Islamabad, Jan 14(ANI): While Pakistan has warned the US against any "new great game" concerning Afghanistan, it itself harbours a desire to maintain control over Kabul by "playing its own little games", an editorial in a Pakistani newspaper has said.
"During his meeting with the US Vice President [Joe Biden], [Pakistan] Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani expressed the hope that there will be no new 'great game' concerning Afghanistan," stated the Daily Times editorial.
"Ironically, while cautioning against other's great games, Pakistan has not given up its ambition of maintaining control over Kabul by playing its own little games. This has proved to be an elusive dream in the past and might well prove so once more, because the erstwhile protégés of Pakistan are known to act independently of their mentors once they achieve the seat of power," it added.
Taking note of the post-9/11 situation in Afghanistan and the present crisis in Pakistan, the editorial warned that Pakistani authorities must realise that the war on terrorism and extremism is in national interest.
"What happened in Afghanistan post-9/11 when the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden to the US and what is happening in Pakistan today where all kinds of jihadis have proliferated like rabbits and are now poised to unravel the state of Pakistan, should be enough to awaken those in authority to the reality that it is in our own interest to fight extremism," it maintained.
The editorial said although Pakistan has been harbouring illusions about some extremists being good and others being bad, "it is time it took a look at the trajectory that the phenomenon of jihad has taken since the 1970s, when they were first nurtured and then jihad exported to fight against the Soviets."
"The very jihadis that Pakistan exported first to Afghanistan and later to Kashmir and other neighbouring countries after the first Afghan war ended have come home to roost," it noted.
"The increasing invasion of the public space by extremist forces carefully cultivated in madrassas across Pakistan is evident in the various shades of extremists out in the streets baying for the blood of anyone that dares disagree with their interpretation of Islam," it added.
Bombing of targets ranging from high security zones to school vans was not something envisaged by the creators of the jihad policy for short-term strategic objectives, however, there are "indicators that, instead of being alarmed, Pakistan's security establishment continues to treat the jihadis as assets for attaining 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan," said the editorial.
The flames of extremism are indeed engulfing Pakistan, it said, adding that the country is still turning a blind eye to militant safe havens on its soil, which are being used to conduct jihadi activities in Afghanistan. (ANI)