Nytt

I forkant av besøket til forsvarsminister Robert Gates varsler den pakistanske hæren at det ikke blir aktuelt å fortsette offensiven mot Taliban og Al Qaida i grenseområdene. Hæren vil ta en pause på et halvt eller ett år. Det er klar melding. Men vil ha en pris.

Pakistan liker tydeligvis ikke den insisterende stilen til Obama-administrasjonen. Gates, Clinton, Holbrooke – de gir seg ikke. De krever og forlanger svar. Slik oppførte ikke Bush-administrasjonens folk seg: de snakket i store ord, men foretok seg ikke stort.

Gates publiserte en artikkel i The News før han kom, og her sier han i klare ordelag at Pakistan må gjøre mer. Pakistan har ikke foretatt seg noe mot den afghanske Taliban, kun den pakistanske. USA godtar ikke det.

In the article, Mr. Gates implicitly pressed Pakistan to root out the Afghan Taliban leadership, the Quetta Shura, which has found refuge in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province outside the tribal areas.

American officials are increasingly frustrated that while the Pakistanis have launched offensives against the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda, they have so far not pursued the Afghan Taliban and an allied militant faction on their border, the Haqqani network, whose fighters pose a threat to American forces.

«Maintaining a distinction between some violent extremist groups and others is counterproductive,» Mr. Gates wrote. «Only by pressuring all of these groups on both sides of the border will Afghanistan and Pakistan be able to rid themselves of this scourge for good.»

American officials privately say that the Pakistanis are reluctant to go after the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network because they see them as a future proxy against Indian interests in Afghanistan when the Americans leave. Under President Obama’s Afghan strategy, announced last month, the United States is to begin withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan by July 2011.

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