Washington, Feb. 27 (ANI): Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani is the key to US strategy in the region, the National Public Radio has claimed.
The radio recalled that when Kayani became chief of staff just over a year ago, the appointment was met with high praise from US officials, the Daily Times reports.
The US considers its relations with Pakistani military extremely important because of the insurgency of Taliban and Al Qaeda along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
However, the author of Crossed Sword: Pakistan, Its Army and the Wars Within, Shuja Nawaz had a different take on the western-oriented-Pakistani-General's advantage for the US.
"I think the United States went a little overboard in trying to project him as Western-oriented, Western-educated, Western-trained. The reality of the situation is that the army chief decides what's in the army and the country's interest, and not necessarily in the interest of partner nations, even if they are such major superpowers as the United States," he said.
Seth Jones of the Rand Corporation asserted, "Pakistan is primarily interested, as one might expect, in targeting groups that threaten the Pakistani state. The United States is interested in targeting groups that threaten the Afghan state. There is overlap in some of these areas, but not in others."
Jones said the point of friction between the US and Pakistan included, allowing the United States to train the paramilitary Frontier Corps in counterinsurgency techniques. The US wants this training extended to the regular army.
"But Kayani has to be careful to be seen in Pakistan - where anti-Americanism is rife - as striking the right balance between helping fight extremism but not bowing to US pressure. The minute we create the image that any figure is not serving the interests of his own country and his own people, we fatally undercut that person", cautioned Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. (ANI)