The Pakistani Government is really feeling the pressure over its support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Over this past few months, there has been a been sustained push on Pakistan. On every occasion, the Afghanistani Government has been pushing Pakistan to do more to prevent the attacks from the Taliban residing on their side of the border. In the last few months, they have been joined by Nato commanders as well as analysts who are attacking the intentions of the Pakistani Government. The Pakistani Government finally admits that there is some recruiting happening in their territory. This is actually a major admission. An excerpt from the New York Times article in this regard:

Pakistan’s prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, acknowledged Wednesday that people sympathetic to the Taliban were active in the frontier regions near the border with Afghanistan. But he insisted that the root of the problem was the Afghan government’s weak authority, not Pakistani support of the Taliban. Mr. Aziz also said three million Afghan refugees were crowded into Quetta, Peshawar and other Pakistani cities close to the 1,700 mile-border between the countries. Despite what he described as stepped-up Pakistani efforts to root out extremists, the refugee population remains a recruiting pool for the Taliban insurgency, Mr. Aziz said. But he dismissed allegations that his country was supporting the militants.

Pakistan has always seen Afghanistan as an area of influence, and the rise of the Taliban was a major step in that direction. After 9/11, this changed. Due to immense pressure, Pakistan had to withdraw support from the Taliban (which was essentially its own creation). But as has been noted in several media articles over a period of time (and one of the reasons why Daniel Pearl was abducted and killed), the influence of the ISI has never gone away.

The recent agreement between the tribals and the Pakistani Government in the tribal areas has been seen as another step in this direction. Essentially the Pakistani Government has ceded the territory to the tribal clans in that area, with no more campaign by the security agencies to cleanse the area of terrorists. What this has lead to is an area that provides sanctuary to terrorists.

There is no good solution to the entire problem. Unless Pakistan really commits to striking out all forms of terrorism, the Taliban are just going to keep on re-grouping in Pakistan and attaching the Nato and Afghan forces.

Source New York Times Article

Ashish blogs at Musings of a Modern Man  and can be contacted at ashishblogs(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in

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