[THS] Karzai and Pakistan Unite Against U.S.
The Harder Stuff in news and commentary
ths at psalience.org
Fri Apr 22 13:33:53 CEST 2011
Karzai and Pakistan Unite Against U.S.
By Michael Hughes
April 20, 2011 "Examiner" -- Its more than a coincidence that Al Qaedas
reemergence in northeastern Afghanistan is occurring at the same time Pakistans
relationship with the U.S. is collapsing, according to several tribal elders and a native
Afghan policy expert, as Islamabad attempts to align more closely with Kabul to
establish a united front against the American-led coalition.
Haji Baydar Zazai, a tribal elder from Paktia province, said Pakistani officials are
climbing in bed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai so they can achieve their security
goals outside the watchful eye of the U.S. - objectives which include blocking India
from having any influence in Kabul.
Afghan native Khalil Nouri, a policy strategist with the New World Strategies Coalition
(NWSC), indicated that although the U.S. has given Islamabad billions of dollars to
eliminate militant sanctuaries Pakistan has been enraged by CIA drone strikes and
CIA contractors killing civilians, which has prompted Islamabad to unleash the dogs
in retaliation for the U.S. violating its national sovereignty on a daily basis.
Irate Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has kicked over 300 U.S. clandestine
and Special Forces personnel out of the country and is demanding an end to the
CIAs drone campaign.
Meanwhile, Al Qaeda is expanding its network across Kunar and Nuristan in the wake
of a U.S. drawdown from the region that began 18 months ago. Experts have said
that, although Pakistan can help prevent it, increasing violence by militants has
pressured Kabul to bow to Pakistani wishes.
According to former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, Kayani and the chief of Pakistans Inter-
Services Intelligence (ISI), Ahmed Shuja Pasha, want to return to what Riedel calls
the Reagan rules, referring to the 1980s when the CIA and Saudis provided the ISI
with the funds to arm and train the mujahideen. It was a very hands off approach
that left the entire execution of the program in the hands of Pakistani intelligence The
U.S. footprint between Washington, Islamabad and Riyadh combined was less
than 100 CIA officers.
As a chill descends upon relations between Washington and Islamabad, Afghanistan
and Pakistan agreed to form a commission to negotiate a power-sharing arrangement
with the Taliban that would grant Pakistani military leaders a formal role in the
Kayani has aggressively tried to strike a deal with Karzai knowing the U.S. will begin
withdrawing forces from Afghanistan this summer and will try to remove all combat
personnel by 2014. For Karzais part, he is concerned about his political future in a
post-NATO world, fearful of standing naked against the insurgency, and thus is
seeking Rawalpindis help in soothing tensions with the Taliban.
However, President Karzai acquiesces to Islamabad at his own peril because based
on historical evidence and recent developments its easy to envision Al Qaeda and the
Taliban running roughshod through Afghanistan, with support from Pakistans
military and intelligence apparatus, once NATO leaves.
Pakistan's former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed
Sirohey, cryptically summed up the Afghan Presidents chances of survival when he
told me last year that Karzai would survive only one day after his external escort is
In fact, it looks like Karzais honeymoon is already coming to an end, considering
Afghan television station TOLOnews reported yesterday that Pakistani Premier Yusuf
Raza Gilani issued Karzai a series of demands during his recent visit to Kabul.
Pakistan said that Afghanistan must consult them on all activities related to the
expansion and training of Afghan security forces, provide them a share in Afghan
mine development and disclose details of any agreements Afghanistan has with its
Afghan experts believe these demands threaten Afghanistans sovereignty and
independence. Noor-ul Haq Ulomi, an Afghan political analyst, said that Pakistan has
never been honest with Afghanistan and now it appears Pakistan has "made a close
friendship" with the Afghan government, previouly hidden from public view.
Pakistan has reportedly enhanced its influence within almost every Afghan
government entity over the past 10 years, primarily clandestinely. Haroon Mir,
another Afghan expert, alleged that President Karzai has begun negotiating covertly
with Pakistan and was on the verge of making concessions in an effort to reconcile
with the Taliban, which he believes would be a tragic mistake.
Islamabad has enjoyed considerable leverage over Washington knowing that Pakistan
is indispensable to the success of President Obamas Afghan war strategy. Yet the
trust deficit is now so high that Pakistani leaders wholeheartedly believe the U.S. will
abandon the region completely and will terminate the flow of financial aid. Because
of this, according to Foreign Policy magazine, Pakistan wants the U.S. just like the
Soviets before them - to "bleed a little on their way out the door.
Pakistani leaders realize they can deliver a crippling blow to the U.S. war effort by
blocking critical NATO supply lines that run through Pakistan into Afghanistan. Former
Pakistani spy chief Hamid Gul boasted in a recent interview that by choking off these
supply routes Pakistan can turn Afghanistan into a graveyard for U.S. troops.
Many analysts have argued that the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan is actually
fueling the insurgency and is the true destabilizing force in the region, which might
be true. Yet, once the Western coalition is finally gone, Afghanistan will still have to
deal with the destabilizing force next door.
More information about the THS