Pakistan’s hegemonic design in Afghanistan is clear, but what is subtle is that it seeks to leverage its use of jihadist proxies to convince the US to help resolve the Kashmir dispute with India.
“Hopefully, there will be a change in the cooperative relationship between the United States and Pakistan,” White House chief of staff John Kelly said after the rescue operation.
While the ultimate objective still remains political reconciliation in Afghanistan, the route by which the parties get there will be vastly different under the Trump administration.
Relations between the two countries have been frayed over the past decade as officials have long questioned the role Pakistan has played in Afghanistan.
The funds were not released because the US government could not certify that Pakistan had not taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network.
The National Defence Authorisation Act imposes four conditions on Pakistan to be eligible for the $400 mn – all centred on Islamabad significantly targeting the Haqqani network.
Even though India and the US have, for once, landed on the same side in Afghanistan, there is a real danger of getting blindsided by Pakistan.
Day After Surgical Strikes: Fate of Captured Indian Soldier Uncertain, Sri Lanka Pulls Out of SAARC Summit
India has said that it is making efforts to recover the soldier who apparently “inadvertently” strayed across the border on the same day as the surgical strikes were conducted.
The US State Department spokesperson John Kirby talks about the ‘surgical strikes,’ the steps India and Pakistan have taken to strengthen cooperation on fighting terrorism and the tensions between the two countries.
Naqeeb Ahmad Atal, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, said 120 militants were also killed in the strikes in Jani Khil.
Both countries also announced they will resume their stalled trilateral meeting with Afghanistan – just as Kabul is expressing growing frustration over Pakistan failing to act against the Taliban.
The decision by the Pentagon is a sign that while it sees some progress by Pakistan in its military operations in North Waziristan, much work remains.
The release of the documents by Rahmatullah Nabil comes amid worsening tensions between the neighbouring countries in recent weeks.
Pakistan must introspect about why jihadism thrives on its soil. The first step to rectifying its addiction to jihadism would be to recognise that it is hooked on a dreadful habit.
As Modi heads to Herat, the worsening situation on the ground for the Afghan security forces provides an opportunity for India to retool its policy towards that country.
It will be best if Modi takes the many lessons that history holds out for those who think of venturing into Afghanistan for one reason or the other.
The drone strike may have killed Mullah Mansour but what it has really done is to deal a deathblow to Pakistan’s perennial game of plausible deniability after harbouring terrorists and unleashing them on its neighbours.
With the death of the Taliban chief within a year of taking over, focus is now on the Taliban’s future and strained US-Pakistan ties
The bill would block $450 million in aid to Islamabad unless it does more to fight the network, which lawmakers see as a major threat to US forces in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a new bill going through the US Congress attempts to block $450 million in aid to Pakistan for its failure take action against the Haqqani Network.
That the US continues to reward Pakistan’s patronage of jihadists will only lead to the vicious circle continuing uninterrupted, while Afghanistan and India will have to live with consequences of such dangerously aberrant behaviour in their immediate neighbourhood.