Experts wary of Pak's 'double game' behind US' back

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, Mar.5 (ANI): The Pakistan Army's 'successful' offensive in restive tribal regions of the country and the recent arrests of top militant commanders in Karachi and from other parts of the country, might be seen as a shift in Islamabad's policies, but concerns are that it may be playing a "double game".

According to Daniel Markey, a South Asia expert at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a State Department official during the Bush administration, while Pakistan has romped up action against extremists breeding on its soil in the recent past, concerns regarding it playing a "double game" of supporting extremists behind the United States' back still remains.

"We are seeing things now that we had, in previous years, only hoped for," The USA Today quoted Markey, as saying.

Bruce Riedel, President Obama's key advisor on the revamped Af-Pak policy, also pointed out that the arrest of Afghan Taliban's second in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other top militant commanders is a significant move, particularly when Pakistan has maintained that there were no Taliban leaders in the country.

"He is a big fish. This is something the United States has been pressing Pakistan to do since the Bush administration," Riedel said.

Shuja Nawaz, an analyst with the Atlantic Council, also raised questions over Pakistan's efforts and said that the recent steps are "window dressing" designed to undermine the potential peace talks with the Taliban.

Nawaz and other analysts believed that the real test for Pakistan is whether it clamps down on the extremists flourishing inside its border who have, till now, remained untouched by the state.

One such extremist group is the Jalaluddin Haqqani network, which operates in the North Waziristan.

"The Haqqani network is one of the most deadly organizations, especially for U.S. troops. A more robust effort to target them would be a very positive signal," said Lt. Gen. David Barno, a Pakistan expert at the National Defense University. (ANI)

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