakistani protection. So, apparently, as long as the Taliban strikes at India from time to time-they get a pass. Joe Klein writes in Time Magazine:
“In the latest National Interest, Bruce Riedel-who led the Obama Administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan policy review-suggests that a coup led by Islamist, Taliban-sympathetic elements of the Pakistani army remains a very real possibility. Pakistan has at least 60 nuclear weapons. The chance that al-Qaeda sympathizers might gain access to those weapons is the real issue in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
From what I can ascertain from all of this is that while our young men and women are risking their lives; Pakistan has redirected their focus from the Taliban back to India. Of course; India has always been Pakistan’s biggest threat. However, to attempt to detract our focus away from our objective is bullshit. To Pakistan I say: If you don’t wish to join us anymore-stay the fuck out of the way. This is our fight and always has been. To even suggest that we change direction is a slap in the face to our soldiers. So step aside Pakistan and let our troops do their job and when we’re done-you can do all the negotiating you want with those murdering pieces of shit. What do you have to say for yourself now Zameer?