News Analysis |
The US assured Pakistan that no group will be allowed to launch attacks on Pakistan from Afghan soil, Foreign Secretary, Tehmina Janjua informed the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. Janjua, who is the first woman to reach the most highly coveted position in the diplomatic corps, briefed the participants on Pak-US ties. Nuzhat Sadiq chaired the meeting.
Janjua said that the US was aware of RAW ‘s nefarious activities in Afghanistan, and also the simmering situation in Kashmir. She said that the US also offered its good offices to improve ties between India and Pakistan.
Despite the importance of healthy Pak-US ties, both countries are not enjoying a period of cordial dealings. Ties have frayed since the announcement of the new South Asia Policy that, while blaming Pakistan for harboring terrorism, calls upon India to play an active role in Afghanistan. Islamabad has not only rejected the assertions of the presence of safe havens inside its territory but also taken exceptions to Indian involvement in Afghanistan.
“Blaming Pakistan for everything in Afghanistan is neither fair nor helpful”, Pakistan’s foreign minister stressed.
Janjua said that the US was categorically told that Pakistani territory is not being used by non-state actors, for it has been cleared of terrorists through robust military operations. She added that the US was asked to share actionable intelligence, instead of blaming Pakistan.
Pakistan has time and again pointed out towards the inability of the US and Afghan forces in stemming the flow of the Taliban inside Afghanistan, rebuking the very idea that the miscreants need Pakistani territory to regroup even after controlling more than 40% of Afghan territory.
“In Afghanistan, 45 percent of the country is not under government control, which is why the Haqqani network and other terror groups do not need a safe haven in Pakistan,” she said, repeating the country’s long-held position on cross-border terrorism.
Janjua also informed the committee that the US’s objection to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was dismissed, after which the US officials admitted that their objections to the corridor were incorrect.
“Afghan government will have to rid its ranks of the elements that are working against peace”.
Pleasantries aside, watchers are convinced that Pak US ties are likely to tread slowly; bouts of disregard will intersperse with a few tactical breathers here and there. Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, while talking to the media on Monday said that Indian role in Afghanistan needs consideration while conceding that there is lack of consensus between Pakistan and the US.
“However blaming Pakistan for everything in Afghanistan is neither fair nor helpful”, Pakistan’s foreign minister stressed. The 67-year-old added that Afghanistan has a constituency that benefits from conflict, and is working actively to make peace impossible. “Afghan government will have to rid its ranks of the elements that are working against peace”, he asserted.
Janjua said that the US was aware of RAW ‘s nefarious activities in Afghanistan, and also the simmering situation in Kashmir.
A consistent trend has developed in the ties between the two countries: knowingly that both cannot pull the plug on each other, the US and Pakistani officials resort to verbal sparring. Analysts attribute to the continuing trust deficit, which they believe will exacerbate as the geopolitical great game heats up. Pakistan being a virtual Chinese sidekick will or may often find itself on the wrong side of the US.
Meanwhile, watchers are also worried that India may not find it tenable to do more for the US, for ramping up efforts in Afghanistan may not be strategically fruitful besides being tactically unfeasible. Moreover, experts caution India about Iran; the fiercely independent country is neither an enemy of China nor does it have plans to lessen its spite for the US or Israel for that matter. The wrestling ring is full of fighters pitted against each other.