Pak army officer defends deals with militants
American efforts to talk peace with insurgents in Afghanistan mean Washington can no longer expect Pakistan to attack all the militant factions on its side of the border, some of whom Islamabad is also reaching out to, the commander of Pakistan's forces along the frontier told The Associated Press.world Updated: May 09, 2012 01:38 IST
American efforts to talk peace with insurgents in Afghanistan mean Washington can no longer expect Pakistan to attack all the militant factions on its side of the border, some of whom Islamabad is also reaching out to, the commander of Pakistan's forces along the frontier told The Associated Press.
US and Nato officials say Pakistani tolerance of - or support for - Afghan factions operating on its soil is hobbling efforts to end the resistance to the foreign military presence in Afghanistan. The US wants Pakistan to launch an offensive or otherwise disrupt militant groups in North Waziristan, the stronghold for multiple insurgent networks on the border.
In a sign of the bad blood between Washington and Islamabad, Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani also accused the US of seeking to make Pakistan a scapegoat for its failure to beat the insurgency in Afghanistan.
"Why do they point fingers at Pakistan? It is shifting the blame to others," Rabbani said in his offices in a highly secure section of the main northwestern city of Peshawar. "Is Afghanistan free of Taliban? It has hundreds of thousands of them."
Washington has urged Pakistan to attack all the militants along the border, which it believes are equally dangerous.
Rabbani said US and Nato were in contact with insurgents in Afghanistan to try and "co-opt them into the peace process." "Similar things are true on this side of the border as well," he said. "It it forbidden for us to do the same?"
Privately, some US officials agree with Pakistan's stated reason that its lacks the soldiers to move into North Waziristan and defeat the 8,000 militants there. But others in Congress and the army accuse the force of seeking to keep the insurgents.
US ambassador to Pak to quit
US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter has decided to step down by this summer after serving less than two years on the job.
"Word is that Munter, a veteran career diplomat whose prior postings had been in Bonn, Prague and Warsaw, simply wasn't a good fit with the Pakistani government and perhaps not with the Obama administration," the Washington Post reported.
There was speculation that Munter quit over differences with the Obama administration.