US doubts Pak peace deal with Taliban, FATA

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Washington, Apr 29: The recent peace deal signed by Pakistan with the Taliban and other dissident elements in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is being seen with skepticism in the US, where many claim that it won't succeed.

The new Pakistani leaders will have no more luck with this effort than President Pervez Musharraf did, and they should develop a military fallback plan to prepare for the time when this deal falls apart, said an editorial published in the New York Times. The paper pointed out that the Bush administration does not like the deal, "but its own policy failure is undeniable."

While it is not surprising that the new government is trying to set its own course, it is also true that while battling extremists, Musharraf and the US showed a lack of concern for civilian casualties. The Pakistani leader never tried to explain why it was in his country's interest to fight at all. It was always Washington's war, said the paper.

"The new democratic government so far has exceeded expectations: rival politicians are cooperating and they have promised to lift media restrictions and make other needed reforms. It deserves Washington's support and some time to find its way. American officials need to work quietly with the new government to lay the ground for a new military strategy, should the peace agreement unravel. And it needs to do a lot more to help strengthen Pakistan's democracy and improve the lives of ordinary Pakistanis," the Daily Times quoted the NYT editorial as saying.


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