“American intelligence officials suspect Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency uses [Siraj Haqqani] for its interests in Afghanistan.”
A particularly obvious example of Pakistan’s ongoing double game. “Pakistan nixes going after Taliban,” from UPI, December 22:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 22 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has spared no effort to publicly laud the vital role of Pakistan for the success of its Afghanistan strategy, but what is happening behind the scene tells a different story.
Pakistan, going by recent reports, is making no secret of its resentment of U.S. policy, which in essence wants its military to do more to crack down on the Taliban and other militants using its territory as sanctuaries to launch attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
That was in evidence last week when the Pakistani military refused to go along with a U.S. demand it go after Taliban commander Siraj Haqqani, who uses his North Waziristan hideout in Pakistan to plan attacks by his warriors across the border.
The Pakistani military argued it is already heavily involved in a counterinsurgency campaign in South Waziristan and that its resources cannot be further extended into North Waziristan. But the criticism against Pakistan is that its two-month old South Waziristan campaign has only targeted domestic militants who threaten the country’s security and not against the Afghan Taliban using its territory as sanctuaries. The offensive also has only helped many of the militant leaders to escape to North Waziristan and other areas.
A senior Pakistani security official told The Times of London any confrontation with Haqqani could create more problems for the army and that “we cannot fight on so many fronts.”
The Obama administration wants Pakistan, set to receive $1.5 billion of U.S. civilian aid a year for five years, to dismantle the Taliban sanctuaries in return for a long-term strategic bilateral partnership.
U.S. officials also say that besides Haqqani, top Taliban leaders including Mullah Mohammed Omar are using Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, as their base, and that the United States may decide to go after these militants on its own through expanded Predator drone strikes if Pakistan doesn’t cooperate.
As for Haqqani, The Times of London reported, American intelligence officials suspect Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency uses him for its interests in Afghanistan.
A New York Times report, quoting officials, said Pakistanis feel the U.S. demand would go against the need to position their country in Afghanistan in any regional rearrangement that might involve its main rival India as well as Russia, China and Iran once America begins to draw down its troops starting in July 2011 under the Obama strategy. In that scenario, the support of Haqqani and his fighters who control substantial regions of Afghanistan would be vital….