Pak's advise unlikely to be heard by Obama administration

Posted By: Staff
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Islamabad, Nov. 23 (ANI): Pakistani has advised the Obama administration not to send additional US troops to Afghanistan, and instead negotiate with the Taliban.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's office recently told visiting CIA Director Leon Panetta of "Pakistan's concerns relating to the possible surge of the US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan which may entail negative implications for the situation in Baluchistan."

Pakistani worries that thousands of additional American soldiers and Marines would send Taliban fighters retreating into Pakistan, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

Pakistan's advice is in total opposition to the strategy outlined by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the US military commander in Afghanistan.

It reveals how Pakistan, a critical US ally in the struggle against Islamist extremists and a major recipient of American military aid, continues to deal differently with terrorism.

"The Pakistanis say some things in public - often for reasons related to internal politics, it seems - that they don't focus on in private," said a senior US intelligence official.

"That's not to say that we see eye-to-eye on everything behind closed doors, but both sides realize that - whatever the disagreements of the moment might be - the long-term partnership is essential," he added.

Instead of escalating the war in Afghanistan, however, top Pakistani officials are pressing the administration to try to negotiate a political settlement with top Taliban commanders.

However, experts think that negotiating or bribing the Taliban is no longer going to help.

"The Americans have wasted a lot of time over this 'moderate Taliban' idea. It is never going to pan out. It misunderstands the Taliban phenomenon. If you try to break off elements with cash, they'll take your money and still fight you," said Simbal Khan, an analyst at Institute of Strategic Studies. (ANI)

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