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US blinks, makes overture to Pakistan

Pakistan has sat out the US pressure tactic and the wheel seems to have come full circle. The US has begun backing away from its strident rhetoric threatening Pakistan with fire and brimstone. Actually, the whole exercise was surreal. It seems there was some turf war between the Pentagon (plus CIA) and the State Department, with the White House finally opting for the State Department line for negotiations with Pakistan. The State Department is rapidly toning down the threatening rhetoric held out by the Pentagon.

Interestingly, the US has refrained from blacklisting the Haqqani group as a terrorist outfit. Instead, a clutch of individuals have been put on the list of terrorists. Indeed, US is keeping open the door to negotiate with the Haqqanis at some stage. How do you negotiate peace if you don’t talk to the enemy faction with the strongest firepower and fighting calibre?

Good sense seems to have prevailed. The US has no alternative but to carry Pakistan along. Its Afghan policy is in such disarray that Pakistan may soon be called upon to to lead the partnership in the coming period. Senator Richard Lugar’s stunning admission that  US pledged an impressive amount of aid to Pakistan but actually disbursed only a measly amount implies that Washington has very little leverage over Islamabad.

On the contrary, the supply lines through Pakistan for the NATO forces in Afghanistan; the fact that the peace process is in a cul-de-sac; the failure of the US efforts to talk directly with the Taliban; the strong affirmation of Chinese support to Pakistan; the shortening timeline for Barack Obama; the failure of ‘surge’ policy; the impracticality of the drawdown schedule; Hamid Karzai’s weaknesses — all these place the US on the back foot.

India did well distancing itself from the US’s inconsistent, reckless course in Afghanistan. The Indian lobbyists have been clamouring that Delhi should capitalise on the recent US-Pakistan rift to align itself with Washington and pile pressure on Pakistan. What a flight of fancy bordering on naivety!  

Posted in Politics.

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13 Responses

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  1. Ibne Ashfaque says

    Bhadrakumar Sahib thanks for this very informative and crisp article. It is a pity that Indians are still trying to further consolidate the inroads that they have made into Afghanistan after 2011 by signing security agreements with Karzai. Can’t they see how the Brits are running for the exits and how battered the Gringo is getting with each passing day. Even the economically down Pakistanis are successfully resisting the Gringos. I wish Indian elite do not further meddle in Afghanistan; they should focus to sort out Kashmir and the many uprisings in India by sharing economic progress with the less fortunate ones. Or else I can foresee American’s withdrawing from the Hindukush and a part of the mujahideen moving from Khurasan into Kashmir and liberating it of Indian yoke. Surely whom the gods wish to destroy first they make them mad with hubris. I personally wish all Indians peace.

  2. mohammad khurram saeed says

    MARRIAGE OF INCONVINIENCE FOR BOTH.ANYWAY CARRY ON THE HONEYMOON !

  3. Ujwala Kulkarni says

    As an earlier secretary of state of US went on record to say Pakistan is an INTERNATIONAL MIGRAINE, but is in a geographical location that is vital to us (USA). Obviously Pak is important to US as US is at war with Afghanistan, and Pak is a gateway to Afghanistan. Likewise, someday India might benefit if US were to go at war with Pak. But by the time it happens, US may become a spent-force. Pakistan will surely milk it dry.

    US should cut its losses and quit Afghanistan immediately for losing the AfPak war is only an eventuality for US. This won’t be the first loss of face for them. There have been several in the past -like Vietnam, Bay of Pigs etc.

  4. keshav says

    THE SITUATION OF USA IS like DO OR DIE. Finish pakistan or finish themselves.

  5. nuke says

    US did the right thing by shaming Pakistan.It limits their ability to use LET and Haqqani network for its proxy wars.

  6. keshav says

    If USA stick with Pakistan, it too will go completely bankrupt as pakistan and will lead to self destruction. Pakistan has China to support but USA will have none if financially ruined. No way, Its better USA declare direct war with Pakistan. Pakistan is complete bankrupt which USA needs to take advantage, but here pakistan dare to pressurize USA to squeeze USA completely. A deal should include call back all arms from pakistan if possible.

  7. umesh rai says

    There are only 2 main plots in the whole story.

    1. China using Pakistan to keep India down.

    2. USA squeezing Pakistan to keep energy routes to China out of bounds.

    Its upto Pakistan to see, what ‘Price’ it can extract from either of the two to do fully or partially these two roles. All other stories are sideshow with its up and down.

    What can India do …. but watch.

  8. SRIDHAR RAGHUNATHARAO says

    Beautiful ! US can’t arm twist all. US is strategically bound to be goody goody and carry along. Pakistan is very clear about this draw backs and making hay to it’s best advantage. But, we don’t enjoy that edge

  9. such jano says

    I knew US will backoff, it simply have no choice but buy whatever cooperation it can from pakistan,

  10. Nasir Khan says

    better sense prevailed.

  11. Ipsita S says

    You make it sound like Pakistan is winning. Well, this is Pyrrhic victory, if there was one.

  12. riv2000 says

    Nice article with Ground realities…Every one knows Pakistan is bankrupt..but they hold Americans by the Neck…We Indians should stay away from the mess as we cannot change Neighbours..no matter they are good or bad…..US is not our neighbour.

  13. Jehan Mir says

    US has its jugular in Pakistan’s hand and yet continues to make threats against Pakistan. US is totally out of touch with reality.What a loser.?

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