Now there’s a useful concept, some ten years into the war. Of course, how the pledge works out in practice remains to be seen. “Afghanistan: Pakistan to target insurgents,” by Amir Shah and Jon Gambrell for the Associated Press, June 12:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) “” Pakistan has agreed to target the hide-outs of Taliban fighters and other insurgents who attack neighboring Afghanistan and refuse to take part in faltering peace talks, Afghan officials said Sunday.
Many of the Taliban’s key leaders are thought to be hiding in Pakistan, and the threat of military strikes could be used to pressure fighters to negotiate. Still, how strong Pakistan will go after the Taliban remains in question, and there was no immediate confirmation of the agreement from the Pakistani government.
Taliban fighters and other groups have long used Pakistan’s tribal areas to launch attacks on NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, a point of contention between the two nations.
“The message is that people who want to take part in the peace process should have the way cleared for them,” said Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, secretary of a peace council set up by Afghanistan’s president. “To those that think war is the only means to reach their goals, there should not be a hide-out for them to continue their war.”
Stanekzai and other Afghan officials spoke to journalists Sunday after Afghan President Hamid Karzai returned from a visit to Pakistan’s capital. CIA Director Leon Panetta also spoke separately with senior Pakistani officials about intelligence sharing and efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.
A four-page statement signed by Pakistani and Afghan officials dated Saturday gave no details about the proposed strikes, though presidential spokesman Farhatuallah Babar said late Sunday that “Pakistan will not permit attacks on Afghanistan from its soil.”
“Pakistan has always maintained that it will not permit its soil to be used as launching pad for attacks on other countries,” Babar said.
India is a country…
Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar said that Pakistan’s government has “influence” over some Taliban that could be used to draw them into the so-far faltering peace negotiations. So far, there have been no substantive talks with any insurgent groups.
The push for peace talks come as fighting in Afghanistan intensifies, with the Taliban and other groups increasingly using roadside bombs and suicide attacks against civilians. May was the deadliest month for civilians since 2007, when the United Nations began keeping detailed records on casualties, the world body said Saturday….