US dilemma

US Secretary of State Hillary ClintonFinally, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has admitted that General Kayani is right about Afghanistan that rather than finding faults with Pakistan, it should set its house in order.

She even mentioned that 30 thousand Pakistanis have sacrificed their lives in the war on terror.During the past years, Karzai regime has constantly lapsed into unwonted criticism against Pakistan since it could neither point a finger at the US nor confess its own shortcomings. What has made matters worse is the Indian factor responsible behind the barrage of accusations from Kabul. It has become almost customary for President Karzai to hold the ISI accountable for every insurgent attack occurring in Afghanistan.

There had been occasion when the Afghan government had been publicly urging the US to extend the theatre of war into our tribal areas. Although, Secretary Clinton has now rebuffed the Karzai administration, one wonders what took her so long to air her feelings. That Afghan set-up would not have indulged in this blame game for so long had it been rebuffed by the US much before. It is obvious that she has been antagonised by Karzai’s sudden and unexpected statement that in case of a Pak-US war, Afghanistan would side with Pakistan.

Hence her words, even of support, should be taken with a pinch of salt as Pakistan is still smarting over its history of being stabbed in the back by long-time allies. The Obama camp is busy trying to patch up a quarrel with Islamabad in the wake of our threat of quitting the partnership altogether, in answer to former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s threats to go to war. It would therefore be naïve to assume that Hillary’s comments reflect a genuine change of heart towards the Karzai administration.

Meanwhile it is interesting to note that a foreign newspaper has opined that Karzai’s statement of support to Pakistan in case of a war with the US has sent shockwaves in Washington. The news has come as a bombshell for them because they were expecting Karzai to say just the opposite. It might have been an unguarded moment in which the comments slipped out of his mouth but they nonetheless underscore the deep bond of brotherhood existing between the two neighbours. The message is loud and clear: even after a decade of war, the two neighbours will still set aside their troubles and link arms as brothers in the face of a threat. – Nation