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Pakistan Addicted to Extremists!

Interesting Article: "Pakistan addicted to using terrorist groups against India: US" by Chidanand Rajghatta / Washington published Friday, March 29th, 2012


An interesting article mentioned that Pakistan is addicted to using terrorist groups against India and the policy is not going to change any time soon, a key Pentagon official told the US Congress in a blunt and bleak assessment of the situation in the region. At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Sub-Committee on emerging threats and capabilities, the Obama administration's assistant secretary of defense for special ops/low-intensity conflict Michael Sheehan barely minced words on Tuesday in calling out Pakistan's now widely-known policy of using terrorism as a policy tool. But what was astonishing was his candid admission about US helplessness in changing the Pakistani mindset. Would you like to know more?


''They have an addiction to playing around with militia groups to achieve certain interests, particularly vis-a-vis India. That gets them in all kinds of trouble,'' Sheehan told the panel, using a milder term for terrorists groups. He then added: ''We've had these conversations with them forever about that. I don't see that changing. I don't see any set of talking points that's going to be delivered by some new diplomat that's going to change their mind.'' Sheehan's remarks came amid a significant thawing of ties between Pakistan's civilian establishment, buffeted by multiple domestic crisis, including a critical shortage of energy that is causing street rioting, and New Delhi. The official echoed President Obama's view that Washington had little choice but to work with Islamabad despite its disquieting use of terrorism by the country's military establishment, a policy New Delhi also appears to have embraced as it offers power supply to Pakistan.

''It's a very troubling and can be so frustrating in dealing with the Pakistani government on so many levels, but at the end of the day we're going to find confluence of interest and we're going to work together as best we can,'' Sheehan said in expressing Washington's dilemma which appears to be shared by New Delhi as it warms up to Pakistan despite its inaction on 26/11 and not forswearing use of proxy terrorist groups which have now been mainstreamed into Pakistani politics under the banner of difa-e-Pakistan (Defense of Pakistan).

Sheehan also added: "it’s the way they view the world. We have to understand the way they view the world and try to work through it. But it’s not going to be easy, but I think at the end of the day, we have been successful in the FATA in degrading al-Qaeda over the last 10 years despite all these problems."

Top U.S military generals have been meeting with Pakistani counterparts to get the relationship back on rails, and while there is some sign of thaw, Sheehan offered a bleak assessment of long-term relationship. He indicated the new parliamentary committee review of US-Pakistan relation, including a laundry list of demands on Washington, ''are going to further complicate our ability to work with the Pakistani government.''

Despite a very public demand from Pakistan for a civilian nuclear deal on par with India's, the US official said the subject did not even feature in the Obama-Gilani talks, which centered on the parliamentary review, counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, and some economic issues.

The kinetic action has primarily focused in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and increasingly in the Horn of Africa as well as once in a while in Yemen - in those three areas. So the primary interest for me for Al Qaeda has always been Pakistan," he said.

“Quite frankly at the end of the day, the (US) President is going to do what he has to do unilaterally. He will always protect that prerogative to protect the security of the American people and our interests,” Sheehan said.


References:
http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=190795
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/pakistan-addicted-to-playing-around-militant-groups-against-india-pentagon/articleshow/12456956.cms






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